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COUNTER CONSULTATION: Reporting Usage of Open Content Not Attributed to Institutions

Reporting Global Usage and Usage of Open Content Not Attributed to Institutions

The COUNTER Code of Practice currently states about the Institution_Name in the report header that ‘For OA publishers and repositories, where it is not possible to identify usage by individual institutions, the usage should be attributed to “The World”’ (Section 3.2.1, Table 3.f). When this rule was added the focus was on fully Open Access publishers, and the expectation – which obviously was wrong and has caused some confusion – was that the fully OA publishers would not try to attribute usage to institutions. So, a report to “The World” was intended to include all global usage, whether attributed to institutions or not.

This document shows how usage could be reported to “The World” and how the global usage could be broken down and filtered.

Please note, that these reports would NOT be a mandatory requirement. Those content providers that wished to use them, could do so.

We are seeking your thoughts about how useful these reports might be, and more specifically on some of the technical details. Please provide your feedback at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3CQZVH2  The survey questions are included at the end of this document, so that you can discuss them with colleagues before submitting your responses online.

 

SECTION 1

The Sample Reports

The sample reports in the following sections use some proposed new extensions and existing extensions for breaking the usage down, the last sample shows a report with all the extensions. Note that the proposed new extensions currently are not permitted in COUNTER Reports, they would have to be added as optional common extensions (in Section 11.5 of the Code of Practice) which could be done with the next release (5.0.2) which is scheduled for publication in mid-2021. Note that only the clarification regarding the term “The World” and the optional common extensions (the content of the two tables in the following sections) would be included in release 5.0.2. More substantive changes would be discussed for release with 5.1 which is scheduled for consultation in mid-2022.

Support for extensions is optional, so content providers could decide to only support some of the extensions and to restrict what actually can be requested.

Reporting Global Usage

If a content provider wants to report the global usage, aggregating all institutional and non-institutional usage, this simply can be done by creating a report with “The World” as Institution_Name in the report header:

Sample Report: “The World”

Please note that in this context an institution can be both an institution in the classical sense as well as a customer which might not be an institution, we use the term institution for both.

See Questions 3 and 4 in the survey.

Reporting Usage by Country and Country Subdivision

Breaking the global usage down by geolocation is useful for some use cases, for example for evaluating national or state-wide contracts. The columns/elements and values used for this purpose have to be standardized so that the usage can be easily filtered and evaluated across content providers. The obvious choice is to use ISO 3166-1 (country names and codes) and ISO 3166-2 (country subdivision names and codes). The term “Country Subdivisions” is quite long, therefore “Subdivision” is used for the reports instead:

 

Column Heading/ Element Name Description Examples
Country_Name Name of the country according to ISO 3166-1. Note that the standard allows country names in different languages. The name is included for easier reading, for processing the reports the Country_Code should be used. Canada
Country_Code ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code of the country. CA
Subdivision_Name Name of the country subdivision according to ISO 3166-2. Note that the standard allows country subdivision names in different languages. The name is included for easier reading, for processing the reports the Subdivision_Code should be used. Quebec
Québec
Subdivision_Code ISO 3166-2 code of the country subdivision. CA-QC

This example shows the same report as in the previous example, broken down by country and country subdivision:

Sample Report: “By Country and Subdivision”

Note that ISPs reallocate IP ranges to other countries and country subdivisions, so assigning the usage to the correct country and subdivision requires current geolocation information. This should not be done retrospectively as parts of the usage would be assigned to the wrong country or county subdivision.

See Questions 5 and 6 in the survey.

Reporting Non-Attributed Usage

Since users don’t have to authenticate for using open content only parts of that usage can be attributed to institutions. For some use cases information about how much of the total usage can be attributed to institutions is useful. Again, the column/element and values used for this purpose have to be standardized so that the usage easily can be filtered and evaluated across content providers:

 

Column Heading/ Element Name Description Examples
Attributed Whether the content provider was able to attribute the usage to an institution or not. Valid values are Yes and No. Yes

This example shows the same report as in the previous examples, broken down by attribution:

Sample Report: “By Attribution”

See Question 7 and 9 in the survey.

 

SECTION 2

Reporting Usage by Institution

The existing Institution_Name and Customer_ID extensions can be used to break the usage down by institution, in the same way as described in the Reporting for Consortia document. For including usage not attributed to institutions, the proposed Institution_Name is “All Other Usage”.

