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A transaction log analysis of EBSCO Discovery Service using Google Analytics: the methodology

Rachel K. Fischer ( Cooperative Computer Services , Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA)
Aubrey Iglesias ( New Mexico State University , Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA)
Alice L. Daugherty ( The University of Alabama , Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Zhehan Jiang ( Baylor College of Medicine , Houston, Texas, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 29 April 2020

Issue publication date: 23 February 2021




The article presents a methodology that can be used to analyze data from the transaction log of EBSCO Discovery Service searches recorded in Google Analytics. It explains the steps to follow for exporting the data, analyzing the data, and recreating searches. The article provides suggestions to improve the quality of research on the topic. It also includes advice to vendors on improving the quality of transaction log software.


Case study


Although Google Analytics can be used to study transaction logs accurately, vendors still need to improve the functionality so librarians can gain the most benefit from it.

Research limitations/implications

The research is applicable to the usage of Google Analytics with EBSCO Discovery Service.

Practical implications

The steps presented in the article can be followed as a step-by-step guide to repeating the study at other institutions.

Social implications

The methodology in this article can be used to assess how library instruction can be improved.


This article provides a detailed description of a transaction log analysis process that other articles have not previously described. This includes a description of a methodology for accurately calculating statistics from Google Analytics data and provides steps for recreating accurate searches from data recorded in Google Analytics.



Fischer, R.K., Iglesias, A., Daugherty, A.L. and Jiang, Z. (2021), "A transaction log analysis of EBSCO Discovery Service using Google Analytics: the methodology", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 249-262.



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