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Update on usage statistics for informaworld

Sorry for cross posting.

Dear All

Please may I clarify the status of informaworld usage statistics?

I am pleased to say that stats will be available from the start 
of next week for ejournals and ebooks.

It is intended that the ejournal and database reports will comply 
with Release 2 of the COUNTER Code of Practice and the ebook and 
reference reports with Release 1.  At the end of this week we 
will send a signed declaration of conformity to COUNTER. We will 
then need to be audited, after which time we will be able to 
officially state informaworld is COUNTER compliant.  Our 
development team has been quite thorough in testing the 
statistics so I'm hoping the audit should not take too long.

Please continue to run statistics from Ingenta, Metapress and 
SwetsWise until further notice, in addition to the informaworld 
reports.  Our ultimate aim is to include all usage in one report 
but we are not quite there.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Any questions please ask.

Best wishes

Ashleigh Bell
Journals Sales Director
Office: +44 (0)207 017 6350
Mobile: +44 (0)7764 984581
Fax: +44 (0)207 017 6725

Taylor & Francis Group, 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon,
OX14 4RN, UK.

Taylor & Francis Group, Academic Division, informa plc

-----Original Message-----
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Tue Feb 06 08:11:01 2007
Subject: The creeping erosion of the COUNTER Code of Practice is not

Dear Colleagues,

It is not acceptable that large vendors like Ingenta, Swets and 
Wiley for their usage statistics refer to the COUNTER Code of 
Practice and claim to be COUNTER compliant although they have 
missed to adapt to Release 2 valid since January 2006 and thereby 
are noncompliant now for more than a year.

Three examples:


Library Services Overview

> http://www.ingentaconnect.com/download/ingentaconnect/Library_services
> _summary.pdf
- COUNTER, SUSHI and OpenURL compliant
How to ... download free COUNTER-Compliant Usage Statistics
> http://www.ingentaconnect.com/about/librarians/resourcezone/howto_coun
> ter


"The reporting tool is also fully compliant with the latest COUNTER
industry standards and can be easily merged with other data."

Elsewhere they explicitely refer to "level 2 compliance".
Unfortunately, "level 2" referred to optional reports in Release 1, not
to agreement with the current Release 2, cf. press release of Oct 15,
2003, on their website.

Another Swets publication, "The Local Source April 2006", in connection
with the product ScholarlyStats, for which Swets acts as distribution
partner, tells us under the heading "The Swets/MPS Partnership" that
also SwetsWise COUNTER JR1 reports could be integrated in
ScholarlyStats. As a reason to support this product, they write "...
usage reports vary greatly in their layout and format. This does not
only affect non-COUNTER compliant vendors, but also COUNTER vendors who
each have their own "flavour" of COUNTER reports."

Given this statement from a noncompliant vendor, we must insist, that
Release 2 of the COUNTER Code of Practice makes strict demands on
formatting, stricter than it used to be in Release 1.
It is unacceptable that such format specifications are ignored and that
a vendor does not strive to keep compliant with the actual COUNTER
standard, with the implicit justification that there is a commercial
product that claims to iron out such neglicences.

Swets makes the same claim also in 3rd party products for which they
serve as a distribution partner and host: In the ALJC (ALPSP Learned
Journals Collection) Publishers FAQs,
<http://aljc.swets.com/Publishers/Faq_publishers.html>, we read:

What usage information do I get? For accesses to the collection via
SwetsWise Counter-complaint usage statistics are provided to both
publishers and libraries on a regular basis.

Counter-complaint - this typo accurately characterises the present
deplorable state of affairs. Current usage statistics only show a
superficial similarity with the standard of Release 2, with many
divergences in detail. We already alerted Swets to this in connection
with a ALJC trial in mid 2006 and asked them to change this and make
sure that they got COUNTER compliant as soon as possible again. In
addition, we told them that it is misleading when Swets claims in
consortial offers that they are COUNTER compliant "according to level 2"
if this level refers to a no longer valid standard of 2003. An official
reaction of Swets was never received.


