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Interview with Irene Barbers about Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice

Our Technical Sub-Group has been working hard over the last twelve months to design Release 5 of the Code of Practice. This is an interview with Irene Barbers a member of the Sub-Group.

Irene, please tell us about your background as a member of the Technical Sub-Group

In my role as Head of Acquisitions in the Central Library of Forschungszentrum Juelich, I am responsible for the development of our own ERM system and for the implementation of usage reports.
Since the beginning of 2015, I have been a member of the COUNTER Executive Committee. When work on R5 began, I was happy for the chance to join the Technical Sub-Group where I feel it is important to contribute from a librarian’s point of view to the development of the Code of Practice.


Can you tell us about the process for designing R5?

Designing R5 is a very challenging but also exciting task where everyone contributes through weekly conference calls, e-mail exchanges and edits or comments made in the draft documents. It is an inspiration to collaborate with group members with different professional backgrounds and to work towards decisions that reflect both content providers’ and librarians’ needs.


What was the biggest challenge?

I felt the biggest challenge was at the same time the biggest progress we have reached with R5: to come up with a whole new structure for the Code of Practice, with new Reports and new Metric Types and Attributes which I am sure will represent usage in a much more accurate way than before.
What are the three main benefits of the new release?

  • Master Reports with filters and Standard Views will help in getting exactly the data you need for usage analyses.
  • The new Reports will provide comparability across content providers for example in the new Book Reports.
  • The new Metric Type “unique requests” addresses the interface effect when HTML and PDF of the same article is used in one session.


What should librarians do now to prepare?

Attend webinars and presentations, look out for news on the COUNTER website and do not hesitate to contact COUNTER for questions! It is important to get used to the new vocabulary and structure to be able to handle the new Reports of R5.

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