COUNTER R5 status April 2020

COUNTER Release 5 enables content providers to produce consistent, comparable and credible usage data for e-resources. Compliance with Release 5 (R5) of the COUNTER Code of Practice became mandatory with delivery of January 2019 usage reports in February.

In April 2019, the JUSP portal introduced functionality to access COUNTER R5 reports in addition to historical Release 4 (R4) reports. See our service description for more detail.

However, many content providers have been slow to transition to Release 5 and have continued to offer only Release 4 usage data. As a result, JUSP took the decision to continue to collect R4 data where a supplier is still providing R4 but not yet providing compliant R5 data. Once a supplier is providing an R5 service and compliant data, we will then stop collection of R4 data.

The JUSP team are working with a broad range of suppliers to support their move to R5 and will continue to test, evaluate and load R5 data once suppliers make compliant reports available. A current list indicating which suppliers have COUNTER 4 and 5 reports available in JUSP is available on the participants page.

The team are strong advocates for standards-based usage data and recognise the value of shared approaches to development. As such we will continue to support publishers and suppliers making the transition from COUNTER R4 to R5, recognising that providers have differing resources at their disposal to support this. However, prioritising delivery of R5 reports should be the ultimate goal to support consistent, comparable measurement.

Representatives of the international academic library community are urging content providers to expedite a transition to Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice in a statement published by SCONUL (the membership organization for all academic and national libraries in the UK and Ireland).

The statement is available here.

The statement was coordinated by Jisc, SCONUL, RLUK, COUNTER, and the CC PLUS Steering Committee, and supported by international library consortia, and asks content providers to prioritise this critical work.