Feedback needed now: The Open Access Landscape

Posted in open access on April 27th, 2015

If you think the work I’m doing related to The Open Access Landscape 2011-2014 (and potentially 2011-2015) is valuable, read on–understanding that I really need some form of feedback this week (by May 1, 2015).

If you don’t think it’s valuable, feel free to skip the rest of this.

Anybody still here?

If so, then here’s the moderately short version (followed by the three pieces of the longer version):

I need feedback this week to decide how to proceed. Feedback can be a comment on this post, a message to me (waltcrawford@gmail.com), a response to the messages I’ll probably put up on various social networks… It should reach me by May 1, 2015.

Why by May 1, 2015? Because if I’m going to do something like an IndieGoGo campaign (see under “The Possible Campaign”), I’d want to discuss it in the June 2015 Cites & Insights. That would mean writing a new “The Front” before I start to revise and prepare the issue, which I plan to publish early next week.

Why IndieGoGo rather than Kickstarter? Because, at least the last time I looked, Kickstarter requires a video, and I’m not a video person and don’t really have the equipment–hardware and software–to do a decent little intro.

After my last experience staging such a campaign, I’m a little gunshy–and the 100% lack of  feedback based on the message at the end of every weekly post, and the extra post, doesn’t make me less gunshy.

Positive feedback does not commit you to contribute to the IndieGoGo campaign or, alternatively, to buy the book (PDF or paperback) when it comes out, which it probably will whether I do the campaign or not. It only says that you might consider it. I will not pester you–there won’t be individual emails saying “Well? Why haven’t you coughed up?”

The lack of positive feedback won’t necessarily doom the project. It will pretty much doom any crowdfunding campaign or putting much additional effort into the current project. It might or might not doom what I really want to do next year (see The Long-Term Goal below). Good feedback and a successful campaign would assure more effort and help assure the long-term goal.

That’s the moderately short version. The rest of this message consists of three parts: Potential additional refinements for 2011-2014; The Possible Campaign Outline; The Long-Term Goal.

Potential Additional Refinements for 2011-2014

Here’s what I’d probably do with good feedback and a successful campaign:

  • Add the 220 (or so) 2014 additions to DOAJ to the spreadsheet.
  • Do selective rechecking for 2013 values.
  • Redo key measures based on 2014 rather than 2013 counts.
  • Introduce new measures of article-quantity distribution, one based on quartiles of peak-article-count, one based on quartiles of cumulative article count for 2014 (that is, the range of 2014 article volumes that makes up one-quarter of all articles)
  • Try out making these two local and global (that is, showing the local quartiles for a given topic and showing how local distribution differs from global distibution)
  • Rework all of the chapters to add topics to table/figure captions, add new measures, and provide narrative summaries of the distinctive aspects of a topic’s OA journals.
  • As soon as the Library Technology Reports is issued, change the publication dates on remaining blog posts (which will not include any of these refinrements) so that new chapters appear twice a week rather than once a week.

The Possible Campaign Outline

If I did an IndieGoGo campaign for The Open Access Landscape 2011-2014, it would have a base goal of $1,000 and stretch goals of $1,500, $3,000 and $5,000, as follows:

Base Goal: Prepare and Issue Refined 2011-2014 Study

With refinements as shown above, to the extent that they’re easily doable. Issue results as a PDF ebook and a paperback book (with possible casebound option depending on campaign results).

Note in the perks below that the base goal might include making the ebook/PDF version free.

Note also that, if anybody contributes at the $75 and higher levels, the base goal also involves preparing an indexed version of Ethics and Open Access: A Cites & Insights Reader in late 2015/early 2016.

Stretch Goal 1: $1,500: Post anonymized data to Figshare

Additionally, all revenue in excess of $1,250 would count toward the long-term goal (see below).

Stretch Goal 2: $3,000: Probable move to long-term goal

See below.

Stretch Goal 3: $5,000: Long-term Goal becomes Action Plan

See below.

