How to analyze database usage in E-Resources/COUNTER 5 datasets

One benefit of the E-Resources/COUNTER 5 dataset is that you can analyze your databases, journals, and ebooks together in a single LibInsight dataset. If your dataset has multiple platforms, you can more easily see the combined usage across all platforms, as well.

However, because there's so much data in these datasets, you might be wondering: "How can I view usage for individual databases?" The purpose of this Springboard is to help you do just that. You'll learn what data is included, where it comes from, and how to use the available report options to view usage just for your databases.


Where does the data come from?

LibInsight uses the following data for analyzing database usage:

  • Usage data from the Database Master Report (DR) fetched from your COUNTER 5 SUSHI providers. The DR includes the following metric types:
    • Searches automated: the number of searches conducted through a discovery service or similar tool utilizing a central index of data harvested from multiple databases.
    • Searches federated: the number of searches conducted through a federated search service, in which multiple databases are searched simultaneously via a single query.
    • Searches regular: the number of searches conducted through a content host, in which a user controls which database(s) are searched.
    • Total item investigations: the number of times users accessed the content of a journal article, abstract, book chapter, etc.
    • Total item requests: the number of times users viewed, downloaded, emailed, or printed the full content of a journal article, abstract, book chapter, etc.
    • Unique item investigations: the number of unique journal articles, abstracts, book chapters, etc. accessed in a single session.
    • Unique item requests: the number of unique journal articles, abstracts, book chapters, etc. accessed in a single session.
    • Unique title investigations: the number of unique journal or book titles accessed in a single session.
    • Unique title requests: the number of unique journal or book titles viewed, downloaded, emailed, or printed in a single session.
    • Limit exceeded: the number of times an institution's simultaneous user limit prevented users from accessing a journal article, abstract, book chapter, etc.
    • No license: the number of times users attempted to access a journal article, abstract, book chapter, etc., but was denied because it was not included in the institution's license with the vendor.
  • Cost data from invoices added to your dataset's platforms via the Record Data page. This data is used to calculate cost-per-use statistics.

IMPORTANT! The COUNTER Release 5 Code of Practice is substantially different to previous releases. LibInsight supports the Platform Master, Database Master, and Title Master Reports. Please plan carefully which reports to pull into your platforms so that you do not duplicate your statistics. We advise you to retrieve reports and examine their contents to see what is included.

  • Protip: you can view the contents of any JSON file in a web browser window. Use the Filter capability to search for particular titles.
  • For example: Unique Item Requests is a metric that is valid in both the Database Master and the Title Master reports. If Platform A offers Database and Title Reports and includes the Unique Item Requests metric for Database A in both reports, those numbers will be added together, resulting in inflation of statistics.

For best results, we strongly recommend fetching only one report type per platform.

Learn more

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Analyzing aggregate database usage by platform

To get a big picture overview of database usage, check out your dataset's Platforms report. This will give you aggregate data and cost-per-use statistics (if you've added cost data to your platforms) for each platform during the specified date range. In addition to a summary data table, you'll also be provided with several charts to help you analyze the breakdown of different variables, such as usage over time or item investigations by platform.

When analyzing your dataset, select the date range you want to view data for and click Go. Then, under the Platforms tab:

  1. Under Change your report, you can use the platforms filter to limit the data table and charts to one or more platforms. If no platforms are selected (which is the default), the data table will display all platforms in your dataset.
  2. Use the Report Variables options to choose the data including in the table. All listed variables are applicable to databases.
  3. Use the Show Contents Details options to select only # of Databases. This will hide the # of Books and # of Journals columns from the data table.
  4. If you would like to exclude the annual cost and cost-per-use columns from the table, deselect the Include Cost-Per-Use-Analysis checkbox.
  5. If you'd like to download the filtered data to a spreadsheet, click the CSV button above the table.

The Platforms data table and filters

Relative comparisons charts

Below the data table, you'll find the Relative Comparisons charts. These are pie charts that can break down variables by platform, such as the Cost Breakdown of Total Item Investigations by platform. This can help you see how each platform compares across metrics.

  1. Use the dropdown menus above each chart to select a different type of comparison.
  2. Click on a chart's hamburger () menu to download an image or PDF of the chart.

The Relative Comparisons charts

Monthly / yearly usage charts

Below the pie charts, you'll find a group of Monthly / Yearly Usage Charts. If you selected one or more platform filters under Change your report (above the data table), these charts will reflect only those platforms. Each chart reflects a different variable, with one each for:

  • Investigations
  • Requests
  • Searches
  • Access Denied

Here's how to navigate these charts:

  1. Use the Monthly and Yearly options to switch the x-axis from months to years. If you are analyzing a wide date range, you may find the yearly view more helpful.
  2. Use the Bar and Line options to switch between a stacked bar and line chart, accordingly.
  3. Mouse over any data point to view its value.
  4. Click and drag your mouse to select an area of the chart to zoom in. For example, if you are looking at 36 months of data, you could click and drag over a range of dates to zoom in the chart on those values.
  5. Click on any label below the chart to hide one of the variables. Click it again to show it.
  6. Click on a chart's hamburger () menu to download an image or PDF of the chart.

The Monthly / Yearly Usage Charts

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Analyzing usage of individual databases in each platform

When analyzing your dataset, select the date range you want to view data for and click Go. Then, to view usage for specific databases:

  1. Click on the Databases tab and select Usage from the dropdown.
  2. Click on the Titles panel to expand it.
  3. From the Database Lists dropdown, select the platform you want to analyze.
  4. Click the Show Databases button. This will display a data table of all databases in the selected platform, including their title and publisher, as well as cost and usage data.
    1. To filter the list to a specific database, use the Search field. The filter searches in the title and publisher columns.
    2. Deselect the Include Cost-Per-Use Analysis checkbox if you'd like to hide the item cost and cost-per-use columns.
    3. Click on any column heading to sort the table by that column.
    4. To export the list of databases to a spreadsheet, click on the CSV button.

A Database List filtered by title

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Analyzing top-used databases across all platforms

The Top Use report allows you to compare databases across multiple platforms in your dataset. When you select a variable, such as Total Item Investigations, you'll be presented with a data table of the top 100 databases.

When analyzing your dataset, select the date range you want to view data for and click Go. Then:

  1. Click on the Databases tab and select Top Use from the dropdown.
  2. From the Report on Top 100 Database Titles by dropdown, select the variable you want to analyze.
  3. Click the Go button. This will display a data table of the top 100 databases based upon the selected variable, including their title and publisher, as well as cost and usage data.
    1. To filter the list to a specific database, use the Search field. The filter searches in the title and publisher columns.
    2. Deselect the Include Cost-Per-Use Analysis checkbox if you'd like to hide the item cost and cost-per-use columns.
    3. Click on any column heading to sort the table by that column.
    4. To export the list of titles to a spreadsheet, click on the CSV button.

The Top Use report for databases

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