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The COUNTER Code of Practice for Research Data

The Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics standardizes the generation and distribution of usage metrics for research data, enabling for the first time the consistent and credible reporting of research data usage.

COUNTER welcomes input and feedback from the community on this first iteration, so that it can be further developed and refined.

 

 
Code of Practice
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Glossary

Appendix A: Glossary of Terms for CoPRD

Aligned as much as possible with the COUNTER Code of Practice Release 5 glossary.

Abstract See Description.
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 a computer (Machine).
Author(s) See Creator
Collection A curated collection of metadata about content items.
Component A uniquely identifiable constituent part of a content item composed of more than one file (digital object).
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, datasets, multimedia, etc.
Content provider An organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute, and trade information in electronic form.
Creator(s) The person/people who wrote/created the datasets whose usage is being reported-
Data repository A content provider that provides access to research data.
Data type The field identifying type of content. The Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics only recognizes the Data type Dataset.
Dataset An aggregation of data, published or curated by a single agent, and available for access or download in one or more formats, with accompanying metadata. Other term: data package.
Description A short description of a dataset. Accessing the description falls into the usage category of Investigations.
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 (IDF).
Double-click A repeated click or repeated access to the same resource by the same user within a period of 30 seconds. COUNTER requires that double-clicks must be counted as a single click.
Host types A categorization of Content Providers used by COUNTER. The Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics uses the following host types:

●      Repository

●      Data Repository

Internet robot, crawler, spider An identifiable, automated program or script that visits websites and systematically retrieves information from them, often to provide indexes for search engines rather than for research. Not all programs or scripts are classified as robots.
Investigation A category of COUNTER metric types that represent a user accessing information related to a dataset (i.e. a description or detailed descriptive metadata) or the content of the dataset itself.
Log file analysis A method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions.
Machine A category of COUNTER Metric Types that represents a machine accessing content, e.g. a script written by a researcher. This does not include robots, crawlers and spiders.
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 dataset would typically include publisher, a list of names and affiliations of the creators, the title and description, and keywords or other subject classifications.
Metric types, Metric_Type An attribute of COUNTER usage that identifies the nature of the usage activity.
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) An international standard identifier for individuals (i.e. authors) to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship, and innovation activities.
Persistent Identifier (PID) Globally unique identifier and associated metadata for research data, or other entities (articles, researchers, scholarly institutions) relevant in scholarly communication.
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.
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.
Regular A COUNTER Access_Method. Indicates that usage was generated by a human user browsing/searching a website, rather than by a computer.
Reporting period, Reporting_Period The total time period covered in a usage report.
Request A category of COUNTER Metric Types that represents a user accessing the dataset content.
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).
SUSHI An international standard (Z39-93) that describes a method for automating the harvesting of reports. Research Data SUSHI API Specification is an implementation of this standard for harvesting Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics reports.
Total_Dataset_Investigations A COUNTER Metric_Type that represents the number of times users accessed the content of a dataset, or information describing that dataset (i.e. metadata).
Total_Dataset_Requests A COUNTER Metric_Type that represents the number of times users requested the content of a dataset. Requests may take the form of viewing, downloading, or emailing the dataset provided such actions can be tracked by the content provider’s server.
Transactions A usage event.
Unique_Dataset_Investigations A COUNTER Metric Type that represents the number of unique “Datasets” investigated in a user-session.
Unique_Dataset_Requests A COUNTER Metric Type that represents the number of unique datasets requested in a user-session.
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.
Version Multiple versions of a dataset are defined by significant changes to the content and/or metadata, associated with changes in one or more components.
Year of publication Calendar year in which a dataset is published.

 

 

4.0 Reports

4.1 Dataset See “Data_Type”.Reports

Dataset reports provide a summary of activity related to a dataset See “Data_Type”.and provide a means of evaluating the reuse of that dataset.

