DUL Project working group

Distributed Usage Logging collaboration

The Distributed Usage Logging working group is the community group driving the Distributed Usage Logging project, an initiative between COUNTER, Crossref members, and scholarly technology and service providers. This group has been exploring how to provide a peer-to-peer channel for the secure exchange and processing of COUNTER-compliant private usage records from hosting platforms to publishers. This will allow members to capture usage across a distributed environment. All data provided back to the original publisher is anonymized, preserving individual user privacy.

The objectives of the Distributed Usage Logging working group is to address the following:

  • Define a way for DOIs to advertise endpoints to which event data may be submitted, including a mechanism to specify the payload schemas that the endpoint accepts.
  • Pilot the transmission of COUNTER-usage events from platforms providing direct access to full text to publishers responsible for that full text, using the above mechanism, in a secure manner
  • Work out the “rules of the game” for the COUNTER use cases, including message semantics, responsibility for anti-gaming mechanism, etc.

What we’re working on

The working group includes a cross-section of reference manager and reading environment tools (Mendeley and Digital Science’s tools: ReadCube, Papers, and Dimensions) as well as a mix of publishers and platform providers (Elsevier, Springer Nature, De Gruyter, Pub Factory, APS, Wiley, ACS, Atypon).

In November 2020, the Crossref Board made a decision to transition ownership of DUL to another organization. We will therefore gradually reduce our involvement over the next six months and support a transfer to any future lead organization.

At present moment, the following participants have have implemented the technology:

  • DUL usage producers: Mendeley, Digital Science (in progress)
  • DUL usage consumers: Elsevier.


Group Members

The group comprises some of our members as well as some third party platforms who are actively interested in participating in a secure exchange of usage records.

Chair: Esther Heuver, Elsevier
Facilitator: Martyn Rittman, Crossref

  • Paul Dlug, American Physical Society
  • Lorraine Estelle, Project COUNTER
  • John Chodacki, California Digital Library
  • Paul Needham, Cranfield University
  • Johannes Buchmann, De Gruyter
  • Nicko Goncharoff, Digital Science
  • Oliver Pesch, EBSCO
  • Ian Hayes, Atypon
  • Tom Beyer, PubFactory
  • Maciej Rymarz, Mendeley
  • Robert McGrath, ReadCube
  • Kimberly Tryka, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • John Connolly, Springer Nature
  • Jo Cross, Taylor & Francis
  • Clara Brown, United States Geological Survey
  • Greg Hargrave, Wiley
  • Stuart Maxwell, Scholarly iQ
  • Aaron Wood, American Psychological Association

Please contact Martyn Rittman with any questions.

Page owner: Martyn Rittman   |   Last updated 2020-November-24