Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Breakout C: PIRUS: a new COUNTER standard for article level and institutional repository usage statistics

Peter's slides: http://www.slideshare.net/UKSG/shepherd-pirus-april-2013
Ross's slides: http://www.slideshare.net/UKSG/mac-intyre-irusukuksgapril2013

This talk was given by Peter Shepherd (COUNTER) and Ross MacIntyre (MIMAS).  Peter first told us about PIRUS (Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics) and its draft code of practice - a full report on the project is available at the given link.  There were many reasons for the development of PIRUS, overwhelmingly an increasing demand for statistics, as well as increases in the number of electronic journals in general, and also as the number of journal articles held in institutional repositories and the desire to track their usage.  COUNTER has now implemented XML compatibility and the SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) protocol, both of which should make reliable usage statistics down to article level easier to collect and report.

The draft code of practice, an outcome of the project, addresses how statistics are collected.  It is meant to "provide the specifications and tools that will allow COUNTER-compliant publishers, repositories and other organizations to record and report usage statistics at the individual article level that are credible, compatible and consistent. COUNTER-compliant publishers may build on the existing COUNTER tools to do so, while an alternative approach is provided for non-COUNTER compliant repositories, which is tailored to their systems and capabilities".  It covers many aspects and measures, amongst them article types and versions to be counted, data elements to be measured and definition of these elements, content and format of usage reports, requirements for data processing, requirements for auditing and guidelines to avoid duplicate counting when intermediary gateways & aggregators are used.  Peter went into detail about each of the various aspects of the code of practice (which can be found in his slides with illustrations), then addressed the next steps, including using feedback to develop a definitive code of practice which publishers will be invited to implement.  There should also be consolidation of usage data from different publisher sources, as well as development of the Central Clearing House.

Ross then talked about IRUS-UK (InstitutionalRepository Usage Statistics UK) and making statistics count.  IRUS-UK, an outcome of PIRUS2, was funded as part of UK RepositoryNet+ and is being led by MIMAS, along with Cranfield University and EvidenceBase at Birmingham City University.  It enables UK institutional repositories to share and expose statistics based on the COUNTER standard; its main objective is to collect raw usage data for all item types within repositories (not just articles, and downloads rather than views), then process the data to be COUNTER-compliant statistics which can then be reported to the repositories.  Data logs are processed daily, using perl scripts and identifiers - then items are split into "known" and "unknown" and metadata is obtained.  Ross showed service screenshots (in his slides, linked above) as well as a live portal demonstration of up-to-date summary statistics of different types.  Searches can be made on DOIs and cross-institution, to for example locate the same article in different repositories.

There are 17 repositories involved at present, with almost 72,000 items and 2.5 million downloads (over 100,000 downloads this month!).  These are pioneering sites sending data to IRUS (from both ePrints and DSpace repositories - interaction with Fedora repositories is in development), with others in the pipeline. MIMAS are currently working on ingest scripts, a portal UI (which will be basic until informed choices can be made) and publicising IRUS-UK. Community engagement has been very helpful when defining and evaluating user requirements - the project staff have been speaking to authors and repository managers, and also running IRUS-UK webinars aimed at both repository managers and tech managers.  The final project webinar will be held in mid-July.  Information can be found on their website (linked above).

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