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COUNTER: usage statistics for performance measurement

Peter T. Shepherd (COUNTER, Edinburgh, UK)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 September 2006




Using COUNTER‐compliant statistics, the purpose of this study is to conduct an in‐depth analysis of usage of online journals in a group of major UK universities.


The paper describes in detail developments, as well as other progress made on COUNTER since the 2003 Northumbria conference. It also addresses the practical challenges faced by vendors and librarians in implementing COUNTER, and concludes with future plans for the project.


The study team has successfully collected and validated a considerable set of journal usage, subscription and cost data and has assisted in the testing and validation of the “successful full‐text article request” as a possible unit of measurement of “usage” that can be applied consistently and reliably across all publishers.


The paper shows how usage relates to costs, institution profile and subject spread and develops a set of measures that are likely to be used more widely as indicators of the value of online journals.



Shepherd, P.T. (2006), "COUNTER: usage statistics for performance measurement", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 142-152.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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