COUNTER reports can be a real pain in the…

COUNTER stats have got a bit of a bad rep over the years … a lot of publishers view them as a cumbersome and expensive add-on that delivers little additional value. And I can understand why. Metrics were heavily geared towards books and journals but didn’t work well for other publication types. Reports were inflexible and hard to read. And the work required to generate the reports was expensive and time-consuming.

On top of this, the process for delivering reports can range from inefficient to medieval.

Historically, publishers have generated COUNTER reports monthly and shared access to them as downloadable files. The reports are typically only available after a monthly batch process has run. The only way to view them is to download the files and open them in excel or similar. And, if a SUSHI feed isn’t provided, the only way to aggregate them is to manually cut’n’paste the totals into a master spreadsheet (and then repeat for all your other library resources).

But that’s all changed with Release 5… No, seriously!

Why the new Code of Practice is a game changer

Firstly, the latest code of practice, Release 5 (R5), specifies a shiny new set of reports that are far more functional, accessible and powerful than before. For example:

  • The metrics tracked reflect easy-to-understand concepts that have broad applicability, such as item investigations and item requests
  • The number of reports has plummeted from 17 to 4, and these new ‘Master’ reports offer powerful and intuitive filters that make it easy to query the data
  • Terminology has been simplified and standardised so it’s more understandable

More excitingly for publishers, R5 allows custom metrics to be incorporated alongside the standard COUNTER metrics. What does this mean for you? Think that COUNTER doesn’t fully represent the value of your publications? Now you can add your own metrics into the mix. You can also customize other aspects of the reports, such as adding data types that reflect your unique content.

Best of all, there’s a new tool that makes delivering COUNTER a cinch (or a doddle, if you’re the other side of the pond): the LibLynx COUNTER Widget.

Why you should care… (does this sound familiar?)

We recently helped a publisher whose legacy COUNTER process was painful for everyone concerned. Their COUNTER reports were batch processed monthly so everyone had to wait to receive the latest reports, including sales staff. There was no automated notification system so support staff had to let everyone know each month and, in some cases, email them the reports. The reports themselves weren’t fully-compliant so publisher staff struggled to explain variations in the stats, and subscribers lacked confidence in their credibility. And there was no support for SUSHI so larger libraries regularly complained about having to manually manipulate the spreadsheets as part of their usage analysis. Frankly, no-one was happy.

They embedded our widget into their customer portal (note: their portal… not ours) and now COUNTER has become a positive tool for sales and support, instead of a nightmare:

  1. Everyone gets on-demand and real-time COUNTER reporting
  2. Users can view reports online, as downloadable files, or automate aggregation via SUSHI
  3. We integrate legacy COUNTER reports so your customers have a seamless experience

Added Value

And, now that they’re fully COUNTER-compliant, we’re working with them to incorporate additional custom metrics and reports that better showcase their content.

Here’s a more recent example of a publisher embedding our widget – in this case, from Infobase:

Screenshot of the LibLynx COUNTER widget embedded within the Infobase customer admin portal

Screenshot of the LibLynx COUNTER widget embedded within the Infobase customer admin portal

Ready to learn more?

We offer a fresh, simple alternative for publishers and their customers to fully realize the benefits of COUNTER statististics, without the old-tech hassle. Interested? Please contact us today.

Image Credit

Photo by Ludovic Charlet on Unsplash