[Web4lib] SUSHI Schemas Updated to Support Release 3 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for Journals and Databases

Cynthia Hodgson chodgson at niso.org
Thu Nov 6 11:38:28 EST 2008

**The NISO SUSHI Standing Advisory Committee has announced the approval 
and final release of the schemas (and related files) providing full 
support of Release 3 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for Journals and 
Databases. Notable in this latest release of the COUNTER Code of 
Practice is the requirement that content providers implement SUSHI as a 
means of delivering their reports. With the schemas now finalized, 
content providers can be confident about setting their development 
agendas for implementing SUSHI.

The SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) standard 
(ANSI/NISO Z39.93 - 2007) defines an automated request and response 
model for the harvesting of electronic resource usage data, utilizing a 
Web services framework. Designed as a generalized protocol extensible to 
a variety of usage reports, it also contains an extension designed 
specifically to work with COUNTER usage reports. COUNTER reports have 
become a mainstay of collection analysis for many libraries; SUSHI 
serves to automate the time consuming and error prone process of 
manually running, retrieving and loading these reports.

NISO's SUSHI Standard Advisory Committee, formed last summer to maintain 
the standard, has used community feedback to identify additional needs 
for implementation and to examine the standard for areas that may need 
updating or improving. In addition to addressing the needs of the 
schemas, the Committee's charge also includes the goal of making SUSHI 
easier for implementers to understand and work with. As part of that 
effort, the schemas have been annotated with descriptions and examples 
for key elements, and the website (www.niso.org/workrooms/sushi 
<http://www.niso.org/workrooms/sushi>) now includes clear graphical 
representations of the schemas. In addition, the FAQs on the site are 
being updated and include sections specifically for librarians and for 
developers. Further documentation on the site includes material covered 
in NISO's SUSHI webinar on October 2, a list of clients (ERM and Usage 
Consolidation services) supporting SUSHI, and a list of SUSHI compliant 
content providers, and other supporting information.

Also on the site is a link to the draft, "How to Start Building a SUSHI 
Service." This work in progress by Thomas Barker, Software Engineer, IT 
and Digital Development at the University of Pennsylvania Library, is a 
valuable tool for those interested in getting started with building a 

/Background  and Technical Details/
Launched in 2002, COUNTER is designed to help librarians and publishers 
in the recording and exchange of usage statistics for electronic 
resources. By following COUNTER's Code of Practice, vendors can provide 
libraries with data using standardized formats and data elements. The 
SUSHI protocol is a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 
request/response Web services "wrapper" for the XML version of COUNTER 

In the protocol, a transaction begins when a client service running as 
part of an application developed by a library or running as part of a 
usage data consolidation service or ILS/ERM identifies itself, 
identifies the customer whose statistics are being requested, and 
specifies the desired report to the SUSHI server service running at a 
data provider. In response, the server provides the report in XML 
format, along with the requestor and customer information or an 
appropriate error message. The SUSHI developers envision a system in 
which the client system is programmed to retrieve reports automatically 
for all the COUNTER-compliant vendors with which the library does business.

Note: This message has been cross-posted.

Cynthia Hodgson
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
Email: chodgson at niso.org <mailto:chodgson at niso.org>
Phone: 301-654-2512


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