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The COUNTER Code of Practice for Release 5

COUNTER’s library, vendor and content provider members have contributed to the development the Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice enables publishers and vendors to produce consistent and credible usage data. This allows libraries to compare data received from different vendors and publishers, and to understand and demonstrate the value of the electronic resources to which they subscribe.

Release 4 is the current Code of Practice and the requirement for COUNTER-compliance. The effective date for compliance with Release 5 is January 2019. The Transition Timeline and Transition Options graphics explains the detail.


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Appendix A: Glossary of Terms

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Term Definition Examples/formats Definition
A&I database A non-full-text database that typically contains article metadata, abstracts, and subject classifications. Used by researchers to locate publications relevant to their research. PubMed, PsycInfo
A&I service A vendor or website that provides A&I databases American Psychological Association (APA)
Abstract A short summary of an article or content item.

A detailed view of article metadata that includes the summary but not the full text. Accessing the abstract/detailed view falls into the usage category of “Investigations”.

Abstract and Index Database Host See A&I service APA, EBSCOhost, ProQuest
Access Denied User is denied access to a content item because their institution lacks a proper license or because simultaneous user limits specified in the license have been exceeded
Access denied: limit_exceeded User is denied access to a content item because the simultaneous user limit for their institution’s license would be exceeded.
Access denied: no_license User is denied access to a content item because the user or the user’s institution does not have access rights under an agreement with the content provider.
Access_Method A COUNTER attribute indicating whether the usage related to investigations and requests was generated by a human user browsing and searching a website (“Regular”) or by Text and Data Mining processes (“TDM”) Regular, TDM
Access_Type A COUNTER attribute used to report on the nature of access control restrictions, if any, placed on the content item at the time when the content item was accessed. Controlled, OA_Gold_APC, OA_Gold_Non_APC, OA_Delayed, Other_Free_to_Read
Aggregated full content database A database that contains full-text articles and possibly non-textual content (beyond bibliographic information) and that is sold as a self-contained/pre-set grouping of data. Academic Search Complete
Aggregated full content database host A content host that provides access to aggregated full content databases. EBSCOhost, ProQuest
Aggregator A type of content provider that hosts content from multiple publishers, delivers content direct to customers, and is paid for this service by customers. EBSCOhost, Gale, Lexis Nexis,


Article An item of original written work published in a journal, other serial publication, or in a book. An article is complete, but usually cites other relevant published works in its list of references, if it has one.


Article header See Metadata
Article_Version Defined by ALPSP and NISO, a classification of the version of an “Article” as it goes through its publication life-cycle.


An element on a COUNTER “Expanded Item” report that identifies the version of the “Article” being accessed.


Typically COUNTER usage reporting only reflects usage of the following article versions (of the 7 versions defined by the ALPSP/NISO JAV Technical Working Group): Accepted Manuscript (AM); Version of Record (VoR); Corrected Version of Record (CVoR); Enhanced Version of Record (EVoR)

Articles in press Full-text articles that have been accepted for publication in a journal and have been made available online to customers and that will be assigned a publication date of the current year or a future year
Author(s) The person/people who wrote/created the items whose usage is being reported
Automated search A search from a discovery layer or similar technology where multiple “Databases” are searched simultaneously with a single query from the user interface. The end user is not responsible for selecting which “Databases” are being searched.  Usage of this nature is reported as “Searches_Automated”.


A “Search” run repeatedly (i.e. daily or weekly) by a script or automated process.  Usage of this nature must not be included in COUNTER reports.

Automated search agent A script or automated process that runs a search repeatedly, usually at pre-set intervals such as daily or weekly
AV play event A client-side play event representing the start of data processing made by a valid browser, which is not recorded concurrently with an event of the same type (JICWEBS).  AV play events would be reported using the “requests” category of metric types.
AV request See AV play event
Backfile See Archive  Oxford Journals Archive
Book A non-serial publication of any length available in print (in hard or soft covers or in loose-leaf format) or in electronic format



Book section See Section_Type
“Book Segment” See Section_Type
Bulk download A single event where multiple content items are downloaded to the user’s computer
Cache Automated system that collects items from remote servers to serve closer and more efficiently to a given population of users. Often populated by robots or modern browsers.


Note: Publishers take steps to prevent local caching of their content, i.e. including appropriate headers on their site to restrict caching.

Chapter A subdivision of a book or of some categories of reference work, usually numbered and titled


A COUNTER Section_Type

Collection A subset of the content of a service. A collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete group.


