Skip to Main Content


COUNTER 5 usage reporting for ProQuest products

The purpose of this LibGuide is for ProQuest customers to have one specific place to have their questions addressed regarding the use of COUNTER Release 5 for ProQuest products as well as to provide a general understanding of COUNTER 5 and its various nuances which is particular important since COUNTER 5 is significantly more granular than COUNTER 4 and introduced several new metrics.

To that end, this guide combines in one place annotated links to numerous types of resources:

Currently, COUNTER 5 is available on the following ProQuest platforms:
  • ProQuest Platform
  • Ebook Central
  • Alexander Street
COUNTER 5 is neither available for products on the Congressional platform (but you can use COUNTER 4 and proprietary reports) nor for Chadwyck-Healey products (most of which have already migrated to to ProQuest Platform or will so soon).

ProQuest Training COUNTER 5 Modules and Webinars

TRAINING MODULES enable the learner to differentiate and create COUNTER reports on ProQuest platforms. Each video is 5-6 minutes long.

WEBINAR RECORDINGS address practical COUNTER 5 applications for ProQuest products. Each runs about 15 - 30 minutes. 

ProQuest COUNTER 5 Support Articles

SUSHI harvesting of COUNTER usage data

Recent changes to COUNTER reports on ProQuest's platforms

The COUNTER format is not a fixed, "set in stone" definition but evolves constantly, even within a major Release version. The most important recent changes are listed below.

Changes in 5.0.2
Implemented late September 2022, first fully affected month: October 2022  

  • Counting of searches in subdatabases within a collection (for database-level reports)
    Previously: All searches that are initiated on the parent collection level will be counted with the metric type "Searches_Automated" for each of the subdatabases included in the collection. For the parent collection, the search is counted with metric type "Searches_Regular".
    Reasoning: The subdatabases are automatically searched when you perform a search in the parent collection but the end user's intent to actually search these subdatabases is not clearly given.
    Now: Searches that are initiated on the parent collection level will also be counted with the metric type "Searches_Regular" for each of the included subdatabases of the collection if the platform also allows to select these subdatabases individually. However, if the platform does not allow to individually select a subdatabase in a collection then such a search will be counted with the metric type "Searches_Automated" for the respective subdatabase(s).
    Reasoning: An end-user could have chosen to limit the search to one individual subdatabase but was deliberately deciding against it and thereby implicitly expressed his intention to search the collection and all of its individually selectable subdatabases simultaneously.
    Impact: Since the ProQuest Platform allows to individually select most of the subdatabases included in a collection you can expect to see significantly higher "Searches_Regular" and lower "Searches_Automated" numbers for these individual subdatabases in the DR and DR_D1 reports.
    Affected platforms: ProQuest Platform

COUNTER Metrics' Resources

  • Class 1 Release 5 Metric Types (09:05)
  • Class 2 Release 5 Reports (14:07)
  • Class 3 Release 5 Pulling it all together (04:32)
  • Foundation Class 4: Attributes, elements, and other slightly techy thing (07:33)
  • Foundation Class 5: Book Reports (07:50)
  • COUNTER Foundation Class 6: Database Reports (05:21)
  • Foundation Class 7: Release 5 Journal Reports (11:18)
  • Foundation Class 8: Understanding the use of open access content (05:58)
  • COUNTER Foundation Class 9: Completing a COUNTER audit (07:54)
  • Foundation Class 10 Working with COUNTER 5 reports in Microsoft Excel (23:46)
  • Foundation Class 11: Platform Reports (07:00)
  • COUNTER Foundation Class 12: Usage in the time of the pandemic (05:16)
Additional Recordings
  • Strategic use of COUNTER data - expert panelists discuss how they use COUNTER usage data (56:41)
  • Privacy and COUNTER Usage Data (09:07)
  • Reporting to the World: COUNTER for Open Access (08:02)
  • Using Release 5 reports to understand usage of open access content Webinar on 20 Feb 2020 (23:21)
  • Community consultation for Release 5.1 (36:14)
    This discusses the currently suggested potential upcoming changes for version 5.1

COUNTER Metrics' Code of Practice - Key Points

The COUNTER 5 Code of Practice (COP) for version 5.0.2 is a complex document with multiple audiences (librarians, providers, etc).  Here is a list of key points for the Electronic Resource Librarian (or anyone else who is retrieving and analysing COUNTER 5 reports).
Note: A newer COUNTER 5 Code of Practice for version 5.1 is available but this version is not yet implemented on ProQuest's platforms

  • Section 1.2.4 contains the new elements and attributes that were introduced in COUNTER 5
  • Section 4.0 defines the specific reports including Report_ID, Report_Name, Details and Host_Types
  • Section 5.1 specifies that separate consortium reports are not provided under R5 and gives additional detail.
  • Section 7 has some particularly useful information regarding processing rules for report data
  • Appendix B illustrates changes from previous releases

Searching the Code: The Code of Practice page offers a search box that is highly recommended when looking for something specific. For example, a search for SUSHI looks like this:

Screenshot of the COUNTER Code of Practice search box and search results when searching for the keyword 'sushi'