Below are listed questions that were submitted during the NISO/COUNTER Webinar, "COUNTER: A How-to Guide." Answers from the presenters will be added shortly. Not all the questions could be responded to during the live webinar, so those that could not be addressed at the time are also included below.

Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about library, publishing, and technical services standards, standards development, or if you have have suggestions for new standards, recommended practices, or areas where NISO should be engaged.

COUNTER: A How-to Guide

Webinar Questions & Answers
May 6, 2009

  1. Question: Hello. Are you going to make the entire presentation available to attendees following the Webinar? Thanks!

    NISO: Yes. Webinar slides are be available on the NISO website following the event, and registered attendees have access to the recorded archive of the webinar. This will be available approximately 24-48 hours after the webinar; attendees will receive an e-mail with access information for the archive. Webinar archives are available for one year.

  2. Question: Are the presenters going to post their slideshows into the Handouts tool so we can preserve some of the official links and descriptions they used?

    NISO: We don't post slides in the webinar tool, however, we'll be posting the slides on the site following the event, and will be sure to pull out all the links onto a resource page for easy access.

  3. Question: I would have liked to look at the journal report more closely.

  4. Question: Does the audit test *accuracy* of metrics as well as conformation with COUNTER protocol for collection and reporting of metrics?

  5. Question: Could you please provide more detail on the consortial reports requirement in the COUNTER 3 context? Should the librarians be made able to run them or can the publishers do it for them? Is there a requirement to de-duplicate the consortia reports at IP level? There seems to be some confusion around that. In general what will be required of a Consortia COUNTER compliant report?

  6. Question: Is any global COUNTER data currently available?

  7. Question: In your Usage Factor initiative, are you/do you plan to also investigate gaming?

  8. Question: I'm afraid I need a clear definition of what Peter means by 'gaming'.

  9. Question: Is there a mechanism for vendors and or publishers to provide comments on some of the processing algorithms like the "30 second" double click rule for example?

  10. Question: Tansy-What system are you using to gather statistics and where are you storing the data?

    Tansy Matthews: We download the data from our vendors manually at the moment. We are hoping that a usable open-source SUSHI client will be developed soon as that will cut down significantly on the time we spend downloading. Once the data is downloaded, we save the reports in the format in which they are downloaded (in case we need them in the future) and the compiled data is saved in spreadsheets until the end of the fiscal year. We then dump the compiled data into an Access database. The actual storage mechanism is a small portion of a server thatís located at the university where our office is.

  11. Question: When you mention CR1 report being a combined JR1 report from each vendor, do you mean that it would combine the usage for a given journal across all the member institutions, or you would get a gathering of JR1 reports for every institution in your consortium? What I meant was is it enough to know that there are a 1000 downloads for journal X across the entire consortium, or does the number need to be broken down by the member institutions?

    Tansy Matthews: COUNTER compliant reports are produced by the vendors, so a COUNTER compliant report can only include data to which a vendor has access. The CR1 report contains the usage for THAT VENDORíS products. The thing that makes it valuable is that is contains an individual JR1 report for each of the consortiumís institutions. Prior to the release of the CR1, those reports had to be downloaded individually. So in our case, 73 institutions meant 73 reports to download for each vendor. Now we download one report from each vendor that contains the same data as the 73 reports we used to download.

  12. Question: Tansy-What system are you using to gather statistics and where are you storing the data?

  13. Question: Question for Tansy: How do you USE the data? This is more important to us than how you process the data.

    Tansy Matthews: I purposefully chose NOT to speak on how the data is used. Thatís another topic entirely.

  14. Question:  Is it possible for a given library to be considered part of multiple consortia for COUNTER consortial reports?

    Tansy Matthews: The COUNTER compliant consortial reports are generated by the vendor. The library will be considered as part of whatever consortia the vendor has on file for the library.

  15. Question: Question for Peter: COP-3 defines a minimum list of robots for filtering; report vendors may choose to filter more than the minimum; how can publishers be assured of uniformity of COP application in this situation?

  16. Question:  Hi, given the caution earlier about turning statistics into a fetish, do the presenters know of concrete examples of journal subscriptions being cancelled owing to poor usage stats, after efforts to promote little-used resources have been tried?

  17. Question: Are there COUNTER requirements for maintenance of historical data? We've noticed that some vendors only offer "this year" and "last year" data, while others offer several years of back data.

  18. Question: What is the name of the software that Tansy is using? We did not get the entire name. Excel Input.... Software

    Tansy Matthews: The product that we use to combine the COUNTER compliant reports into a single spreadsheet is Excel Import Multiple Text Files from SobolSoft ( The rest of our processing is done using MS Office Excel and Access.

  19. Question: In the light of Peter's remarks about vendors being proprietary about 'their' usage figures, are these to be treated by libraries as 'confidential commercial data'?

  20. Question: Since the Release 3 reports will use a different format, will they compatible with R2 reports so they can be combined for historical analysis?

  21. Question: Vis a vis historic data, We need to look at what happens to the usage data when publisher merge, i.e., Wiley-Blackwell.

  22. Question: is there a quick reference type of document available that highlights the key aspects of counter (major definitions, minimum requirements for stats, etc.) or does one have to read the whole standard.

  23. Question: Regarding the open-source SUSHI client, will it be a monolithic client, or a modular set of libraries that can be used with other applications?