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Usage statistics provide insight into resources

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Cardiff University has developed the first generic system in the UK to help education institutions assess the popularity and use of their electronic resources viewed via access management software.

The JISC-funded RAPTOR project, led by Cardiff’s information services directorate, allows institutions to view usage statistics from different access management systems, with a particular focus on federated access systems. The RAPTOR system automatically analyses the log files created by an institution’s access management systems to display information about the resources that users have accessed.

The system has been designed to be easy to install and configure, to appeal to institutions with limited technical expertise or resource. It should also be easy to use for the non-technical staff who may require this information, believes the team behind RAPTOR.

According to Martyn Harrow, director of information services at Cardiff, 'The strength of the RAPTOR tool at a time when education budgets are being squeezed is in providing the evidence needed for academic schools to assess the e-resources subscriptions that are in place. Universities using this system will be able to prove the impact of the e-resources they provide, and ensure that they continue to deliver the best possible value for money for individual academic schools and entire institutions.'

RAPTOR will also provide UK-wide statistics for the JISC Monitoring Unit on the take-up of federated access management across the UK. RAPTOR could also be applied in the USA, Europe, and beyond. Potential partnership opportunities between Cardiff and other institutions are already being identified to further develop the system.