- Products and Services for Librarians, Wiley InterScience General
> http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/aboutus/forLibrarians.html

Electronic License Options:
Additional benefits include Roaming access, monthly COUNTER-compliant
usage statistics, and preferred rates for
ArticleSelect(TM) Tokens

Wiley claims they are COUNTER compliant for the (current) Journals but
not for the back files that were not included in our present consortium
license. This seems strange as other big vendors that offer back file
sets have also managed to integrate them into usage reporting and stay
COUNTER compliant. (Wiley tells us they have a problem to consolidate
reports for current and back files and for precursor titles when a name
change has occurred. In response I asked them to forward samples so that
one could have a closer look into this.) As in Germany we have existing
national site license deals with Wiley for several backfile sets, the
argument that our consortium has not licensed those backfiles is also
moot. According to Wiley it is "only a question of formatting" and they
promised to be ready this autumn (!).

One reservation which always limited Wiley's COUNTER compliance is the
regrettable refusal to provide usage statistics to Basic Access License
Customers. This seems inapprehensible and hardly acceptable given the
fact that the Basic Access License is no free add-on to print
subscriptions but has to be paid with a surcharge and is even available
in connection with e-only subscriptions. It is our contention that
libraries that license e-only products can expect usage statistics to be
delivered with them as a basic service not as a paid add-on, if a vendor
provides such statistics in the first place.

The arbitrary restriction to contracts that ask libraries to commit to
licenses for complete collections or complete holdings of an institution
with the aim to secure current levels of subscriptions is certainly
against the spirit if not against the letter of the COUNTER Code of
Practice, which says: "For each compliant product vendors must supply
the relevant COUNTER-compliant usage reports at no additional charge to
customers in order to be designated COUNTER compliant." The only way to
claim there is no violation of the Code is to resort to the argument not
Wiley InterScience were the product but Wiley InterScience with Enhanced
Access License, and Wiley InterScience with Basic Access License were a
different product.

For this reason Wiley was lately only registered as compliant with the
reservation "applies to Enhanced Access License only".
If vendors in general resorted to such strategies than the requirement
to provide usage reports at no additional charge to customers would be
void of any content. Fortunately most do not, the other exception known
to me being Elsevier who also do not provide statistics for their
ScienceDirect Web Editions although they can at least claim that this is
a "free" add-on to print subscriptions. To avoid misunderstandings:
there is nothing wrong with providing more advanced usage statistics and
tools to display and analyze them for an extra price (Ingenta for
example has done that); my point is that the basic service should be
included for no additional charge (this is what COUNTER obviously

For Swets the non-observance of the standard is particularly
embarrassing, as one would expect something different from an ISO 9000
certified vendor which has always been engaged for the development of
common standards (and without any doubt has acquired merits in that),
especially as they were the first agency in 2003 to get compliant with
the COUNTER Code of Practice and are partner in SUSHI, the Standardized
Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative of NISO. Swets wrote in a press
release of November 2005, that they were the first agency which had
successfully absolved tests to integrate their usage statistics with ILS
vendors. The Statistics transferred in these tests had all been
compliant with the internationally recognized COUNTER format - that was
still correct at the time of the press release but only two months later
no longer the case.

The draft of Release 2 has been available for comment since April
2004 on the COUNTER website. The final version was published in May
2005, and it became the valid standard to follow on Jan 1, 2006. Time
enough for vendors to adjust their procedures correspondingly and make
arrangements to adopt the new standard beginning in 2006.

In our view, aggregators and agencies like ingenta and Swets have a
special reponsibility to adhere to the standards, as they bundle on
their platforms the statistics of many individual publishers which
depend on them. Libraries, especially if they negotiate on behalf of
consortia, should take care that COUNTER compliance is written into
their contracts and adhered to. At some point we must achieve the aim
that COUNTER statistics from different vendors are delivered in standard
XML format and can be processed automatically (the aim of SUSHI) - but
this can only work if all adhere to the standard. Obviously, it is
necessary not just to rely on vendors claims but to check this on the
website projectcounter.org, especially if a new release has been

Peter Shepherd, Project Director von COUNTER, on two mailing lists
already made clear that COUNTER will not tolerate a misuse of its name
(statement of Jan 24, on the Vendor Based Usage Statistics Mailing List

"I would like to clarify the situation regarding those vendors which
are, or are not, COUNTER compliant. This is as follows:

1. The only vendors who are COUNTER compliant are those listed in the
Tables on the 'Compliant Vendors' page of the COUNTER website
(www.projectCounter.org ). These lists are definitive and no other
vendors are COUNTER compliant.