Note that the Attributed value always is “Yes” for institutions and “No” for the “All Other Usage”, so there is no need to include this column/element when the usage is broken down by institution (but of course it could be included nevertheless).

This example shows the same report as in the previous examples, broken down by institutions and “All Other Usage”:

Sample Report: “By Institution”

See Questions 10 to 14 in the survey.

Restricting the Content of Reports to “The World”

Reports to “The World” can be huge if they are broken down by country or subdivision, and in many cases only parts of that information are needed, for example just the information for one country broken down by subdivision. A content provider also may want to restrict what can be requested (depending on the requestor), for example only requesting usage of OA_Gold content or usage broken down by country and subdivision may be allowed.

This example shows just the usage in Canada not attributed to institutions, i.e. the report is filtered by Country_Code=CA and Attributed=No, and only the Subdivision_Name column is included: 

Sample Report “Canada by Subdivision, Not Attributed”

See Questions 15 and 16 in the survey.

All Extensions

This is the full report with all the new and existing extensions. Note that an institution can have more than one country or subdivision if it has multiple sites like the “University of Gamma” in this example:

Sample Report:“Full Report”

 

 

Survey Questions

Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3CQZVH2  to complete this survey online. The questions in the online survey are below, so that you can discuss the questions with colleagues before answering the questions.

The survey is in two sections, the first section relates to the extensions we could include in the Code of Practice from mid-2021 as optional extensions. The second section will inform our planning for future developments. Please note that implementing these extensions is NOT a mandatory requirement.

Please feel free to skip any of the more technical questions if you wish, your feedback will still be of great value to us.

SECTION 1

Q1 Content Type: what kind of content do you provide? [multiselect]

  • Journal
  • Book
  • Journal and Book
  • Other – please specify

Q2 What is your business model? [multiselect]

  • Fully Open Access
  • Hybrid
  • Other

Q3 To report global usage, aggregating all institutional and non-institutional usage, a publisher or vendor can create a report with “The World” as Institution_Name in the report header. This would be useful:

  • Strongly agree | Agree | Neither agree nor disagree | Disagree | Strongly disagree

Q4 COUNTER should define a customer ID for “The World” for requesting the report via SUSHI:

  • Yes | No

Q5 Global usage can be broken down by geolocation using ISO 3166-1 (country names and codes) and ISO 3166-2 (country subdivision names and codes). A usage report by country and country subdivision would be useful:

  • Strongly agree | Agree | Neither agree nor disagree | Disagree | Strongly disagree

Q6 COUNTER should define a value “Unknown” for usage that cannot be attributed to a country or country subdivision:

  • Yes | No

Q7 Institution_Name and Customer_ID extensions can be used to break usage down by institution, with “All Other Usage” for usage not attributed to institutions. COUNTER reports broken down by institution would be valuable:

  • Strongly agree | Agree | Neither agree nor disagree | Disagree | Strongly disagree

Q8 As a publisher or provider, I would be able to break down COUNTER reports by institution without breaching confidentiality agreements / contracts:

  • Yes | No

Q9 COUNTER should define a customer ID for “All Other Usage”:

  • Yes | No

 

SECTION 2

Your feedback to these questions will inform our future planning. If adopted these reports would also NOT be a mandatory requirement

Q10 Not all usage can be attributed to an institution or customer (e.g. Open Access content). We propose including an ‘Attributed’ element to help distinguish usage which may be attributed to an institution from all other usage. This report would be useful: 

  • Strongly agree | Agree | Neither agree nor disagree | Disagree | Strongly disagree

Q11 COUNTER reports should indicate the mechanism used to attribute usage to institutions:

  • Yes | No

Q12 COUNTER reports should distinguish different types of institutions (e.g. academic and corporate):

  • Yes | No

Q13 I would want to be able to filter or restrict the content of reports for “The World” (e.g. by country):

  • Strongly agree | Agree | Neither agree nor disagree | Disagree | Strongly disagree

Q14 Please provide a list of fields on which you wish to filter “The World” reports: 

  • Free text 

Q15 I would want to be able to filter or restrict the content of reports for “The World” (e.g. by country):

  • Strongly agree | Agree | Neither agree nor disagree | Disagree | Strongly disagree

Q16 Please provide a list of fields on which you wish to filter “The World” reports:

  • Free text 

Q17 Please provide any other comments or suggestions.

  • Free text

 

 
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