May 20, 2022

Research Article: “Can Mendeley Bookmarks Reflect Readership? A Survey of User Motivations”

Here’s a full-text preprint version (made available by the authors) of an article that became available online (early view) from the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology earlier today.


Can Mendeley Bookmarks Reflect Readership? A Survey of User Motivations


Ehsan Mohammadi
University of Wolverhampton

Mike Thelwall
University of Wolverhampton

Kayvan Kousha
University of Wolverhampton


Preprint Version via Web Site of Lead Author
Final Version: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology


Although Mendeley bookmarking counts appear to correlate moderately with conventional citation metrics, it is not known whether academic publications are bookmarked in Mendeley in order to be read or not. Without this information, it is not possible to give a confident interpretation of altmetrics derived from Mendeley.

In response, a survey of 860 Mendeley users shows that it is reasonable to use Mendeley bookmarking counts as an indication of readership because most (55%) users with a Mendeley library had read or intended to read at least half of their bookmarked publications. This was true across all broad areas of scholarship except for the arts and humanities (42%). About 85% of the respondents also declared that they bookmarked articles in Mendeley to cite them in their publications, but some also bookmark articles for use in professional (50%), teaching (25%) and educational activities (13%).

Of course, it is likely that most readers do not record articles in Mendeley and so this data does not represent all readers. In conclusion, Mendeley bookmark counts seem to be indicators of readership leading to a combination of scholarly impact and wider professional impact.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint; 20 pages; PDF)

Note: Abstract of Preprint Identical to Version Available Direct from JASIST.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.