COUNTER

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Published on November 4, 2008

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COUNTER: a practical approach to measuring online usage : COUNTER: a practical approach to measuring online usage Peter Shepherd Project Director COUNTER ALA, Chicago, 27 June 2005 Background : Background Understanding usage Different approaches Role of usage statistics Usage statistics Should enlighten rather than obscure Should be practical Should be reliable Are only part of the story Should be used in context How can usage statistics help us measure… Success? Value? Behaviour? Why COUNTER? : Why COUNTER? Goal: credible, compatible, consistent publisher/vendor-generated statistics for the global information community Libraries and consortia need online usage statistics To assess the value of different online products/services To support collection development To plan infrastructure Publishers need online usage statistics To experiment with new pricing models To assess the relative importance of the different channels by which information reaches the market To provide editorial support To plan infrastructure COUNTER: strategy : COUNTER: strategy Respond to the requirements of the international librarian, publisher and intermediary communities An open, inclusive and interactive process Representation of all three communities on COUNTER Limit scope of Release 1 to journals and databases Systematically extend scope of the Code of Practice Horizontally, to cover other content types, such as e-books Vertically, to provide more detailed statistics on journals A cost effective-process for all parties involved COUNTERCodes of Practice : COUNTERCodes of Practice Definitions of terms used Specifications for Usage Reports Data processing guidelines Auditing Compliance Maintenance and development of the Code of Practice Governance of COUNTER COUNTER: Status : COUNTER: Status Journals and databases Release 1 Code of Practice launched in January 2003 Release 2 was published in April 2005 60%+ of Science Citation Index articles now covered A widely adopted standard by publishers and librarians Librarians use in collection development decisions Publishers use in marketing to prove ‘value’ Now being used to develop other metrics and monitor trends Books and reference works Draft Code of Practice published in February 2005 Relevant usage metrics less clear than for journals Different issues than for journals Direct comparisons between books less relevant Understanding how different categories of book are used is more relevant Core COUNTER metrics : Core COUNTER metrics Requests for specified content units Journals: full-text articles Article-level reporting? Books: whole title; sections within title (Chapter, entry) Searches Sessions Turnaways Simultaneous user licences Release 1 Usage Reports : Release 1 Usage Reports Journal Report 1 Full text article requests by month and journal Journal Report 2 Turnaways by month and journal Database Report 1 Total searches and sessions by month and database Database Report 2 Turnaways by month and database Database Report 3 Searches and sessions by month and service Data processing guidelines : Data processing guidelines Only valid requests counted Return Code 200 (OK) Return Code 304 (Not modified) Filter out multiple successive clicks on same link by same user 10 seconds for html 30 seconds for PDF Who counts full text requests? : Who counts full text requests? Q: Who counts full text requests? Publisher? Aggregator? E-journal gateway? Link resolver? A: The party that delivers the full text to the user. Delivery of usage reports : Delivery of usage reports CSV, Excel or a file that can be imported into Excel (XML is also an option) On a password controlled website E-mail alert of availability of updated reports Provide reports monthly New reports available within 2 weeks of end of reporting period Current and previous calendar year’s data available Release 2: Journals and databases : Release 2: Journals and databases Published April 2005; implemented 1 January 2006 Features Improved usability of the reports More detailed specifications, including display rules Journal Report 1 extended ‘Publisher’ and ‘Platform’ columns Html and PDF totals reported separately Level 2 reports now optional extras Too detailed Too much data Specifications for consortium-level reports Consortium reporting requirements : Consortium reporting requirements Only two reports apply Journal Report 1: Number of successful full text article requests by month and journal Database Report 1: Total searches and sessions by month and database Vendor must provide (in separate files) Aggregated reports for entire consortium Individual reports for each member institute Aggregated reports include totals for the whole consortium Audit : Audit Required within 18 months of compliance with Release 2; annually thereafter Independent auditor Online audit Audit will check each report for Layout (correct rows, columns, headings) Format (CSV or Excel) Delivery (E-mail alert, access on password-controlled website) Accuracy (Tolerance is -8% to +2%) Release 2: Journal Report 1 : Release 2: Journal Report 1 Draft