As most people will know, up until now, I have regularly produced two monthly top 10 lists for ORO: the most-viewed journal articles and the most-viewed non-journal articles. However, I’ve always preferred the idea of providing figures on full-text downloads rather than visits, as I think this has the potential to provide people with much more meaningful information.
A visit to a particular article may well be someone genuinely interested in reading and using that bit of research, but, equally, it could be someone who has just performed a Google search, clicked through to the item on ORO, looked at it for a second, and then moved on because they realised it was not what they were after. A download, however, probably means a lot more than that. If that same someone has clicked through to the item on ORO, looked at the title and abstract, and then taken the decision to download the full text, I would say there is a fair chance they have made the decision that that document is going to be useful to them in some way. And if that someone is an academic carrying out a literature search for their next paper, it may even translate into citations for you!
Anyway, I’m not going to go into the reasons why I haven’t reported on downloads up until now, simply because they are boring technical things that no one will be interested in. However, suffice it to say we have now gotten over these boring technical problems and have been merrily recording full text downloads since the 15th of December 2009. So, without further ado, here is the first top 15 (no longer top 10!) downloads for January 2010: ORO downloads 01_2010a.