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The COUNTER Code of Practice

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.

 

Code of Practice
 

Data Processing

Usage data collected by vendors/intermediaries for the usage reports to be sent to customers should meet the basic requirement that only intended usage is recorded and that all requests that are not intended by the userA person who accesses the online resource are removed.

Because the way usage records are generated can differ across platforms, it is impractical to describe all the possible filtersLimits or restrictions placed on the usage to be included in a COUNTER report usually expressed as a name-value pair, i.e. “Access_TypeA COUNTER attribute used to report on the nature of access control restrictions, if any, placed on the content itemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction. at the time when the content itemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction. was accessed.=ControlledAn “Access Type”. At the time of the transaction, the “Content ItemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction.” was not “Open Access” (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”. used to clean up the data. This Code of Practice, therefore, specifies only the requirements to be met by the data to be used for building the usage reports.

Usage data can be generated in a number of ways and COUNTER does not prescribe which approach should be taken. The two most common approaches are: logfile analysisLogfile analysis is a method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions, which reads the logfles containing the web server records all of its transactions; and page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser., which uses JavaScript on each page to notify a third party server when a page is rendered by a web browser. Each of these two approaches has advantages and disadvantages, summarised below:

Advantages of logfile analysisLogfile analysis is a method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions

The main advantages of logfile analysisLogfile analysis is a method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions over page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. are:

  • The web server normally already produces logfiles, so the raw data are already available. No changes to the website are required.
  • The data is on the organization’s own servers and is in a standard, rather than a proprietory, format. This makes it easy for an organization to switch programmes later, use several different programmes, and anlyse historical data with a new programme
  • Logfiles contain information on visits from searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engine spiders. Although these should not be reported as part of userA person who accesses the online resource activity, it is useful information for searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engine optimization.
  • Logfiles require no additional DNS Lookups. Thus there are no external server calls which can slow page load speeds, or result in uncounted page views.
  • The web server reliably records every transactionA usage event. it makes, including, e.g., serving PDFPortable 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 appearance documents and content generated by scripts, and does not rely on the visitor’s browser co-operating

Advantages of page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser.

The main advantages of page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. over logfile analysisLogfile analysis is a method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions are:

  • Counting is activated by opening the page, not requesting it from the server. If a page is cached it will not be counted by the server. Cached pages can account for a significant proprtion of pageviews
  • Data is gathered via a compenent ( ‘tag’) in the page, usually written in JavaScript; though Java can be used and increasingly Flash is used. JQuery and AJAX can also be used in conjunction with a server-side scripting language ( such as PHP) to manipulate and store it in a database, allowing complete control over how the data is represented
  • The script may have access to additional information on the web client or on the userA person who accesses the online resource, not sent in the query
  • Page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. can report on events that do not involve a requestA category of COUNTER “Metric Type” that represent a userA person who accesses the online resource accessing content (i.e. full text of an “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”) to the web server
  • Page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. is available to companies who do not have access to their own web servers
  • The page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) manages the process of assigning cookies to visitors; with logfile anlaysis the server has to be configured to do this
  • Recently page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. has become a standard in web analytics
  • Logfile analysisLogfile analysis is a method of collecting usage data in which the web server records all of its transactions is almost always performed in-house. Page tagging“Page Tagging” is a method of collecting usage data which uses code, for example, JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web-browser. can be done in house, but is more often provided as a third-party serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.). The cost differences between these two models can also be a consideration.

Return codes and time filtersLimits or restrictions placed on the usage to be included in a COUNTER report usually expressed as a name-value pair, i.e. “Access_TypeA COUNTER attribute used to report on the nature of access control restrictions, if any, placed on the content itemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction. at the time when the content itemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction. was accessed.=ControlledAn “Access Type”. At the time of the transaction, the “Content ItemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction.” was not “Open Access” (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”.

  1. Only succesful and valid requests should be counted. For web server logs sucessful requests are those with specific NCSA return codes. (200 and 304). The standards for return codes are defined and maintained by NCSA. In case key events are used their definition should match the NCSA standards.(For more information see Appendix D: Guidelines for Implementation.)
  2. Records generated by the server together with the requested page (e.g. images, gif’s, style
    sheets (.css)) should be ignored.
  3. All users’ double-clicks on an http-link should be counted as only 1 requestA category of COUNTER “Metric Type” that represent a userA person who accesses the online resource accessing content (i.e. full text of an “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”). The time
    window for occurrence of a double-clickRepeated click on the same link by the same userA person who accesses the online resource within a period of 30 seconds. COUNTER requires that that double-clicks that occur in an interval of 30 seconds or less must be removed. should be set at 10 seconds between the first and
    the second mouse-click.

