Comparing Apples to Apples? Examining User Behavior for an Open-Access ETDs Collection vs. ProQuest
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Many institutions that maintain their own open-access repository for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) also deposit ETDs into the vendor database ProQuest Theses & Dissertations. Since ETDs are the products of scholarly research, one might assume that both types of collections would have the same target audience and that their users would exhibit similar behavior and be seeking similar materials. One might also assume that (free) open-access collections would be more heavily used in developing countries while ProQuest would be more heavily used in so-called First World countries. To examine these assumptions, this poster compares Google Analytics user statistics for a research university’s open-access ETDs collection created in DSpace with similar data obtained for that institution’s ETDs available from ProQuest. Comparisons are made for: (a) Overall collection use (including user visits, metadata page views, and ETD downloads data, as available); (b) Most-accessed materials (including fields of study and issue dates); (c) Users’ geographical locations (by country).