Guidelines For Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-Based Indexed, Abstracted, and Full Text Resources

Issue Date: 
November 1, 1998

INTRODUCTION

The use of licensed electronic information resources will continue to expand and in some cases become the sole or dominant means of access to content. The electronic environment, as manifested by the World Wide Web, pro vides an opportunity to improve the measurement of the use of these resources. In the electronic arena we can more accurately determine which information is being accessed and used. Without violating any issues of privacy or confidentiality we can dramatically enhance our understanding of information use.

The participating consortia of the ICOLC have a responsibility to their library members to ensure the provision of usage information of licensed electronic resources. Information providers should want the same information to better understand the market f or their services as well as to create an informed customer base. These mutual interests can be best met by defining and creating a common set of basic use information requirements that are an integral and necessary part of any electronic product offering. These requirements apply to vendor operated web sites and to software provided to libraries or consortia for local operation. Information providers are encouraged to go beyond these
minimal requirements as appropriate for their specific electronic resources.

These ICOLC guidelines draw heavily upon the guidelines developed by the JSTOR Web Statistics Task Force: David Farrell, Berkeley, Chair; Jim Mullins, Villanova; Kimberly Parker, Yale; Dave Perkins, CSU-Northridge; Sue Phillips, Texas; Camille Wanat, Berkeley; Kristen Garlock, JSTOR, ex-officio. The ICOLC guidelines reflect modifications to maximize their broad applicability to the diversity of resources licensed by many ICOLC members.

 

1. REQUIREMENTS

Each use element defined below should be able to be delineated by the following subdivisions;

  1. By each specific database of the provider
  2. By each institutionally-defined set of IP addresses / locators to subnet level
  3. By total consortium
  4. By special data element passed by subscriber( e.g., account or ID number)
  5. By time period. Vendor’s system should minimally report by month. For each month, each type of use should be reported by hour of the day, and vendor should maintain 24 months of historical data

Use Elements that must be provided are:

Number of queries (Searches) categorized as appropriate for the vendor’s information. A search is intended to represent a unique intellectual inquiry. Typically a search is recorded each time a search form is sent/submitted to t he server. Subsequent activities to review or browse among the records retrieved or the process of isolating the correct single item desired do not represent additional searches, unless the parameter(s) defining the retrieval set is modified through resu bmission of the search form, a combination of previous search sets, or some other similar technique.

Number of Menu Selections categorized as appropriate to the vendor’s system. If display of data is accomplished by browsing (use of menus), this measure must be provided (e.g. an electronic journal site provides alphabetic and subject-based menu options in addition to a search form. The number of searches and the number of alphabetic and subject menu selections should be tracked).

Number of sessions (Logins), if relevant, must be provided as a measure of simultaneous use. It is not a substitute for either query or menu selection counts.

Number of turn-aways, if relevant, as a contract limit (e.g., requests exceed simultaneous user limit).

Number of items examined (i.e., viewed, marked or selected, downloaded, emailed, printed) to the extent these can be recorded and controlled by the server rather than the browser:

1. Citations displayed (for A&I databases)

2. Full text displayed broken down by title, ISSN with title listed, or other title identifier as appropriate

  1. Tables of Contents displayed
  2. Abstracts displayed
  3. Articles or essays, poems, chapters, etc., as appropriate, viewed (e.g., ASCII or HTML) or downloaded (e.g. PDF, email)
  4. Other (e.g., image / AV files, ads, reviews, etc., as appropriate)

The ICOLC is preparing a separate guideline on Technical Performance of Web-based Services for reporting of system related parameters, (e.g., downtime, response time).

2. PRIVACY AND USER CONFIDENTIALITY: Statistical reports or data that reveal confidential information about individual users must not be released or sold by information providers without permission of the consortium and its member libraries.

3. INSTITUTIONAL OR CONSORTIAL CONFIDENTIALITY: Providers do not have the right to release or sell statistical usage information about specific institutions or the consortium without permission, except to the consortium administrators and member libraries. Use of institutional or consortium data as part of an aggregate grouping of similar institutions for purposes of comparison does not require prior permission as long as specific institutions or consortia are not identifiable. When required by contractual agreements, information providers may furnish institutional use data to the content publishers.

4. COMPARATIVE STATISTICS: Information providers should provide comparative statistics that give consortia a context in which to analyze statistics at the aggregate institutional (consortium member) level. For example, a grouping for purposes of comparison should be compiled by the information provider (e.g., statistics from an anonymous selection of similar institutions), or it might be a grouping composed on demand (e.g., statistics from all campuses in a consortium, presented either anonymously or not, as desired by the participating institutions).

5. ACCESS / DELIVERY MECHANISMS / REPORT FORMATS: Access to statistical reports should be provided via web-based reporting systems and be restricted by IP address or another form of security such as passwords. Institutions should be able to authorize access to their use data by other institutions in the consortium if they desire.

Information providers should maintain access to tabular statistical data through their web site (updated monthly) which a participant can access, aggregate and manipulate on demand. When appropriate, these data also should be available in flat files containing specified data elements that can be downloaded and manipulated locally. Information providers are also encouraged to present data as graphs and charts.

