Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction to IRUS-ANZ

What is IRUS-ANZ?

IRUS-ANZ is an aggregation service which contains details of all content downloaded from participating ANZ institutional repositories (IRs) and presents COUNTER-conformant article-level usage statistics in a series of reports and visualisations. IRUS-ANZ is a Jisc service, based on IRUS-UK which has been in place in the UK since July 2012. It is supported in Australia and New Zealand by CAVAL.

What are the aims?

IRUS-ANZ enables ANZ IRs to access and share comprehensive and comparable usage statistics using the COUNTER standard. The service collects usage data from participating repositories, processes the data into COUNTER-conformant statistics and then presents statistics back to originating repositories to be used in a variety of ways.

The service can provide a region-wide view of ANZ institutional repository use to help demonstrate the importance and value of IRs. The service also provides opportunities for benchmarking and in the UK acts as an intermediary between UK repositories and other agencies, e.g. OpenAIRE.

What does IRUS-ANZ contain?

IRUS-ANZ provides COUNTER-conformant usage statistics on items downloaded from participating repositories. It covers all item types within repositories.

How do I find out more about IRUS-ANZ?

The IRUS-ANZ website has an overview of the service and contact information if you want to get in touch. Jisc and CAVAL speak about IRUS at conferences, events and webinars. You can follow us on Twitter @irusnews.

Joining IRUS-ANZ

Is my repository eligible to join?

IRUS-ANZ is offered as a service to ANZ institutions on a subscription basis, via CAVAL.

Participating repositories are listed at https://irus.jisc.ac.uk/irus-anz/about/participants.

The IRUS team are currently working with DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, Haplo, Pure and Worktribe repositories. Please feel free to contact CAVAL at IRUS@caval.edu.au if you are interested in working with IRUS and you use or supply other repository software.

How can we join?

Contact CAVAL at IRUS@caval.edu.au if you are interested in joining IRUS-ANZ. Please include details of the repository software that you use, the version and whether or not you have a hosted repository. We will then be able to advise on next steps.

Using IRUS-ANZ

How do you gather data?

Data is gathered using tracker code plugins and patches. There are patches available for DSpace (4.x, 5.x and 6.x). There are plug-ins available for EPrints (works with 3.2 or greater) and Haplo, and a Ruby Gem for Hydra/Samvera (Fedora) repositories. Pure and Worktribe have also implemented tracker functionality for their repository software platforms.

A "push" mechanism is used, whereby a notification is sent to the IRUS-ANZ server as an OpenURL key-value pair string every time a file is downloaded from a repository.

When do you gather data?

Data is stored in daily log files which are usually processed the following day. The data for each item are consolidated into daily statistics and are filtered to remove robots and double clicks. These daily statistics are then consolidated into monthly statistics, the traditional COUNTER granularity.

What statistics and reports are available?

The portal provides a number of different reports and data views together with an author/title search.

Reports can be generated in HTML, CSV or TSV formats.

Further information about each of these reports can be found here (https://irus.jisc.ac.uk/irus-anz/support/statsreports/ ).

We welcome your feedback on further developing these outputs.

Can I view information and trends about article deposits?

IRUS-ANZ only captures information on items that have been used and we do not have mechanism for capturing information about deposits. IRUS's focus is on usage and so deposit information falls outside its scope.

How does IRUS handle robots?

IRUS-ANZ processes daily logs of raw download events gathered from participating repositories and generates COUNTER-conformant statistics. Entries from known robots are removed, filtered out during the ingest process by matching against user agent patterns found in the COUNTER Robots Exclusion list: ie robots appearing on the COUNTER robots list (found in Appendices I and J of the COUNTER Code of Practice https://www.projectcounter.org/code_practice.html ).

The IRUS-ANZ scripts filters out robots and also screens out 'double clicks'. To improve the filtering further, IRUS has written scripts that perform additional checks. These exclude: downloads from several IP ranges that are associated with various robots and spiders (which don’t identify themselves in their User Agent string); and downloads from 'overactive' IP addresses, which exceed daily thresholds (based on empirical evidence gathered over the last four years).

It should be noted that IRUS benefits from having download data available from more than 140 repositories, making it possible to see the activity of an IP across all of those repositories; a handful of downloads may look legitimate when considering one repository, but can quickly become suspicious activity when viewed across dozens of repositories. This means that, as more repositories take part in IRUS in the UK and ANZ, this continues to improve the accuracy and reliability of the statistics provided.

As repositories have joined IRUS, Jisc has identified other robots not on the COUNTER list and have started to compile an additional IRUS list of robots. In order for this to be sustainable in the long term, we commissioned a piece of work to develop an adaptive filtering system ( https://irus.jisc.ac.uk/documents/IRUS_download_data_Final_report.pdf ).

For further information see the position statement on the treatment of robots and unusual usage (https://irus.jisc.ac.uk/documents/IRUS-UK_position_statement_robots_and_unusual_usage_v1_0_Nov_2013.pdf ).

Work on filtering robots is ongoing.

How does the data in IRUS compare with that reported by other statistics products?

Different repository usage statistics packages produce data for different purposes. For example, IRStats for EPrints provides information on what is downloaded from a repository and who is doing the downloads whereas Google Analytics aims to present a picture of visitor traffic. Each package will have a different set of criteria as to how they treat accesses by robots and “double clicks” and hence are likely to give different figures for total downloads.

IRUS provides usage statistics on items downloaded from participating repositories in accordance with COUNTER guidelines ( https://www.projectcounter.org/ ). The data provided by IRUS-ANZ are, therefore, comparable across all participating repositories.

Does IRUS-ANZ have an API?

Yes, we have an API. Please contact the CAVAL helpdesk IRUS@caval.edu.au if you wish to explore its use.

How can I give feedback?

We are a community resource and welcome your comments and suggestions at any time. Please get in touch with CAVAL’s helpdesk at IRUS@caval.edu.au.

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