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The use and abuse of usage measures


Ian Bannerman

Taylor & Francis
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Updated from a paper presented at the UKSG annual conference, Torquay, April 2008

This paper looks at the extent to which the COUNTER guidelines on usage data have met their goals for recording and reporting usage data in a consistent, credible and compatible way. It compares the proposed Usage Factor with the Citation Impact Factor and highlights key differences between the act of downloading and the act of citation. Drawing on the experience of the Impact Factor, it then speculates on how measuring the literature can change the literature and how this Observer Effect might impact usage patterns.

How to Cite: Bannerman, I., 2008. The use and abuse of usage measures. Serials, 21(2), pp.93–97. DOI:
Published on 01 Jul 2008.
Peer Reviewed


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