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Details about COUNTER release 4 reports

Some parts of the COUNTER code of practice has been interpreted differently by different publishers, and some of our COUNTER data has known issues. We outline these details here:


Consortium Reports (CR1, CR2) 

We have decided to not implement the COUNTER4 CR1 or CR2 reports as in most cases they would contain too much data to be practical. You can instead download consortia level usage data for all standard reports (JR1, BR2, DB1, etc).

Book downloads in BR2 (Book chapter downloads per month) 

Downloading a complete book adds a count for each chapter in the book to the BR2 report – e.g. if you download a book with 10 chapters it adds 10 to the chapter download count.


We consulted with COUNTER to find the most appropriate way to track the usage of whole book downloads. We were told that BR1 is intended for publishers who only offer downloads of whole books, with no option to download individual chapters. BR2 is intended for publishers who only offer chapter downloads. We offer both options. Since users have the option to download individual chapters we interpret a book download as an intention to review all the book's chapters. Therefore, in consultation with COUNTER, we chose to add all chapters in a downloaded book to the BR2 report.

The total number of downloads can be bigger than the sum of HTML + PDF 

Historically patrons were able to read articles and chapters in other formats than HTML and PDF. These historic formats include "LookInside" and are all reported as "Other".

BMC and SpringerOpen data 

Usage reports for content on BMC and SpringerOpen can be downloaded from the BMC Member Admin Portal.

nature.com JR5 report from January 2016 to August 2018 

Usage data for this period is available only as three aggregates: January to December 2016, January to December 2017, and January to August 2018. From September 2018 onwards the data is available on a monthly basis.

Scientific American 

Scientific American usage data is available as a standalone platform from March 2019. Previous to March 2019 the usage is reported as a title on the nature.com platform.

Consortium level reports for nature.com from 1 November 2018 to 20 February 2019 

A bug in the Springer Nature usage tracking system caused the majority of the consortium level "requests" and "denials" to be recorded as anonymous for this period, across all consortia. Data for individual consortium members and for the SpringerLink, SpringerMaterials, Adis Insights and Nano platforms was not affected by the bug – the consortium level data for these platforms is correct. The bug was fixed on 20 February 2019 but the data for the affected period cannot be recreated in a COUNTER compliant way.


We can provide estimated usage and denial reports for consortia for the period. Contact Online Service and ask for "Estimated consortia level usage and denial numbers for November 2018 to 20 February 2019 for nature.com". Include your consortia's name and, if you know it, the consortia's Springer Nature Business Partner ID ("Customer ID", "BPID").

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