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Using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to track DSpace metadata fields as custom dimensions

DSpace can be problematic for those interested in tracking download and pageview statistics granularly. Some libraries have implemented code to track events on websites and some have experimented with using Google Tag Manager to automate event tagging in DSpace. While these approaches make it possible to track download statistics, granular details such as authors, content types, titles, advisors, and other fields for which metadata exist are generally not tracked in DSpace or Google Analytics without coding. Moreover, it can be time consuming to track and assess pageview data and relate that data back to particular metadata fields. This article will detail the learning process of incorporating custom dimensions for tracking these detailed fields including trial and error attempts to use the data import function manually in Google Analytics, to automate the data import using Google APIs, and finally to automate the collection of dimension data in Google Tag Manager by mimicking SEO practices for capturing meta tags. This specific case study refers to using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics with DSpace; however, this method may also be applied to other types of websites or systems.

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