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Home | Code of Practice


COUNTER exists to bring the knowledge community together to agree and adopt the global standard for measuring and reporting content usage through normalised metrics, and we do that by developing, maintaining and extending the Code of Practice.

On this page you’ll find links to Release 5 (the current Code), Release 5.1 (required from January 2025), and the Code of Practice for Research Data (the current Code for data repositories).

We also have archival copies of old Codes available at the bottom of the page for those who are interested in reading them, as well as a page listing tools and services that you might find helpful.

Code of Practice

Current Codes of Practice

Release 5 of the Code of Practice was published in 2017 with compliance required from January 2019. It remains the current version until December 2024, and can be read in full on Read the Docs.

Release 5.1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice was published in 2022 with compliance required from January 2025. The full text of R5.1 is freely available on Read the Docs and there are Friendly Guides and other materials on our Education pages.

The Code of Practice for Research Data was published in 2018 and is designed
for use by research data repositories

Tools and Services

The COUNTER community has developed several tools and services which you may find useful, and we keep a list of them on the Tools and Services page. If you know of other free tools or services that we should add, please get in touch with

Archived Codes of Practice

If you are interested in older versions of the COUNTER Code of Practice, you can find them here. Please note that any reports that claim compliance with these older versions of the Code of Practice are not COUNTER-compliant.

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