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eBooks (COUNTER 4) datasets: everything you need to know

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The eBooks dataset allows you to analyze the usage of all of your eBook platforms in one place. These datasets support the uploading of COUNTER files, in addition to the harvesting of SUSHI data directly from your providers. If you happen to have a platform that does not support COUNTER or SUSHI, no worries! You can manually enter or upload generic usage data, as well.

For each of your platforms, you'll be able to analyze the total number of section requests, title requests, and searches. You can also record cost data for your platforms, as well, providing you with valuable cost-per-use statistics.

There are even reports that allow you to easily track titles with the highest and lowest usage, which can be a huge help when it comes time to consider your renewals. The trends report also allows you to see how your usage has changed over time, as well.

Example of an eBooks platform report

In this Springboard, you'll learn how to create and configure an eBooks (r4) dataset, including setting up platforms and SUSHI providers. In addition, you'll learn how to add and analyze your usage data.

Looking to analyze data for COUNTER 5-compliant vendors? We have a dataset just for you! Learn more in E-Resources / COUNTER 5 datasets: everything you need to know.

What is the difference between COUNTER r4 and r5?

R5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice represents the 5th release of COUNTER – the standard for counting the use of electronic resources. COUNTER r5 requires content providers to deliver reports in Release 5 formats starting with January 2019 usage.

COUNTER Release 5 contains several metric types, different than the metric types available in Release 4. These provide several new measurement tools for your e-resource usage.

Usage Metrics:

  • Investigations – Measure an expression of interest in a content item or title (i.e. a patron viewing an article abstract would count as an investigation).
  • Request – Measure access to a content item or title (i.e. a patron downloading an e-journal article or e-book chapter).

Searches Metrics:

  • Contains four different types of search metrics from searches_regular to searches_platform.

Access Denials Metrics:

  • This new metric has two different types to account for user denial — lack of institutional access and simultaneous users maximum has been reached.

To help you more easily set up your E-Resources/COUNTER 5 datasets, you can easily import your COUNTER 4 platforms from your existing E-Journals/Databases and eBooks datasets in LibInsight.

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Add platforms & SUSHI providers

Usage and cost data are organized by platform. When setting up eBooks datasets, you'll have the option to add your platforms manually or import them from another dataset or your central platforms list. Importing platform information can save you time, especially if you have the same platform represented in multiple datasets. By setting up your central platforms list before creating your datasets, you can make it easier to get started using LibInsight to manage your e-resources data.

Your e-resources usage data can be fetched directly from providers using the SUSHI protocol. LibInsight allows you to centrally set up and manage your SUSHI provider settings, which you can then use when fetching usage data in your datasets.

Kindly contact providers to obtain the necessary SUSHI credentials for your institution. LibInsight supports a large number of COUNTER r4 SUSHI providers. However, please note that there are no plans to provide additional COUNTER 4 SUSHI providers at this time, as COUNTER 5 reporting became mandatory for data providers at the end of January 2019. 

To set up and manage your platforms list and SUSHI providers, go to Admin > E-Resources Management.

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Create an eBooks (r4) dataset

EBooks (r4) datasets are only available to LibInsight Full customers. If you currently subscribe to LibInsight Lite and would like to learn more about upgrading, please contact our Springy Sales Team for details.

To create a new dataset, Admin users can go to Admin > Manage Datasets and click the Add New Dataset button.

Navigating the the Manage Datasets page and adding a new dataset

Before you begin, you may find it helpful to do a little planning. This can make the process of creating your dataset go more quickly.

  • Who should have access to the dataset? By default, only Admin users are allowed to manage, record data to, and analyze a dataset. However, you can choose to extended each of those permissions to selected Regular users, or all Regular users in your system. For example, if you only want a few people to add data to your dataset, you would extend them Record permissions. But, if you want everyone in your library to be able to view and analyze (but not edit) the data, you could choose to give Analyze permissions to all Regular users.
  • Which platforms do you want to include in your dataset? It can be helpful to think of a platform as a website where you can access eBook resources from a particular vendor. When you upload or import usage data, it will be at the platform level. And while most will find it helpful to place all resources from a single vendor under one platform, each library's collections are different, so take some time to consider how you'd like your usage data to be organized before creating your platforms.
    • If you haven't already, we recommend that you first add your COUNTER r4 SUSHI providers before adding platforms to your dataset. That way you can select a provider as a platform's default when setting it up.