The Perks

  • $25: Option A: Acknowledgment in the book and a free copy of the exclusive PDF version (with in-PDF autograph on title page, and with working links in contents and figures table). At least a $40 value.
  • $25: Option B: Same as Option A, but with explicit preference to make regular PDF version freely available. (Otherwise, it will cost $40 for those not participating in the campaign.)
  • $50: Options A and B: Same as $25, plus 40% discount off a paperback copy of the book. (Planned price $45, so discounted price would be $27.) At least a $58 value.
  • $75: Option A: Same as $50 (and assumes Option B) plus a free PDF exclusive edition of Ethics and Open Access: A Cites & Insights Reader. (Exclusive: working links.) At least a $98 value.
  • $75: Option B: Like $75A, but instead of the 40% discount, a free PDF of The Open Access Landscape 2011-2015 in late 2016, if that project goes forward. (If not, I’ll come up with something else.) At least a $98 value.

All levels from here on include acknowledgment, the free exclusive PDF version and the free exclusive PDF Ethics and Open Access,  plus whatever’s stated at the level. If at least 20 contributors choose Option B or any level higher than $50, the non-exclusive PDF version of the 2011-2014 book will be made freely available.

  • $100: Add a free copy of the paperback. At least a $125 value.
  • $125: Add a free signed copy of the paperback. Priceless!
  • $150: Like $125, plus a free PDF of the 2011-2015 book. At least a $170 value.
  • $175: Add a free casebound copy of the 2011-2014 book.
  • $200: Add a free signed casebound copy of the 2011-2015 book.
  • $225: Everything–a free signed casebound copy and a free PDF of the 2011-2015 book.

The Long-Term Goal

Prepare The Open Access Landscape 2011-2015 during 2016.

  • Start with the DOAJ dataset as of early 2016 (say January 6 or so).
  • Gather data for as many journals as possible, including selective use of Google Translate to try to deal with journals with no English interface–and more extensive use of alternative methods to locate journals where the URL in the DOAJ dataset doesn’t work.
  • Recheck existing data in all cases.
  • Refine grading system and assign all new grades.
  • Prepare the project.
  • File the anonymized spreadsheet with Figshare.
  • (Propose a summary version in Library Technology Reports.)

If an IndieGoGo campaign yields more than $1,500 but less than $5,000, I’d do a later campaign (probably late Fall 2015) to try to raise the rest–that is, looking for $3,500 in new funding for the 2011-2015 project.

There it is. Lunacy? A good idea? Somewhere in between?

Let me know. By May 1, 2015, if at all possible.

The Open Access Landscape: 9. Ecology

Posted in open access on April 24th, 2015

Ecology includes environmental fields. This topic includes 153 journals, which published a total of 8,295 articles in 2013 and 8,754 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

102

67%

4,977

60%

49

Free

70

69%

1,990

40%

28

Pay

32

31%

2,987

60%

93

A$ pay

11

7%

1,803

22%

164

B

15

10%

950

11%

63

Free

3

20%

71

7%

24

Pay

12

80%

879

93%

73

C

8

5%

367

4%

46

Pay

2

25%

83

23%

42

Unk

6

75%

284

77%

47

D

17

11%

198

2%

12

Free

8

47%

147

74%

18

Pay

8

47%

51

26%

6

Unk

1

6%

0%

0

Table 9.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 9.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; the free, pay and unkown numbers; and average articles per journal. Boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all ecology journals, where others (Free, Pay, Unk) are percentages of the grade above. All A$ journals are pay, and the redundant row is omitted.

As seems fairly typical, particularly for STEM, the A$ journals publish by far the most articles per journal, and—with the exception of D journals, an odd group—journals with APCs generally publish more articles than those without.

