Schaffer T, Jackson KM "The use of online supplementary material, in high-impact scientific journals" Science & Technology Libraries 25(1-2):73-85, 2004

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Mon Mar 28 13:30:44 EST 2005

Thomas Schaffer : tschaffer at
Kathy M. Jackson: kathy-jackson at

TITLE : The use of online supplementary material, in high-impact scientific

AUTHOR: Schaffer T, Jackson KM

SOURCE: Science & Technology Libraries 25(1-2):73-85, 2004

An increasing number of journals are allowing scientists to submit
supplementary material with their articles.  The presentation of
supplementary information is characterized by a variety of technologies and
formats.  This study examines the use of supplementary material in a
selective sample of high-impact journals from the pure and applied sciences.
 The authors review publishers' policies concerning the submission of
supplementary material and discuss the formats permitted.  Recommendations
for enhancing access to supplementary material and insuring its effective
use by scholars are provided.

A major goal of the present study was to determine how perevalent the use of
supplementary material is in key journals in disciplines for which one of
the authors has collection development and reference responsibilities.
Those journals with the highest ten impact factors in 2001 and 2002 were
selected for the study from the ISI Journal Citation Reports Science Edition
lists for the following subject categories: (1) Astronomy and Astrophysics
(2) Biochemical Research Methods; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (3)
Analytical, Applied, Inorganic & Nuclear, Medicinal, Multidisciplinary,
Organic, and Physical Chemistry (4) Chemical Engineering (5) Mechanical
Engineering (6) Mathematics: Applied Mathematics; Interdisciplinary
Applications (7) Applied, Mathematical, Nuclear & Multidisciplinary Physics;
Atomic, Molecular & Chemical Physics; Condensed Matter Physics; Fluids &
Plasmas; Particles and Fields; (8) Statistics & Probability; and (9) ISI's
"All" category, not broken down by subject.  Some journals appeared on more
than one list, and for the purpose of this study, such journals were
assigned to the subject category in which the journal had the highest
ranking.  ISI's "All" listing provides the impact factors for all science
and engineering titles in the ISI database.  The authors wanted to be sure
to include those journals with the highest impact factors, regardless of

The resulting sample included 105 titles from 41 publishers.  Of these, 11
were excluded because the authors did not have accessto the electronic
versions, or the authors did not have access to the titles that only existed
in print.  The remaining 94 titles from 34 publishers were included in the

The study included the following steps :(1) the instructions for authors for
each journal were reviewed for information about supplementary material (2)
recent online issues were checked for supplementary material; (3) for those
journals for which the author instructions made no mention of supplementary
material and exammination of the recent online issues revealed non, an
inquiry was made via e-mail or phone as to whether the publisher permitted
the use of supplemental material.

AUTHOR ADDRESS : T. Schaffer, Texas A&M Univ. Sterline C. Evans Library,
College Stn, TX 77843

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