How do I add COUNTER usage reports to Alma that are more than 12 months old?


Note: the method below may now be obsolete. As of the August 2021 release, Alma supports custom SUSHI harvests.

Where possible, we set up Alma to retrieve usage reports automatically using the SUSHI protocol. However

  • Alma will not retrieve reports older than 12 months and we may need older ones
  • sometimes we may want to grab a particular report without initiating a SUSHI harvest
  • in rare cases the vendor supports SUSHI but Alma can't properly connect to it.

Method 1: Use vendor platform

If you can log in to the vendor's statistics platform, you can generate any needed reports, download them, and then upload them to the Alma vendor manually. When downloading reports this way you may have a choice of what format is used. Alma accepts JSON, Excel, CSV, and text/TSV.

Method 2: Use the COUNTER Getter tool

We have a tool that will generate the same JSON-formatted COUNTER R5 report that would be retrieved via SUSHI. This form requires SUSHI credentials--it is only for vendors that already support SUSHI. To use it:

  1. Go to the appropriate vendor in Alma, Usage Data tab
  2. Select the SUSHI account (make sure you are looking at the correct subscriber). 
  3. Using the values you see in the account, copy-paste info into the form:
    • Vendor URL
    • any other parameters you see in the SUSHI account. If the SUSHI account does not have a value, leave that field of the form blank.
  4. Select a report type
  5. Enter begin date and end date in format YYYY-MM (if just one month, enter the same values in both fields). Note that this will provide coverage for the entire month
  6. Click Submit. A new browser tab will open and the report should load. What you see depends on your browser (Firefox provides a nicely browseable display). Note
    • some vendors require you to do submit the form once in order to generate the report, and again to retrieve it. The file should show a message to this effect when the page loads.
    • some vendors may force the file to download rather than displaying in browser
    • some particularly nasty vendors (e.g. one that rhymes with Melrepeer) won't allow you to get reports this way at all.
  7. Download the JSON file to your computer and upload it manually to the vendor account in Alma.

About this tool

COUNTER R5 SUSHI retrieval is (if I'm saying this correctly) a RESTful API, in other words, if you know the correct parameters, you can access the report via a URL. A form is a convenient way to generate that URL.

The COUNTER Getter tool is an HTML form enhanced by JavaScript. The script allows us to enter a free-text URL that is then dynamically entered into the form's action attribute. On submit, the script strips out any unused parameters and generates the URL. In some cases, vendor reports showed warnings when being provided with unneeded parameters, and in one case the report refused to load until they were removed; so using a script instead of a normal form submission seemed necessary.


  • Last Updated Sep 01, 2021
  • Views 366
  • Answered By Jeff Karlsen

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