COUNTER Data Influences eBook Purchasing Decisions

A survey of over 300 librarians around the world conducted by MPS Limited found that 97% of librarians use usage statistics, with 87% of librarians using COUNTER-compliant usage statistics for eJournals, and 66% for eBooks. Almost half of those who aren’t yet using COUNTER-compliant usage data for eBooks expect to do so within the next year.

According to Rajiv K Seth, CEO and MD of MPS Limited, “We conducted this survey because there was very little, if any, statistical data available on how librarians use usage statistics for journals and books at a time of growing demand for eContent.  This is an area of increasing importance for our publisher clients as well as for the institutions they serve and we are glad that the library and publishing communities have found the results so useful.  MPS will continue to conduct more such market research to assist business decision making.”

A total of 313 librarians, mainly from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, mainland Europe, and Canada responded to the survey. Over half are directly responsible for purchasing and cancellation decisions and the survey revealed that librarians attach much greater weight to COUNTER reports than to other usage statistics.

For 86% of respondents, usage statistics influence their purchasing decisions. When asked how useful COUNTER-compliant usage reports are, 90% of librarians stated that they are vital or important for eJournals and 74% find them vital or important for eBooks, a much higher proportion than for non-compliant usage data.

Additional statistics from MPS state that:

  • 117 of respondents are directly responsible for eBook purchase. 67 of these are using COUNTER for eBooks and  62 of these (those both directly responsible and using counter) say that counter influences their purchasing decisions.
  • 117 of respondents are directly responsible for eBook purchase.  100 of these say that COUNTER influences their purchasing decisions even though only 67 of them are using counter for eBooks.

For even more information on librarians views of COUNTER:  MPS interviewed my colleague, Celeste Feather from LYRASSIS, and I a few months ago about COUNTER for their newsletter article which was just published in October.

One thought on “COUNTER Data Influences eBook Purchasing Decisions”

  1. This should not be surprising to anyone. COUNTER statistics are the easiest tool for measuring the use of our materials. If you have the time/staff and willing participants, you could do citation analysis of student papers, but most institutions don’t have all of the systems in place to manage that type of project.

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