The small number of journals with much smaller numbers of articles proportionally include these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), three journals and a total of one article; D (dying): five journals, 22 articles; E (erratic): one journal, 23 articles; H (hiatus?): five journals, 142 articles; S (small): three journals, ten articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

134

145

137

123

%Free

56%

55%

55%

57%

Articles

8,439

8,011

7,336

6,320

%Free

29%

28%

29%

29%

Table 9.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 9.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that published articles each year, including all of 2014; how many articles those journals published; and what percent was free or in free journals. The seven unknown journals (with 284 articles in 2013 are omitted from Table 9.2. The number of journals still may not add up, as there’s at least one journal that didn’t publish articles in any given year—exactly one in the case of 2013.

The percentage of free journals is relatively low for OA in general and didn’t change significantly. The percentage of articles in free journals is quite low and basically unchanged. The number of articles grows each year, even ignoring journals that began too late to be included in this study, although with somewhat lower growth from 2013 to 2014.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 65 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013, 79 published fewer, and nine published the same number. For significant change, 62 (41%) published at least 10% more articles; 26 (17%) published roughly the same number; and 65 (42%) published at least 10% fewer—including eleven journals that either didn’t publish any articles (yet) in 2014 or, in a couple of cases, have become problematic (e.g., popping up potential malware).

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

0

0

Large

7

14%

2,875

4%

Medium

32

31%

3,106

24%

Small

61

59%

1,848

56%

Sparse

53

64%

466

64%

Table 9.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 9.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is or is in no-fee journals. There are no prolific ecology journals. All but one of the large journals charges APCs, and that one isn’t as large as the rest. Notably, the bulk of no-APC journals are either small or sparse.

Fees (APCs)

APC Jour. %Fee %All Art. %Fee %All
High

4

6%

3%

73

1%

1%

Medium

18

28%

12%

2,357

41%

29%

Low

23

35%

16%

2,502

43%

31%

Nominal

20

31%

14%

871

15%

11%

None

81

55%

2,208

28%

Table 9.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 2.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles in those journals; the seven “unknown” journals are omitted. %Fee is the percentage of all fee-charging journals; $All is the percentage of all journals and articles (except unknowns).

These are unusual numbers—specifically, not only are there very few high-APC journals ($1,451 and up), but those journals don’t publish very many articles. Since fee ranges are based on overall quartiles, any deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between ecology journals and OA as a whole—far fewer high-priced journals and moderately more with low and nominal prices (but most of the articles are in low-APC and medium-APC journals).

Is there a statistical correlation between APC level and peak articlke volume? No; the Pearson’s Coefficient is a very low 0.06

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1960-69

1

0%

1970-79

1

100%

1980-89

3

100%

1990-91

2

50%

1992-93

0

1994-95

2

100%

1996-97

2

50%

1998-99

5

80%

2000-01

9

67%

2002-03

11

100%

2004-05

13

31%

2006-07

23

57%

2008-09

24

42%

2010-11

34

44%

2012-13

23

43%

Table 9.5. Starting dates for ecology OA journals

Table 9.5 shows ecology OA journals by starting date, including the percentages of journal starting in a given date range that currently don’t charge APCs. There’s a sense of a gold rush for DOAJ journals as a whole, with many more APC-charging journals starting in 2006, and that seems to be true here, except starting earlier. Relatively few journals started before 2004, but most of those that did are free; since 2004, most typically charge APCs (with 2006-07 a break in the pattern).

Figure 9.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 9.5 but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals. Markers appear for APC-charging journals so that isolated periods are visible (e.g., 1960-69, 2000-01). Note that no ecology OA journals began before 1960.

Figure 9.1. Ecology journals by starting date

Table 9.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, and the average articles (in 2013) per journal. Interesting rows are 1970-79, 1996-97 and 2000-01, with distinctly more prolific journals than in most other years.

