Accuracy in Web Analytics Reporting on Digital Libraries

Kenning Arlitsch
Dean of the Library
Montana State University

Patrick OBrien
Semantic Web Research Director
Montana State University

Martha Kyrillidou
Senior Director Statistics and Service Quality Programs
Association of Research Libraries

Ricky Erway
Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research

As part of their assessment and evaluation activities, libraries routinely report website and digital collections visits to their own institutions, professional organizations, and funding agencies. Publication downloads from institutional repositories are often included in this reporting as a way of demonstrating their value. Initial research by a team from Montana State University, OCLC Research and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has demonstrated that reporting in all these areas can be grossly inaccurate, leading to a variance in numbers across the profession that makes it difficult to draw conclusions, build business cases, or engender trust. The inaccuracy runs in both directions with under-reporting of visits and downloads as much a problem as over-reporting. This presentation will build the case for the developing research and will suggest some preliminary solutions for improving the accuracy of Web analytics reporting.

Additional team members include Robert Fox (Dean, University of Louisville Libraries), Jean Godby (Senior Research Scientist, OCLC Research), Jeff Mixter (Research Support Specialist, OCLC Research), and Roy Tennant (Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research).

 Presentation (Arlitsch)
Presentation (Kyrillidou)


Last updated:  Wednesday, February 4th, 2015