Ebrary missing counter report statistics for downloaded books

Oct 27 2011 Ebrary announced a major improvement making it possible to download ebooks from Ebrary as a whole [PDF].

In January when working with compiling statistics for e-books I found no Counter Report Statistics for books downloaded from Ebrary, i.e. Book Report 1 – Number of Successful Title Requests by Month and Title. Counter is a standardized statistics format making it easier to compare statitics from several sources. As they describe themselves:

“COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources) is an international initiative serving librarians, publishers and intermediaries by setting standards that facilitate the recording and reporting of online usage statistics in a consistent, credible and compatible way”.

When I made Ebrary aware of the failure (as I want to call it) I got this answer by email:

“When this functionality is delivered in April, it will not be retroactive but I’m looking to see if we can pull statistics for your institution. Although it likely won’t be in the Book Counter report format.”.

I answered that this was very sad to hear. I’m sure that most customers of Ebrary want retrospective statitics, if not as Counter Book Report 1, at least something usable. I wonder what had happened if I didn’t make them aware of this failure. I think e-resources statitics is VERY important for a digital library and even important in a format possible to compare not just between libraries but also between different publishers.

I encourage every library subscribing to Ebrary to insist upon retrospective statistics for dowloaded ebooks!