The NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), along with astronomy's journals and data centers (a collaboration dubbed URANIA), has developed a distributed online digital library which has become the dominant means by which astronomers search, access, and read their technical literature. Digital libraries permit the easy accumulation of a new type of bibliometric measure: the number of electronic accesses (“reads”) of individual articles. By combining data from the text, citation, and reference databases with data from the ADS readership logs we have been able to create second‐order bibliometric operators, a customizable class of collaborative filters that permits substantially improved accuracy in literature queries. Using the ADS usage logs along with membership statistics from the International Astronomical Union and data on the population and gross domestic product (GDP), we have developed an accurate model for worldwide basic research where the number of scientists in a country is proportional to the GDP of that country, and the amount of basic research done by a country is proportional to the number of scientists in that country times that country's per capita GDP. We introduce the concept of utility time to measure the impact of the ADS/URANIA and the electronic astronomical library on astronomical research. We find that in 2002 it amounted to the equivalent of 736 full‐time researchers, or $250 million, or the astronomical research done in France.
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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