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Impact of the COUNTER Code of Practice on Vendor Usage Statistics

Message From: Peter Shepherd, Project Director, COUNTER

It has come to our attention that a number of vendors have found that the
implementation of the COUNTER Code of Practice has resulted in a
fall,�quite substantial in some cases, in the usage statistics that they
are reporting to customers. Vendors should be neither surprised nor
alarmed by this development. Indeed, there are several reasons why a
decline in reported usage statistics is to be expected as a result
of�meeting the requirements of�the COUNTER Code of Practice. These
include: � 1. The implementation of time filters to eliminate multiple
counting of�requests�when these result in only one download of a�document.
Following tests, these filters were set at 10 seconds for�multiple clicks
relating to�an html document and at 30 seconds for a PDF document. (see
Sections 5d & 5e of Release 1 of the Code of Practice).

2. The specification of the http return codes that are deemed to identify
a 'successful request'. These are described in Appendix D of Release 1.

3. The standardisation of definitions of 'successful request',
'full-text'�and many other terms. (see Table 1 of Release 1).

The cumulative effect of the above standards and protocols will tend to
reduce the reported usage statistics in many cases, but we are confident
that the overall result of this�increased rigour is more credible, as well
as more compatible,�usage statistics. This is an important objective of
COUNTER, which benefits vendors as well as customers. Customers can view
the usage statistics of the growing number of COUNTER-compliant�vendors
with ever-more confidence. This is a major�improvement from a situation
where vendor usage statistics were viewed as lacking credibility,
consistency and compatibility.

Any vendor with questions about COUNTER compliance should contact the
Project Director, Peter Shepherd at: pshepherd@projectCounter.org

The full text of Release 1 of the Code of Practice, as well as the draft
Release 2, may be found on the COUNTER website at

Peter Shepherd
Project Director