COUNTER’s library, publisher and vendor members have contributed to the development of Release 4 of 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.
Information about Release 5 Draft Code of Practice
The advent of the http://www.niso.org/workrooms/ ) has greatly facilitated the handling of large volumes of usage data, and its implementation by vendors allows the automated retrieval of the COUNTER usage reports into local systems, making this process much less time consuming for the librarian or library / administrator.(Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) protocol (
For this reason, in addition to providing the usage reports specified below (as a Microsoft Excel file, as a Tab-separated Value (TSV) file, or as a file that can be easily imported into Microsoft Excel) COUNTER usage reports must also be provided in XML format in accordance with the COUNTER XML schema that is specified byand may be found on the NISO/ website at: http://www.niso.org/schemas/ / The COUNTER schema covers all the usage reports listed in 4 below. COUNTER reports in XML must be downloadable using the protocol.
COUNTER and NISO partner with other organizations to provide tools that facilitate the implementation of the COUNTER standards. COUNTER also encourages the development of Open Source tools, such as the http://www.niso.org/workrooms/). Further information on these tools may be found on the NISO/ /tools/#harvester website.Harvester for Consortia (
AServer must respond to the Request from a client within 120 seconds. Servers that are unable to deliver consistently a completed usage report within this timeframe should adopt an architecture that allows for background processing of usage data – the server can respond to the initial request with a “Server Busy” exception while queuing the request for background processing. Since most clients will wait minutes or hours before retrying the request, the report will be ready to be delivered on the subsequent request.
Further information onis available in Appendix C of this Code of Practice
Comprehensive information on http://www.niso.org/workrooms/). As well as full documentation on the standard itself, the / website provides:is also available on the NISO/ website (