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October 31, 2007

Comments

Jean-Gabriel Bankier

Your questions about the full-text downloads are important and timely. We here at bepress announced last month that we had just completed an important project to improve the way Digital Commons counts downloads: http://www.bepress.com/download_counts.html.
Today I read that Southampton is also looking at tackling the problem: http://trac.eprints.org/projects/irstats/wiki

We found that the numbers for full-text downloads of open access material are inflated. By the end of 2007, bepress predicts that, without filtering, one out of every two logged downloads from academic sites will be made by machine or mistake. We also found that non-human downloads are far from uniformly or proportionately distributed across papers. For example, one paper moved from over 6000 hits (with our previous good filtering) to 6 hits (with our new, we hope excellent filtering). I would suggest that this might explain many of the anomalies you highlighted in your blog.

Stevan Harnad

I wonder why you explored only DSpace Institutional Repositories (IRs)? There are 46 DSpace IRs registered in ROAR for the US, but there are also 34 US EPrints IRs and 39 US BePress IRs. In the UK, the figures are 18 DSpace IRs, 37 EPrints and 2 BePress. Worldwide, the figures are 176 DSpace, 145 EPrints and 49 BePress. A less DSpace-centred study might even reveal some instructive differences in functionality, policy and success rate...

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

brian_mathews

Thanks for your response. It came down to wanting to compare apples to apples. My school uses DSpace and I wanted to measure our top items with our peers. The study was very exploratory – I was actually less interested in the number of hits and more so intrigued by the content. But sure, future investigate could consider other platforms, but for the sake of consistency I just wanted to keep it simple.

susan gibbons

Most IR people I have spoken to say that the vast majority of their hits are directed to the IR by major search engines, such as Google.

At UR, we changed the DSpace interface so that the download counts for every item and collection is displayed in the interface. We wrote our own download counter program that allows us to ensure that we aren't counting web counter hits.


Our long tail is very long. There is nothing in our repository that hasn't been downloaded. I can say with almost absolute certainty that everything in our repository has been downloaded at least once each year.

I'd be glad to visit these issues with you in 2008.

John

My school uses DSpace and I wanted to measure our top items with our peers. The study was very exploratory – I was actually less interested in the number of hits and more so intrigued by the content. http://www.fullmediafire.com

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