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.
Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources, published in final form in March 2012, became the only valid version of the Code of Practice from 1 January 2014.
Applications for COUNTER-compliant status
A Register of Vendors and their products for which COUNTER compliant usage reports are available is maintained by the COUNTER office and posted on the COUNTER website. Vendors may apply to the Project Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) for their products to be included on the Register. Upon receipt of the application vendors will be required to allow at least one of the COUNTER library test sites to evaluate their usage reports. When the usage reports are deemed to comply with the COUNTER Code of Practice the will be asked to sign a Declaration of COUNTER-compliance (Appendix B), after which the and its products will be added to the Register. Within 6 months thereafter a report from an independent auditor, confirming that the usage reports and data are indeed COUNTER-compliant, will be required. See Appendix E for a description of the auditing procedure.
The signed declarations should be sent to the COUNTER office as email attachments, to:
To encourage widespread implementation of the COUNTER Code of Practice, customers are urged to include the following clause in their licence agreements with vendors:
‘The licensor confirms to the
products covered by this licence will be provided. The licensor further confirms
that such usage statistics will adhere to the specifications of the COUNTER Code of Practice,
including data elements collected and their definitions; data processing guidelines; usage
report content, format, frequency and delivery method’.
Many online searches, are conducted using gateways or aggregators, rather than on the site of the originalof the being sought. This presents special challenges for the of meaningful usage statistics for COUNTER Reports. In order to avoid the risk of duplicate counting of full-text usage, publishers and intermediaries must adhere to the following principle: the entity that delivers the to the is the entity responsible for recording usage and reporting that usage to the in COUNTER Reports, such as Journal Report 1. The only exception to this rule is where a contractual arrangement is in place that requires one or the other to report usage to the customer, irrespective of whether they deliver the full text to that customer. Under no circumstances may both and intermediary record and report the same instance of usage.
7.4.1 Privacy andconfidentiality
Statistical reports or data that reveal information about individual users will not be released or sold by vendors without the permission of that individual user, the consortium, and its member institutions (ICOLC Guidelines, October 2006)
7.4.2 Institutional or Consortia Confidentiality
Vendors do not have the right to release or sell statistical usage information about specific institutions or thewithout permission, except to the administrators and other member libraries, and to the original and copyright holder of the content. Use of institutional or data as part of an aggregate grouping of similar institutions for purposes of comparison does not require prior permission as long as specific institutions or consortia are not identifiable. When required by contractual agreements, vendors may furnish institutional use data to the content providers. (Based on ICOLC Guidelines, October 2006).