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Impact of Primo on SFX

A few weeks ago, we (OLS staff) discussed ways in which the impact of Primo on other systems and environments could be illustrated.

A good place to start with is SFX, since it’s so heavily involved in creating fulltext links in Primo. So one way to measure Primo’s impact on SFX is to count the number of OpenURLs generated by Primo (either through “View Online”, or through the menu under “Other Options”) and compare them to other providers/generators of OpenURLs.

In FY 14/15, the top 5 providers were Primo, bX, Ebsco, Google, and Gale (For the remaining providers, the numbers drop significantly). Here’s a table with the number of OpenURLs generated each month by each provider:

                bX	Ebsco	Gale	Google	Primo	Other
July-14	        3052	14185	6990	6847	308	9672
August-14	1147	7512	1571	5821	859	12186
September-14	4477	25903	3289	10940	19302	25912
October-14	10651	44538	8009	16150	63698	35567
November-14	12934	49530	11050	17189	97932	25718
December-14	9506	31664	7530	15206	86557	19483
January-15	2583	9595	2030	6925	22495	12034
February-15	6194	24143	3317	9526	49877	17518
March-15	12127	41397	7257	15032	96998	24205
April-15	11756	40696	8220	14330	103400	23534
May-15	        10033	33960	7951	13107	99598	18721
June-15	        3494	14075	1955	7026	28637	11702
TOTAL OpenURLs: 1538333

I thought the best way to show the behavior over time is to use an area chart, because it shows how values (# of requests) change over time for different categories (OpenURL “generators”):


Since it’s implementation at the end of August 2014, Primo has quickly taken over a large share of the OpenURLs resolved by SFX, at a small expense to the other providers, but not by much. It actually looks as if the percentage of requests for the other main providers has remained relatively stable

The same chart in absolute numbers looks like this:


So it looks as if Primo has taken over a large share of the OpenURL requests, but not so much by taking them “away” from other providers but by simply increasing the number of OpenURLs.

The total number of SFX requests for FY13/14 was about 1.1 million (1,107,169). In the past FY, this increased by almost 40% to 1.5 million (1,538,333). And of these, 670K (669661) came from Primo.


  1. In FY 14/15, Primo was responsible for over 40% of OpenURL requests, i.e. SFX menus
  2. It reached this number very quickly, within about 2 months of going live
  3. It simply increased the number of requests, and did not diminish the contribution of other vendors
  4. Given the impact on SFX, the impact on e-resource usage (search sessions, etc.) should be significant as well


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