Monday, April 12, 2010

JUSP the Thing

Attending a session with the word JISC in the title is probably cheating a bit for me, but the JISC Usage Statistics Portal is something I have wanted to learn more about for a while as we think about making better use of authentication statistics for the UK federation.

Ross MacIntyre has been thinking about usage statistics since 2000. The same questions are still be asked: 'what is usage?', 'what do you want information on?', 'what is your holy grail?' - although the underlying standards have moved forward significantly with the development of COUNTER and SUSHI.

The Usage Statistics Portal is looking to provide aggregated usage statistics for Nesli2 journal deals - representing over 6000 journal titles. It is currently very tedious for librarians to gather these statistics from the various providers involved in Nesli2, despite good coverage of COUNTER provision. The Portal aims to solve this problem.

The Portal aims to provide the following to libraries:

  • Single point of access to own usage statistics;
  • Monthly figures presented in both academic and calendar years;
  • Adition where relevant of gateway / aggregator statistics;
  • Usage of current collections with backfiles removed;
  • Assistance with SCONUL statistical returm;
  • Trend analysis, high usage titles, publisher summaries etc.
An important factor to note is that a '0' usage title is not regarded by participants in the pilot as a 'worthless' title, but one where the potential of the resource has not been realised. This may demonstrate a requirement for more internal communication with departments, for example.

The Portal also allows institutions to benchmark journal usage against other institutional responses. A big question around this is the issue of whether this data should be anonymised and whether publishers would be unhappy about non-anonymised data being shown. This will be dictated by confidentiality clauses in current licences.

Some of the outstanding issues to be dealt with beyond the pilot are the need for widespread adoption of COUNTER R3 compliance, the need for machine readable sources for publisher price lists, and the need for better subject categorisation of journals.

Finally, the code is being made available open source so it is hoped that this will be available to lots of other institutions and consortia - something I am sure many of my federation colleagues in other countries will be interested in!

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