In the pre-digital era, libraries looked at the check-out rate of print books to assess how well collections were being used. These days, when electronic resources constitute the bulk of a library's collection, libraries are also collecting COUNTER statistics to measure the usage of electronic resources. COUNTER is an acronym for Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources. Vendors who are COUNTER compliant keep track of online usage of their products according to a set of international standards and protocols, so that usage data can be consistently compared across time and platforms.
The table below shows COUNTER usage of the Library's electronic resources for the past three years. The numbers are climbing relentlessly year after year. E-journal usage had an upward surge of 36% in 2010 and the volume remained more or less the same in the following year. 2010 also saw a sharp ascent in ebook usage (up 38%); the rate further jumped 11% in 2011.
|Ejournal (no. of full-text downloads)
|Ejournal (no. of chapter downloads)
Zooming in on just 2011, the top used ejournal packages in descending order are ScienceDirect, American Chemical Society journals and Wiley Online Library, followed closely by IEEE Xplore, Nature journals and ProQuest. ScienceDirect alone accounts for 30% of the total no. of downloads.
As for ebooks, the top 3 most used platforms are: MyiLibrary, SpringerLink and Ebrary.
With 334 in place and an enlarged student population, the Library is keen to analyse the figures and winners for 2012.