Technology has made collecting data and producing metrics easier than ever before. In the realm of research communication, data from the digital distribution of scholarly content provides new opportunities to understand the publishing ecosystem. However, there is growing concern about ownership of, access to, and analysis of this data, as evidenced by the recently published NISO Consensus Principles on Users' Digital Privacy in Library, Publisher, and Software-Provided Systems. Furthermore, the practical challenges associated with gathering, integrating, interpreting, and reporting usage data limit the ability of individual publishers and libraries to identify—much less predict—important usage trends and opportunities through which they might extend their impact.
We invite publishers, libraries, research centers, data aggregators, and other stakeholders in scholarly communication to join Project Meerkat to inform nascent standards and create a neutral apparatus for the ongoing collection and aggregation of usage data related to digital scholarly monographs. Project Meerkat will build a new cooperative—the Publishing Analytics Data Trust—in which members will collaborate to represent the interests of all stakeholders in academic publishing, including researchers and administrators, to sustain the outcomes of Project Meerkat and provide its members with shared governance of collected data. While the organizational model of the cooperative is still to be determined, it is imagined that member organizations will agree to a code of practice as a condition of membership.
This poster will present the project and preliminary vision for the cooperative in more detail.