For the COUNTER reporting is restricted to pre-set collections that are defined like databases. See Database.


Note: A package or bundle provided by a publisher is not considered a database or a collection.

Component A uniquely identifiable constituent part of a content item composed of more than one file (digital object)


See Item_Component

Consortium A group of institutions joining together to license content Ohiolink
Consortium member An institution that has obtained access to online information resources as part of a consortium


A consortium member is defined by a subset of the consortium’s range of IP addresses or by other specific authentication details.

Ohio State University
Content host A website that provides access to content typically accessed by patrons of libraries and other research institutions
Content item A generic term describing a unit of content accessed by a user of a content host. Typical content items include articles, books, chapters, multimedia, etc.
Content provider An organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute, and trade information in electronic form Any publisher, the Metropolitan Museum, Magnum, JSTOR
Controlled An access type. At the time of the transaction, the content item was not open (i.e. behind a paywall) because access is restricted to authorized users. Access of content due to a trial subscription would be considered “Controlled” not “Other_Free_to_Read”.
COUNTER compliance pending Status of a vendor who is currently not compliant but whose audit is in progress or scheduled
Customer An individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content provider’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content provider”
Customer_ID The field in the COUNTER reports that indicates whose usage is being reported. May be a proprietary or standard value such as ISNI. ISNI=000000012150090X
Customer-authenticated user User authentication is provided by a referring service that has an agreement with the online resource that allows the referring services own users access to the online resource Referring URL, Athens
Data Repository A content host that provides access to research data Figshare
Data Types, Data_Type The field identifying type of content. COUNTER recognizes the following Data_Types:

  • Article
  • Book
  • Book Segment
  • Collection
  • Database
  • Dataset
  • Journal
  • Multimedia
  • Platform
  • Repository Item
Database A collection of electronically stored data or unit records (facts, bibliographic data, texts) with a common user interface and software for the retrieval and manipulation of data (NISO)


A COUNTER Data_Type used when reporting search activity at the database level

Social Science Abstracts, Reaxys
Dataset See Data_Type
Database Master Report Reports that contain additional filters and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports and are aggregated to the database level
Delayed open access See OA_Delayed
Discovery service An online information host that provides that capability for the users to search a wide variety of content from a single search interface. Access to content is facilitated through direct access to content hosted on the site as well as through a variety of linking technologies to access content at other content sites. EDS,Primo,Summon


Discovery services provider An organization that hosts a discovery service EBSCOhost (EDS), ProQuest (Primo/Summon)
DOI (digital object identifier) The digital object identifier is a means of identifying a piece of intellectual property (a creation) on a digital network, irrespective of its current location (


DOIs may be assigned at the title, article/chapter, or component level

Double-click A repeated click on the same link by the same user within a period of 30 seconds


COUNTER requires that double-clicks must be counted as a single click.

eBook host A content host that provides access to eBook and reference work content EBL, EBSCOhost, ScienceDirect
eBook, E-Book Monographic content that is published online
eJournal Serial content that is published online
eJournal host A content host that provides access to online serial publications (journals, conferences, newspapers, etc.) ScienceDirect
Embargo period The period of time before an article is moved out from behind the paywall, i.e. from “Controlled” to “OA_Delayed”
Error_No A unique numeric code included as part of a COUNTER SUSHI exception that identifies the type of error that applies to a report
Exception_Description Exception_Description
Exceptions An optional element that may be included with a COUNTER report indicating of some difference between the usage that was requested and the usage that is being presented in the report. An exception includes the following elements:  “Error_No”

“Exception_Description” and data.

3040: Partial Data Returned (request was for 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31, but usage is only available to 2016-08-30).
Federated search A federated search application that allows users to simultaneously search multiple databases hosted by the same or different vendors with a single query from a single user interface. The end user is not responsible for selecting the database being searched. MetaLib, EBSCOhost Connection
Filters A limit or restrictions placed on the usage to be included in a COUNTER report usually expressed as a name-value pair, e.g. Access_Type=Controlled “Metric_Type”,


Full-content aggregation See Full-text database
Full-text database A database that consists of full-text articles or other non-textual content beyond bibliographic information and that is sold as a self-contained/pre-set grouping of data
Full-text article The complete text—including all references, figures, and tables—of an article, plus links to any supplementary material published with it
Gaming When a user generates multiple requests to a content item with the purpose to increase its usage numbers
Gold Open Access See OA_Gold
Host See Content host Ingenta, Semantico, SpringerLink
Host Site See Content host
Host types A categorization of Content Hosts used by COUNTER to facilitate implementation of the Code of Practice.  The Code of Practice identifies the Host types that apply to the various artefacts in the Code of Practice allowing a Content Host to quickly identify the areas of the Code of Practice to implement by identifying the Host Types categories that apply to them. ·

