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EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) - Understanding Reports & Statistics Reference Guide

EDS is created on a customer-by-customer basis to form a single index representing all of the resources a customer has purchased on the EBSCOhost platform, as well as all of the content that is a part of the EDS indexes.

This reference guide explains how EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) usage statistics are generated, shows where to find them in EBSCOadmin, and highlights the key reports for determining EDS usage.

Understanding Sessions, Searches and Requests

Before you look at your reports it is important to understand how each of the items represented is logged in our system. This section details each of the triggers that will represent an item in your reports.

When a search box is implemented for your institution, statistics are recorded each time it is used. For example, the Search Box below will create a Session, or ‘Login’, and a Search when the Search button is clicked. The search will be recorded against every database that is part of the EDS profile.

EDS Search Screen

EBSCOadmin records interface and database statistics for Searches, Sessions, Abstract Requests, Full Text Requests, eBook/Audiobook Download Requests, Image/Video Requests, Audio Requests, as well as SmartLink To/From Requests and CustomLinks Requests.

The following are examples of transactions logged in EBSCOadmin:

  1. Refining your results from the Result List screen by selecting a limiter or limiters within the facets in the left-hand column (or from all limiters available by clicking Show More) and clicking Update will record a search against every database in your EDS profile. This applies to all available facets (Source Types, Publication, Subject, etc.)
  2. Hovering on the preview icon or clicking the article or book title triggers an Abstract request transaction.
  3. Clicking an HTML Full Text link will trigger an HTML Full Text request transaction. Clicking a PDF Full Text link will trigger a PDF Full Text request transaction.
  4. Hovering over or clicking an image will trigger an Image/Video request transaction.
  5. Clicking any links in the Detailed Record will trigger a search against every database in your EDS profile.
  6. Limiting your search to a specific Content Provider (another facet) logs a statistic against only that particular database or content provider. (In EBSCOadmin, you can customize a report to tell you whether these searches were logged via your institution’s EDS profile or another profile. For more information, see the Database Usage Report section, beginning on page 5.)
  7. In EDS and EBSCOhost, SmartLinks allow a user to follow an article citation in one database, where the full text is not available, to the full text of the same article in another database where it is available. SmartLinks To and SmartLinks From statistics are available on the Database Usage Report.
  8. CustomLinks create links from an EDS or EBSCOhostsearch result to related information on another web site (outside EBSCO). CustomLinks allow the library to provide seamless integration of the user’s EDS or EBSCOhost session with a library catalog, A-Z list, linking server, or other web-based services.

CustomLinks include:

In the screenshot below, the “Linked Full text” link brings the user to the full text article available at ScienceDirect via a SmartLink. The “Full Text Finder” is the CustomLink for this institution’s link resolver.

Smartlink, CustomLink and Full Text Link

In this screenshot you can see an example of a CustomLink for the institution’s library catalog and a separate one for their interlibrary loan.

CustomLink in EDS

  • Full Text: Links to full text from other sources such as database providers and publishers.
  • Library Catalog: Links to EBSCOhost results available from your library catalog.
  • Novelist: Links to books (non-catalog).
  • ILL Form: Links to Interlibrary Loan system, allowing users to request items through ILL.
  • Document Delivery: Link users to available options to purchase full text when none is available from EBSCOhost.
  • Indexes & Databases: Links to citation-only providers.
  • Search Engines: Links to search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
  • Other: Links to Link Resolvers, A-to-Z Lists, etc.

Note: By choosing to display all links, instead of the first available link, statistics will be distributed depending on the links selected by the user. Keep in mind that the order in which the links appear will likely impact which links are chosen.

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Key Transactions in Statistical Reports

Another item to familiarize yourself with before looking at reports is the key indicators of usage in EDS. You may be surprised to learn that these are different than those you use for your other electronic resources. You may be tempted to simply look at the number of searches; however, this will not give you a clear picture of the actual usage.

We are careful to make sure that our publisher partners’ needs are met and that we maintain COUNTER compliance, so whenever one of their data sets is included in a search, we log that as a separate search activity (more information is available on page 7). What this means is that whether a user searches 50 databases separately, or searches 50 databases that were concatenated into a single index, there will be 50 searches logged – one for each database. This increase in search transactions changes the statistical metrics you may have used in the past to assess usage, as searches are no longer a clear indicator of use.

