May 20, 2022

Research Article: “How are Scientific Works Viewed?” (Preprint)

The following article (preprint) was recently shared on arXiv.


How are Scientific Works Viewed


Ana C. M. Brito
University of São Paulo

Filipi N. Silva
Indiana University Network Science Institute

Henrique F. de Arruda
University of São Paulo

Cesar H. Comin
Federal University of São Carlos

Diego R. Amancio
University of São Paulo

Luciano da F. Costa
University of São Paulo


via arXiv


With the expansion of electronic publishing, a new dynamics of scientific articles dissemination was initiated. Nowadays, many works become widely disseminated even before publication, in the form of preprints. Another important new element concerns the visualizations of published articles. Thanks to the availability of respective data by some journals, it became possible to develop investigations on how papers are viewed along time, often before the first citations appear. This provides the main theme of the present work. Our research was initiated in observations that the view profiles along time tend to present a piecewise linear nature. A methodology was then delineated that in order to identify the main segments in the view profiles, which allowed to obtain several related measurements. In particular, we focused on the inclination and length of each subsequent segment. Basic statistics indicated that the inclination tends to decrease along subsequent segments, while the segment lengths resulted more stable. Complementary joint statistics analysis, considering pairwise correlations, provided further information, especially the tendency of highly inclined segments being followed by shorter ones. Another interesting finding relates to the observation that short segments tend to be followed by long segments with low inclination. Given that the joint densities suggested the presence of clusters, we proceeded to a respective systematic investigation. Three well-defined clusters were found, paving the way to cluster-specific modeling approaches. It was found that models incorporating joint dependencies between the properties of the segments provided the most accurate results among the considered alternatives. The several reported findings corroborate that the view profiles have intricate structure and tend to clusterize, suggesting correlate real-world mechanisms.

Direct to Full Text Article
32 pages; PDF.

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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.