  • E-Journal
  • eBook
  • Multimedia
  • Aggregated Full Content
  • A&I Database
  • Discovery Service
  • Repository
  • Data Repository
  • Scholarly Collaboration Network
Host UI, host-site UI User interface that an end user would use to access content on the Content host
Hybrid publication A publication that is available via a subscription license but also contains articles available as Gold Open Access
Institution The organization for which usage is being reported
Institution_ID A unique identifier for an institution. In COUNTER reports the Institution_ID is presented as a combination of the identifier type and its value.  Proprietary identifiers that identify the content platform can be used. isni=000000012150090X



Institution_Name The field in the COUNTER reports that indicates the name of the institution
Institutional identifier See Institution_ID
Intermediary See Content provider
Internet robot, crawler, spider Any automated program or script that visits websites and systematically retrieves information from them, often to provide indexes for search engines
Investigation A category of COUNTER metric types that represent a user accessing information related to a content item (i.e. an abstract or detailed descriptive metadata of an article) or a content item itself (i.e. full text of an article)
IP address Internet protocol (IP) address of the computer on which the session is conducted. May be used by content providers as a means of authentication and authorization and for identifying the institution a user is affiliated with.


The identifying network address (typically four 8-bit numbers: of the user’s computer or proxy

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) TA unique 13-digit number used to identify a book
ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) A unique number used to identify authors, contributors, and distributors of creative works, including researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, etc.

COUNTER defines ISNI as an optional identifier for an institution.

“ISSN” (“International Standard Serial Number”) A unique 8-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. A periodical published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN..
Issue A collection of journal articles that share a specific issue number and are presented as an identifiable unit online and/or as a physically bound and covered set of numbered pages in print
Issue date The date of release by the publisher to customers of a journal issue


When used for COUNTER YOP (year of publication) reporting, the issue date of the print should be used when print and online issue dates differ.

Item Collective term for content that is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. a full-text article (original or a review of other published work), an abstract or digest of a full-text article, a sectional HTML page, supplementary material associated with a full-text article (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources such as an image, a video, audio, a dataset, a piece of code, or a chemical structure or reaction Full text article, TOC, Abstract, Database record, Dataset, Thesis


Item Master Report Reports that contain additional filters and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports and are reported at the content item level, such as individual articles, books, and chapters
Item Reports A series of COUNTER reports that provide usage data at the item or item-component level
Item_Component A series of elements in a COUNTER Item Report that describe a uniquely identifiable constituent part(s) of a content item composed of more than one digital file
Journal A serial that is a branded and continually growing collection of original articles within a particular discipline


A COUNTER data type

Tetrahedron Letters
Journal DOI See DOI
Journal Reports See Title Reports
License A contract or agreement that provides an organization or individual (licensee) with the right to access certain content
Limit_Exceeded A COUNTER Metric_Type.  User is denied access to a content item because the simultaneous user limit for their institution’s license would be exceeded
Log file analysis A method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions
Master Reports Reports that contain additional filters and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports
Metadata A series of textual elements that describes a content item but does not include the item itself. For example, metadata for a journal article would typically include publisher, journal title, volume, issue, page numbers, copyright information, a list of names and affiliations of the authors, author organization addresses, the article title and an abstract of the article,  and keywords or other subject classifications
Metadata provider An organization, such as a publisher, that provides descriptive article/item-level metadata to an online search service
Metric Types, Metric_Types An attribute of COUNTER usage that identifies the nature of the usage activity Total_Requests


Monograph Text see Book
Multimedia Non-textual media such as images, audio, and video
Multimedia collection A grouping of multimedia items that are hosted and searched as a single unit and behave like a database


See also Database.

Multimedia full-content unit A content item that consists of audio/audio-visual material rather than text Audio, image, video
Multimedia host A content host that provides access to multimedia content
Multimedia item An item of non-textual media content such as an image or streaming or downloadable audio or video files. (Does not include thumbnails or descriptive text/metadata.)
No_License A COUNTER Metric_Type.  User is denied access to a content item because the user or the user’s institution does not have access rights under an agreement with the vendor.
OA_Delayed A COUNTER Access_Type

At the time of the transaction, the content item was available as open access because publisher’s embargo period is expired (delayed open access).

