In this era of tightening budgets, librarians are increasingly turning to usage data from licensed resource providers to support difficult collection development decisions. The most recent release of the COUNTER code of practice for usage data reporting and the SUSHI XML protocol further support this decision-making process. Providing "COUNTER compliant" usage reports is an increasingly important feature expected of licensed digital materials by academic libraries. COUNTER reports are designed to primarily measure usage of textual resources such as: journals, e-books and database indexes. However, for multimedia resources that contain exclusively images, time-based media, or audio content, the usage patterns and terminology are different than textual materials. The COUNTER reports do not yet adequately address these differences. The purpose of this session was to explore the unique needs and challenges of reporting and effectively evaluating the usage of multimedia resources. It looked at some of the gaps in the existing COUNTER code of practice that would need to be addressed in order for multimedia resources to adopt these reporting standards and perform a similarly useful assessment function for libraries. It also pointed out some of the complexities of multimedia resource usage, including the challenge of evaluating the substantial use that occurs outside of the measurable environment, and measuring the new types of use made possible by robust online environments.
Sugarman, Tammy and Krueger, Stephanie, "What Counts? Assessing the Value of Non-text Resources" (2010). University Library Faculty Presentations. Paper 19.