New Raptor provides insights into e-resource usage
2 March 2012
A new tool, launched by Cardiff University's Information Services Directorate and JISC, enables education institutions to assess the popularity and use of e-resources to ensure they continue to deliver value for money.
The fully-released Raptor system enables institutions to view usage statistics gathered from the range of different access management systems in use across the education sector. The Raptor system focuses particularly on federated access systems, where online resources request access authorisation from the 'home' institution of the visitor, resulting in easier single sign-on access for users.
The Raptor system produces easily understandable graphics that illustrate detailed information about the resources accessed by users, which the system gathers by an automatic analysis of the log files created by an institution's access management systems. Staff using Raptor can independently and flexibly use the system to produce statistics on e-resource use whenever they are needed. The system also enables users to access the information in as much detail as they require (for example, showing detailed information on usage by an individual department).
This first version of Raptor builds on the earlier beta pilots of the tool. It includes a number of developments and new features added directly in response to requests from the user community. Raptor is also now available for both Linux and Windows servers, further widening the potential audience.
Eileen Brandreth, Director of University IT at Cardiff, said: "I am confident that Raptor will make a real difference to education institutions looking to maximise value from investments in e-resources. The information that Raptor provides will enable institutions and individual Academic Schools to assess the best value and most useful e-resource subscriptions for their students and researchers."
Chris Brown, JISC e-Research Programme Manager, added: "The Raptor tool has successfully gone through beta testing and incorporated user feedback prior to the release of this version, which is ready for production deployment. With universities looking at the potential cost savings and efficiencies, the Raptor tool provides valuable statistics on resource usage. It can analyse a variety of log files and present important information, not only promptly, but most importantly, in an easy to understand and visual way.
"The team at Cardiff have used their wealth of experience in this area to build a tool that is easy to install, use and is extremely powerful."
The Raptor team will be holding a series of workshops for staff at institutions interested in benefiting from the tool.