Metric aspect: E-Resources - E-journals, E-books, decision support tools

King's College London, Alan Fricker

Metric definition

Number of active users on OpenAthens in a month

Why is it important?

  • Relates to LQAF - 1.2d Customer activity / 1.2e Service development informed by evidence / 1.3c Positive impact (minor)
  • Can show users are aware and engaged with services
  • Shows meaningful activity to funders
  • Simple to collect in an area of high investment so demonstrate value for money for electronic resources
  • Active users shows breadth of engagement. Usage data counts in OpenAthens can be quite variable and feel less reliable than “has someone used something in a time period or not”

Process for compiling the metric

  • Generate report for required period via OpenAthens Admin­ > Statistics > Reporting > 
  • In the data explorer select Accounts > Authentications  then Set Granularity to Monthly > select start and end date of the month you want
  • You can then see the Successful unique authentications

What does it mean?

Compare performance during different time periods

  • month versus equivalent month in previous years
  • Pre and post promotion

Potential to benchmark against equivalent organisations


  • changing staffing within the Trust
  • IP enabled resources not captured
  • not able to choose a period longer than a month
  • figures not consistent with equivalent metric pre September 2018 no longer supported by OpenAthens

Desired outcomes

Increase number of active users versus equivalent periods

Improvement plans

Promotional work.  Potential to use activity date by resource or user type to target this


Included in Quarterly stats reports to Library User Boards. Included in Annual reports.

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021