PURPOSE: To determine how and to what extent the Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) enables people around the world to learn about chiropractic by accessing citations and/or abstracts for peer-reviewed articles from the chiropractic journals.
BACKGROUND: The primary goal of the ICL is to provide cover-to-cover indexing of peer-reviewed literature from chiropractic publishers. The current project explores how people reach ICL through many sources, including search engines, numbers of users and their geographic and Internet origins, and what they search for once they reach ICL.
METHODS: We examined the site statistics for 2008 using SmarterStats Professional Edition 3.3.2693. Smarter Stats provides standard reports such as numbers and geographic origin of visitors, hits and page views, top pages and files, browsers used and referring URLs. In addition to these reports, we wanted to know what users actually type in ICL's search boxes, and SmarterStats provides data mining tools that provide this information.
DISCUSSION: We expected the U.S. and Canada to be ICL's heaviest users, but were surprised by the large numbers of hits from many other countries. The presence of many non-English Google referring sites indicates that placing links to records on ICL's Whatï¿½s New page makes the contents of the database available to people who likely did not know about ICL but reached it through search engines. The fact that ICL has no subscription fees or registration requirements increases its availability. An analysis of the searches performed in /index.php tells us what topics and journals are of most interest as well as how users search.
CONCLUSIONS: Traffic on ICL is heavy and a large variety of searches are performed. Overall the statistics indicate that ICL's population of users is large and geographically diverse, and that this high quality, free bibliographic database is serving its users well. (This is an abstract from a conference presentation only and does not represent a full work that has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication.)
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