Digital Commons Dashboard

Dashboard Overview

The Digital Commons Dashboard provides a central location for administrators to browse real-time download activity and generate usage reports on demand. Whether viewing data for a repository, collection, or individual work, dashboard tools offer a number of ways to assess and share readership data via four main tabs:

Explore Readership: Get a comprehensive picture of where and how users are accessing content geographically, by institution, and over time.
Usage Reports: Run reports showing downloads, metadata page hits, works posted, or individual works for the content and time frame selected.
Share the Dashboard: Create dashboard links to quickly demonstrate impact to stakeholders with no login required, and track their views.
Shortcuts: Save preferred views so you can easily return to the content you need or point guests to a specific view.

Each tab is covered in more detail below along with the options for fine-tuning results­.

Access and Navigate the Dashboard

To access the dashboard, visit and log in.

From Digital Commons, you may also follow the Dashboard links within your administrator tools or click the Digital Commons Dashboard link on your My Account page.

Administrators or editors with the privilege to see reports in Digital Commons can access the dashboard, filtered to show the context(s) for which they have administrator permissions.

The Explore Readership tab is active by default when you first load the dashboard. Use the tabs on the left to navigate if you wish to generate usage reports, share guest links, or jump to views you’ve saved as shortcuts.

Refine Dashboard Contents

Options at the top of the Dashboard allow you to narrow readership data and usage reports by time frame, discipline, or publication type. You may also drill down to view results for particular repository content.

Use the shortcut button to the right of the date range menu to save frequently used views.

You can find your saved views in the Shortcuts menu in the left-hand sidebar.

Modify the Date Range

Select a specific date range using the menu at the top right corner of the dashboard. Readership widgets and reports adjust to reflect the date shown.

  • Past 30 Days: A 30-day snapshot including today’s date.
  • Last Month: The previous calendar month, which correlates to monthly readership reports sent to authors and administrators.
  • Past 90 Days: The maximum amount of time for which daily results are returned in usage reports.
  • All Time: Monthly data going back to the launch of your repository or collection.
  • Custom Monthly Range: Allows you to select a custom range of available dates containing data for your repository or collection. The date range is inclusive, so to run a report on a single month, select the same month for the start date and end date.
Filter by Discipline or Publication Type

Click the Filters button to expand it and choose from a list of disciplines and publication types applicable to the currently selected content.

Click Apply to add those filters to the dashboard.

A label will appear at the top of the dashboard for each filter that is applied. To remove a filter, click the “x” next to the label.

If you select multiple disciplines or multiple publication types, the filter performs an OR search (e.g., checking biology and literature will filter for works that have biology or literature as the discipline). An AND search is performed when combining publication types with disciplines. For instance, if you search for books along with a biology discipline, you will find only biology books.

View Data for a Specific Collection or Work

“Showing” menu: Highlight a specific collection, journal, or other publication on the dashboard. Simply start typing in the search box or select from the list. Click the arrow to the left of a collection to expand it. You may view data down to volumes, issues, themes, and tracks.

“Works” menu: Use the typeahead search function in the menu to narrow the list of works to find the one you want.  Only the first 200 matches are displayed. Statistics for individual works are also accessible via the Works widget on the Usage Reports tab.

Including collected content: The “Include Collected Content” checkbox provides the option to show data for your institution’s SelectedWorks profiles along with your repository data. When viewing a particular collection, this option will also include any items collected from other structures on the repository. For more information, see The Collection Tool.

Explore Readership

The following components on the Explore Readership tab will adjust to match the dashboard’s current scope and date range.

Readership Distribution Map

This geographic visualization shows the sources of your repository’s readership on an interactive world map.

Click the numbers in the download clusters or use the +/- zoom tool for a more granular view, and to see details of downloaded works.

Move the map by dragging with the hand tool. Click the view larger icon  to expand the size of the map, which can be useful on a mobile device.


The Institutions table displays academic institutions, organizations, businesses, and government agencies where full texts were downloaded, based on IP address.

Percentage of downloads per institution type appears in the color-coded graph at the top. Click an institution type or color block to filter the list by type, or select from the Filter by type menu. To return to viewing all institution types, select “Show All” from the menu.

Each institution is listed in the table with its category and its total downloads. Start typing in the table’s search box to find a particular institution or institution type, and use the arrow to the left of an institution to view individual article downloads for that location.

If you see an institution in an incorrect category, tell us about it! Click the note icon next to the institution type within an expanded institution and complete the form.

At any point, click “Export” to download the currently visible data to a CSV file.


The Countries table shows top downloads by country, identified by IP address. Country statistics are easily broken down by region or state using the interactive map. Click a country on the map to see a regional distribution of that country’s readership and to populate the table with its regions.

Hovering over a region on the map provides a quick view of the associated downloads.

To return to the world map, click the “Back to World” button.

You may also start typing in the search box at the top of the table to find locations.

Expand an entry to see which articles were downloaded in that country or region. At any point, click Export to download currently visible data to a CSV file.


The sites listed here reveal the sources of inbound traffic to full texts. Search for referrers and export current results to a CSV file. Note that some valid downloads do not have associated referral data, because not all users pass along referral information. Over the years, fewer and fewer browsers and search engines have passed along this information, so referrer numbers now include only a small fraction of repository traffic.

Usage Reports

The Usage Reports tab features a visual snapshot of downloads and metadata page hits, with the ability to easily generate reports. You also have access to data for individual works and a tally of works posted during the selected time period.


The Downloads graph displays full-text downloads for the currently selected date range.

Click the Include additional files box if you wish to count supplemental files such as datasets, book chapters, or presentation materials. Additional file downloads will display in red at the top of graph bars.

