9.1 The Audit Process¶
COUNTER-compliant content providers are required to schedule an audit in time for the audit due date listed on their entry on the COUNTER website (https://www.projectcounter.org/about/register/).
At least one month before the audit due date, content providers MUST advise COUNTER of the name of the organization that will carry out the audit. Any queries about the audit process may be raised at this time.
Irrespective of the auditor selected, the audit MUST adhere to the requirements and use the program specified in Appendix E of this Code of Practice. The audit is carried out in three stages. Stage 1 covers the format and structure of the usage reports. In Stage 2 the auditor tests the integrity of the reported usage statistics by creating their own usage on a sample basis and subsequently reviewing the usage reports for this activity. In Stage 3 the auditor checks that the delivery of the usage reports adheres to the COUNTER requirements.
Upon completion of the audit, the auditor is REQUIRED to send a signed copy of the audit report to the COUNTER office (email@example.com). On receipt of the successful audit report, the content provider will be sent a dated COUNTER logo, which they can display on their website. For example:
The dated logo MUST link to the content provider’s entry on the COUNTER website.
Failure to complete a successful audit by the due date may result in COUNTER removing that content provider from the list of compliant content providers on the COUNTER website.