There are a number of options to make sure that a double click comes from one and the same userA person who accesses the online resource:

  1.  Where only the IP addressInternet Protocol (IP) address of the computer on which the session is conducted and 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, aaa.bbb.cc.dd) of the user's computer or proxy. of a userA person who accesses the online resource is logged that IP should be taken as the field to trace double-clicks
  2. When a sessionA successful “Request” of an online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.). It starts when a user connects to the serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) or “Database” and ends by terminating activity that is either explicit (by leaving the serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) through exit or logout) or implicit (timeout due to user inactivity). (NISO)-cookie is implemented and logged, the sessionA successful “Request” of an online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.). It starts when a user connects to the serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) or “Database” and ends by terminating activity that is either explicit (by leaving the serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) through exit or logout) or implicit (timeout due to user inactivity). (NISO)-cookie should be used to trace the double-clicks.
  3. When userA person who accesses the online resource-cookies are available and logged, the userA person who accesses the online resource-cookie should be used to trace double-clicks
  4. When the username of a registered userA person who accesses the online resource is logged, this username should be used to trace double-clicks.

The options 1 to 4 above have an increasing level of reliability for filtering out double-clicks: option 1 has the lowest level of precision (and may lead to under reporting from the vendorA publisherAn organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form or other online information provider who delivers its own licensed content to the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. and with whom the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. has a contractual relationshipSee also “Content ProviderAn 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”.”. A publisherAn organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form or other online information provider who delivers licensed content to the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. and with whom the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. has a contractual relationship. perspective) while with option 4 the result will be optimal.

The downloading and rendering of a PDFPortable 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 appearance, image, video clip or audio clip may take longer than the rendering of an HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page. Therefore requests by one and the same IP/username/sessionA successful “Request” of an online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.). It starts when a user connects to the serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) or “Database” and ends by terminating activity that is either explicit (by leaving the serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) through exit or logout) or implicit (timeout due to user inactivity). (NISO)- or userA person who accesses the online resource cookie for one and the same PDFPortable 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 appearance, image, video clip or audio clip should be counted as a single requestA category of COUNTER “Metric Type” that represent a userA person who accesses the online resource accessing content (i.e. full text of an “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”) if these multiple requests occur within a 30 seconds time window. These multiple requests may also be triggered by pressing a refresh or back button on the desktop by the userA person who accesses the online resource.

When two requests are made for one and the same articleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. within the above time limits (10
seconds for HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers, 30 seconds for PDFPortable 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 appearance), the first requestA category of COUNTER “Metric Type” that represent a userA person who accesses the online resource accessing content (i.e. full text of an “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”) should be removed and the
second retained. Any additional requests for the same articleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. within these time limits should
be treated identically: always remove the first and retain the second. (For further
information on the implementation of this protocol, see Appendix D: Guidelines for
Implementation)

Correcting for the effects of federated searches and internet robots on usage statistics

The growing use of federated searches and the spread of internet robots have the potential to inflate enormously the usage statistics reported in the COUNTER reports. Without some control these activities could result in significant over-counting.

COUNTER protocols have been developed to mitigate the inflationary effects of federated searches, internet robots and searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server.-engine prefetching on the reported usage statistics. COUNTER-compliant Vendors are required to implement these protocols, itemised below.

Protocol for federated searches and automated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. agents
SearchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. activity generated by federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engines and automated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. agents should be categorized separately from regularA COUNTER “Access_MethodA COUNTER attribute indicating whether the usage related to an “Investigation” or a “Request” was generated by a human userA person who accesses the online resource browsing and searching a website (“Regular”) or by “Text and Data Mining” processes (“TDM”).”. Indicates that usage was generated by a human userA person who accesses the online resource browsing/searching a website, rather than by “Text and Data Mining” (“TDM”) processes. searches. Any searches generated from such systems should be included in separate “Searches-federated and automated” counts within Database Report 1 and PlatformAn interface from an AggregatorA type of vendor that hosts content from multiple publishers, delivers content direct to customers and is paid for this service by customers, Host, Publisher or Service that delivers the content to the user and that counts and provides the COUNTER usage reportsAn interface from a “Content ProviderAn 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”.” that delivers the content to the userA person who accesses the online resource and that counts and provides the COUNTER usage reports. Report 1, and are not to be included in the “RegularA COUNTER “Access_MethodA COUNTER attribute indicating whether the usage related to an “Investigation” or a “Request” was generated by a human userA person who accesses the online resource browsing and searching a website (“Regular”) or by “Text and Data Mining” processes (“TDM”).”. Indicates that usage was generated by a human userA person who accesses the online resource browsing/searching a website, rather than by “Text and Data Mining” (“TDM”) processes. Searches” counts in these reports. (See example Database Report 1 and PlatformAn interface from an AggregatorA type of vendor that hosts content from multiple publishers, delivers content direct to customers and is paid for this service by customers, Host, Publisher or Service that delivers the content to the user and that counts and provides the COUNTER usage reportsAn interface from a “Content ProviderAn 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”.” that delivers the content to the userA person who accesses the online resource and that counts and provides the COUNTER usage reports. Report 1 in SectionThe first level of subdivision of a “BookA non-serial publication of any length available in print (in hard or soft covers or in loose-leaf format) or in electronic format. A COUNTER “Data_Type”.” or “Reference WorkAn authoritative source of information about a subject: used to find quick answers to questions. The content may be stable or updated over time.”. 4.1.2 above).
‘Federated Searches’ and ‘Automated Searches’ covered by this protocol are defined in Appendix A.
Federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engines may utilize a variety of techniques to conduct a searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server., including Z39.50An international standard protocol created by “NISO” for searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server..  A Z39.50 client can searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. any Z39.50 compatible online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.).  Often used by Federated SearchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. services to facilitate searching content at other sites.; standard or proprietary XML gateways or APIs; or, by screen-scraping the standard HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers interface. Federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. activity must be recognized regardless of the method of searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server..  Following are some examples of how searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. activity can be recognized – the content providerAn 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”. may wish to employ one or more of these techniques.

  • The Federated SearchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engine may be using its own IP addressInternet Protocol (IP) address of the computer on which the session is conducted and 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, aaa.bbb.cc.dd) of the user's computer or proxy.. This IP can be identified and used for segregation of activity.
  • If the standard HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers interface is being used, the browser ID within the web logs can be used to identify the activity as coming from a federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server..
  • For Z39.50An international standard protocol created by “NISO” for searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server..  A Z39.50 client can searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. any Z39.50 compatible online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.).  Often used by Federated SearchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. services to facilitate searching content at other sites. activity, access is generally achieved through username/password. Create a unique username/password that just the federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engine will use.
  • If an API or XML gatewayAn intermediary online service which does not 4 ECO typically host the items requested by the user. The gateway will either refer the user to another site or service to download the item, or will request the item from another site or service and delivers it to the user within its own gateway environment. Items may be cached is available, set up an instance of the gatewayAn intermediary online service which does not 4 ECO typically host the items requested by the user. The gateway will either refer the user to another site or service to download the item, or will request the item from another site or service and delivers it to the user within its own gateway environment. Items may be cached that is for the exclusive use of such searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. tools.
  • If an API or XML gatewayAn intermediary online service which does not 4 ECO typically host the items requested by the user. The gateway will either refer the user to another site or service to download the item, or will request the item from another site or service and delivers it to the user within its own gateway environment. Items may be cached is available, require the federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. to include an identifying parameter when making requests to the gatewayAn intermediary online service which does not 4 ECO typically host the items requested by the user. The gateway will either refer the user to another site or service to download the item, or will request the item from another site or service and delivers it to the user within its own gateway environment. Items may be cached.

A list of federated searchA userA person who accesses the online resource-driven intellectual query, typically equated to submitting the “Search” form of the online serviceA branded group of online information products from one or more vendors that can be subscribed to/licensed and searched as a complete service, or at a lower level (e.g. a collectionA subset of the content of a service; a collection is a branded group of online information products from one or more content providers 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 “Collection”.) to the server. engines covered by the above protocol is included in Appendix I. This list, which will be updated from time-to-time, should be regarded as the minimum requirement for COUNTER compliant vendors.

Protocol for internet robots and crawlers

Activity generated by internet robots and crawlers must be excluded from all COUNTER usage reports. A list of internet robots that must be excluded is provided in Appendix J. This list, which will be updated from time-to-time, should be regarded as the minimum requirement for COUNTER compliant vendors.

Protocol for tools that enable the bulk downloading of full-text articles and other content items

Only genuine, userA person who accesses the online resource-driven usage should be reported. Usage of full-text articles that is initiated by automatic or semi-automatic bulk downloadA single event where multiple content items are downloaded to the userA person who accesses the online resource’s computer. tools, such as Quosa or Pubget) should only be recorded when the userA person who accesses the online resource has clicked on the downloaded full-text articleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.The complete text, including all references, figures and tables, of an articleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”., plus links to any supplementary material published with it in order to open it.

