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Our survey about COUNTER Release 5 Code of Practice

Thanks to all of you that took  time to complete our survey about the COUNTER Draft Code of Practice Release 5. We have had a good response to the survey, 74.73% responses were from libraries, 6.59% from publisher and vendors and the remaining other respondents were primarily library consortia.

What you told us:

  • 70.33% of respondents are positive or somewhat positive about Release 5.
  • 67.42% of respondents strongly agree or agree that Release 5 is an improvement over Release 4.
    • They are particularly positive about fewer standard reports due to flexible reporting. The also like the introduction of summary and expanded reports.
  • Release 5 defines four types of searches:  searches_regular, searches_automated, searches_federated, and searches_platform. The majority agree to this approach, only 4.5% of respondents disagree with the approach.
  • Release 5 defines six types of requests related to accessing content:  total_investigations, unique_item_investigations, unique_title_investigations, total_requests, unique_item_requests, and unique_title_requests. The majority agree to this approach, 11.36% disagree with the approach.
  • Release 5 defines two types of access denied:  no_license and user_limit_exceeded.  The majority agree to this approach, only 2% disagree with the approach.
  • Release 5 defines two access methods:  Regular and TDM (standing for Text and Data Mining). The majority agree to this approach, only 4% disagree with the approach.
  • Release 5 includes the Year of Publication for content used. The majority agree to this approach, only 2% disagree with the approach.
  • We asked about the need for article/item level reporting, 50% would like this and 50% have no need.
  • When asked what they most like about Release 5, respondents overwhelming like fewer reports and the greater flexibility. Some of the comments received are as follows:“Really timely with some solid, meaningful changes.”
    “The Interface effect will be reduced/disappears.”
    “I like the consistency of use types across the reports and the ability to drill down the data from a single report without having to have numerous different reports.” 
  • Respondents were asked: “What changes would most improve Release 5?”
    • The most common response was about Consortium Reports: Due to their size, creating and consuming R4 consortium reports was not always practical or possible. COUNTER recognizes the challenges and complexities consortia face in gathering and reporting on usage for their members. Release 5 will include a solution that will enable consortia to use standard COUNTER reports in a way that best fits their workflows. The approach offered in R5 will allow for the development of tools that can fetch all member usage through a single action on the part of the consortium administrator and to present the results in a single spreadsheet, if desired.  Supporting documentation and tools will be provided in conjunction with the R5 release. COUNTER is committed to facilitating the creation of such Open Source tools and making them available to consortia worldwide.
    • The second most common issue raised was about zero usage reporting. Including zero usage for eBooks creates two challenges that makes it impossible to offer comparable and consistent reporting. Not all publishers and content providers produce their COUNTER statistics from the same system where they manage their access control.  More commonly, reporting systems are separate data warehouses where usage is pre-processed and optimized for reporting.  In many cases publishers lacking in the necessary technical expertise/infrastructure will outsource their COUNTER reporting to third-party organizations specializing in COUNTER reports.  Adding the “access control” layer to the reporting system increases both the complexity and the cost to produce reports and for many publishers, creates a barrier that they cannot overcome.
  • Respondents were asked: What do you find most confusing about Release 5? “Investigations” and “Requests” were the most common responses. We will do more to explain these terms. Meanwhile, if you have not already seen it, the following graphic is a useful guide.






Next steps:

Our Technical sub-group has taken on board all your feedback and is revising and refining the Draft Code of Practice in response. We aim to make this available for further comment at the end of this month.

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