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1960-69

1

65

65

1970-79

1

121

121

1980-89

3

35

12

1990-91

2

63

32

1992-93
1994-95

2

28

14

1996-97

2

394

197

1998-99

5

275

55

2000-01

9

2,037

226

2002-03

10

323

32

2004-05

13

945

73

2006-07

23

858

37

2008-09

24

1,167

49

2010-11

34

1,274

37

2012-13

22

710

32

Table 9.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Definitions and notes

See The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background for definitions and notes

If you’re interested in a book-form version of this material (with an additional bonus graph added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com

A little egocheck with Google Scholar

Posted in Writing and blogging on April 22nd, 2015

Fair warning: no real significance here, just a little fun–engendered by Robin Hastings’ Facebook status giving me a shout-out for being mentioned in one of her LIS textbooks (a reference based on “Here’s the Content–Where’s the Context?” in the March 2000 American Libraries–an article, not a column).

Which, for some reason, caused me to go look at my Google Scholar page, for the first time in a while. (I dunno if that link will work. If not, not.)

I’m sure every scholar with even half an ego knows that Google Scholar uses the term “scholar” loosely, since neither the things it cites nor the citations it counts are in any way limited to Proper Scholarly Literature. Which is a good thing for me, as I’ve only written two or three refereed articles in my entire career, and I’m not even sure they’re among the–good grief, 479!–items listed on that Google Scholar page. (Really? 479? I guess so; apparently, even some Cites & Insights issues are included, as are many of my columns and even CD-ROM reviews. I just now deleted one, from the second page of 20 each, that’s by some other W. Crawford.)

Anyway: it’s an interesting list, in its own way. I have no idea what h-index and i10-index scores are supposed to mean, but mine are 17 and 21 respectively (or 7 and 4 since 2010), based, I guess, in part on 1,378 citations (298 since 2010–and I find the latter much more gratifying, since it means I’m not entirely old news.)

Then I get down to “what gets cited most?”

First, not surprisingly, I can’t entirely count as my own: Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness & Reality with 355(!) citations. I’d guess Michael Gorman’s fans are directly responsible for many of those. Still, I’ll take it.

Second, not too surprisingly: Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0″ (Cites & Insights 6:2) with 120 citations.

Third, an oldie but a goodie, MARC for Library Use, with 97 citations.

The rest are in some ways more interesting, because some of them are a trifle unexpected–e.g., #5, Being Analog: Creating Tomorrow’s Libraries, and #10, “Starting Over: Current Issues in Online Catalog User Interfce Design” from a 1992 issue of Information Technology and Libraries. Come to think of it, #8 may be surprising as well: Patron Access: Issues for Online Catalogs–a book that was, I believe, important and current when it was written, in 1987. Today, not so much. That five of the citations (of 32) are from the 21st century, and that two are within the past three years, is a little surprising.

Gratifying, in its own way: #4: “Paper Persists: Why Physical Library Collections Still Matter,” from Online in 1998. That date and the fact that the article was needed tell you something: if a few librarians are now complaining that they don’t want to read any more articles about print being superior to digital, you might remind them that for twenty years or more we’ve been reading seemingly endless accounts of how all-digital was inevitable, from N. Negroponte on down. (Being Digital appeared in 1995. The Wikipedia article on the book is “neutral” in that special way that start-class articles about Digital Gurus and their work tend to be…)

Enough; I’m certainly not going to slog through citations for the 100+ items that actually have citations.

 

 

On speaking: a few current notes

Posted in Speaking on April 21st, 2015

Here’s a calendar of my speaking engagements for the next 24 months.

Now that you’ve plowed through that, here are some notes about the situation.

No, I can assure you, your browser did not fail to display some embedded feature.

Would I be willing to speak? Probably

During my long and peculiar career, I’ve spoken–almost always to library groups, almost always invited–something over 100 times. With three exceptions, I’ve always enjoyed it (maybe 2.5 exceptions), both the speaking and the conference I was speaking at. That’s included something like 40 keynotes over the years.

Ideally, this post should really appear on April 26, 2013, because that will be two years to the day since the last invited speech (or any speech!) I’ve done, one of three at the 2013 OLA/WLA Joint Conference. (Which was most definitely enjoyable, and I’d like to think most of the people at the sessions found them worthwhile.) Or, maybe, on January 31, since that would have been six years since the previous invited library conference speech involving expenses and honorarium. (There were two others in between, but one was during an ALA Annual while I was still regularly attending ALA and the other was, to be honest, somewhat shoehorned into a program because of a book I’d just published.)

