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Why are usage statistics important?

Usage statistical data has enormous potential as

  • it is available much earlier than citation analysis: recording is started immediately after publication - very rapid indicator of scholarly trends (no publication delays)
  • it can be recorded for all types of scholarly communications: papers, journals, preprints, blogs, datasets, chemical structures, software etc. (and not just 10,000 journals)
  • metrics for the item-level (i.e., publication) are more meaningful especially for documents on repositories
  • it can be applied in an aggregated form so that more accurate and timely conclusions are derived within a specific discipline or region
  • it will allow to compare usage data across repositories on a European level, when centrally aggregated