Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is delighted to announce that it will be launching institutional usage statistics reports in November for libraries which participated in KU’s Pilot Open Access e-book collection.
The reports are based on institutional IP addresses using COUNTER-compliant data provided by one of KU’s official hosting platforms, OAPEN. Until now, KU has been publishing aggregated reports for the Pilot Collection only.
Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched, Dr Sven Fund, said, “Usage and hence effectiveness of library budgets is important to us, and I am pleased to see that we have reached this first milestone in developing meaningful usage reports. These new reports give a clear indication that KU is serious about working together with libraries to enable as many books to become Open Access as possible.”
“It’s fantastic to be able to provide libraries with these much-requested reports and we look forward to receiving feedback. Usage statistics can be one useful tool to examine how books are being used. We look forward to continuing our work in this area to further develop enhanced methodology for assessing usage," said Associate Professor Lucy Montgomery, Director of KU Research.
Looking at the overall usage from HathiTrust and OAPEN, KU can reveal that the Pilot titles have been downloaded and viewed more than 100,000 times. In addition, from March 2014 to September 2016, the KU Pilot titles accumulated 28% more downloads than other English-language OAPEN titles for the same period. The public dashboard can be visited here.
These reports are the first step in tracking usage of Open Access books that are available under Creative Commons licences. The nature of Open Access means that the process is not straightforward as KU’s books are hosted on multiple sites and can be easily shared. The increased discoverability that results from books being hosted on diverse platforms can only be beneficial, however combining usage data from multiple sources creates data blending challenges not only for books in the KU collection but for all OA books.
To this end, KU Research will next investigate methodologies for providing geolocational usage reports which will capture students accessing works off campus as well as help university libraries to assess the reach of these research works in their wider community.