CARL-COAR Joint Webinar on IR Usage Statistics
The webinar entitled “Two Approaches for Accurately Counting IR Usage: RAMP and IRUS-UK”,was jointly organised by CARL and COAR on 3 October 17, 2017.
Kenning Arlitsch, Dean, Montana State University Library
Paul Needham, Research and Innovation Manager at Kings Norton Library, Cranfield University
Leah Vanderjagt, Digital Repository Services Coordinator, University of Alberta
About the webinar:
Institutional repositories (IRs), by virtue of their ability to give increased visibility to the institution’s scholarly outputs, are valued for their vast amount of open scholarly content. Libraries wishing to demonstrate use (and value) frequently report the number of file downloads sustained by their IR. However, commonly used analytics tools are unsuited for this purpose and produce results that dramatically under-count or over-count file downloads. As well, although statistics can sometimes be accessed through the various repository interfaces, without an agreed standard it is impossible to reliably assess and compare usage data across different IRs in any meaningful way.
The first part of this presentation will explain the reasons for the inaccuracies in most IR download counts and will introduce a new web service called Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal (RAMP), which provides much more accurate counts of file downloads to IR managers, with almost no installation or training requirements. Aggregated data collected with RAMP also creates the potential for interesting new streams of research about IR. RAMP was developed with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The second half of this presentation will focus on another approach at standardizing institutional research data download statistics: IRUS –UK, a national aggregation service, which contains details of all content downloaded from participating IRs in the UK. By collecting raw usage data and processing them into item-level usage statistics, following rules specified by COUNTER, IRUS-UK provides comparable and authoritative standards-based data and also acts as an intermediary between UK repositories and other agencies.
The success of institutional repositories (IR) is measured in large part by the number of file downloads they sustain. Most traffic to IR is referred by Internet search engines, but referrals are hindered when IR are not properly optimized for search engine harvesting and indexing, leading to low visitation and downloads. This presentation will discuss search engine optimization techniques, especially for Google Scholar, which can be responsible for the majority of referrals that result in IR file downloads. The presentation will also introduce a new web service called RAMP (Repository Analytics & Metrics Portal) that accurately counts file downloads from IR and requires no installation or training.
About the speakers:
Paul Needham is the Research and Innovation Manager at Kings Norton Library, Cranfield University. For the last ten years, he has primarily worked on Jisc-funded projects, initiatives and services relating to usage statistics based on the COUNTER standard. These include IRUS-UK and JUSP (the Jisc Usage Statistics Portal). He is a member of the NISO SUSHI Standing Committee, the COUNTER Executive Committee and the COUNTER Robots Working Group, and co-chair of the COUNTER Technical Advisory Group. For the past 18 months, Paul has been deeply involved, along with other COUNTER members, working on the development of Release 5 (R5) of the COUNTER Code of Practice, which has been designed to ensure that it is internally consistent, unambiguous, and flexible, making it easy for publishers and repositories to be compliant.
Kenning Arlitsch is dean of the library at Montana State University, where he leads a research library actively engaged in student success, statewide collaboration and the university’s research enterprise. In his 24-year career as a professional librarian, he has held positions in library instruction, digital library development, and IT services. His funded research has focused on search engine optimization, as well as measuring impact and use of digital repositories. He writes a regular column in the Journal of Library Administration and serves on the editorial board of Library Hi Tech. Arlitsch holds a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in library and information science from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. His dissertation on Semantic Web Identity examined how well research libraries and other academic organizations are understood by search engines.