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Technical Services Special Interest Section

Project COUNTER Task Group

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Sample Letter to Vendors for COUNTER Compliance (36 KB Word | 15 KB PDF)

About Project COUNTER Task Group

The Project COUNTER Task Group of the TS-SIS Serials Committee was formed in 2007 in an effort to promote the use of COUNTER-compliant statistics among law librarians and legal database publishers. As part of the Serials Committee, our main focus will be on standards which apply to serials and databases rather than monographs. The Task Group will promote Project COUNTER by informing legal vendors of the existence and necessity of such standards, lobbying for vendor compliance in providing standardized usage statistics, and by educating law librarians about the standards and their usefulness.


Lorna Tang
University of Chicago
l-tang [at]

Membership Roster

Shyama Agrawal
Duke University

Pamela Elizabeth Deemer
Emory University
libped [at]

Diane Deng
Herrick, Feinstein LLP
ddeng [at]

Yümin Jiang
University of Colorado
Yumin.Jiang [at]

Carol Avery Nicholson
University of North Carolina
Carol_Nicholson [at]

Patricia Sayre-McCoy
University of Chicago
p-mccoy [at]

Gloria Zinky
Charlotte School of Law
gzinky [at]

About Project COUNTER

"COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources), launched in 2002, is an international initiative to improve the reliability of online usage statistics. It is supported by the vendor, intermediary and librarian communities. COUNTER's objective is to ensure that vendor online usage reports are credible, compatible and consistent. This is achieved by the publication of Codes of Practice that specify the content, format, delivery mechanisms and data processing rules for a set of core usage reports that are easily implemented by vendors and easily understood by librarians." [COUNTER FAQs, accessed August 2, 2007]

Using a standard, such as Project COUNTER, to measure online usage statistics will enable law librarians to compare the use of information from a variety of publishers and sources more accurately, better understand how and how much the information they buy is being used, and make more informed purchasing decisions among various resources by using comparable statistics. The advantage for the legal publishers is that they can provide librarians with justification to keep journals based on the statistics provided and standardized sets of reports.

Even though Project COUNTER guidelines have helped in counting and reporting usage statistics, collecting this data involves accessing each provider's website and downloading it each time, which is very time consuming. SUSHI automates this process. "SUSHI stands for Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative. It is a standard protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007) that can be used by electronic resource management (ERM) systems (and other systems) to automate the transport of COUNTER formatted usage statistics." [SUSHI FAQ, accessed June 20, 2010]

More information about COUNTER and SUSHI is available on their respective websites. See also List of COUNTER-Compliant vendors.