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Usage statistics in context - panel discussion on understanding usage, measuring success Peter Shepherd Project Director COUNTER AAP/PSP 9 February 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Usage statistics in context - panel discussion on understanding usage, measuring success Peter Shepherd Project Director COUNTER AAP/PSP 9 February 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Usage statistics in context - panel discussion on understanding usage, measuring success Peter Shepherd Project Director COUNTER AAP/PSP 9 February 2005

2 Background Understanding usage Different approaches Role of usage statistics Usage statistics Should enlighten rather than obscure Should be practical Should be reliable Are only part of the story Should be used in context How can usage statistics help us measure… Success? Value? Behaviour?

3 Why COUNTER? Goal: credible, compatible, consistent publisher/vendor-generated statistics for the global information community Libraries and consortia need online usage statistics To assess the value of different online products/services To support collection development To plan infrastructure Publishers need online usage statistics To experiment with new pricing models To assess the relative importance of the different channels by which information reaches the market To provide editorial support To plan infrastructure

4 COUNTER: strategy Respond to the requirements of the international librarian, publisher and intermediary communities An open, inclusive and interactive process Representation of all three communities on COUNTER Limit scope of Release 1 to journals and databases Systematically extend scope of the Code of Practice Horizontally, to cover other content types, such as e-books Vertically, to provide more detailed statistics on journals A cost effective-process for all parties involved

5 COUNTER Codes of Practice Definitions of terms used Specifications for Usage Reports Data processing guidelines Auditing Compliance Maintenance and development of the Code of Practice Governance of COUNTER

6 COUNTER: Status Journals and databases Code of Practice launched in January 2003 Release 2 will be published in April %+ of Science Citation Index articles now covered A widely adopted standard by publishers and librarians Librarians use in collection development decisions Publishers use in marketing to prove value Now being used to develop other metrics and monitor trends Books and reference works Draft Code of Practice launched in February 2005 Relevant usage metrics less clear than for journals Different issues than for journals Direct comparisons between books less relevant Understanding how different categories of book are used is more relevant

7 Core COUNTER metrics Requests for specified content units Journals: full-text articles Article-level reporting? Books: whole title; sections within title (Chapter, entry) Searches Sessions Turnaways Simultaneous user licences

8 COUNTER: an application JISC (UK Joint Information Systems Committee) Funded by UK higher education funding councils Supports higher education in the use of information and communications technologies Access to information and communication resources Advice on creation and preservation of digital archives Implications of using ICT Network services and support Research to develop innovative solutions National overview of online journal usage Develop a reliable, widely applicable methodology Use COUNTER Journal Report 1 article full-text requests

9 JISC Project COUNTER data was analysed in relation to: usage range Price band Subject category Metrics derived from this analysis Trend in number of full-text article requests Full text article requests per title Full text article requests per publisher package Full text article requests per FTE user Most requested titles Usage of subscribed vs.. unsubscribed titles Cost per full-text article request Cost per FTE user

10 Understanding usage Usage statistics are an important tool If reliable If widely implemented by publishers If widely adopted by customers A useful check on other approaches Interviews Focus groups Case studies User surveys Publisher Library

11 What do usage statistics tell us about… Success? Value? Behaviour?

12 Usage statistics: measuring success Impact Factor? Widely used as a measure of success for a journal But… Citation habits vary across different scientific fields Citation patterns depend on journal type Citation levels can be managed. Usage Factor? An alternative measure Relevant in applied fields, where citation levels are lower But…. Requires open-ness from publishers about usage data Requires universal adoption of the same standards

13 Usage statistics: measuring value JISC Project has identified some basic metrics derived from COUNTER data Trend in number of full-text article requests Full text article requests per title Full text article requests per publisher package Full text article requests per FTE user Usage of subscribed vs. unsubscribed titles Cost per full-text article request Differences between subject fields But…. Limited to data from COUNTER-compliant vendors Does not distinguish between different types of usage

14 Usage statistics: measuring behaviour Usage of different components of the journal TOC, abstract, full-text, references Variations between fields Physics, medicine Variations between institutes Academic Teaching, research, etc Between departments Industrial But…

15 Conclusions Usage statistics are one indicator of usage, success and value, provided that…. They are reliable Universal standards are adopted Online products are structured to allow reporting of usage statistics at different levels But… They should not be over-complicated or over-interpreted They should be used in context with market research Both publishers and librarians are going to have to organize themselves to generate and handle usage statistics

16 COUNTER Membership Member Categories and Annual Fees (2005) Publishers/intermediaries: $750 Library Consortia: $500 Libraries: $375 Industry organization: $375 Library affiliate: $150 (non-voting member) Benefits of full membership Owner of COUNTER with voting rights at annual general meeting, etc. Regular bulletins on progress Opportunity to receive advice on implementation

17 For more information………. Thank you! Peter Shepherd (Project Director)


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