FDLP PURL Usage Report Expanded

Please share with digital resources librarians and others who work with usage data for your library.

There are three new enhancements to the FDLP PURL Usage Report related to referrer information.

A referrer is a website or tool used when the end-user clicks on a PURL. For example, a referrer might name an ILS or a library’s subject guide web domain. Referrer information is optional information conveyed by the end-user’s network. When provided, referrer information can illustrate where end-users successfully find and use PURLs linking to digital Government information. Knowledge of what library website or tool was used to click on PURLs may help refine a digital collection’s development.

  • The first enhancement can be found after logging in to the FDLP PURL Usage Report tool and clicking on the PURL Usage tab. There is now a third at-large monthly report available. Reports include:
    • All PURL Referrals by Host
    • All PURL Referrals by Referrer
    • Top 50 PURL referrals by Target URL

The new report, “All PURL Referrals by Referrer” details the names of the referrer websites or tools used when the end-user clicked on the PURL. This report is only able to compile usage data when referrer information is available. Libraries can use the search box in the upper right corner of the report to filter the report to their website, catalog, subject guide domains, etc.

  • The second enhancement can be found in the Library Report Dashboard tab. Patterns can now be saved for a library’s referrer tools and websites, in addition to the library’s outbound network hostnames and IP addresses. From these patterns, custom, monthly FDLP PURL Usage Reports are available for libraries to download.
  • Third, libraries that have saved patterns will note a new Referrer field is available in their monthly report. When referrer information is conveyed by the end-user’s network, the field will be populated.

Libraries monitoring PURL usage are encouraged to re-run monthly reports back to September 2020 in the Library Report Dashboard tab. Adjustments to algorithms then may have underreported monthly usage. On-the-fly reports will re-run the report using the new algorithms and report layout. Usage data compiled for libraries in their monthly reports are limited to the patterns saved by the library.

For more information on the PURL Usage Report, consult the FDLP.gov Instruction article: Persistent Uniform Resource Locator (PURL): Explanation, Purpose, and Tracking Usage at Your Library.

For questions about the PURL Usage Report, submit a question to askGPO > Federal Depository Library > Other depository library question or issue.

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