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The impact or the quality of academic publications is traditionally measured by considering the number of times the text is cited. Nevertheless, the existing system for citation-based metrics has frequently been the target of serious criticism. Citation data provided by ISI focus on published journal articles only, and other forms of academic output, such as dissertations or monographs are mostly neglected. In addition, it normally takes a long time before citation data can become available, because of publication lags. As a result of this growing dissatisfaction with citation-based metrics, a number of research projects have begun to explore alternative methods for the measurement of academic impact. Many of these initiatives have based their findings on usage data. An important advantage of download statistics is that they can readily be applied to all electronic resources, regardless of their contents. Whereas citation analyses only reveal usage by authors of journal articles, usage data can in theory be produced by any user. An additional benefit of measuring impact via the number of downloads is the fact that usage data can become available directly after the document the item has been placed on-line.

Virtually all web servers that provide access to electronic resources record usage events as part of their log files. Such files usually provide detailed information on the documents items that have been requested, on the users that have initiated these requests, and on the moments at which these requests took place. One important difficulty is the fact that these log files are usually structured according to a proprietary format. Before usage data from different institutions can be compared in a meaningful and consistent way, the log entries need to be standardised and normalised. Various projects have investigated how such data harmonisation can take place. In the MESUR project, usage data have been standardised by serialising the information from log files into XML files structured according to the OpenURL Context Objects schema (Bollen and Van de Sompel, 2006). This same standard is recommended in the JISC Usage Statistics Final Report. Using this metadata standard, it becomes possible to set up an infrastructure in which usage data are aggregated within a network of distributed repositories.

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The <referent> element must provide information on the document the item that is requested. More specifically, it must record the following data elements.

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Description

The URL of the object file or the metadata record that is requested. Since this document focuses on usage by means of the World Wide Web, there will always be one URL for each usage event.

XPath

ctx:context-object/ctx:referent/ctx:identifier

Usage

Mandatory

Format

URL

Example

https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/1887/12100/1/Thesis.pdf

<referent/identifier> | Other identifier of requested

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item

Description

A globally unique identification of the resource that is requested must be provided if there is one that is applicable to the documentitem. Identifiers should be 'communication protocol'-independent as much as possible. In the case of a request for an object file, the identifier should enable the aggregator to obtain the object's associated metadata file. When records are transferred using OAI-PMH, providing the OAI-PMH identifier is mandatory.

XPath

ctx:context-object/ctx:referent/ctx:identifier

Usage

Mandatory if applicable

Format

URI

Example

http://hdl.handle.net/1887/12100

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The <ReferringEntity> provides information about the environment that has forwarded the user to the document the item that was requested. This referrer can be expressed in two ways.

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Host name

 

Description

An identification of the institution that is responsible for the repository in which the requested document requested item is stored.

XPath

ctx:context-object/ctx:resolver/ctx:identifier

Usage

Mandatory

Format

The baseURL of the repository must be used. This must be a URI, and not only the domain name.

Example

http://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/dspace-oai/request

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The OAI-PMH provides functionalities for the tracking of deletion of records. Compared to the classic use case of OAI-PMH (descriptive metadata of documents) the use case presented here falls into a category of data which is not subject to long-term storage. Thus, the tracking of deletion events does not seem critical since the data tracking deletions would summarize to a significant amount of data.However, the service provider will accept information about deleted records and will eventually delete the referenced information in its own data store. This way it is possible for data providers to do corrections (e. g. in case of technical problems) on wrongly issued data.It is important to note that old data which rotates out of the data offered by the data provider due to its age will not to be marked as deleted for storage reasons. This kind of data is still valid usage data, but not visible anymore.The information about whether a data provider uses deletion tracking has to be provided in the response to the "identify" OAI-PMH query within the <deletedRecords> field. Currently, the only options are "transient" (when a data provider applies or reserves the possibility for marking deleted records) or "no".The possible cases are:

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All data providers have to provide support for <context-object> documents or <context-objects> aggregations, respectively.This choice also has to be announced in the response to the "listMetadataFormats" query OAI-PMH, 4.4 by the data provider. While a specific "metadataPrefix" is not required, the information about "metadataNamespace" and "schema" is fixed for implementations:  

Code Block
xml
xml
linenumbertrue
titleOAI-PMH listMetadataFormats
collapsetrue
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OAI-PMH>
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<metadataFormat>
  <metadataPrefix>ctxo</metadataPrefix>
  <schema>http://www.openurl.info/registry/docs/xsd/info:ofi/fmt:xml:xsd:ctx</schema>
  <metadataNamespace>info:ofi/fmt:xml:xsd:ctx</metadataNamespace>
</metadataFormat>
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</OAI-PMH>

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