12.4 Implementation Schedule
Under Explicit Versioning, changes to the COUNTER Code of Practice fall under three headings.
Fix releases become effective immediately upon publication of the new version of the Code of Practice. Fix releases include bug fixes, typographic amendments and clarifications.
Feature releases include backward-compatible and optional changes that become effective six months from the date of publication of the new version of the Code of Practice.
COUNTER will put out Fix and/or Feature releases no more than one every six months. That is, if a Fix release went out in October 2023 no further Fix or Feature release would be issued before April 2024.
Breaking releases require report providers to make changes to their implementations of the CoP and report consumers to make changes to their analysis tools. COUNTER therefore does not intend for Breaking releases to happen frequently. From the date of compliance being required, potential Breaking releases will follow this schedule:
Compliance required month 1 (e.g. January 2025).
Consultation opens for next Breaking release in month 24 (e.g. February 2027).
Breaking release goes live month 30 (e.g. September 2027).
Compliance required with Breaking release month 48 or subsequent January (e.g. January 2030).
Report providers may elect to become compliant with Feature and Breaking releases earlier than the stated compliance date per Section 13.
All changes will be clearly marked in the change log in our GitHub repository to ensure they can be easily identified.
All other requirements of the Code of Practice will remain in effect during the implementation period for changes brought about by a new release.