Digital Publications

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General Requirements

  1. You must register to report Digital Publications in advance of the issues (or days) to be claimed. This is to allow us time to inspect your systems and assess their suitability for audit, as well as allocate resource to enable the real time audit of the claimed digital publications’ availability. We will confirm whether the Digital Publication has a recognised and regular publishing frequency or not.

  2. You give us permission to contact any Digital Publication purchaser / end user at any point for further verification.

  3. If non-dynamically served advertising (by advertiser) changes or there is a version not carrying advertising, this constitutes a different edition. The mandatory metric for each edition must be broken out on the certificate*. 

    1. For circulation, this means the total average circulation by type and price band. However, if the publisher is unable to report the circulation of each edition then a breakdown using an alternative agreed metric, for example Publication Active View, may be reported instead. 

    2. For Publication Active Views, this means the number of PAVs by edition.

    3. *The mandatory requirement to breakout the metric for each edition is suspended up to and including reporting periods ending 30th June 2015. This means if different editions are included in a claim covered by this period you must list the different editions and either:

    4. - Report the metric for each edition as detailed above; or

    5. - We will add a statement to the certificate identifying that these are editions where advertising changes but that you are not reporting data for them.

  4. You must tell us the planned publishing dates in advance and any subsequent changes to that schedule.

  5. We will need to check on an ongoing basis that issues (or content) are available for download or view. You must therefore provide us with free access to all issues (or days) and editions of the Digital Publication. 

Publication Active View Requirements  

  1. A device may make a number of active views of an issue (or day), either together or at different times. Only one active view per device per issue (or day) can be claimed and reported.

  2. You must be able to provide evidence of active views by browser.

Circulation Requirements

  1. An individual’s copy can only be claimed if they have opted in – either by request or payment. The only exception is where a member of a society receives the Digital publication as part of their paid society membership.

  2. For all free and bundled copies you must obtain details sufficient to de-duplicate multiple free copies to any one individual.  This might be by obtaining email addresses for all.

  3. For paid copies you must be able to provide evidence of the sale.

  4. If the Digital Publication is sold as part of a package of goods and/or services then the reporting for ABC purposes will be determined as follows:

    1. If the package includes another product registered with ABC then the copy must be reported as a ‘bundle copy’.

    2. If the package does not include another product registered with ABC then the price will be indicated by the offer. If the price for the Digital Publication is not clear and conspicuous then it will be reported as a ‘bundle copy’.

  5. For free requests you must be able to provide evidence of the request. This might be providing a copy of the request including the individual’s response to the ABC Personal Identifier Question, or by another auditable method which is agreed with ABC. 

  6. Free end users must be sent an alert (for example by email) informing them that each issue is available:

    1. If an alert to a free end user is undeliverable, you must remove the end user from your circulation claim, or ensure that the delivery details are corrected within 90 days.

    2. You must include a specified ABC address on each alert.

  7. For each issue (or day) in the reporting period you must be able to provide:

    1. A circulation list that includes all end users’, for example email addresses (except for copies sold through 3rd party vendors that do not provide this information – see  b below).

      • The list must include coding to identify the type of circulation each copy is claimed as (for example paid single copy subscription) and the price paid for a single copy.

      • Each issue’s free and bundled circulation must be de-duplicated  to arrive at the claim by circulation type.

    2. For all copies sold via 3rd party vendors (that do not provide end user details) evidence from the vendor of the number of copies by circulation type (for example paid single copy sale) and price paid. 

  8. You cannot claim back issues (or days) of Digital Publication copies that are free to the end user.


  1.  You may, as an option, make provisions for Publication Active Views and Paid Circulation that you expect to be made (or receive evidence of) after you have submitted your claim.

  2. Provisions can only be made for Digital Publications that have identifiable issues.

  3. The estimated Publication Active Views or Paid Circulation figure(s) must be based on a reasonable assessment of information such as historic levels, seasonal trends or other market information.

  4. You must adjust your claim in the following period to reflect any difference between the estimated and the actual figures.

  5. If you make a provision for Publication Active Views and/or Circulation you must also make an appropriate provision for any related metrics. For example: If you choose to make a provision for Publication Active Views, and you also report Total Edition Active Views, then you must make a provision for both metrics.

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