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Add usage data to an eBooks (r4) dataset

Fetching COUNTER r4 data via SUSHI

If your platform's vendor is a SUSHI service provider, you can harvest your usage data directly without having to generate and upload COUNTER files. LibInsight supports a growing list of SUSHI service providers. If your provider is not currently supported, contact Springy Support and we'll work with the vendor to add support.

In addition to manually fetching SUSHI data on demand, you can also schedule regular retrievals. This allows you to automatically harvest data for a platform at either monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or yearly intervals. You can create schedules for each platform and report type; for example, you could retrieve BR1 data monthly and BR5 data quarterly.

Before you can harvest SUSHI data, an admin must first add your COUNTER r4 SUSHI providers to LibInsight.

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Uploading COUNTER r4 files or generic data

If your COUNTER r4 provider does not support fetching data via SUSHI, you can upload usage data for your platform instead. With this method, you can upload COUNTER r4-compliant files, including:

  • BR1 (Release 4) - Number of Successful Title Requests by Month and Title (R4 sample)
  • BR2 (Release 4) - Number of Successful Section Requests by Month and Title (R4 sample)
  • BR5 (Release 4) - Total Searches by Month and Title (R4 sample)

If your platform does not provide COUNTER-compliant files, you can upload an Excel or CSV file containing the total requests, searches, and title requests for each month.

  • Row 1 should have the following headers in this order: date, requests, searches, title_requests. Note that the requests column here refers to "Section Requests." (Generic data sample)
  • Row 2 onwards should have the corresponding values
  • Because the data is stored on a per month basis, the date column values should always be in the first day of the month date (i.e. 2015-03-01 for March 2015 in YYYY-MM-DD format or 01/12/2014 for Dec 2014 in DD/MM/YYYY format)
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Manual data entry

If a vendor does not provide usage data in COUNTER format, you can still add your platform's section requests, title requests, and searches by manual entry. You will be able to add this aggregate data on a month-by-month basis.

If data has already been added for a particular month (whether it was manually added, uploaded, or harvested), it will display alongside your manually-entered data. You can even use the manual data entry method to edit previously-entered data, as well.

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Add cost and license data to an eBooks (r4) dataset

In addition to usage data, you can also add cost and license data for each of your platforms.

  • Cost data: you can record the annual cost of each platform, which is also used to calculate cost-per-use when analyzing your dataset..
    • You can add your cost data by entering individual invoices. With each invoice, you can define the coverage and the total invoice amount.
    • If your invoice is broken down by resource, then you can also record the cost for each one individually by adding invoice details.
  • Licenses: you can conveniently store copies of each platform's license right alongside your other data. Although not used when analyzing your dataset, this can help you keep all of your data and records in one place in case you ever need to reference them.

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Analyze an E-Journals/Databases (r4) dataset

When analyzing an eBooks (r4) dataset, you'll find the following reports:

  • Platforms: this report provides an overview of each platform's usage, including section requests, title requests, and searches. In addition, you can also view cost-per-use statistics, as well as the total number of titles and cost.
  • Trends: this report allows you to see how the annual cost and usage of your platforms have changed over time. You can create charts to visualize trends in your data for the past 2 through 10 years. In addition, you'll get a data table with each year's totals, with the ability to see year-over-year changes and the percentage change against the first year of the report.
  • Ranking: this report allows you to rank each platform based upon usage and cost over specific periods.
    • For example, you could compare each platform based upon the difference in cost and section requests vs. one year ago. That would allow you to rank them by the difference in cost, section requests, or cost per section request.
    • You can also rank platforms based upon title requests and searches, as well.
  • Books: this provides a summary of total, unique, and duplicate books in each platform. In addition, you can also view an A-Z list of titles in each platform, as well as a list of duplicate titles across all platforms.
  • Top/Zero use: this provides a ranking of the top 100 books by downloads, or a list of books with zero usage. This report also allows you to see a list of titles with a usage threshold that you define (e.g. books with 100 or more section requests).

In addition, LibInsight includes other tools to help you analyze, visualize, and share your data with others:

  • Dashboards: dashboards allow you to display charts of key data points from one or more datasets on a single page. Dashboard pages can be public or private, allowing you to create and share dashboards internally with staff or with the public.
  • Cross-Dataset Analysis: allows you to compare up to 4 variables from across one or more datasets. This can provide some really useful insight for seeing trends across services or resources over time.

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