With this in mind, a best practice is to look at the following:

  1. Full Text Views: User read article from Full text database.

  2. Abstract Views: User actually clicked into the detail record.

  3. Custom Link:

    • The metadata of the record and relevancy ranking put this record in a position on the result list for the user to easily find it.
    • Full text was matched to a library holding via publisher site (e.g. ScienceDirect) or via a link resolver and the user clicked the link.
    • With or without causing an Abstract view.
  4. Smart Link From

    • Same as #3 except SmartLinking brought the PDF into position for the user to directly access it.

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Overview of Reports & Statistics for EDS

Now you are ready to start looking at the different report options available. While there are more reports than are covered in this guide, we have determined that these reports will best help you identify how and when your patrons are using EDS.

The Standard Reports tab contains a number of sub-tabs. The default tab is the Usage Reports tab. You may also choose to run Link Activity Reports, COUNTER Reports, Personalization Activity Reports, or Graphical Reports. The final tab allows you to View/Edit Scheduled Reports.

Standard Reports Tab

In assessing the usage of EDS in your institution, you will find three frequently run reports helpful: Session Usage Report, Interface Usage Report, and Database Usage Report. This guide will provide an overview on each report, the information it provides, and how to run the report for your institution.

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Interface Usage Report

The Interface Usage Report provides a quick snapshot of the overall usage of EDS and how frequently patrons are using your EBSCO Discovery Service (eds) profile. This report reflects the number of sessions, searches, and requests logged against the selected EBSCO interface(s).

Keep in mind that due to the nature of statistical reporting, the Interface Usage Report is not a true indicator of exactly how many searches your users conducted. This is covered in more detail under the Session Usage Report.

Interface Usage Report

To run an Interface Usage Report:

  1. Log in to EBSCOadmin and click the Standard Reports tab.
  2. Within the Usage Reports tab, choose the Interface option.
    Note: If you are a consortium, you will have the option to limit your report by consortium site. Please see Appendix.
  3. Select the All radio button, or select which Interfaces, such as EBSCO Discovery Service, you wish to include in your report.
  4. Choose your date range and the specific fields you wish to show.
  5. Click the Show Report button, or if you wish to export your data to Excel, choose the Comma Delimited format and click the Save Report button.
    Note: The Interface Usage Report does not have a column for eBook Full Text Requests.

Additional Support Documents:

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Session Usage Report

Session and Search statistics are retrieved when you run the Session Usage Report. This is the default option under the Standard Reports tab. You can further drill down your results by selecting the Profile radio button. By requesting your statistics by profile you will have the ability to see each of the column entries for your EDS profile(s) separate from other interfaces through which users may access your resources (i.e. Business Searching, eHost).

Select your date range and click Show Report. Notice the high number of searches in the screenshot below. Because searches are run across all resources simultaneously, one search will be logged for each resource in your EDS profile. For example, if you have 10 EBSCOhost databases and a user runs 25 searches in EDS, the usage statistics would show 250 searches instead of 25 searches.

With this in mind, one best practice is to look at the Abstract and Total Full Text Requests in the usage reports to measure activity. Abstracts and Total Full Text show the number of items your users hovered over or clicked on, a truer measurement of usage.

If you would like to roll-up your statistics, which is useful if you have multiple EDS profiles (see screenshot below), you can select Comma Delimited format and Save Report to export your statistics to Excel.

Sample Session Usage Report by Profile – HTML Output

Session Usage Report

To run a Session Usage Report:

  1. Log in to EBSCOadmin and click the Standard Reports tab.
  2. Within the Usage Reports tab, under Select Option, choose Session.
  3. Select the Level of detail to report: Site, User Group, or Profile.
  4. Use the Period to Show drop-down lists to select a date range for the report.
  5. Where the Display by field appears, you can choose to display the data by Month, which provides the details for each month in the period, or you can select Year, which displays the annual totals. Defaults to Month.
  6. Fields to Show: Check/uncheck the boxes for the fields you wish to display in your report. Please see the Session Usage Report Help Sheet for descriptions of these fields.
  7. Sort Report by: From the drop-down list, select how the report should be sorted.
  8. Select an output Format for the report: HTML, comma delimited, or tab delimited. Comma delimited files output in Microsoft Excel .csv format, and can be read by many spreadsheet programs.
  9. Lines Per Page: Enter the number of lines to display on each page of the report. The default is 25.
  10. Click Show Report, Email Report, Schedule Report, or Save Report.

Note: To see a more accurate number of searches submitted by users (as opposed to the number of queries against each database) for the month, you run the Database Usage Report and choose Profile level. (See the Database Usage Report section of this document.)

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Database Usage Report

Statistics by database can be retrieved in the Database Usage Report. In addition to Sessions and Searches, statistics for Full Text, Abstract, and Linking are available on this report. The Database Usage Report includes EBSCO and non-EBSCO resources (i.e. EDS Data Partners).

To capture the most accurate EDS usage statistics, run Database Usage Report by Profile. If you look at the number of searches for the databases in the EDS profile, you will see that the number is common for most. That commonly occurring number of searches per database will be an indicator of the number of searches performed in EDS.

This report offers the most flexibility for data analysis, as it will provide you the searches, sessions, full text views, and abstracts, by EDS profile, further broken down by individual database. If you have a number of subject-specific EDS profiles in addition to your main EDS profile (see screenshot below), be sure to tally how many searches were run against each database by users coming from all EDS profiles.

In order to capitalize on the amount of data provided in this report you will want to export the data to Excel so you can sort results, or create pivot tables.

Database Usage Report

To run a Database Usage Report:

  1. Log in to EBSCOadmin and click the Standard Reports tab.
  2. Within the Usage Reports tab, under Select Option, choose Database.
  3. For the Level of detail to report, select Profile.
  4. Under Database, Select All, or from the drop-down list, select the specific databases for which you want to run the report. Press the Ctrl key, and right-click on your mouse to select up to 10 databases.
  5. For example: to view statistics for eBooks and Audiobooks, select the eBook and Audiobook collection databases.
  6. Use the Period to Show drop-down lists to select a date range for the report.
  7. Where the Display by field appears, you can choose to display the data by Month, which provides the details for each month in the period, or you can select Year, which displays the annual totals. Defaults to Month.
  8. Fields to Show: Check/uncheck the boxes for the fields you wish to display in your report. Please see the Database Usage Report Help Sheet for descriptions of these fields.
  9. Sort Report by: From the drop-down list, select how the report should be sorted.
  10. Select an output Format for the report: HTML, comma delimited, or tab delimited. Comma delimited files output in Microsoft Excel .csv format, and can be read by many spreadsheet programs.
  11. Lines Per Page: Enter the number of lines to display on each page of the report. The default is 25.
  12. Click Show Report, Email Report, Schedule Report, or Save Report.

Additional Support Documents:

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Sample Export: Academic Search Complete

Let’s look at Academic Search Complete. In the screenshot below, there is one main EDS profile and three subject-specific EDS profiles. While most searches were done via the main EDS profile, “eds” (likely the library’s home page search box), we can see a few searches were logged against the subject-specific EDS profiles,“edsadv,” “edseduc,” and “edshhs.”

Exported Report example

For each EDS profile, take the number of searches recorded against the database and add them together to get your total:

       eds          22,460
       edsadv         671
       edseduc            1
+     edshh2            11
______________________
                          23,143

Total searches of ASC via EDS = 23,143

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Appendix: Running Consortia Reports

Select the Site detail level if you wish to view database usage statistics for specific libraries within a consortium.

  1. Within the Standard Reports tab, choose the Database option and the Profile detail level.
  2. For Consortium Site, select the All radio button, or select a specific site in the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose Profile Level.
  4. Select which databases to include or you may wish to include all accessed databases or those to which your institution currently subscribes.
  5. Choose your date range and the fields you wish to show.
  6. Choose Comma Delimited format.
  7. Click the Save Report button to export the statistics to an Excel spreadsheet. Once you’ve exported the results, you can sort the data by site, profile, and database to get a true picture of how EDS is increasing the use of your resources.