Institutions, researchers and research funders are increasingly seeing the sharing of research data as “business as usual”. There is a clear need for metrics that can reliably demonstrate the value and impact of such sharing, and central amongst these are download metrics.
With this in mind Jisc and Figshare have been working to allow UK institutions using Figshare as an institutional data repository will be able to access accurate COUNTER-compliant download metrics via the alpha Jisc IRUS for data service. Loughborough and Cranfield universities are already benefiting from this linkage, with Sheffield, Salford and others shortly to follow.
Though there are many alternate means to measure downloads, the value of COUNTER-compliant statistics is in their accuracy and comparability. “Downloads” by robots, multiple clicks, and other anomalies are filtered out in a consistent way, making statistics more reliable as a proxy measure for interest in an item in a repository. This also allows for meaningful download rate comparisons between repositories, items or files.
Jisc’s IRUS-UK service already supports more than 100 institutions in providing download statistics for institutional repositories. The IRUS for data alpha expands on this to support the emerging needs of data sharing – it connects to both institutional and subject area repositories, allows for statistics at both file and item level, and will comply with guidance currently in development by COUNTER for data download statistics. IRUS for data already connects to 16 repositories that contain research data, including the UK Data Service “ReShare” repository.
If your institution is currently using FigShare, or intends to in the future, please contact David Kernohan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join the IRUS for Data alpha. We are also able to connect easily to ePrints, dSpace and Fedora-based repositories.