Research Online revealed: an in-depth look at repository usage

The LSHTM research repository, ‘Research Online‘, currently contains 61,867 items, which were downloaded over 55,000 times in 2022-2023. But have you ever wondered exactly who is actually using it?

Well, look no further! We’ve broken down the numbers for an in-depth look at exactly what’s happening on the platform.

A Global Database

Not only do our researchers come from all over the world, but their research is also being used all over the world. It’s not just those based in London who are using the platform. Data from March 2024 shows that in that month alone, the repository was accessed from almost every country in the world! While the UK, US, and China have the highest number of downloads of any individual country, in fact, the largest number of downloads come from countries outside the top 20, showing that our research really is used globally!

A world map showing the global distribution of downloads from Research Online. While Antarctica, Greenland, and one or two countries in the Middle East and Africa are grey, the rest of the world is highlighted in some shade of blue.
Map showing the global distribution of downloads from Research Online in March 2024
Packed circle chart of the top twenty countries with the most downloads from Research Online. The largest category is 'other', with a huge turqouise circle, followed by 'United Kingdom', 'United States' and 'China' with slightly smaller circles.
Top 20 countries with most downloads recorded in March 2024. The size of the circle indicates number of downloads.

It’s all open

The huge range of people accessing our repository is perhaps not surprising, especially since 62% of its material is available open access from anywhere in the world. Even better, this figure is increasing – while in 2013, only 53% of the material deposited in Research Online was available open access, since 2020, that number has remained consistent at 90%.

Graph showing percentage of items deposited open access each year. The line starts at 53% in 2013, and increases to 98% by 2020, after which it remains consistent.

Did you know…..?

Over 3000 new items have been added to the repository every year since 2014

Faculty awards

The articles in the repository are split roughly evenly between the School’s three faculties, with just a slightly higher percentage belonging to the Faculty of Epidemiology and Public Health.

A pie chart with three sections. The largest section is labelled 'Faculty of Epidemiology and Public Health, 40.9%. The next largest is 'Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, 29.6%, followed by 'Faculty of Public Health and Policy, 29.4%'
Number of items deposited in Research Online by each faculty

However, there are plenty of other ways of measuring the impact of the repository, so we’ve crunched the numbers to reveal exactly where each faculty is doing well.

And the award for…..

Most articles in top ten most downloaded:

goes to…. Faculty of Public Health and Policy (6/10 of the top ten most popular articles are from this faculty)

Highest repository usage:

goes to…… Faculty of Epidemiology and Public Health (nearly twice as many downloads as the other two faculties)

Highest % of articles deposited available open access:

goes to…… Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (66% of articles are available open access, with 67% having full-text availability)

When is the database being used?

Although use of the database tends to fluctuate month by month, it is increasing overall.

Graph with blue, yellow and turquoise lines showing item downloads by month. All months have between 25000 and 60000 downloads. However, the turquoise line, representing 2020-2021, is lower than the yellow and blue lines, representing 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, apart from in April when the lines nearly touch.
Graph of monthly downloads from 2020-2023

What else would you like to know about our repository usage? Let us know in the comments!

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