Modified on Thu, 04 Apr 2024 at 12:02 PM

What is COUNTER?

COUNTER stands for Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources. COUNTER provides the Code of Practice that enables publishers and vendors to report usage of their electronic resources in a consistent way. This enables libraries to compare data received from different publishers and vendors.

COUNTER maintains the Registries of Compliance that lists the publishers and vendors who have passed an independent audit of their usage statistics. The registry also includes details of the content provider’s SUSHI implementation.

COUNTER also provides advice and guidance to those implementing and using COUNTER statistics.

Who is COUNTER for?

Libraries spend considerable amounts of money licensing different types of online content to support their user’s needs. Libraries need to assess user activity, in relation to this content, to ensure that this money is spent as productively as possible.

The COUNTER Code of Practice helps librarians demonstrate the value of electronic resources by facilitating the recording and reporting of online resource usage stats in a consistent and credible way.

The implementation of the Code of Practice helps publishers and vendors support their library customers and provide statistics comparable with those of their competitors.

COUNTER Registry and CELUS

Project COUNTER manages a database of COUNTER-compliant vendors and their data (SUSHI URLs, types of available reports, etc. called Registry. CELUS is interconnected with the database, resulting in CELUS always having the newest information available. CELUS is also a member of the Technical Advisory Group of COUNTER, which means we are always up-to-date with the newest COUNTER releases.  


COUNTER 5 SUSHI is a standard for software developers to use to allow software to automatically retrieve all possible reports for all supported possible time ranges for a given library or consortium. Such a standard is called an “API” and allows the developers to write their programs in whatever language they like.

COUNTER 5 SUSHI uses the “client-server” model where the vendor provides a SUSHI-compliant server, and the user runs “client” software to harvest the reports from the server. The client may be anything from a locally installed desktop program to a cloud-based commercial harvesting service that the end customer interacts with via a web environment.

COUNTER_SUSHI is a RESTful interface returning JSON-formatted reports. This allows retrieval of full reports, or of snippets of usage. It also allows usage data to be embedded in other applications.

A SUSHI URL has four basic sections: the base URL of the vendor’s SUSHI server, the particular report being requested, the authentication credentials identifying the particular customer’s account, and report-specific settings such as date range and other report options.

CELUS is designed to harvest reports via SUSHI automatically for users who have set up their SUSHI credentials for different platforms. 

Read more about COUNTER SUSHI


Registry of COUNTER-compliant vendors

Release 5 Code of Practice

Friendly Guide for Librarians


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