Over the last year or so we’ve installed and configured (in some cases reconfigured) the IRStats package for several of the LEAP repositories, including those hosted by ULCC. It seemed a good moment to share a few thoughts about the process of getting “all statted up” with EPrints.
By default, and without any further action, IRStats provides a kind of smorgasbord control panel, demonstrating the many optional graphs, charts and list available. You can see an example on our own ULCC Publications repository.
More recently we’ve seen growing demand among repository managers to share data on downloads with both their depositors and users at large. It’s really important for repository managers to select carefully which statistics views they actually want or need to display – we can only suggest things we think might work. Once you’ve decided on the views you want, we can look at the most effective ways to display them: and this is why I’ve been having fun souping up some of the displays already offered by IRstats.
The first display we’ve been working on is the Statistics digest. These are common enough and we’ve used the example of UCL Discovery repository as the basis of work for both SAS-Space and SOAS institutional repository.
The tabbed display of graphs and tables was also combined with a ‘modal box’ display that keeps the height of page the same (for example on this Abstract page at SOAS. At the bottom of the Abstract page I’ve added a statistics section showing the number full-text downloads, and a link that displays detailed stats in an overlaid box.
This method doesn’t just work for individual items, but can be used on other datasets in too. For example, on SAS-Space we have added it to the bottom of their Collection browse pages, so that at the bottom of each Collection view there is an opportunity to view download statistics for that collection as a whole.
Additionally in SAS-Space, since it is a repository for a number of discrete institutes, there was a requirement for institutional editors to have access to their own institute’s statistics. To achieve this, I allowed access to a constrained version of the IRStats control panel for editor-users who had the appropriate editorial permissions for the institute in question. (Unless you are a SAS-Space editor, you won’t be able to access this.)
Which statistics views to insert as tabs is the decision of the repository manager. Views we’ve used include:
- Monthly downloads
- Daily downloads
- Unique visitors
- Search Engines
- Top 10 items downloaded (only for a Collection, Repository or Division)
- Top 10 search terms
From a technical point-of-view, we will have to review these configurations when we upgrade to EPrints version 3.3, possibly later in the year (if it’s released!!), in conjunction with our VM infrastructure migration, and start doing things with EPStats rather than IRStats. But we now have an effective framework for adding statistics quickly to any EPrints installation.