OA_Gold A COUNTER Access_Type. At the time of the transaction, the content item was immediately and permanently available as open access because an APC (article processing charge) has been paid. Content items may be in hybrid publication or fully open access publication.


Note that content items offered as delayed open access (open after an embargo period) would be classified as OA_Delayed.

Online_ISSN A COUNTER Identifier_Type for the ISSN assigned to the online manifestation of a serial work


See also ISSN

Open access “Open Access” (“OA”) refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g. access tolls) and free of many restrictions on use (e.g. certain copyright and license restrictions). Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs. [wikipedia]
“ORCID” An international standard identifier for individuals (i.e. authors) to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship, and innovation activities


A COUNTER Identifier_Type for item contributors



Other_Free_to_Read A COUNTER Access_Type. At the time of the transaction, the content item was freely available for reading for reasons such as promotions. This also covers all journals where all articles are free to all users because the journal is funded through advertising.
Page tag Page tagging is a method of collecting usage data that uses, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser.
Parent In COUNTER Item Reports the parent is the publication an item is part of. For a journal article, the parent is the journal, and for a book chapter
Paywall A term used to describe the fact that a user attempting to access a content item must be authorized by license or must pay a fee before the content can be accessed
Platform An interface from an aggregator, publisher, or other online service that delivers the content to the user and that counts and provides the COUNTER usage reports. Wiley Online Library, HighWire
Platform Master Report Reports that contain additional filters and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports and are aggregated to the platform level
Platform Reports A series of COUNTER reports that provide usage aggregated to the platform level
Print_ISSN A COUNTER Identifier_Type for the ISSN assigned to the print manifestation of a work


See also ISSN

Proprietary Identifier See Proprietary_ID
Proprietary_ID A COUNTER Identifier_Type for a unique identifier given by publishers and other content providers to a product or collection of products
Provider Discovery Reports A series of COUNTER reports that discovery services provide to content providers so that the provider can see how their content is being used
Provider ID A unique identifier for a content provider and used by discovery services and other content sites to track usage for content items provided by that provider
Publication Date, Publication_Date An optional field in COUNTER item reports and Provider Discovery Reports.

The date of release by the publisher to customers of a content item.


Publisher An organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form Sage, Cambridge University Press
Publisher_ID A COUNTER Identifier_Type for a publisher’s unique identifier.  In COUNTER reports the publisher ID is presented as a combination of identifier type and value.
Reference work An authoritative source of information about a subject used to find quick answers to questions. The content may be stable or updated over time.  

Dictionary, encyclopedia, directory, manual, guide, atlas, bibliography, index

References A list of works referred to in an article or chapter with sufficient detail to enable the identification and location of each work
Regular A COUNTER Access_Method. Indicates that usage was generated by a human user browsing/searching a website, rather than by text and data mining processes.
Report abbreviations A short name or identifier of  COUNTER report used by the COUNTER_SUSHI to specify which report to provide “TR_J1”
Report Attribute, Report_Attributes In COUNTER reports the report attributes modify how a report is presented. Typically a report attribute will not limit or filter the usage being presented. Exclude_Report_Header;


Report filter In COUNTER reports the report filter can be used to limit the usage returned in a report. Data_Type=journal
Report item attributes A series of elements that describe the nature of usage for an item and may include Access_Type, YOP, etc.
Report name The name of a COUNTER report Journal Title Report 1
Reporting period, Reporting_Period The total time period covered in a usage report
Repository A host who provides access to an institution’s research output. Includes subject repositories, institution, department, etc. Cranfield CERES
Repository item A content item hosted in a repository, including that consists of one or more digital objects such as text files, audio, video or data, described by associated metadata.
Request A category of COUNTER Metric Types that represents a user accessing content (i.e. full text of an article)
Research data Data that supports research findings and may include databases, spreadsheets, tables, raw transaction logs, etc.
Scholarly Collaboration Network A service used by researchers to share information about their work. Mendeley, Reddit/Science
Scholarly Collaboration Network data aggregator A host who provides access to metrics on communications and interactions on scholarly collaboration networks
Search A user-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the search form of the online service to the server
Searches_Regular A COUNTER Metric Type used to report on searches conducted by a user on a host where the user is in control over which databases can be searched.


Note: If a search is conducted across multiple databases, each database searched can count that search.


See also Regular Search

Searches_Automated A COUNTER Metric Type used to report searches conducted through a discovery service or by an automated search agent


See also Automated Search

Searches_Federated A COUNTER Metric Type used to report searches conducted through a federated search service


See also Federated search

Searches_Platform A COUNTER Metric Type used to report searches conducted on a platform


Note: Searches conducted against multiple databases on the platform will only be counted once.