To retrieve a download report for the active date range and filters, click the Generate Report button.

Several options are available to control the results:

  • Report type: Choose “Full Text Downloads” to see download numbers for primary objects. If you’d like to include additional files, choose “Full Text & Additional Files” even if the additional files checkbox is selected for the graph. Full texts and additional files will appear separately with their respective downloads, and any discipline or publication type filters will not apply.
  • Provide: This option only appears when running a report for the whole repository. Choosing “Details for all works” will return data per submission, while “Summary by publication/series” will show a condensed list of downloads by publication (series, journals, etc.).
  • Aggregate By: Returns either a total download number for each record or breaks the numbers down by year, month, or day based on the option selected. Choosing “Year” or “Month” will organize numbers into separate columns for each calendar year or month included in the date range. “Day” is only an option for reports generated for the last 90 days or less.

Click the Email me the report button when finished selecting options. You’ll receive an email containing a link to download the report in an Excel spreadsheet.

Metadata Page Hits

This graph shows how often visitors landed on article metadata pages (aka, item information pages) during the selected time frame. Report options are as follows:

  • Provide: This option only appears when running a report for the whole repository. “Details for all works” will return data per submission, while “Summary by publication/series” will show a condensed list of hits by publication (series, journals, etc.).
  • Aggregate By: Provides either a total number of hits for each record, or breaks the numbers down by year, month, or day based on the option selected. If “Year” or “Month” are chosen, numbers are organized into separate columns for each calendar year or month included in the date range. The “Day” option only appears for reports generated for the last 90 days or less.

Click the Email me the report button when finished selecting options. You’ll receive an email containing a link to download the report in an Excel spreadsheet.

Downloads tend to be higher than metadata page hits, since users frequently access full-texts directly via search engines. Metadata page hits can offer insights into how readers interact with the repository by browsing and searching the site, typing a URL from a citation, or clicking metadata page links in search results.

Works Posted

The Works Posted graph reflects new works that were published to the repository within the selected date range, including full texts and metadata-only works. Search to refine the results and click “Export” to generate a CSV file with the currently visible results.


Downloads for individual works are represented in the Works list. Search for a particular work, or browse titles using the Next and Previous buttons, then click the title of a work to focus the Dashboard components on that article. Click “Export” at any point to download current results to a CSV file. The icon to the left of each work links to that article in the repository.

Share the Dashboard

To demonstrate impact to stakeholders or share stories in your dashboard with others, visit the Share the Dashboard tab to easily create links to specific views of the dashboard. No password is required for users who access the dashboard via share links.

To create a new link:

  1. Select Share the Dashboard in the left-hand sidebar.
  2. In the “Intended for” box, enter a recipient or purpose to help identify the link in your list.
  3. Choose the “Initial view” of the dashboard a user will see when following the link. If none of the default views or shortcuts is appropriate, click “Create Shortcut for Current View…” to save the current dashboard parameters as a shortcut. Then select the new option from the list.
  4. Click Create Link.

Links never expire. However, you may delete a link at any time if you no longer wish to provide guest access to a particular view.

To share a link, simply click the Copy button for that link in the Guest Access Links table and paste into an email, memo, or other document. Users who follow a share link will land on the initial view, but are able to navigate the dashboard to explore other views. They will not see tabs for shortcuts or share links.


As you adjust the Dashboard to focus on specific content or time frames, you can easily save the views you’ll want to revisit. Simply click the bookmark button to the right of the date range menu to save the current dates, content, and any active filters.

You may also add shortcuts by expanding the Shortcuts menu in the left-hand sidebar and clicking “Create a new shortcut.”

Use the Shortcuts menu to see a list of the shortcuts you’ve saved and return to a subset. Click the pencil icon to edit a shortcut name, or the trash can icon to delete a shortcut.

Date ranges are saved as relative windows, except for custom monthly ranges, which are fixed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes a download?

See our page on Accurate Metrics for a detailed answer about how bepress defines a download. Please note that a set amount of time needs to pass between downloads of an item from the same IP address for them to not count as duplicates. Downloads by administrators from the administrator-facing side of our system are not counted. We also filter out all downloads made by bepress.

Do usage statistics include withdrawn or hidden items?

The dashboard does not include hidden items. Withdrawn items are included on the dashboard and in usage reports, along with any previous download data available for them. In usage reports, they are identified as withdrawn in the “State” column.

Can we provide statistics or usage reports by IP address?

Not at this time. If a journal subscriber would like to know how many people are accessing the journal via their subscription, please let your Consultant know, so we may track the request for the future.

Will admins receive full-text download statistics on any document originally uploaded to a SelectedWorks (SW) site affiliated with the repository?

Yes. All SW results are included in Digital Commons site-level statistics and reports if the affiliated SW sites are collected to the repository. Note that you must have the “Include collected content” box checked on the dashboard.

Do “Full Text & Additional Files” reports show all additional files?

Currently, the “Full Text & Additional Files” report only shows additional files if they have downloads. This is different from the behavior for primary files, which will be included even if they have no downloads.

Do usage reports support Chinese or Unicode characters?

Yes. Submission titles with Chinese or other Unicode characters will display properly in usage reports.

Is it possible to determine which downloads are coming from the bepress Digital Commons Network?

Currently, it is not possible to isolate these downloads. Referrals only show up for full text downloads, whereas the DC Network only links to article information pages in Digital Commons and not to full texts. Visits to the IR from the Digital Commons Network can be found in Google Analytics.

Where can I find out more about the types of reports available for Digital Commons?

The Overview of Digital Commons Reports provides a summary of all Digital Commons report options for administrators, editors, and repository stakeholders.