Following consultation undertaken with vendors, publishers and librarians, COUNTER has created a new optional report, BR7 for recording the usage of e-books.
The purpose of this report
This new report will reconcile BR1 and BR2, allowing for comparable usage of e-books regardless of the hosting site and unit of delivery by providing a count, by title, of unique accesses to an e-book during a session. Regardless of how many segments (e.g. pages or chapters or the entire e-book) a user downloaded during a session, the count for a given e-book will only increment by one. To enable this each title must be uniquely identifiable with an identifier, such as a Book DOI. An explanation of the new report and an Excel example can be found on the COUNTER website.
Note on zero usage
Many librarians requested this new report to include titles with zero usage. After consultation, this proves not to be practical for the following reasons. The first is that the reports in Excel format would be unmanageable due to size and complexity and secondly, since the set of e-books titles taken by each library is unique, it is difficult and in some cases impossible for the provider’s reporting service to know which e-books a given institution is entitled. Note that BR1, BR2, and BR3 already exclude titles with zero usage.
This report is optional for Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice, which means that there is no mandatory requirement for vendors and publishers to submit it for independent audit. However, COUNTER is encouraging e-book providers to implement it. COUNTER is also asking publishers and vendors to report implementation of the report and we will list their compliance on the COUNTER website under “Optional New Book Reports provided but not audited”. Of course publishers and vendors may choose to have these reports audited, in which case COUNTER will list their compliance on the under “Optional New Book Reports and audited”.
COUNTER hopes that this new report will prove useful and looks forward to your continued feedback.