A couple of issues ago I asked readers whether or not they knew of any work on the 'half-life' of electronic journal papers versus that of print journal papers. I received a helpful e-mail message pointing me to Steve Lawrence's paper in Nature in 2001. Lawrence looked at papers in computer science and related fields and found:
…a clear correlation between the number of times an article is cited and the probability that the article is online. More highly cited articles, and more recent articles, are significantly more likely to be online, in computer science. The mean number of citations to offline articles is 2.74, and the mean number of citations to online articles is 7.03, an increase of 157%.
Then there is a small piece about Weblogging Multiplier Effect and a conclusion for scientific writer:
The crafty author, then, can pretty well ensure some take up by cultivating a friendly blogger and letting him/her know when a paper has been published – off round the network the news goes and, before you know it, you are on the best-seller list.
Perhaps we'll see the day when a Blog Impact Factor (BIF) is required of all candidates for tenure or promotion.
For an interesting history of blogs, read Rebecca Blood, and if anyone has a paper on the subject in preparation, let me know.
See also for a list of most popular articles.
some people were citeing this a while ago in a discussion about some online publications. I think it is interesting to keep track of, but it is unclear to me, in the end, what this actually shows about anything… given the nature of scientific literature these days.