Usage report issues

Issue Report: There is a problem with the Taylor & Francis BR2 reports for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (and maybe other reference works). Each section is listed as a title in the report, but only the main title (REP) should be listed.

Usus Response:
Taylor & Francis was contacted. Their response was: Taylor & Francis only have one COUNTER compliant platform at the moment, tandfonline.com. We are working with COUNTER to hopefully obtain compliancy in 2019 for our eBooks platform taylorfrancis.com. You’re correct, as this is a BR2 REP should show ‘Number of Successful Section Requests by Month and Title’, however it looks like the structure of the report has been built to report by article title, rather than digital product title. As this isn’t one of our compliant platforms, I’ve copied in our Marketing contact, who will hopefully be able to get in touch with our developers comment on whether the reporting can be fixed. I would recommend that the library use the ‘total for all titles’ figure here for now in the meantime.

Issue Report: Ebrary defines “section requests” in the BR2 version 4 report as the following usages: Pages viewed, Copies made, Pages printed, Instances of PDF downloads, Instances of full-document downloads. This would have the potential to artificially inflate the number of section requests when comparing it to other ebook platforms that only count them as chapter requests.  Could you please look into this? Is a vendor “allowed” to count this many kinds of usage for BR2 section requests?

Usus Response:  With the BR2 reports in COUNTER R4, use is counted for any activity which is less than a use for the entire book.  Entire book use is counted in BR1.  With that, BR2 reports and a vendor/publisher definition of “sections” may vary so long as the sections are defined and the activity that is counted is only counted once.  For example, a use can’t be counted in a “chapter” use and then again in a “page” use.  As such, as Ebrary is defining “sections” they are operating according to the BR2 guidelines.

Issue Report: We own Palgrave subject ebook collections and our usage seems extremely low – so low that I don’t believe the statistics. Our BR 2 reports contain only 1 or 2 chapter downloads total whereas the BR1 report contains quite a few more uses (although it’s still very low). I reported this to a Palgrave manager and her understanding is that BR1 reports only count entire book downloads while BR2 reports only count individual chapter downloads and not chapters downloaded as part of entire book downloads. She believes that both reports are meant to be viewed in aggregate and do not overlap in terms of what is counted when a user accesses a book.  My understanding is that BR1 and BR2 reports shouldn’t be seen in an aggregate because they’re counting two different things – title use versus chapter use. Therefore, someone downloading an entire book should have the book counted in BR1 and its chapters counted in the BR2 report (this is how Springer does it), and someone downloading only a chapter should have that chapter counted in the BR 2 as well as the book being accessed in BR1. Is this a correct interpretation of the BR1 and BR2 reports?

Usus Response:  Usus has confirmed with COUNTER that the response from Palgrave is correct – BR1 reports full book downloads and BR2 reports chapter downloads. The two reports are mutually exclusive. As such, a user’s actions will not appear in both reports if the publisher offers both levels of access.  Additionally, if a publisher does offer both reports they may be viewed in the aggregate.  In terms of Springer, the publisher is only offering BR2 reports at this time (see FAQ on COUNTER R4 reports for Springer – http://resource-cms.springer.com/springer-cms/rest/v1/content/49922/data/Usage+FAQ).

Question 1:  How are downloads of full e-books counted?  Answer:  BR1 reports are provided only when an entire book is provided as a single file.  On the horizon, COUNTER looking at BR1 counting unique book views and would be required for all vendors.

Question 2:   Some vendors are reporting archive uses in JR1 and some aren’t, what is supposed to be included in JR1?  Answer:  JR1 is intended to be all full text article requests, including those uses coming from an archive collection title.

Question 3:  With the release of COUNTER 4 libraries still have COUNTER 3 statistics on file or available from vendors for previous years.  How does a library deal with both reports when trying to calculate usage by FY or annually?  Answer:  You may retrospectively download COUNTER 4 reports if a vendor offers them but some vendors will not offer this option.  Another alternative for JR 1 reports is the JR 1 (R3) conversion to JR 1 (R4) template from EBSCO, which is available on the Usus site – http://www.usus.org.uk/useful-links/

Question 4:  What can we do as a community to clarify/update/change the IPEDS metric definitions (e.g. “check-outs” for electronic/digital material) for annual reporting, as these do not work for academic libraries?   Answer:  COUNTER or other bodies could be a part of this discussion.