Agreed - but the problem still exists that different database providers can leave wildly different footprints in proxy server logs, making frequent, comprehensive, aggregated analysis very difficult. Although I do agree that tracking only OpenURL referrals is much easier. The purpose of experiment in the paper below was to look at possibilities for finding normalized and narrowly defined parameters for measuring usage that could be reasonably compared across all providers - i.e. finding a single metric that could be used to measure usage for electronic resources of any type. I'd like to take a look at your paper - ILL here I come :)
Maybe it would be worth trying to coordinate a lightning round on this topic?
Scribner Library, Skidmore College
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Coombs
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 9:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] search analytics, part deux
There is a ton of information you can get from your proxy server logs about database usage that goes way beyond the simple usage statistics. I had an article in Library Hi Tech published on the topic.
Coombs, K. A (2005) ³Lessons Learned From Analyzing Library Database Usage Data² Library Hi Tech 23(4), 598-609.
Basically you can look at the path the user is taking to access the database by analyzing the referrer. This is very interesting when you consider that some database usage is via an OpenURL resolver to access full-text, some usage is people using the database itself to search, and some usage is a someone going into a database after using a federated search tool. There are other "paths" as well depending on how your website is configured.
Also depending on how your campus network is configured you can analyze where on campus database are being accessed from: the library, the dorms, the computer labs.
On 2/5/07 7:43 AM, "Andrew Ashton" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I would also add that our proxy server logs are great sources for
> search analytics. At the 2004 Computers in Libraries I did a talk on
> analyzing proxy server logs to mine usage stats, but the parameters
> of that data are fairly limited. I wonder if it might be time to
> resurrect that in the form of a lightning talk...
> See y'all in a few weeks!
> Andrew Ashton
> Systems Librarian
> Scribner Library, Skidmore College
Karen A. Coombs
Head of Libraries' Web Services
University of Houston
114 University Libraries
Houston, TX 77204-2000
Phone: (713) 743-3713
Fax: (713) 743-9811
Email: [log in to unmask]