Open access book usage data – how close is COUNTER to the other kind?

Abstract:  In April 2020, the OAPEN Library moved to a new platform, based on DSpace 6. During the same period, IRUS-UK started working on the deployment of Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice (R5). This is, therefore, a good moment to compare two widely used usage metrics – R5 and Google Analytics (GA). This article discusses the download data of close to 11,000 books and chapters from the OAPEN Library, from the period 15 April 2020 to 31 July 2020. When a book or chapter is downloaded, it is logged by GA and at the same time a signal is sent to IRUS-UK. This results in two datasets: the monthly downloads measured in GA and the usage reported by R5, also clustered by month. The number of downloads reported by GA is considerably larger than R5. The total number of downloads in GA for the period is over 3.6 million. In contrast, the amount reported by R5 is 1.5 million, around 400,000 downloads per month. Contrasting R5 and GA data on a country-by-country basis shows significant differences. GA lists more than five times the number of downloads for several countries, although the totals for other countries are about the same. When looking at individual tiles, of the 500 highest ranked titles in GA that are also part of the 1,000 highest ranked titles in R5, only 6% of the titles are relatively close together. The choice of metric service has considerable consequences on what is reported. Thus, drawing conclusions about the results should be done with care. One metric is not better than the other, but we should be open about the choices made. After all, open access book metrics are complicated, and we can only benefit from clarity.

 

The never-ending story | Research Information

“At the same time, the REF open access mandate had just been announced, stating journal articles and some conference proceedings had to be publicly accessible within three months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for submission for the post-2014 research excellence framework. Given the double-whammy of easier depositing and REF urgency, WestminsterResearch saw self-deposits rocket from less than one per cent to more than 99 per cent while practice-based/non text-based entries mushroomed by 246 per cent.

‘The Haplo repository and REF open access mandate came at a similar time and the combined power of both led to this massive increase in self-deposits,’ highlights Watts. 

‘The mandates really helped people to comply to open access,’ she adds. ‘And we believe that factors contributing to more practice-based research included vastly improved templates and fields for these outputs… in the past, the repository just couldn’t take this content.’

Following these results and the looming REF2021, WestminsterResearch switched to a full Haplo open source-set up in 2018, and entries have continued to rise. As Watts put it: ‘I don’t think we’d have been able to support the increase in open access deposits without this rise in self-depositing.’…”

The never-ending story | Research Information

“At the same time, the REF open access mandate had just been announced, stating journal articles and some conference proceedings had to be publicly accessible within three months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for submission for the post-2014 research excellence framework. Given the double-whammy of easier depositing and REF urgency, WestminsterResearch saw self-deposits rocket from less than one per cent to more than 99 per cent while practice-based/non text-based entries mushroomed by 246 per cent.

‘The Haplo repository and REF open access mandate came at a similar time and the combined power of both led to this massive increase in self-deposits,’ highlights Watts. 

‘The mandates really helped people to comply to open access,’ she adds. ‘And we believe that factors contributing to more practice-based research included vastly improved templates and fields for these outputs… in the past, the repository just couldn’t take this content.’

Following these results and the looming REF2021, WestminsterResearch switched to a full Haplo open source-set up in 2018, and entries have continued to rise. As Watts put it: ‘I don’t think we’d have been able to support the increase in open access deposits without this rise in self-depositing.’…”

IRUS-UK Newsletter, June 2020

“IRUS-UK collects raw usage data from UK Institutional Repositories (IRs) and processes these data into COUNTERconformant statistics. This provides repositories with comparable, authoritative, standards-based data and opportunities for profiling at a national level. The IRUS-UK service is a community-driven development, responding to user needs….

In response to your feedback, the current Shibboleth authorisation mechanism will be removed so that the IRUS web portal is fully open and supports easier access to data and tools….”

Jisc and LYRASIS help US universities and research organisations gather new usage insights | Jisc

“Jisc and LYRASIS, a global non-profit membership association providing technology and content solutions for libraries, museums, and archives, are joining forces to introduce Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS) in the United States. 

IRUS-US is the first service to bring together standards-based usage statistics of participating repositories in the US. The service will enable US repositories to provide and gather comparable usage data, while also giving them the opportunity to benchmark usage at an international level. …”

Lockdown report sees record number of downloads through university repositories. But what does that tell us? | Jisc

“The report that convinced prime minister Boris Johnson to lock down our country was the most downloaded academic COVID-19 study in March 2020 among universities and research centres contributing to Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS).

UK institutions which are responsible for the top ten most downloaded COVID-19 content in March include Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University College London and the Institute of Development Studies. 

But what do the top ten COVID-19 studies tell us about the use of open access materials and the role that institutional repositories (IRs) play in this context? …”