Which is to say that I haven’t been doing much speaking lately. That’s hardly surprising. It’s been a long time since I had a full-time job in the library field; my presence in the formal periodical literature has declined almost completely; I’m not a great PowerPoint/Prezi/Keynote presenter; and I’m getting on in years. (“I’m old” is another way to put it, but I’m only intermittently ready to claim that one so far.)

I’m writing this now rather than a few days from now, or never, because of a recent tweetversation (sorry) relating to the most populous state in which I’ve never spoken (I used to keep track of these things, and I’ve actually spoken in something over half the states, along with two Canadian provinces and two Australian states)–namely New Jersey, the 11th largest state by population, with 8.9 million people. Indeed, you have to drop down to #28, Oklahoma with 3.9 million, before you get to the next most populous state I’ve never spoken in. (After that, the list of states spared my speaking gets thick–#30, Iowa, #31, Mississippi, #32, Arkansas, #33, Utah…)

Anyway: the suggestion was made that the lack of a New Jersey speech could be rectified–and that resulted in this post.

On one hand, there’s the heading above. Would I be willing to speak? Probably–given the right circumstances and arrangements. You can read more about that here (I suppose I should update that 18-month-old page one of these years). I would certainly add “open access” and specifically “the state of gold OA” to the list of plausible topics; indeed, it may be the most plausible, given the work I’m doing and the forthcoming Library Technology Reports. But there are other possibilities.

On the other hand…

There are a lot of other, younger, more involved library folks out there

Many of whom are probably better speakers/presenters, some (maybe many) of whom are smarter, many of whom are more qualified to speak on almost any topic you can name.

Let’s face it: given travel costs these days and my unwillingness to camp out, share a room, sleep in a hostel, or fly in and out in a great hurry, it would be hard to justify meeting my terms unless several speeches and/or a keynote is involved. (Given the increased hassles of travel these days, and the fact that it’s a mild hassle to get from here to the nearest big airport, I really couldn’t justify going for a quick in-and-out trip.)

I suspect almost any conference would be much better off with younger, more involved keynote speakers–people better able to inspire attendees with contemporary views and issues.

Perhaps a better writer than presenter

I believe I’ve been a pretty decent speaker over the years (those years spent in the National Forensic League weren’t entirely wasted, although my Rhetoric degree from Berkeley had nothing whatsoever to do with public speaking–you couldn’t take speaking courses for credit in the major), but I suspect I’m nowhere near as good now as I was, say, in 1992-2003, the peak decade for speaking. For that matter, it was easier to get away without doing “decks” back then, and I’m really not a PPTer. (I’ve done them. I suspect some of the OLA/WLA attendees weren’t happy with them.)

I still write a lot, even if much of it’s self-published these days (not all!). It’s not as though my views and findings aren’t being heard. Speaking isn’t the same thing, but the profession isn’t missing anything major by my not speaking.

So…

Willing, probably–but you may be better off elsewhere

Would I be willing to speak if the arrangements, situation, expenses, etc. made sense? Yes.

Am I hoping to see invitations? That’s complicated.

Do I believe associations should be inviting me? Not really.

Will I be disappointed if I never do another library speech? Probably not.

Is asking and answering your own questions an annoying habit? Certainly, but a typical one.

 


A few words about those 2.5 cases

So what was wrong with three (or 2.5) speaking situations, such that I didn’t enjoy them?

