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Usage Statistics

GALILEO has been capturing usage data from its system since its inception in 1995 and aggregating data from database vendors since 2002. GALILEO maintains a repository of usage data that includes both local GALILEO system data and vendor data (obtained from database vendors).

GALILEO was originally built on OCLC’s SiteSearch Software, which provided Z39.50 searches of both local (ProQuest and EBSCO) and vendor-hosted (OCLC FirstSearch) collections. From 1995-1998, the GALILEO system captured detailed information about user logins, types of searches, indexes searched, and full-text usage. In 1998, the GALILEO vendors began to offer robust web interfaces with more features than were possible through the GALILEO interface. At that time, GALILEO began a transition to becoming a web portal to multiple different subscription resources in addition to locally-developed resources. From 1998 to 2002, database-vendor-provided data proved elusive and impossible to capture. Many vendors did not provide data on the usage of their products, consortial reporting features were not widely available, and data elements were consistent from vendor to vendor.

Beginning in 2003, GALILEO embarked on a project to collect, normalize, and make available through a central GALILEO Reporting Tool as much vendor-provided usage data as possible. GALILEO offers a research portal through which over 2,000 institutions may access hundreds of resources. The ability to gather and report data in this complex environment across many years and many changes is a multi-dimensional problem. Every change in subscription requires a new effort to capture new statistics while maintaining access to previous statistics to products no longer available or even in existence. Every change a vendor makes to a database may impact their statistical reports, changes to which impact GALILEO’s data in turn. GALILEO has a history of seeking out solutions that provide economies of scale, and usage data is one source for documentation of success. This history and ability to provide information consistently and accurately has had many pitfalls. Although there have been several iterations of the GALILEO Reporting Tool since its inception, it has remained the central source for collecting usage data for GALILEO institutions.