2. In the cases of Ingenta and Wiley, both vendors were compliant with
Release 1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for Journals and Databases,
but are not (yet) compliant with Release 2, which has been the only
valid version of the Code of Practice since January 2006. Neither of
these two vendors is currently COUNTER compliant. I shall contact both
to request that they cease to claim that they are.

3. COUNTER membership is quite different from COUNTER compliance.
Libraries and intermediaries are all eligible for COUNTER membership.
COUNTER is owned by its members. If members wish to become COUNTER
compliant they have to go through the same compliance procedure as
non-members. Not all COUNTER members are, therefore, COUNTER compliant
and not all COUNTER compliant vendors are COUNTER members.

Peter Shepherd


>From a comparison of the current Register of Vendors (Stand:
January 2007) with a saved version of December 2005, that I retrieved
via the Internet Archive - Wayback Machine, I infer that the following
vendors that were in Dec 2005 still listed as compliant, can currently
no longer be regarded as COUNTER compliant (for those vendors marked
with a * I nevertheless found evidence on their webpages that they still
claim to be COUNTER
compliant) (Information current as of Jan 25, 2006):

- Allen Press*
- BioOne
- CSIRO Publishing*
- Geological Society
- Ingenta*
- NRC Research Press*
- Project Muse*
- Public Library of Science*
- Swets Blackwell (now Swets Information Services)*
- Thomson Learning /Gale (now Thomson Gale)** (**Thomson Gale strives to
meet all the requirements as defined by the usage standards
organizations. This includes the International Coalition of Library
Consortia (ICOLC) and COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked
Electronic Resources).
Currently Thomson Gale is COUNTER compliant level one.)
- Wiley*
- Wolters Kluwer Health (Ovid)***
- Wolters Kluwer Health (Portal Advantage Service)***
- Wolters Kluwer Health (SilverPlatter)*** (***former press releases and
reports on their website which emphasize COUNTER compliance are prone to
give the impression that this is still the case)

I mention this to avoid the impression that I wanted to arbitrarily
single out the three vendors mentioned in the first part above to
black-list them. I have not included in the list above BMJ Publishing
Group (as their publications are apparently now all hosted by HighWire
which is compliant), Extenza (now Atypon, compliant), IBM SurfAid
Analytics (now Coremetrics SurfAid Analytics, compliant),
Springer-KluwerOnline (now integrated into SpringerLink, compliant), and
Taylor & Francis (now InformaWorld, presumably compliant, because
Informa HealthCare is listed as compliant and InformaWorld claims
compliance on its website - however, I have send them a request to
confirm their status).

That with the coming into effect of Release 2 of the COUNTER Code of
Practice with the 14 listed vendors 30% of those that were compliant
until Dec 2005 dropped out, should give also Project Counter to think
about. On the other hand, it is pleasing to see that since the end of
2005 a lot of additional vendors (29
together) managed to achieve compliance for some products or services.
We can name here (in alphabetic order): American Academy of
Periodontology, American Anthropological Association, American Society
for Bone and Mineral Research, American Veterinary Medical Association,
ACM, Ashley Publications, Bentham Science Publishers, Cambridge
University Press, CFA Institute, Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press,
Duke University Press, East View Information Services, Elsevier
Engineering Information, Future Drugs, Future Medicine, Informa
Healthcare, IEEE, Institute of Physics Publishing (IoPP), Japan Science
& Technology Agency, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mary Ann Liebert, MIT
press, Micromedia ProQuest, Monash University ePress, Morgan & Claypool
Publishers, OCLC, Peeters Publishers, Symposium Journals, University of
California Press.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions, formed
in the context of my responsability as electronic resources coordinator
and negotiator for two consortia. It is not to be regarded as an
official statement on behalf of Stuttgart University Library or the
Consortium Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Best regards,
Bernd-Christoph Kaemper

B.-C. Kaemper
Universitaetsbibliothek Stuttgart
Postfach 104941, 70043 Stuttgart
Tel. 0711 685-64731, 83510