Abstract : The study aims to investigate the relationships between consumption of e-journals distributed by Elsevier ScienceDirect platform, publication (articles) and impact (citations) in a sample of 13 French universities, from 2003 to 2009. It adopts a value perspective as it questions whether or not publication activity and impact are some kind of return led by consumption. A bibliometric approach was used to explore the relations between these three variables. The analysis developed indicators inspired by the mathematical h-Index technique.
Results show that the relation between consumption, publication and citations depends on the discipline’s profile, the intensity of research and the size of each institution. Moreover, although relations have been observed between the three variables, it is not possible to determine which variable comes first to explain the phenomena. The study concludes by showing strong correlations, which nevertheless do not lead to clear causal relations.
The article provide practical implication for academic library managers who want to show the added value of their electronic e-journals collections can replicate the study approach. Also for policy makers who want to take into account e-journals usage as an informative tool to predict the importance of publication activity.
Originality: The study is the first French contribution to e-journal value studies. Its originality consists in developing a value viewpoint that relies on a bibliometric approach.
Keywords: scholarly journals, e-journals, ScienceDirect, value, academic libraries, downloads, citations, impact, articles, publication, research outcomes, h-index, France, bibliometry.