COUNTER announces community consultation

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COUNTER project director Tasha Mellins-Cohen

First released in 2017, Release 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice (CoP) incorporates the concept of continuous maintenance. Thus far changes to Release 5 have been very small. In the last year COUNTER’s volunteer teams, led by the Technical Advisory Group, have been working on a more significant update to the Code of Practice designed to better facilitate Open Access reporting, among other matters, and we’re now opening our work up to community consultation. 

Key aspects of the CoP remain unchanged: the Platform, Database, Title and Item Reports and their derivative Views remain in place, and the metrics themselves (Investigations, Requests, Searches, and Denials) are similarly unaffected.

The primary changes being introduced are: a more consistent focus on Items (chapters, articles) as the unit of reporting, in place of the traditional focus on title-level (book) metrics; improved definitions of access types (open versus controlled); and some significant upgrades to the SUSHI protocol and associated JSON report structures. 

As with all significant releases of the CoP, Release 5.1 is subject to community consultation. The full consultation can be downloaded from the COUNTER website as a Consultation document and is also available on GitHub. Tasha Mellins-Cohen, project director, said: 'We appreciate that the consultation is quite long and may take some time to digest, but there is no need to answer in detail, or indeed to answer every question. We hope that as many people as possible will invest some time over the next couple of months to ensure COUNTER Release 5.1 is as useful as possible for everyone in our community.'


COUNTER has set up three mechanisms for responding to the consultation:

The consultation will be open until Monday 5 September 2022.