How Can I Best Interpret Knowledge Unlatched Usage Reports and Metrics?

The standard usage reporting for book titles is carried out every quarter for unlatched titles.

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Knowledge Unlatched works together with multiple hosting platforms, including OAPEN, JSTOR, Project MUSE and the Open Research Library. Therefore, the usage data for Open Access titles requires the consolidation of these platforms. 

These hosting platforms share usage data with Knowledge Unlatched in different data formats, while most are reporting in a COUNTER conformant way. Platforms that follow the COUNTER methodology count title usage sessions based on a preset method, while excluding the traffic stemming from bots.

The metrics Knowledge Unlatched receives for these hosting platforms are COUNTER compliant. However, not all of them follow the COUNTER 5 naming convention. Knowledge Unlatched designates the preceding COUNTER 4 compliant metrics as "public" metrics, as they are readily understood by the public. In contrast, COUNTER 5 metric names tend to be more abstract and more challenging to interpret.

Please note that from the year 2020 JSTOR has changed their metric structure, merging the previous COUNTER 4 metrics “Chapter Views” and “Chapter Downloads” into the COUNTER 5 metric “Total Item Requests”. To directly compare KU usage data from before and after the change, please add up the numbers for “Chapter Views” and “Chapter Downloads”.

 The metric structure that Knowledge Unlatched utilizes can be visualized as follows.

The usage reporting follows the metric definitions as defined by COUNTER R5. More information can be found here on the COUNTER website (source: COUNTER, 2017).

Total Interactions

“Total interactions” is a general term for summing up downloads and views of Open Access books, which are hosted on different platforms. Please see above in the Metric Structure, the kind of metrics this could potentially include. Therefore, the numbers should be treated carefully, since interactions can comprise both item investigations that do not involve full-text access to book titles, such as abstract or record views, and item downloads or book views.

Example of Usage Report

The template for KU usage reports differs is illustrated below. 

In the KU-generated usage reports, the first tab of the report named ''Notes'' explains more about the usage data which you will be able to find in the other sheets. In the sheet "Title Institution Report" you can find usage specifically for your institution.

The screenshot and text below may be helpful when interpreting the usage reports.

  • The column with the title "First OA usage Date" provides an indication for each book title concerning the date when the first download or viewing instance for the book title has occurred;
  • The column with the title "Platform" lists the platform, such as JSTOR,  from which the usage originates;
  • The column with the title "Metric" indicates the metric that was utilized to measure the title usage;
  • The column with the title "Compliance" provides information on the compliance level, such as COUNTER-5, to which the report conforms;
  • The column with the title "Total" is the total sum of all interactions for the book title, for the specific platform and metric, such as book downloads, used:

Written by Max Mosterd & Nina Weisweiler

Edited by Pablo Markin


 Featured Image Credits:  Server Graphs, July 23, 2011 | Courtesy of Aaron Parecki/Flickr.

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