v23 #5 International Dateline – JUSP: the UK Journal Usage Statistics Portal

by | Dec 5, 2011 | 0 comments

by Angela Conyers and Dr. Peter T. Shepherd  (Project Director, COUNTER Online Metrics,
Project COUNTER, 39 Drummond Place, Edinburgh EH3 6NR, UK)  <pt_shepherd@hotmail.com>

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It is understandable that librarians’ joy at receiving growing quantities of reliable usage statistics in the form of COUNTER reports from an increasing number of vendors may be tempered by a certain feeling of trepidation at the volume of data that this involves.  Librarians are not, on the whole, statisticians and most have limited time to devote to the collection, consolidation and analysis of usage data.  NISO and COUNTER have developed the SUSHI protocol to enable the automated collection and consolidation of the COUNTER usage reports.  JISC (the UK Joint Information Systems Committee) has taken this further with the development of the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP).

JUSP provides a “one-stop-shop” in the UK for participating libraries to view, download and analyse their usage reports from publishers that participate in NESLi2, the UK national initiative for licensing online journals on behalf of the higher/further education and research communities.  JUSP is designed to provide these libraries with a cost-effective and time-saving service.

JUSP Benefits

JUSP aims to support UK academic libraries in managing use of their e-journal collections.  It provides a single point of access for libraries to view and download their journal usage reports from multiple publishers and provides the data they need to analyse journal usage and to assist evaluation and decision-making.  JUSP benefits participating libraries by enabling them to:

  • Collect COUNTER-compliant usage data and to generate reports.
  • View all titles with high usage.
  • Analyse trends and usage over time.
  • Complete annual SCONUL returns for titles provided by NESLi2 publishers.
  • Separate journal backfiles from current collections.
  • Include usage data from intermediaries and hosts.
  • Compare usage of different NESLi2 deals.

Participating publishers also benefit from JUSP.  The portal makes the delivery and analysis of usage statistics to customers more efficient and the aggregated usage data from publishers and gateways provides a more complete picture of overall use.

Participants in JUSP

The portal is being developed by a consortium in the UK involving JISC Collections, Mimas at the University of Manchester, Evidence Base at Birmingham City University and Cranfield University.  This is a team that brings together expertise in working with libraries and publishers, and the technical expertise to develop the database and to implement the SUSHI protocol.

Over 100 higher education libraries in the UK are now signed up to JUSP — the Journal Usage Statistics Portal and as of September 2011, 14 publishers have signed agreements with JUSP.  This includes most of the major “big deal” publishers and negotiations are ongoing with a number of others.  In addition, the three main intermediary and gateway services are also participating in JUSP.

How JUSP Works

All tables and reports are based on the COUNTER JR1 and JR1a reports and reports are gathered using the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) protocol.  Libraries in JUSP only need to provide a few account details and their usage data can be gathered on a monthly basis.  We also collect usage reports back to January 2009 via SUSHI for all publishers joining JUSP, so libraries are able to look at trends over time.

COUNTER, with its consistent reports and its requirement for SUSHI harvesting, has made possible the development of a usage statistics portal for which the need had been established some years ago.  Publisher support in developing the portal has been splendid, particularly in the implementation of SUSHI, where some of the work done by JUSP has been pioneering.

For the JR1 and JR1a reports for each publisher, any date range can be selected for viewing or downloading, and tables can be sorted by title or number of requests.  JUSP offers a number of other tables and reports. These include:

  • Usage through gateway and intermediary services.
  • Usage of current deals and backfile collections shown separately.
  • Top 100 titles from one publisher or across all publishers.
  • Title or ISSN search.
  • Keyword search.
  • Trends over time.

See Table 1 below for a list of the reports that JUSP can currently provide.

Table 1: Current JUSP Usage Reports

JUSP report typeJUSP report title
Journal level reportsJournal Report 1 and Journal Report 1a
Journal Report 1, including usage from intermediaries and gateways
Journal Report 1 excluding backfile usage
Summary reportsSCONUL return
Summary of publisher usage
Summary use of gateway and host intermediaries
Summary use of backfiles
Tables and graphs
Titles with highest use
Experimental reportsAdditional figures
NESLi2 deals
Titles vs NESLi2 deals
Individual journal search and usage
Breakdown of publisher usage (title and year)
BenchmarkingCalendar year and academic year

As a community resource, JUSP wants to ensure that the reports produced meet the needs of the member libraries, and the aim is to respond quickly wherever possible to suggestions made.  Close links have been built up with the contacts in JUSP libraries, and user feedback is collected in a number of ways.  Further enhancements planned with community support include an administration area where libraries can add details of their subscribed titles within a deal, and more work on identifying titles within each particular deal where the JR1 may include titles not available.

Feedback from member libraries has been extremely positive.  Features particularly appreciated are:

  • Single point of access to data with no need to visit individual publisher sites.
  • Automation provided by SUSHI offers time-saving benefits.
  • Report comparisons across publishers, years, and platforms.
  • Flexible methods of viewing data through tables, charts, or graphs.
  • Inclusion of intermediary statistics.
  • Data checked and quality assured.

The JUSP service is currently funded by JISC and there is no charge to libraries for membership.  The aim is to include all 160 higher education libraries in the UK by the end of the year, and to extend still further the number of publishers.  There has been interest around the world in the concept of JUSP, and the team is in discussions with other consortia on ideas for collaboration.

Sharing Ideas and Knowledge

Many of the issues JUSP is dealing with affect libraries wherever they are.  The JUSP team is keen to share ideas and experience.  Sharing knowledge enables the team to pass on things they have learned and avoids others having to replicate work already done.  For instance, we’ve had enquiries and requests for support following our experience of developing SUSHI clients.  We aim to make the outputs of our work openly available including a free, open-source SUSHI client.

By taking away the hard work associated with gathering usage data, the aim of JUSP is to allow libraries more time to concentrate on the actual analysis.  JUSP continues to consult with libraries to inform development of the service, and through discussions the team aims to develop tutorials about ways of analyzing journal usage based on the reports in JUSP.

Further information on JUSP is available on the Website (www.jusp.mimas.ac.uk).  Anyone wishing to look at the type of reports produced is welcome to email the helpdesk <jusp@mimas.ac.uk> for a password to view data for a “dummy institution.”  Any enquiries are most welcome.  For further information contact Jo Lambert at Mimas <jo.lambert@manchester.ac.uk> or Angela Conyers at Evidence Base <angela.conyers@bcu.ac.uk>.

Further Reading:

Cradock, Chris, Meehan, Paul & Needham, PaulJUSP in time: a partnership approach to developing a usage statistics portal.  Learned Publishing, 24(2), April 2011, pp109-114.  Available at http://jusp.mimas.ac.uk/docs/LPub24-2_109-114.pdf

Conyers, Angela and Lambert, Jo.  The Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP): delivering usage data through collaboration.  Serials, vol.24(2), July 2011, pp178-182, Available at http://uksg.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,15,20;journal,1,72;linkingpublicationresults,1:107730,1

Estelle, Lorraine.  Collaboration, communication and access to good data.  Serials e-News, September 2010.  Available at http://www.ringgold.com/uksg/si_pd.cfm?pid=10&articleid=5616&issueno=228&xsection=Business

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