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How We Collect our Readership Statistics

You might have noticed that we provide readership data for each of our books online, including the number of times each book has been viewed and the location of the readers. If you would like to know more about how this data is collected and where it comes from, read on! 

We are currently duplicating our PDF reader and we are replacing it with a PDF File. This will cause a change in the stats - PDF reader sessions will now start to show as downloads. We are working to include geographical data on our downloads metrics processing which at present we are not able to collect.

Our readership data is composed of different measures obtained from different platforms:

Platform

Measure

Geographic information

Update Frequency

OBP HTML Reader

Book Sessions

Yes

Daily

OBP PDF Reader

Book Sessions

Yes

Daily

OBP Downloads

Book Downloads

No

Weekly

Google Books

Book Sessions

No

Daily

Open Edition

Book Visits

No

Monthly

Unglue.it

Book Downloads

No

Quarterly

Classics Library

Book Sessions

Yes

Daily

Internet Archive

Book Visits

No

Quarterly

OBP PDF Downloads

Book Downloads

No

Weekly

Google Play Books

Book Downloads

No

Monthly

Kindle

Book Downloads

No

Quarterly

World Reader

Book Users

Yes

Monthly
OAPEN Book Downloads
Yes
Monthly


A Book Session is a group of visits made by the same user within a continuous time frame. To record these sessions we use Google Analytics, and a session lasts until there are 30 minutes of inactivity; if a single user keeps interacting with the website within this time frame, multiple visits to the same book will be counted as one session. For more information on Google Analytics’ definition of a session read: How a web session is defined in Analytics.

It is important to note that we use Google Analytics’ measure for a Book Session rather than an alternative such as COUNTER, because Google Analytics has a stricter measure for the length of a Book Session. COUNTER has a much shorter time frame for a single Session, and therefore records more Sessions than Google Analytics. We do collect data for our books that would meet COUNTER's measures, but we don’t record it publicly. For more information about COUNTER see: https://www.projectcounter.org/

For more information on how Google Books records traffic, click here.

Book Visits represent the total number of times a book has been accessed. This can include multiple visits by the same IP address, which are counted as separate visits.

Book Downloads represent the total number of times a book has been downloaded. In addition to the download data we receive from Unglue.it, we collect free ebook download data from other platforms including our own website, Kindle, Google Play, etc, and we add these into the statistics we report. However, these download figures are calculated slightly differently on each platform, depending on whether repeat downloads to the same IP address in quick succession are counted as two downloads or one. As with Book Sessions, we err on the side of the lower figure wherever possible.

Geographic information: most platforms do not provide geographic information about the users accessing their content, and some people configure their browsers to block any third party tracking scripts attempting to collect such information (e.g., Google Analytics). For these reasons we are only able to provide readership data by country for a small percentage of our total figures - about 40%.

We try to provide as complete a picture as possible about the number of times our books have been freely accessed, as well as the location of the readers, because this information helps to demonstrate the value of Open Access publishing.

Further reading:

Metrics API

You may query all our usage stats via our REST API: https://metrics.api.openbookpublishers.com/

The Open Source Software that powers the API was developed by OBP for the HIRMEOS project. The OPERAS consortium runs its own metrics API, to which we also contribute all our stats, at https://metrics-api.operas-eu.org.

API routes

We allow the following methos on the API:

Method Route Description
GET /measures List the descriptions of the measures available in the API
GET /events Retrieves the measures from the API with various parameters, see below

GET /events parameters

When retrieving measures, you can (and should) provide some parameters to the request, they can be seen below:

Parameter Description
aggregation The results can be aggregated on certain values, i.e. aggregation on measure_uri. Aggregation must be one of the following: empty, measure_uri,country_uri, year,measure_uri, measure_uri,month, month,measure_uri, measure_uri,year, country_uri,measure_uri, measure_uri.
filter Many different options can be used in the filter, i.e. filtering on measure_uri or on work_uri. Those can be together or even used multiple times by separating them with a comma ","

Examples