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On Wednesday June 13, Lauren, Chris, and I met to watch a NISO-sponsored webinar on the latest developments in usage statistics standards COUNTER and SUSHI. For those of you wondering, COUNTER is the standard that defines what statistics should be provided by vendors and in what format; SUSHI is a communication protocol that defines how those stats can be shared between computers (and can thus be set up so that harvesting the stats can be automated).

In Wednesday’s webinar, Peter Shepherd (project director for COUNTER) and Oliver Pesch (co-chair of the SUSHI standing committee) spoke about changes coming with the newest release of COUNTER (release 4), then Amy Lynn Fry (E-resources Librarian at Bowling Green State University) described some of the methods and workflows BGSU uses to collect and record usage statistics.

Release 4 of the COUNTER code includes some good changes, IMHO. Shepherd described some of the committee’s objectives in developing the new release, including wanting all publishers to be able to use it, and also making it possible to include usage for local institutional repositories. Some of the new report features include:

  • no longer requires database “session” counts; instead reports “record views” and “result clicks”
  • allows for reporting usage from mobile devices (optional)
  • includes a report specifically for usage of “Gold” Open Access journals
  • will include additional data to facilitate the linking of usage stats to other data (e.g. subscription info)
  • a new report specifically for usage of online multimedia resources
  • a new report that will list journal stats by the year of publication (not just current vs. archival as in release 3)

Pesch said that automating the collecting of usage statistics (i.e. SUSHI) is a step toward “comprehensive” usage collection and increasing the value of usage stats. He also said that although there are changes to the COUNTER code, there are no changes to the SUSHI schema in COUNTER release 4 (the SUSHI communication protocol has been a part of the COUNTER standard since release 3). He described the tools available to providers at the SUSHI website, including FAQ, tools, and a COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile.

Compliance with the COUNTER code of practice is verified by auditors, and compliant vendors are listed on the COUNTER website. Because of the number of changes in release 4, vendors have until December 31, 2013, to adopt the Release 4 standard in order to remain compliant.

… Now, where did I put my notes from NASIG?