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Digital Statistics

Many of you have commented to the lists and to me, personally, about the
various steps you are taking to convince publishers to supply use
statistics for their electronic journal counterparts. I think that as a
group, we can try to put some pressure on the various publishers. Maybe as
a group, the publishers will recognize how important this is to us. (Of
course, I am assuming it *is* important to the rest of you!)

For instance, (although I feel rather dumb that I have just now discovered
this), I was looking at the statistics supplied through the Highwire sites
for Science, JBC, Jl of Cell Biology, Jl. of Experimental Medicine, PNAS,
and Journal of General Physiology. They are fantastic; they are detailed
and go beyond reporting only at hits. From what I understand, the other
publishers of journals available through the Highwire interface have not
given permission to HW to turn this feature on. We subscribe to almost all
the HW titles and having this feature for all the titles would certainly
go a long way to giving us the information we need about how some
electronic resources are being used.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you find the level of detail that the
HW stats offer to be useful? I know we at the Washington University
Medical School will certainly use them to not only decide whether to
cancel a journal or not, but to discuss what formats are being accessed,
how many unique IPs are coming in, and, I'm sure we'll come up with more
uses as well! Maybe a general agreement might convince some publishers to
move forward with their efforts to provide statistics.

I encourage you to take a look at the stats for some of these titles. If
you do not have access to them, email me and I can send you an example
from one of the recent months for one of the titles.

Linda Mercer
Digital Communications and Resources
Bernard Becker Library
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO