Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-Based Indexed, Abstracted, and Full Text Resources

Information Technology and Libraries, December 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-Based Indexed, Abstracted, and Full Text Resources

International Coalition of Library Consortia

The use of licensed electronic information resources will continue to expand and in some cases become the sole or dominant means of access to content. The electronic environment, as manifested by the World Wide Web, provides an opportunity to improve the measurement of the use of these resources. In the electronic arena we can more accurately determine which information is being accessed and used. Without violating any issues of privacy or confidentiality we can dramatically enhance our understanding of information use.

The participating consortia of the ICOLC have a responsibility to their library members to ensure the provision of usage information of licensed electronic resources. Information providers should want the same information to better understand the market for their services as well as to create an informed customer base. These mutual interests can be best met by defining and creating a common set of basic use information requirements that are an integral and necessary part of any electronic product offering. These requirements apply to vendor operated web sites and to software provided to libraries or consortia for local operation. Information providers are encouraged to go beyond these minimal requirements as appropriate for their specific electronic resources.

These ICOLC guidelines draw heavily upon the guidelines developed by the JSTOR Web Statistics Task Force: David Farrell, Berkeley, Chair; Jim Mullins, Villanova; Kimberly Parker, Yale; Dave Perkins, CSU-Northridge; Sue Phillips, Texas; Camille Wanat, Berkeley; Kristen Garlock, JSTOR, ex-officio. The ICOLC guidelines reflect modifications to maximize their broad applicability to the diversity of resources licensed by many ICOLC members.

I. Requirements

Each use element defined below should be able to be delineated by the following subdivisions:

   1. By each specific database of the provider

   2. By each institutionally-defined set of IP addresses / locators to subnet

   3. By total consortium

   4. By special data element passed by subscriber (e.g., account or ID

   5. By time period. Vendor's system should minimally report by month. For
   each month, each type of use should be reported by hour of the day, and
   vendor should maintain 24 months of historical data.

   Use Elements that must be provided are:

   * Number of queries (Searches) categorized as appropriate for the vendor's
   information. A search is intended to represent a unique intellectual
   inquiry. Typically a search is recorded each time a search form is
   sent/submitted to the server. Subsequent activities to review or browse
   among the records retrieved or the process of isolating the correct single
   item desired do not represent additional searches, unless the parameter(s)
   defining the retrieval set is modified through resubmission of the search
   form, a combination of previous search sets, or some other similar

   * Number of Menu Selections categorized as appropriate to the vendor's
   system. If display of data is accomplished by browsing (use of menus), this
   measure must be provided (e.g. an electronic journal site provides
   alphabetic and subject-based menu options in addition to a search form. The
   number of searches and the number of alphabetic and subject menu selections
   should be tracked).

   * Number of sessions (Logins), if relevant, must be provided as a measure
   of simultaneous use. It is not a substitute for either query or menu
   selection counts.

   * Number of turn-aways, if relevant, as a contract limit (e.g., requests
   exceed simultaneous user limit).

   * Number of items examined (i.e., viewed, marked or selected, downloaded,
   emailed, printed) to the extent these can be recorded and controlled by the
   server rather than the browser:

      * Citations displayed (for A&I databases)

      * Full text displayed broken down by title, ISSN with title listed, or
      other title identifier as appropriate:


The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-Based Indexed, Abstracted, and Full Text Resources


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?