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Announcing version 5.0.2 of the Code of Practice

Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice is designed for continuous maintenance. This allows for incremental changes that should not require Content Providers to invest in significant developments. 

As part of that continuous maintenance process, in late summer 2021 we will publish version 5.0.2 of the Code of Practice. This version includes corrections and clarifications that will make it easier for publishers and vendors to comply with the Code of Practice, and some non-material changes to the text of the Code of Practice and supporting appendices. We will make a full change log available so that the community can easily track the modifications we have made. 

Some of the corrections and clarifications included in 5.0.2 are:

  • Updating the description for Journal to match the glossary entry.
  • Removing the Item Report reference from the Section_Type description, because Section_Type is only applicable to Title Reports.
  • Removing the reference to journals from the description of the Unique_Title metrics, as these are only applicable to books.

We also aim to answer some Frequently Asked Questions, for example clarifying the meaning of “The World” when reporting usage that cannot be attributed to institutions.

There are only two clarifications in 5.0.2 that may require content providers to make some changes:

  • COUNTER_SUSHI API methods either MUST return a report, report list, service status or consortium member list with HTTP code 200 or a single Exception with a non-200 HTTP code (as required by the specification in the Swagger file). 
  • Added Exception 2030 with an explanation how this can be resolved in the Data element. This would indicate a client being blocked based on its IP address.

To make these changes easier for providers, the COUNTER Validation Tool will flag deviations from these two requirements as ‘Notices’ until six months after the publication of 5.0.2.  

“These may seem like small changes, but these ambiguities have led to vendors different interpretations of the Code of Practice,” noted Melissa Belvadi, User Experience & Collections Librarian at the University of Prince Edward Island. “Resolving discrepancies enables librarians to have directly comparable reports across vendors reinforcing the intent of COUNTER.”

Release 5.1

Looking beyond version 5.02, the next major release of the COUNTER Code of Practice is in active development and will include more substantive changes around things like Open Access usage metrics. We will publish a draft of Release 5.1 for consultation in April 2022. We will take community feedback into account and aim to publish Release 5.1 in its final form in October 2022. We plan to require compliance from January 2024.

Get in touch

If you have comments or require more information about anything to do with COUNTER Release 5, please contact compliance@counterusage.org 

 

Amendments and clarifications page

Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice is designed for continuous maintenance. This allows for incremental changes that should not require Content Providers to invest in significant developments. 

As part of that continuous maintenance process, in late summer 2021 we will publish version 5.0.2 of the Code of Practice. This version includes corrections and clarifications that will make it easier for publishers and vendors to comply with the Code of Practice, and some non-material changes to the text of the Code of Practice and supporting appendices. We will make a full change log available so that the community can easily track the modifications we have made. 

 
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