Code of Practice for books : Draft Code of Practice for books Covers online books, encyclopaedias, reference works Developed by a task force of publishers and librarians with expertise in online books Comments on draft will be accepted through December 2005 Final version will be published in early 2006 Draft Code of Practice for books : Draft Code of Practice for books Book Report 1 Number of successful requests by month and title Book Report 2 Number of successful section requests by month and title Book Report 3 Turnaways by month and title Book Report 4 Total searches and sessions by month and title Book Report 5 Total searches and sessions by month and service Draft Code of Practice for books : Draft Code of Practice for books Unit of access may include Entire book Chapter, entry (‘Section’) Page Paragraph Access depends on interface and organization of content Entire book may be one PDF Each chapter may have own PDF Reference works may be organized by topic or section Looking ahead: other important metrics : Looking ahead: other important metrics Link activity Where users come from and go to Target and type of target Year of publication Use and value of backfiles Type of material Journal article, book, chapter, video, soundtrack…… Article level data? Volume versus value; applications of the data COUNTER is moving towards E-resource Codes of Practice COUNTER: an application : COUNTER: an application JISC (UK Joint Information Systems Committee) Funded by UK higher education funding councils Supports higher education in the use of information and communications technologies Access to information and communication resources Advice on creation and preservation of digital archives Implications of using ICT Network services and support Research to develop innovative solutions National overview of online journal usage Develop a reliable, widely applicable methodology Use COUNTER Journal Report 1 ‘article full-text requests’ JISC Project : JISC Project COUNTER data was analysed in relation to: usage range Price band Subject category Metrics derived from this analysis Trend in number of full-text article requests Full text article requests per title Full text article requests per publisher package Full text article requests per FTE user Most requested titles Usage of subscribed vs.. unsubscribed titles Cost per full-text article request Cost per FTE user Summary report available at: www.ebase.uce.ac.uk/projects/NESLi2.htm Understanding usage : Understanding usage Usage statistics are an important tool If reliable If widely implemented by publishers If widely adopted by customers A useful check on other approaches Interviews Focus groups Case studies User surveys Publisher Library What do usage statistics tell us about… : What do usage statistics tell us about… Success? Value? Behaviour? Usage statistics: measuring success : Usage statistics: measuring success Impact Factor? Widely used as a measure of ‘success’ for a journal But… Citation habits vary across different scientific fields Citation patterns depend on journal type Citation levels can be ‘managed’. Usage Factor? An alternative measure Relevant in applied fields, where citation levels are lower But…. Requires open-ness from publishers about usage data Requires universal adoption of the same standards Usage statistics: measuring value : Usage statistics: measuring value JISC Project has identified some basic metrics derived from COUNTER data Trend in number of full-text article requests Full text article requests per title Full text article requests per publisher package Full text article requests per FTE user Usage of subscribed vs. unsubscribed titles Cost per full-text article request Differences between subject fields But…. Limited to data from COUNTER-compliant vendors Does not distinguish between different types of usage Usage statistics: measuring behaviour : Usage statistics: measuring behaviour Usage of different components of the journal TOC, abstract, full-text, references Variations between fields Physics, medicine Variations between institutes Academic Teaching, research, etc Between departments Industrial But… Conclusions : Conclusions Usage statistics are one indicator of usage, success and value, provided that…. They are reliable Universal standards are adopted Online products are structured to allow reporting of usage statistics at different levels But… They should not be over-complicated or over-interpreted They should be used in context with market research Both publishers and librarians are going to have to organize themselves to generate and handle usage statistics COUNTER Membership : COUNTER Membership Member Categories and Annual Fees (2005) Publishers/intermediaries: $750 Library Consortia: $500 Libraries: $375 Industry organization: $375 Library affiliate: $150 (non-voting member) Benefits of full membership Owner of COUNTER with voting rights at annual general meeting, etc. Regular bulletins on progress Opportunity to receive advice on implementation For more information………. : For more information………. http://www.projectcounter.org Thank you! Peter Shepherd (Project Director) pshepherd@projectCounter.org

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