Retrospective reporting of errors in usage data

Where vendors discover (or the independent audit reveals) errors in the usage statistics they have been providing in the COUNTER reports, such errors must be corrected within 3 months of their discovery and customers informed of the corrections.

Reporting of usage statistics when journal titles change

When the title of a journal is modified or changed, usage statistics for that journal prior to the title change should be reported against the new title, provided the Journal DOIThe “Digital Object Identifier” is a means of persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property (a creation) on a digital network, irrespective of its current location (www.doi.org) “DOIs” may be assigned at the “Title”, “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”/”ChapterA subdivision of a “BookA non-serial publication of any length available in print (in hard or soft covers or in loose-leaf format) or in electronic format. A COUNTER “Data_Type”.” or of some categories of “Reference Work”; usually numbered and titled. A COUNTER “Section_Type”.”, or “Component” level/ISSNThe International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique 8-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. Periodical published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN. is unchanged, with the original title being dropped from the list. Where a new Journal DOIThe “Digital Object Identifier” is a means of persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property (a creation) on a digital network, irrespective of its current location (www.doi.org) “DOIs” may be assigned at the “Title”, “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”/”ChapterA subdivision of a “BookA non-serial publication of any length available in print (in hard or soft covers or in loose-leaf format) or in electronic format. A COUNTER “Data_Type”.” or of some categories of “Reference Work”; usually numbered and titled. A COUNTER “Section_Type”.”, or “Component” level/ISSNThe International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique 8-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. Periodical published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN. is allocated to the new title, the usage statistics should be reported separately, and those for the original title should continue to be reported against the original Journal DOIThe “Digital Object Identifier” is a means of persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property (a creation) on a digital network, irrespective of its current location (www.doi.org) “DOIs” may be assigned at the “Title”, “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”/”ChapterA subdivision of a “BookA non-serial publication of any length available in print (in hard or soft covers or in loose-leaf format) or in electronic format. A COUNTER “Data_Type”.” or of some categories of “Reference Work”; usually numbered and titled. A COUNTER “Section_Type”.”, or “Component” level/ISSNThe International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique 8-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication. Periodical published in both print and electronic form may have two ISSNs, a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN..

Identifying abnormal spikes in usage

What is regarded as an abnormal spike in usage can vary from one institutionThe organization for which usage is being reported. to another; there are many occasions in which exceptionally high usage in a particular month is genuine. For these reasons COUNTER does not provide a strict protocol for dealing with spikes in usage that must be applied in all situations. Instead COUNTER suggests approaches that have been well-tested and which should prove useful in flagging abnormal spikes in usage that may warrant further investigationA category of COUNTER “Metric Type” that represent a userA person who accesses the online resource accessing information related to a “Content ItemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction.” (i.e. “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or detailed descriptive “Metadata” of an “ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”) or a “Content ItemCollective term for content which is reported at a high level of granularity, e.g. “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (original or a review of other published work); an “AbstractA short summary of the content of an “Article” or “Content Item”. A detailed view of “Article” “Metadata” on an online host that includes the “Abstract” but does not include the full text of the item.  Accessing the “Abstract”/detailed view falls into the usage category of “investigation” (see “Investigation”).” or digest of a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.”; a sectional HTMLArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”. formatted in HTML so as to be readable by a web browser Hypertext Markup Language. A form of text markup readable by web browsers page; supplementary material associated with a “Full Text ArticleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.” (e.g. a supplementary data set), or non-textual resources, such as an image, a video, audio, dataset, piece of code, chemical structure or reaction.” itself (i.e. full text of an articleAn 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. A COUNTER “Data_Type” used to identify and filter usage of content defined as “Articles”.).. These approaches are described in Appendix D: Guidelines for Implementation. COUNTER does not prescribe a course of action once abnormal spikes in usage have been identified; this is left to the discretion of customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. and vendorA publisherAn organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form or other online information provider who delivers its own licensed content to the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. and with whom the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. has a contractual relationshipSee also “Content ProviderAn 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”.”. A publisherAn organization whose function is to commission, create, collect, validate, host, distribute and trade information online and/or in printed form or other online information provider who delivers licensed content to the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. and with whom the customerAn individual or organization that can access a specified range of the “Content providerAn 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”.’s” services and/or content and is subject to terms and conditions agreed with the “Content providerAn 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”. has a contractual relationship..


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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