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UKSG to fund investigation into new usage-based measure of journal quality
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- Subject: UKSG to fund investigation into new usage-based measure of journal quality
- From: <Beverley.Acreman@tandf.co.uk>
- Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 19:49:19 EST
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**WITH APOLOGIES FOR CROSS-POSTING** Sent on behalf of the United Kingdom Serials Group UKSG to fund investigation into new usage-based measure of journal quality The United Kingdom Serials Group (UKSG), in association with the online usage metrics organisation COUNTER, today announced its intention to fund a study which will explore how online journal usage statistics might form the basis of a new metric of journal quality. The widespread and growing adherence by journal publishers to the COUNTER Code of Practice has increased the credibility of usage statistics as a reliable measure of the comparative use of journals. What usage statistics do not currently do is provide a comparative measure of journal quality or value. All other things being equal, a journal publishing 2000 articles a year will generate significantly more downloads than one publishing 50. Elaborating on the dilemma this causes, Terry Bucknell, Electronic Resources Manager at Liverpool University pointed out, "If I was guided solely by usage statistics, I would cancel all my subscriptions to humanities journals, which tend to publish far fewer issues per year than the monster science titles". The initiative launched today by the UKSG sets out to see if it will be practical to address this situation in a way similar to the way ISI's Impact Factor seeks to compensate for the fact that larger journals will tend to be cited more than smaller ones. Will this initiative succeed? The UKSG's Chair, Keith Courtney, is optimistic. "The basic building blocks - COUNTER-compliant usage reports - are already in place", he explained. "What the research which we are sponsoring will do will be to investigate practical issues - what work would have to be conducted, what information sources tapped, and what infrastructure set up, so that some kind of usage based ratio - a 'Usage Factor' if you like - can be developed and then regularly calculated and disseminated". For further information about this initiative contact in the first instance Alison Whitehorn, UKSG Business Manager - email@example.com or tel 01635 254292. It is the intention of UKSG to put this study out to competitive tender and full details, including the ITT itself, can be found on the UKSG web site at <http://www.uksg.org/rfp.pdf> About the UK Serials Group The UK Serials Group (UKSG) [www.uksg.org] exists to encourage the exchange of ideas on printed and electronic serials and the process of scholarly communication. With a membership of nearly 600 organisations, a third of them based outside the UK, its membership embraces the complete spectrum of activity from serials producers to readers via agents, online hosts, libraries and their system providers. About COUNTER COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) <http://www.projectcounter.org/> is a multi-agency initiative which develops and maintains a set of internationally accepted Codes of Practice that allow the usage of online information products and services to be measured in a credible, consistent and compatible way. Release 1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for journals and databases was published in January 2003 and has been widely implemented. Release 2 was published in April 2005 and replaced Release 1 from January 2006. COUNTER is actively supported by the international community of librarians and publishers, and by their professional organisations. ####
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