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Re: Electronic journals usage statistics (Dan Lester) Marcia Tuttle 14 Aug 2000 13:24 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 00:30:42 -0600
From: Dan Lester <>
Subject: Re: Electronic journals usage statistics (Priscilla A. Crane)

Thursday, August 10, 2000, 2:40:55 PM, you wrote:
        I am a graduate student at the University of Maryland. I am
researching methods that libraries are currently using to acquire usage
statistics on electronic journals when none are being provided by the
vendor. The library I am working with offers over 400 titles and would
naturally like to know how they are being used.

This is what we do at Boise State University.  For each ejournal there
is an "intermediate page" with a URL of something like  The file name
is, perhaps obviously, the ISSN of the journal in question.  You can
go to the library homepage and see some real live examples.

That page automatically redirects the user to the ejournal site after
a one second pause. This does two things.

1. It means that the URL, such as the above, that is in the online
catalog record, is simple and routine, and can be constructed by the
cataloger without problem.  In addition, the cataloger never has to
change the cataloging record when the URL changes with the publisher
(which is sure to happen).

2. Since every use of a journal generates a page view on our own
server, we gather the statistics on usage automatically, whether the
user accesses the journal via the catalog, or via the webpage that
lists the ejournals.  Yes, if someone bookmarks an ejournal, then they
can go to it directly in many cases, and we miss some amount of usage,
presumably small.  In addition, some ejournal sites use session
identifiers, so they can't be bookmarked anyway.

No, the statistics aren't perfect, but then neither are the ones
based on reshelving, circulation, or thickness of dust on bound
volumes in the stacks.

If anyone wishes more information on this, just let me know.



Dan Lester, Data Wrangler
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA