Skip to main content
Support - EBSCO Help

Why do the Session Totals for a Single Database Differ across the Various Usage Reports?

There are a number of reasons why the totals might be different between the Database Usage Report, Session Usage Report, and Interface Usage Report.

  • Multi-database searching will log a session transaction in each database (reflected in an increased number of sessions in the Database Usage Report), however there will be only one session logged in the Session Usage Report. Over an extended amount of time, this can amount to a large difference in the statistics between these reports. In this situation, the accurate total is the Session Usage Report.

  • If the sessions are higher in the Database Usage Report than they are in the Session Usage Report, it could be due to the search engine in use. Some federated search engines, such as Auto-Graphics, submit searches across multiple databases and display a list of hit counts for each database. This generates a database session transaction for each database that is searched, but it does not log a session in the Session Usage Report because the EBSCO interface has not yet been opened. When the patron selects a database from the list of results provided by the federated search engine, a transaction is then logged for the Session Usage Report.  

  • If sessions are higher in the Session Usage Report than they are in the Database Usage Report, this could be due to any link-in service (including PubMed, SFX and persistent links). When a user links IN to EBSCOhost from a service that uses our linking server, it only logs a session in the Session Usage Report, but does NOT record this information in the Database Usage Report.

  • For consortia, statistics can vary for all fields (e.g., Total Full Text, Abstracts, etc.) This can be due to the type of report that has been selected in EBSCOadmin > Reports and Statistics. To get accurate/identical totals, with the possible exception of sessions (see #1 for details), set the database report to be "All Accessed" instead of "All Subscribed" and this will display identical totals for both Session and Database reports.


Why are the session totals in the Interface Usage Report higher than in the Database Usage Report?

For specialty interfaces (e.g. ARRC, Book Index with Reviews) or profiles containing only one database, the session total in the Interface Usage Report may be higher than the total in the Database Usage Report due to the difference in the way sessions are counted at the database and interface levels.

  • Session totals at both the interface and database level increment by one when a new session is started, but at the interface level, the session total increments again when an existing session is reactivated after being inactive for a period that is longer than the session timeout limit specified in EBSCOadmin.

  • At the database level, the same session can be accessed for a period of up to 24 hours without being 'recounted' as a new session. For example, if the 'Session Duration before Timeout' setting in EBSCOadmin is set for 15 minutes, and a patron accessing a single-database interface becomes inactive for 16 minutes before continuing his research, the Interface Usage Report session total will increment by one upon reactivation of the session, while the Database Usage Report will reflect the same session in the session total.