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Content Management

Stuff you should know about COUNTER 4

Lauren Trimble

When creating a report be aware of the following:

  • The name of the report can't be altered after it's created.
  • Make sure you select the type of report you want to run. Otherwise you'll get a JR1.
  • You can schedule monthly reports, but the end date needs to be in the future. The report will not run until the first of the month, so you may want to run an additional on-demand report too.
  • AVAILABLE FORMATS:
    • All format types can be opened with spreadsheet software like Excel.
    • Excel files (XLSX) are available for direct use in Excel.
    • XML stands for Extended Markup Language. This format will generate a text file in which there is a specific type of programming language that will determine what values look like when they are displayed. 
    • TSV stands for Tab Separated Value. This format will generate a text file in which the contents have been separated into columns by placing tab spacing between values. 
    • .zip files containing all versions are also available. 

You will receive an email when the report is ready to download. This email can end up in the Spam folder, so check there if you don't see it right away. If you still can’t find it, no worries, a copy can also be downloaded from the Report History menu in the COUNTER 4 interface.

COUNTER 4 will only cover 2015-2017:

2014 COUNTER reports will be available upon request from JSTOR; prior year reporting as well as non-COUNTER reports (the Detailed and Summary usage reports) will not be offered. We encourage librarians who make use of historic usage data to download their pre-2015 reports now. We will also send out a series of reminders in advance of this change to report availability.

Opening your stats:

Excel files are the simplest and, once downloaded, should automatically open in your Excel. Please ensure that you have Excel on your computer before attempting to download the file. 

If you're downloading a .zip file: This file has to be opened and the contents extracted in order to be able to open the stats in Excel. You can find information about zip files and opening the files in Excel here:

DB3 and 'sessions' don't exist:

DB3 has been replaced by the PR1 report. The COUNTER 4 Code of Practice no longer requires reporting on sessions, so reports no longer have that information. COUNTER now requires Record Views and Result Clicks be reported instead. You will see these in the PR1.


You can find more information on the COUNTER 4 implementation website here. Database reporting requirements can be found under section 4.1.2.