Table 4.1: Dataset Master Report and Standard Views

Report_ID Report_Name Details Host Types
DSR Dataset Master Report A granular, customizable report showing activity at the level of the Dataset that allows the user A person who accesses the online resourceto apply filters Limits or restrictions placed on the usage to be included in a COUNTER report usually expressed as a name-value pair, i.e. “Access_Type=Controlled”and select other configuration options. Repository

Data Repository

4.1.1 Report Header

Table 4.2 shows the header details for the Dataset See “Data_Type”.Master Report which contain additional filters Limits or restrictions placed on the usage to be included in a COUNTER report usually expressed as a name-value pair, i.e. “Access_Type=Controlled”and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports, and are reported at the Dataset level, and its Standard Views.

For the tabular reports, elements MUST appear in the exact order shown, and spelling, casing and punctuation of labels (Column A) and fixed data elements such as report names (Column B) MUST match exactly. The 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 Providers” to implement COUNTER_SUSHI.version of the report MUST comply with the Report_Header definition in the Research Data 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 Providers” to implement COUNTER_SUSHI.API Specification (see Section 8). Entries in the table appearing in italics describe the values to include.

Table 4.2: Header for Dataset See “Data_Type”.Master Report and Standard Views

Row Label for Tabular Report

(column A)

Value for Tabular Report

(column B)

1 Report_Name Dataset Master Report
2 Report_ID DSR
3 Release RD1
4 Metric_Types Semicolon-space delimited list of metric types An attribute of COUNTER usage that identifies the nature of the usage activity.included in the report
5 Report_Filters Semicolon-space delimited list of filters Limits or restrictions placed on the usage to be included in a COUNTER report usually expressed as a name-value pair, i.e. “Access_Type=Controlled”applied to the data to generate the report
6 Report_Attributes Semicolon-space delimited list of report attributes applied to the data to generate the report
7 Exceptions Any 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.that occurred in generating the report, in the format “Error_Number: Error_Description”
8 Reporting_Period Date range requested for the report in the form of “yyyy-mm-dd” to “yyyy-mm-dd”. The “dd” of the from-date is 01. The “dd” of the to-date can be the last day of the to- month, or another day of the to-month, in which case the reporting with be partial for that month.
9 Created Date the report was run in the format of “yyyy-mm-dd”
10 Created_By Name of organization or system that generated the report
11 (blank) (blank)

4.1.2 Column Headings/Elements

When applicable, the following elements MUST appear in the tabular report in the order they appear in Table 4.3. For guidance on how these fields appear in the JSON format, refer to the Research Data 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 Providers” to implement COUNTER_SUSHI.API Specification (see Section 8).

Table 4.3: Column Headings/Elements for Dataset See “Data_Type”.Master Report and Standard Views

Field Name (Tabular) DSR
Dataset_Title M
Publisher M
Publisher_ID M
Creators O
Publication_Date O
Dataset_Version O
DOI M*
Other_ID M*
URI M*
YOP O
Access_Method O
Metric_Type M
Reporting_ Period_Total M
mmm-yyyy M

* The tabular report MUST either include DOI, OTHER_ID or URL.

4.1.3. Filters and Attributes

Table 4.4 presents the values that can be chosen for the Dataset See “Data_Type”.Master Report and that are pre-set for the Standard Views.

Table 4.4: Filters/Attributes for Item Master Report Reports which 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”.and Standard Views

Filter/Attribute DSR
YOP All years, a specific year, or a range of years. Use “0001” for unknown.
Access_Method One or all of:

– Regular

– Machine

Version Either “All” or a specific version, e.g. “1.3”.
Metric_Type One or more of:

– Total_Dataset_Investigations

– Total_Dataset_Requests

– Unique_Dataset_Investigations

– Unique_Dataset_Requests

Exclude_Monthly_Details Either “True” or “False”.

If a filter is applied to a column that doesn’t show on the report, usage for all selected attribute values is summed and the totals are presented in the report.

 

 


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.

 
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