Section The first level of subdivision of a book or reference work Chapter, entry
Section Types, Section_Type A COUNTER attribute that identifies the type of section that was accessed by the user Article,book,chapter
Serial A publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. This definition includes periodicals, newspapers, and annuals (reports, yearbooks, monographic series (NISO)
Service See Content host ScienceDirect, Academic Universe
Session A successful request of an online service. A single user connects to the service or database and ends by terminating activity that is either explicit (by leaving the service through exit or logout) or implicit (timeout due to user inactivity). (NISO)
Session cookie A data file that a web server can place on a browser to track activity by a user and attribute that usage to a session
Session ID A unique identifier for a single user session or, in case of a double-click, multiple clicks on the same link within 30 seconds of each other
Sites See Hosts
SUSHI An international standard (Z39-93) that describes a method for automating the harvesting of reports. COUNTER_SUSHI is an implementation of this standard for harvesting COUNTER reports.


COUNTER compliance requires content hosts to implement COUNTER_SUSHI.

TDM Text and data mining (TDM) is a computational process whereby text or datasets are crawled by software that recognizes entities, relationships, and actions. (STM Publishers)


An Access_Method in a COUNTER report used to separate regular usage from usage that represents access to content for the purposes of text and data mining.

Text and data mining See TDM
Title The name of a book, journal, or reference work
Title Master Report Reports that contain additional filters and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports and are aggregated to publication title level rather than towards individual articles/chapters
Title Reports A series of COUNTER reports where usage is aggregated to the publication title level
Total_Item_Requests A COUNTER Metric_Type that represents the number of times users requested the full content (i.e. full text) of an item.Requests may take the form of viewing, downloading, emailing, or printing content provided such actions can be tracked by the content provider’s server.
Total_Items_Investigations A COUNTER Metric_Type that represents the number of times users accessed the content (i.e. full text) of an item, or information describing that item (i.e. an abstract)
Transaction A usage event
Turnaway See Access denied
Unique_Item_Investigations A COUNTER “Metric Type” that represents the number of unique “Content Items” investigated in a user-session. Examples of “Items” are “Articles”, “Books”, “Chapters”, “Multimedia” files.
“Unique_Item_ Requests” A COUNTER Metric Type that represents the number of unique content items investigated in a user-session. Examples of items are articles, book-chapters, and multimedia files.
“Unique_Title_ Investigations” A COUNTER “Metric Type” that represents the number of unique titles investigated in a user-session.  Examples of titles are “Journals” and “Books”.
Unique_Title_Requests A COUNTER Metric Type that represents the
number of unique titles requested in a user session.
Examples of titles e.g. books.
URI In information technology, a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a string of characters used to identify a resource. Such identification enables interaction with representations of the resource over a network, typically the World Wide Web, using specific protocols. [Wikipedia]


An optional element on a COUNTER report used to identify the item for which usage is being reported.

Usage attributes Fields or elements used to classify or qualify COUNTER usage for analysis Access_Type



User A person who accesses the online resource
User agent An identifier that is part of the HTTP/S protocol that identifies the software (i.e. browser) being used to access the site. May be used by robots to identify themselves.
User session See Session
Username” and “Password No definition required
Vendor A publisher or other online information provider who delivers licensed content to the customer and with whom the customer has a contractual relationship Taylor & Francis, EBSCO
Year of Publication See YOP
YOP Calendar year in which an article, item, issue, or volume is published.


For the COUNTER_YOP attribute, use the year of publication for the print when it differs from the online.

Z39.50 An international standard protocol created by NISO for search. A Z39.50 client can search any Z39.50-compatible online service. Often used by federated search services to facilitate searching content at other sites.



Sections and Appendices »


Foreword Abstract Conventions 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Overview 3.0 Technical Specifications for COUNTER Reports 4.0 COUNTER reports 5.0 Delivery of COUNTER Reports 6.0 Logging Usage 7.0 Processing Rules for Underlying COUNTER Reporting Data 8.0 SUSHI for Automated Report Harvesting 9.0 Audit 10.0 Other Compliance Topics 11.0 Extending the Code of Practice 12.0 Continuous Maintenance 13.0 Transitioning from Previous Releases or to New Reporting Services 14.0 Change History


12.0 Continuous Maintenance

With R5, the COUNTER Code of Practice will operate under a continuous maintenance procedure to allow incremental changes to be made to the Code of Practice without creating a completely new release. This section describes those procedures.

