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Release 5: Understanding investigations and requests


There are several different types of usage metric in Release 5, which break down into investigations and requests.

An investigation is tracked when a user performs any action in relation to a content item or title, while a request is specifically related to viewing or downloading the full content item (see Figure 1).

investigations and requestsInvestigations

  • ‘total_item_investigations’: the total number of times a content item or information related to a content item was accessed.
  • ‘unique_item_investigations’: the number of unique content items (e.g. chapters) investigated by a user.
  • ‘unique_title_investigations’: the number of unique titles (e.g. books) investigated by a user.


  • ‘total_item_requests’: the total number of times the full text of a content item was downloaded or viewed.




Susan is researching the history of antibiotics on Publisher Platform Alpha. From a list of search results, she opens three article abstracts and a video record. All four records are different, but two of the articles are from the same journal. The counts are:

    • total_item_investigations: 4
    • unique_item_investigations: 4
    • unique_title_investigations: 3

After reading the abstracts, Susan downloads the PDFs for two of the articles, both from the same journal. The counts change to:

·       total_item_investigations: 6

·       unique_item_investigations: 4

·       unique_title_investigations: 3

·       total_item_requests: 2

·       unique_item_requests: 2

·       unique_title_requests: 1



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