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03/28/2016

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Michael Kremer

"Given that the average number of readers of any peer-reviewed philosophical paper is close to zero"

Eric, I actually doubt this is true. Do you have evidence for this other than citation counts? I certainly don't cite everything I read... and I have received (appreciative) emails from people who have read one or the other of my articles or even book reviews, but will never cite them. How can we get accurate statistics on what people *read* (as opposed to what they *cite*)? Or are there some?

Schliesser, Eric

The classic, modern source is this paper by Meho,
http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0701/0701012.pdf
You are right to be suspicious; citations are a bad proxy for readership. (Lots of citations do not entail lots of readers and vice versa.) The honest fact is that we know very little about the reading habits of professional academics. Maybe I am unduly pessimistic (and just being rhetorical).
Having said that I would not infer much from the experiences of a high status professor to the average experience.

Ed Lamm

Only real way to judge readership is through syllabi... (But to be realistic, assume only 10% of students will read what's assigned. or maybe less?)

Thankfully there's the syllabus project.

http://opensyllabusproject.org/

David Duffy

"syllabi":
'Next time I saw Wilfrid, I said, "I heard from a graduate student that you had been reading some of my stuff in seminar." He said, "Yup." I said, "Oh, you didn't say anything to me. You must know how thrilled I would be at your doing this." He said, "It's none of your damn business what I teach in my seminar."'

http://www.pitt.edu/~brandom/downloads/Williams_Interviews%20Page%20Proofs.pdf

Neil McArthur

The online journal databases keep usage statistics, which publishers can access. It looks like librarians can potentially access them as well. Hopefully that data will eventually fall into the hands of someone who can make something of it.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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