12.1 Instructions for Submittal of Proposed Change

Changes and updates to the COUNTER Code of Practice can be submitted by anyone. Submissions MUST be made via email and directed to Each idea for submission MUST include:

  • Submitter contact information:
    • Name
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Affiliation
  • Description of the enhancement/adjustment (include the section and paragraph number of the current Code of Practice if applicable)
  • Reason for the change (use case and/or goals to be accomplished)
  • Any relevant attachments

12.2 Review of Change Requests

All submissions received will be acknowledged and forwarded to the COUNTER Executive Committee for consideration within 30 days of receipt.

12.3 Resolution of Proposed Changes

12.3.1 Responding to Submissions

The COUNTER Executive Committee (EC) will review submissions and provide a response within 90 days of receipt (to allow discussion at a regularly scheduled EC meeting). The EC will respond to every submission with one of the following, providing clarity when needed:

  • Proposed change accepted without modification
  • Proposed change accepted with modification
  • Proposed change accepted for further study
  • Proposed change rejected

If further study is needed, the EC may convene a separate working group to study the proposal and make recommendations related to the suggested comments.

12.3.2 Approval of Changes

Changes that are substantive in nature (i.e. would require changes in how reports are generated or consumed) will be presented to COUNTER membership for comments for a period of at least 45 calendar days. All member comments MUST be considered and responded to by the EC or the designated working group.

After the comment period, changes to the COUNTER Code of Practice MUST be voted upon by the COUNTER Executive Committee and approved by committee majority. EC Members can respond to a ballot by voting Yes, No or Abstain. For clarity, the number of affirmative votes MUST be greater than 50% of the total number of EC members minus abstentions (a non-vote is considered a “No” vote.)

12.3.3 Communication of Changes

COUNTER will inform the COUNTER membership about upcoming changes to the COUNTER Code of Practice through email and on the COUNTER website. Additionally, proposed and pending changes will be published on the Usus website and through posting on listservs that discuss usage topics.

12.3.4 Version and Change Control

Each update to the COUNTER Code of practice will generate a new version number (i.e. the initial release of “R5” will be designated as version 5.0. A non-substantive change (fixing typographical errors) would increment the version by .0.1, creating version 5.0.1. A substantive change (requiring changes in implementation of the Code of Practice) would increment the version by .1, creating version 5.1.

All changes included in each release will be included in the Change History section of the Code of Practice. The prior release will be archived as a PDF Portable Document Format, file formatted for the Adobe Acrobat reader. Items such as full-text articles or journals published in PDF format tend to replicate the printed page in appearancedocument and access to that release provided via the COUNTER website.

12.4 Implementation Schedule

Changes to the COUNTER Code of Practice may be non-substantive or substantive. A non-substantive change may be a clarification or correction of typographical errors that does not affect how the Code of Practice is implemented. A substantive change is one that would affect the implementation of the COUNTER Code of Practice. Examples of substantive changes are adding a new metric type or report, changing the requirement for including a data element from “may” to “MUST”, or changing processing rules.

Non-substantive changes can become effective immediately upon publication of the new version of the Code of Practice.

Substantive changes become effective for a given content provider An organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information in electronic form and in doing so provides usage data. This includes organisations sometimes referred to as “Publishers”, “Vendors”, “Platforms” and/or “Intermediaries”.within 12 months of publication of the new release or with the next audit, whichever date is later.

Substantive changes will be clearly marked in the change log in Appendix B to ensure they can be easily identified.

All other requirements of the Code of Practice will remain in effect during the implementation period for changes brought about by a new release.

How to become Counter Compliant

All academic libraries across the world use and trust COUNTER usage reports to inform renewal and new purchasing decisions, to inform faculty about the value of the library and its resources and to understand user behaviour and improve the user experience.

Counter will help publishers and vendors to become compliant. The The Friendly Guide for Providers Release 5  and Technical Notes and will provide the information you will need to start the process. Content providers transitioning from Release 4 to Release 5 compliance will also find transition timeline useful in their planning.

Audit Process

To comply with the Code of Practice, publishers and vendors must be independently audited within six months of signing the Declaration of COUNTER Compliance, and annually thereafter.

There are three approved COUNTER auditors:

COUNTER will also accept an audit by any Chartered Accountant (UK), CPA (USA) or their equivalent elsewhere.

Release 5 Queries COP Register Members Guides Members

Gold and Silver Sponsors