 

Adopters of This Statement

This statement was adopted in principle by member representatives of the "International Coalition of Library Consortia" (ICOLC) whose institutions are listed below. This statement does not necessarily represent the official views of each consortium listed. All consortia listed are in the United States unless otherwise noted.

Consortia whose member representatives adopted this statement:

ALICE (the Appalachian Library Information Cooperative)
AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc.
Arizona Universities Library Consortium (AULC)
BCR

BIBSAM Sweden: Consortium of Research Libraries
Big 12 Plus
Boston Library Consortium
British Columbia Electronic Library Network (Canada)
California Digital Library (CDL)
The California State University.
Canadian National Site Licensing Project (CNSLP)
Colorado Alliance
Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC)
CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians)
Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) (Canada)
CURL (United Kingdom)
Florida
Center for Library Automation
GALILEO
Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Program (ICCMP)
Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO)
INCOLSA
Israel Center for Digital Information Services
Louisiana Library Network
MERLIN
Michigan Library Consortium
MINITEX Library Information Network
MIRACL
MOREnet
NERL
Netherlands Association of University Libraries, Royal Library, and Library of the Royal Academy of Sciences (Dutch acronym: UKB)
Network of Alabama Academic Libraries
New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO)
Novanet (Canada)
OhioLINK
Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL)
Orbis
PALINET
Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI)
Pioneer, Utah's Online Library
PORTALS
SCELC - Southern California Electronic Library Consortium
SCONUL (Ireland and United Kingdom)
Solinet
Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange (SWITCH)
Sub-Committee on Libraries of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Universities of Quebec (CREPUQ).
TexShare
TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG) (Canada)
The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN)
UNILINC (Australia)
University of Texas System Digital Library
Utah Academic Library Consortium
VIVA (The Virtual Library of Virginia)
Washington Research Library Consortium
Wisconsin InterLibrary Services (WILS) 

Contact Persons: 

For further information about this document, please contact:

Tom Sanville, Executive Director, OhioLINK

Suite 300, 2455 North Star Road, Columbus, OH 43221
Phone: 614-728-3600, ext. 322
Email: tom@ohiolink.edu
Fax: 614-728-3610

Sue Phillips, Director, University of Texas System Digital Library, University of Texas

P. O. Box P, Austin, TX 78713-8916
Phone: 512-495-4350
Email: s.phillips@mail.utexas.edu
Fax: 512-495-4347

Statement Adopters: 

Adopters of This Statement

This statement was adopted in principle by member representatives of the "International Coalition of Library Consortia" (ICOLC) whose institutions are listed below. This statement does not necessarily represent the official views of each consortium listed. All consortia listed are in the United States unless otherwise noted.

Consortia whose member representatives adopted this statement:

ALICE (the Appalachian Library Information Cooperative)
AMIGOS Bibliographic Council, Inc.
Arizona Universities Library Consortium (AULC)
BCR
BIBSAM Sweden: Consortium of Research Libraries
Big 12 Plus
Boston Library Consortium
British Columbia Electronic Library Network (Canada)
California Digital Library (CDL)
The California State University
Canadian National Site Licensing Project (CNSLP)
Colorado Alliance
Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC)
CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians)
Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) (Canada)
CURL (United Kingdom)
Florida
Center for Library Automation
GALILEO
Illinois Cooperative Collection Management Program (ICCMP)
Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization (ILCSO)
INCOLSA
Israel Center for Digital Information Services
Louisiana Library Network
MERLIN
Michigan Library Consortium
MINITEX Library Information Network
MIRACL
MOREnet
NERL
Netherlands Association of University Libraries, Royal Library, and Library of the Royal Academy of Sciences (Dutch acronym: UKB)
Network of Alabama Academic Libraries
New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO)
Novanet (Canada)
OhioLINK
Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL)
Orbis
PALINET
Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI)
Pioneer, Utah's Online Library
PORTALS
SCELC - Southern California Electronic Library Consortium
SCONUL (Ireland and United Kingdom)
Solinet
Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange (SWITCH)
Sub-Committee on Libraries of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Universities of Quebec (CREPUQ).
TexShare
TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG) (Canada)
The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN)
UNILINC (Australia)
University of Texas System Digital Library
Utah Academic Library Consortium
VIVA (The Virtual Library of Virginia)
Washington Research Library Consortium
Wisconsin InterLibrary Services (WILS) 

About ICOLC: 

The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) is an informal, self-organized group currently comprising approximately 200 library consortia in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. The member consortia serve all types and sizes of libraries. ICOLC has been in existence since 1996.

ICOLC supports participating consortia by facilitating discussion on issues of common interest. Twice per year ICOLC conducts meetings dedicated to keeping participating consortia informed about new electronic information resources, pricing practices of electronic information providers and vendors, and other issues of importance to directors, governing boards, and libaries of consortia. From time to time ICOLC also issues statements regarding topics which affect libraries and library consortia.

More information about ICOLC can be found at http://www.icolc.org or contact Celeste Feather, Senior Director of Licensing and Strategic Partnerships, LYRASIS, Suite 200, 1438 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA, Phone: 800-999-8558, x 2954; celeste.feather@lyrasis.org