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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.

 

 

5.0 Delivery of Reports

Content providers MUST make tabular versions of reports available from an administrative/reporting site. All reports provided by the 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”.MUST also be available via 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.protocols. Delivery requirements are:

  • Reports MUST be provided in both of the following formats:
    • Tab Separated Value (TSV) file that can be easily imported into spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel without loss or corruption of data.
    • JSON formatted in accordance with 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 (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, 2018).
  • Each report MUST be delivered as a separate file to facilitate automated processing of usage reports.
  • Tabular reports MUST be made available through a website.
    • The website MAY be password-controlled.
    • Email alerts MAY be sent when data is updated.
    • The report interface MUST provide filter and configuration options for the Master Reports Reports which contain additional filters and breakdowns beyond those included in the standard COUNTER reports.that apply to the content provider.
    • The report interface MUST offer all Standard Views that apply to the content provider’s host type(s) and Standard View options MUST automatically apply the REQUIRED filter and configuration options and not allow the user A person who accesses the online resourceto alter the 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”or configuration options except for the usage begin and end dates.
    • The date range fields on the user A person who accesses the online resourceinterface SHOULD default to the latest month with complete usage. For example, if the current date is 15 May 2019 and April usage has been processed, the begin date would default to 01 April 2019 and the end date would default to 30 April 2019. If the April usage has not yet been processed, the start and end dates would default to 01 March 2019 to 31 March 2019. If the May usage has already been processed partially, the begin date would default to 01 April 2019 and the end date would default to the date until which usage has been processed, e.g. 10 May 2019.
    • Master Reports must include the option to Exclude_Monthly_Details. When selected, the monthly columns are excluded from the report (only ReportingPeriod Totals appear). Note: this option is NOT available for reports retrieved via SUSHI; however, SUSHI does offer a Granularity Report Attribute that allows usage to be retrieved with a granularity of month, year, or totals.
  • Reports MUST be provided monthly.
  • Data MUST be updated within 1 month of the end of the reporting period.
  • Usage MAY be processed for the entire month before usage for that month is included in reports. If usage for a full given month is not yet available, partial usage for that month MAY be returned.
  • A minimum of the current year plus the prior most recent 24 months of usage data MUST be available, or the period that reports have been generated according to the Code of Practice for Research Data Data that supports research findings and may include “Databases”, spreadsheets, tables, raw transaction logs, etc.Usage Metrics if that period is shorter than 24 months.
  • The reports MUST allow the 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”the flexibility to specify a date range, in terms of months, within the most recent 24-month period. Where no date range is specified, the default MUST be calendar year and calendar-year-to-date reports for the current year.
  • Reports MUST be available for harvesting via 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.protocol within 1 month of the end of the reporting period.

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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