In the world of academic publishing and online scholarship, accurate download statistics matter more than ever.

As online journals and digital publications gain credibility, scholars are increasingly leaving behind the world of print publishing. Institutions, public and private, are archiving scholarly work in open access institutional repositories. University libraries are providing more services than ever, from managing electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), to providing digital publishing services to their campus communities.

Bepress Recognizes This Need

Download counts are taking center stage as a measure of academic excellence and site usage. They matter to faculty: authors track them and watch them grow, and many use full-text downloads to support their case for tenure. They matter to institutions: deans, chairs, and center directors measure interest in their specific field, and librarians and development officers measure interest in their institution's overall output.

Authors and institutions want to be able to gauge the immediate impact of their publications. The traditional print citation cycle is long. Accurate download counts give stakeholders access to information about their digital readership right away.

In response to this need, bepress has developed advanced filtering technology for its Digital Commons and SelectedWorks software, which allows us to provide scholars and institutions with accurate download statistics on demand and in real time.

Everything Counts: Behind High Download Statistics

Many artificial forces can skew usage statistics and inflate download numbers. These include multiple visits from the same user, internet robots (bots), automated processes, crawlers/spiders, and spam-bots. These forces are sophisticated, and they must be filtered out by sophisticated methods. Scholars and institutions require accurate download numbers, ones that reliably indicate when online journal articles and digital publications have been downloaded from institutional repositories by a human audience.

the bepress formula for accurate download counts

Because downloads made by robots and crawlers can be the source of inaccurate download statistics, bepress has developed advanced filtering technology that ensures reliable numbers.

The bepress Solution: Evolving Software and COUNTER Measures

At bepress, we’re forging new frontiers every day. With the best interest of scholars and digital publishers in mind, our internet engineers have created aggressive filtering mechanisms, which are calibrated to recognize and remove thousands of known robots, crawlers and automated processes, as well as to automatically screen out new ones. Bepress reviews and readjusts its algorithms on an ongoing basis to ensure we provide the most accurate numbers possible. Bepress responds swiftly to new developments in the scholarly publishing and internet services industry that will help remove other potential download abuses and anomalies when they arise.

In addition, bepress goes above and beyond by meeting and exceeding the only established industry standard for download statistics,COUNTER, a major international initiative whose code of practice has helped libraries and publishers report accurate usage.

Faculty and library-led electronic publishing through Digital Commons and SelectedWorks software automatically take advantage of bepress’s rigorous filtering and COUNTER measures.

At bepress, we're committed to maintaining a rigorous standard for digitally published academic content and ensuring scholars and institutions have access to accurate metrics for their work.

Bepress Is the Industry Leader

With its commitment to innovative download filtering techniques, bepress stands out. Bepress is confident that its download counts are the most accurate in the industry. We hope other services follow suit by implementing equally rigorous filters in order to ensure the most accurate numbers to all authors and administrators across all platforms. Here are some questions authors and administrators should ask their service providers:

  • What does the service do to identify and filter unwanted robots and processes?
  • What else does the service do to ensure usage and download statistics are accurate and reliable?
  • Is the service COUNTER compliant?
  • Does the service have a concrete commitment to keep up with this changing landscape?

At bepress we believe that all service providers in the industry should share the same rigorous commitment to the accuracy of download counts because authors and administrators rely on them as powerful measures of academic value and success.