Fresh system, fresh reports

Sometimes, new things come in pairs. In our case, the pivot from our legacy system to the DSpace environment coincided with an update of our usage reporting.

As you might know, the number of books and chapters downloaded from the OAPEN Library are reported based on the COUNTER Code of Practice. This is a standardised way to measure the usage of digital sources, which enables libraries to compare this data. The COUNTER Code of Practice also makes sure that downloads by automated systems (“bots”) are discarded.

Our COUNTER conformant data is provided by IRUS-UK, and roughly at the same time as OAPEN was working on a new platform, IRUS-UK started the process of updating their offering from COUNTER Release 4 to COUNTER Release 5. The result of this: the usage of our brand-new platform is measured using the latest COUNTER rules.

As we now have 6 months worth of download data available, we thought it would be nice to compare it to the same months last year. We are happy to announce that the number of downloads from May 2020 up until October 2020 is twice as high, compared to May to October 2019. In these six months in 2020, the OAPEN Library served over 2.6 million downloads (2,699,067 to be precise); in comparison, the same months in 2019 saw 1.3 million downloads (1,310,409).

The collection enlarged from over 9,000 titles in October 2019 to over 13,500 titles in October 2020. In other words, it became 1.5 times larger, while the number of downloads doubled. So we saw more downloads per book on average.


As you can see in the picture, the growth in usage applies to many countries worldwide. There are probably several factors contributing to this: the enlargement of our collection, the enhanced possibilities of our new environment - including the better indexing by Google Scholar - and of course the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people worldwide to search for online resources.

We are happy to offer an increasing number of peer reviewed books and chapters, and hopefully even more people will continue to find and use them.