  • The most blatant case was one where I’d agreed to do a same-day fly-in, speak at lunch, fly-out (a mistake to start with), and only required that I have a podium for my speaking notes. There was no podium or anything that could substitute, I was frazzled from the flight, and I’m sure I did a lousy job.
  • In another case, the policies of the inviting organization were such that it was extremely difficult for the inviting group to meet my expense requirements, I could only attend other sessions on the same day as my talk (as it happened, I didn’t do that), travel got messy (and when I got there, exhausted, the welcoming dinner turned into a multihour hassle that left me even more exhausted), and the whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s the one association I probably wouldn’t accept a return invitation from. Fortunately, that’s almost certainly never going to happen anyway.
  • The half case: The conference setting was wonderful, the people were lovely, some of the other sessions were interesting–but (a) I was a bad fit for the conference, (b) I came down with food poisoning on the day I was speaking, so that I felt like I was going to die while I was trying to speak, (c) I was speaking facing klieg lights for videotaping, so I couldn’t really see the people I was speaking to, (d) I very nearly got into a fight with another speaker during a group discussion. The organizer assured me that I did fine. But they also sent me a videotape: Nope, I did not do fine. It was a mess.

I have never ever been to a state or association library conference I did not enjoy–with one partial exception because my wife was along (which rarely happens) and was seriously ill, so that I could barely focus on the conference people. That wasn’t their fault.

The Open Access Landscape: 8. Earth Sciences

Posted in open access on April 17th, 2015

Earth Sciences include geography, geology, oceanography, some related fields (including some aspects of tourism)—and astronomy. This topic includes 189 journals, which published a total of 7,109 articles in 2013 and 7,541 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

130

69%

4,515

64%

35

Free

114

88%

3,010

67%

26

Pay

16

12%

1,505

33%

94

A$ pay

11

6%

1,698

24%

154

B

16

8%

597

8%

37

Free

4

25%

89

15%

22

Pay

12

75%

508

85%

42

C

4

2%

71

1%

18

Pay

2

50%

55

77%

28

Unk

2

50%

16

23%

8

D

28

15%

228

3%

8

Free

20

71%

151

66%

8

Pay

8

29%

77

34%

10

Table 8.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 8.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade, the fee, pay and unknown numbers, and average articles per journal. Boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all earth sciences journals, while others (free, pay, unk.) are percentages of the particular grade—e.g., 8% of the journals are grade B and 25% of those journals are free.

A$ means an APC of at least $1,000, so the redundant Pay line is omitted. As is usually the case, these journals have the most articles per journal—and, also as usual, it’s generally the case that APC-charging journals in a particular grade publish more articles than ones that don’t charge fees.

The small number of D journals—with a much smaller percentage of articles—include these subgroups: C: nine journals, 30 articles; D: four journals, 21 articles; E: one journal with four articles; H: five journals with 134 articles; N: one journal, seven articles; S: eight journals, 32 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

172

180

179

171

%Free

73%

73%

73%

74%

Articles

7,522

7,093

6,223

5,401

%Free

46%

46%

49%

57%

Table 8.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 8.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that actually published articles in each year, including all of 2014; how many articles those journals published; and what percentage were free.

The two “unknown” journals (with 16 articles in 2013) are omitted. The journal numbers don’t quite add up because there are journals in any given year that don’t publish any articles—e.g., four journals in 2013. (Some of those that haven’t published any articles in 2014 may be annuals or others with long delays in posting articles.)

The percentage of free journals is high for STEM and didn’t change significantly over these four years. While the percentage of articles in free journals is also high for STEM, it did drop from a majority in 2011 to 46% in 2013 and 2014.

OA activity in the earth sciences continues to grow, even without considering journals that entered DOAJ after May 7, 2014. Growth did slow in 2014, but only slightly.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 82 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; eleven published the same number of articles; 96 published fewer articles in 2014 than in 2013. In terms of significant change, 76 (40%) published at least 10% more articles, 29 (15%) were relatively unchanged; and 82 (43%) declined by 10% or more, including eleven journals that have yet to post any 2014 articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

0

0

Large

7

14%

2,297

5%

Medium

21

48%

1,689

39%

Small

90

80%

2,509

79%

Sparse

71

77%

614

80%

Table 8.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 8.3 shows the journal in each size category (based on the journal’s largest volume in 2011, 2012, 2013 or the first half of 2014), 2013 articles in that group, and what percentage is in no-fee journals. There are no prolific OA journals in the earth sciences. All but one of the small number of large journals charge APCs, and a majority of medium-sized journals also charge APCs—whereas most small and sparse journals are free. The pattern is fairly consistent with other OA fields.

