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Launched: 2003
Record Updated: Apr 29, 2024
Standard, specification, or protocol
The COUNTER Code of Practice is the global standard for measuring and reporting on usage of digital content, agreed by libraries, consortia, publishers, technology providers, aggregators and others. By ensuring all parties have a shared understanding of normalised, comparable, consistent usage metrics, the Code allows everyone to be confident in working with and relying on usage data.


COUNTER brings the knowledge community together to agree and adopt the global standard for measuring and reporting content usage through normalised metrics.

Key Achievements

Following 18 months of collaborative development and community consultation, 2023 saw the publication of Release 5.1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice, the first edition optimised for reporting on usage of OA content ( This was accompanied by a completely new suite of educational materials, as well as revised tools and technology to support implementation of the Code.

We also launched our open Registry, which makes up-to-date information about compliant report providers easily available to everyone (

Community Engagement

Community Engagement


Organizational Commitment to Community Engagement

COUNTER Members have voting rights at our annual general meeting, are eligible to join our committees and working groups as vacancies arise, and receive our consultations and quarterly newsletters and updates. We also work with our members on projects including the development of tools, training events, and resources.

Engagement with Values Frameworks

Under consideration

Policies & Governance

Governance Summary

COUNTER is a non-profit organization supported by a global community of library, publisher and vendor members, who contribute to the development of the Code of Practice through working groups and outreach. We are governed by a Board of Directors responsible for ensuring we deliver on our mission, while our Executive Committee oversees operational activities including technical development of the Code of Practice. You can find out more at


Commitment to Equity & Inclusion

In Progress

Privacy Policy


Web Accessibility Statement


Governance Activities


Governance Structure & Processes


Transparent Pricing and Cost Expectations


Additional Information

Organizational History

We release updates to the Code of Practice on average every five years, though some small clarifications and backwards-compatible features may be released in the interim if the community requires it.

Since launch, COUNTER has been led by three Project Directors: Peter Shepherd, Lorraine Estelle, and now Tasha Mellins-Cohen. We are not for profit and not for sale. There's an article in Serials, the UKSG journal, describing our foundation: The history of our Board of Directors and finances can be accessed from Companies House:

Organizational Structure

Business or Ownership Model

Non-profit organization

Full-time Staff



Primary Funding Source


Funding Needs

We know that implementing the Code of Practice can be challenging for smaller groups, either as report providers (publishers) or report consumers (libraries). Additional funding would enable us to develop new tools to help these groups implement the standard, as well as allowing us to provide more support through our outreach and education initiatives.