Visualizing Book Usage Statistics with Metabase · punctum books

“There is an inherent contradiction between publishing open access books and gathering usage statistics. Open access books are meant to be copied, shared, and spread without any limit, and the absence of any Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology in our PDFs makes it indeed impossible to do so. Nevertheless, we can gather an approximate impression of book usage among certain communities, such as hardcopy readers and those connected to academic infrastructures, by gathering data from various platforms and correlating them. These data are useful for both our authors and supporting libraries to gain insight into the usage of punctum publications.undefined

As there exists no ready-made open-source solution that we know of to accomplish this, for many years we struggled to import these data from various sources into ever-growing spreadsheets, with ever more complicated formulas to extract meaningful data and visualize them. This year, we decided to split up the database and correlation/visualization aspects, by moving the data into a MySQL database managed via phpMyAdmin, while using Metabase for the correlation and visualization part. This allows us to expose our usage data publicly, while also keeping them secure….”