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Re: [EP-tech] Seeing unusually high downloads in IRStats

Hi All,


If I had to guess, they are ‘verifying’ that what the bots retrieve, is what the general public retrieve…

There have been many cases of over-eager SEO ‘Experts’ dishing up one set of content to search bots, and then serving up something else to non-bot requests (e.g spam, malicious content…)


The only way to do that is to come in a second time, and have nothing ‘botlike’ about the request, and compare the results.






From: eprints-tech-bounces@ecs.soton.ac.uk [mailto:eprints-tech-bounces@ecs.soton.ac.uk] On Behalf Of Graham, Clinton T
Sent: Tuesday, 26 July 2016 10:14 PM
To: eprints-tech@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [EP-tech] Seeing unusually high downloads in IRStats


The University of Pittsburgh opened ticket UCM000000270852 with Bing Webmaster Support last week regarding this and received the following response:

Thank you for contacting Bing Webmaster Support.  The activity you are seeing is most likely caused by one of our bots used for verifying your site rather than indexing your site as Bingbot does.  These crawlers do not have the same UA, and are in place to make sure the verification aspects of your site are in place.


Yesterday, we requested additional information on what “verification” really means, and describe the problem of conflating user-generated activity with bot-generated activity, especially for the scholarly publication process.


I’ll reply again here if this support request goes anywhere, but perhaps others might be interested in similarly engaging Bing Webmaster Support?




- Clinton Graham

Systems Developer

University of Pittsburgh | University Library System



From: eprints-tech-bounces@ecs.soton.ac.uk [mailto:eprints-tech-bounces@ecs.soton.ac.uk] On Behalf Of Coles, Elizabeth A. (Betsy)
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2016 7:45 PM
To: eprints-tech@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Subject: [EP-tech] Seeing unusually high downloads in IRStats


Forwarding from JISC-REPOSITORIES list – we’ve been seeing this in California too, and our IRStats2 counts are through the roof for the last couple of weeks.


Can anyone tell me how to filter out these robots in IRStats2?  And how to clean the access file so that our irstats2 reports are not distorted by this deluge?  I assume I’d want to delete all entries with a requester_id in the table below and rerun IRstats2 setup from scratch.



Betsy Coles

Caltech – Digital Library Development



From: Repositories discussion list [mailto:JISC-REPOSITORIES@JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Hilary Jones
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 3:43 AM
Subject: Seeing unusually high downloads in IRStats - IRUS-UK's explanation and why this isn't affecting IRUS-UK stats


Hi everyone,


There was a discussion, via UKCORR mailing list, on why there are exceptionally high downloads being seen this week in IRStats and what might be causing it.


After some investigation we have found that the unusually high downloads are down to four IP ranges:


IP range



No. IP addresses


Microsoft Bingbot




Microsoft Corporation




Microsoft Bingbot




Microsoft Bingbot




These IPs have been systematically trawling and downloading files from many UK repositories. Looking at their User Agent strings they do not declare themselves as bots but masquerade as normal users.


Happily, the IRUS-UK ingest has been filtering out these robotic downloads, so you won’t see a massive spike in your IRUS-UK stats.


We hope this is of help.


Best wishes




Hilary Jones
Services and Projects Support

0161 413 7541
Skype hilary.jones@jisc.ac.uk
Twitter @JonesHilaryJ
6th Floor Churchgate House, 56 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1  6EU


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