Usage analysis shows where researchers are reading the most

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Countries’ GDP per capita and R&D spend per capita have a big impact on researchers’ access to academic papers. This is one of the conclusions of Mendeley’s new Global Research Report. For the report, Mendeley analysed the research activity of the two million scholars on its platform in relation to economic indicators and research productivity.

The report from the UK-based startup found that to afford each of their researchers access to an additional 50 research papers, developing countries require a ten-fold increase in R&D expenditure per capita. This, believes the report, highlights the importance of the trend towards open-access publishing.

The Global Research Report also provides rankings on which countries, world regions, and universities are reading the most academic papers and spending the most time per day studying the literature (only countries with at least 1,000 Mendeley users were included).

On average, an academic’s research paper collection contains 142.8 documents. The top three world regions, countries, and research institutions by size of their academics’ research paper collection are:

World Region                                                

1. Western Europe: 187.1
2. North America: 171.6
3. East Asia: 156.2


1. Argentina: 267.6
2. France: 232.6
3. Germany: 222.9

Research Institution

1. University of Lausanne: 383.1
2. United States Geological Survey: 380.4
3. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle: 379.1

In September 2012, the average researcher spent 1 hour, 12 minutes per day studying the academic literature. The top three regions, countries, and institutions by their researchers’ daily studying time are:

World Region                                                

1. Western Europe: 1 hour, 19 minutes
2. Oceania: 1 hour, 18 minutes
3. East Asia: 1 hour, 15 minutes               


1. The Netherlands: 1 hour, 25 minutes
2. South Africa: 1 hour, 24 minutes
3. UK: 1 hour, 22 minutes 

Research Institution

1. Durham University: 1 hour, 47 minutes
2. ENS Lyon: 1 hour, 44 minutes
3. University of Manchester: 1 hour, 39 minutes

China came in fouth in daily studying time, while the USA ranked 49th globally. The complete data can be found in the Global Research Report.