Discovery during a pandemic

How did readers find the research they needed during the pandemic? 

This blog series shares highlights from our new report: Reading and Publishing during a pandemic. In this post, learn about the search patterns we saw through global lockdowns and remote working, and download your free copy of the report today to find out more.

Where does the search for research begin?

The way that researchers discover journal content varies a little by subject but general search engines, such as Google, and academic searches (Google Scholar) are consistently among the highest drivers of traffic to Taylor & Francis Online. Easily accessible from anywhere, we wondered whether these tools became more important when researchers found themselves working off campus during lockdowns.  

We’ve mined the data from our publishing platform, Taylor & Francis Online, to answer the following key questions:  

  • Did the proportion of researchers using search engines to find content increase during the pandemic?
  • Did use of search engines vary by subject area? 
  • Were more readers discovering new articles via social media? 

Get to know your users’ search patterns and discovery trends.

Stand-out insights include: 

  • There was no significant increase in the percentage of referrals from either search engines or from social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). 
  • In fact, there was a slight dip in the proportion of traffic coming from these sources in March and April 2020 as lockdowns came in around the world, but no long-term impact. 
  • Science & Technology, Medicine, and Humanities & Social Sciences all had broadly similar patterns of referrals from search engines and social media during this period. 

For full details, download the report: Reading and publishing during a pandemic.

Spotlight on how we’re driving discovery of published research

Making the research we publish discoverable is our priority: helping readers get the right research at the right time – as seamlessly as possible. 

Through global lockdowns and remote working, we’ve continued to drive discovery by indexing content in popular databases such as PubMed and Web of Science, and partnering with leading discovery services. 

Get your guide to discovery at Taylor & Francis

Find out more in the report, including what research was being discussed, publishing trends, and search habits