There is a need for the consistent and credible reporting of research data usage. Such usage metrics are required as an important component in understanding how publicly available research data are being reused.
To address this need, COUNTER and members of the Make Data Count team (California Digital Library, DataCite, and DataONE collaborated in drafting the Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics release 1.
The Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics release 1 is aligned as much as possible with the COUNTER Code of Practice Release 5 which standardizes usage metrics for many scholarly resources, including journals and books. Many definitions, processing rules and reporting recommendations apply to research data in the same way as they apply to the other resources to which the COUNTER Code of Practice applies. Some aspects of the processing and reporting of usage data are unique to research data, and the Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics thus deviates from the Code of Practice Release 5 and specifically address them.
The Code of Practice for Research Data Usage Metrics release 1 provides a framework for comparable data by standardizing the generation and distribution of usage metrics for research data. Data repositories and platform providers can now report usage metrics following common best practices and using a standard report format.
COUNTER welcomes feedback from the data repositories that implement this first release of the Code of Practice. Their experiences will help to refine and improve it and inform a second release.