Thursday, March 29, 2012
The overall aim of the Usage Factor project is to explore how online journal usage statistics might form the basis of a new measure of journal impact and quality, the Usage Factor (UF). The specific objectives of the project are: to examine the ways in which journal quality is currently assessed; to assess whether the UF would be a statistically meaningful measure; whether it would be accepted by researchers, publishers, librarians and research institutions; whether it would be statistically credible and robust; whether there is an organizational and economic model for its implementation that would be acceptable to the major stakeholder groups.

The project is being executed in three stages, from 2007 onwards. Stage 1 focused on market research into the overall feasibility and acceptability of the Usage Factor in principle. Stage 2 focused on modeling and analysis, in which real usage data from COUNTER-compliant publishers was used to test the formula for calculation of UF, as well as the processes for doing so on a sustainable, ongoing basis. The full report on Stages 1 and 2 of the project is provided below. Stage 3 of the project, which commenced in October 2011, is now under way.

One of the first outcomes of Stage 3 of the project is now available, the Draft Release 1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for Usage Factors.

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