Fees (APCs)

APC Jour. %Fee %All Art. %Fee %All
High

1

2%

1%

7

0%

0%

Medium

27

55%

14%

2,261

59%

32%

Low

13

27%

7%

1,217

32%

17%

Nominal

8

16%

4%

358

9%

5%

None

138

282%

74%

3,250

85%

46%

Table 8.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 8.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range (High: $1,451+; Medium: $601-$1,450; Low: $201-$600; Nominal: $8 to $200) and the number of 2013 articles for those journals.

Since fee ranges are based on quartiles for all fee-charging journals in this OA study, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between earth sciences and OA in general—and the differences are striking: almost no journals with high APCs (one journal publishing so few articles that it’s less than 0.5% of all earth sciences articles), relatively few with nominal fees—and a lot with medium fees.

Is there a statistical correlation between APC level and volume of articles in a journal’s peak year? Not really: the coefficient is 0.13, too low to be considered significant.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

5

100%

1960-69

1

100%

1970-79

6

100%

1980-89

4

50%

1990-91

1

100%

1992-93

0

0%

1994-95

2

50%

1996-97

8

88%

1998-99

8

100%

2000-01

12

83%

2002-03

20

95%

2004-05

18

61%

2006-07

14

79%

2008-09

33

64%

2010-11

41

59%

2012-13

16

69%

Table 8.5. Starting dates for earth sciences OA journals

Table 8.5 shows earth sciences OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started within a given date range that currently don’t charge APCs. For DOAJ journals as a whole, there’s a sense of a gold rush for APC-charging journals starting in 2006. Here, the rush seems to have begun in 2004-05, the first period with more than two new journals in which more than 17% charged APCs. The real surge, however, is in 2008-2011, with the most new journals and relatively high APC-charging percentages.

Figure 8.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 8.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals (leaving out the two unknowns). While APC-charging journals never do catch up with free journals (unlike most of STEM), the big jump is obvious. This graph is a little unusual in that there’s a sharp jump in 2002-03, all but one of the new journals free, then a drop for four years before the high growth in free and APC-charging journals in 2008-2011.

Figure 8.1. Earth sciences journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

5

120

24

1960-69

1

5

5

1970-79

6

373

62

1980-89

4

71

18

1990-91

1

5

5

1994-95

2

130

65

1996-97

8

387

48

1998-99

8

187

23

2000-01

12

490

41

2002-03

18

457

25

2004-05

17

1,712

101

2006-07

13

264

20

2008-09

31

1,484

48

2010-11

40

1,148

29

2012-13

16

276

17

Table 8.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 8.6 shows only those journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, how many articles they published in 2013 and the average number of articles per journal. To the extent that any periods stand out, they’re the high averages for 2004-2005 (primarily because the three most active journals in 2013 were all started in that period) and the surprisingly low averages for journals started in 2006-07 and 2010-11. (Many OA journals take a while to get going, so the low averages for 2012-2013 may not mean very much.)

Definitions and notes

See The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background for definitions and notes

If you’re interested in a book-form version of this material (with an additional bonus graph added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com

Library Technology Reports and access

Posted in ALA on April 13th, 2015

I’ve just been informed that Library Technology Reports–which is sold by subscription and by individual issue, but really functions more as a brief monographic series–has moved to the OJS platform (as have several other ALA publications).

Perhaps more to the point:

  • Going forward, issues will be open access after a year. (The first chapter of each issue is usually available immediately.) Note that LTR is not a “authors submit articles for free” situation: I’ve done two issues in the past (with one in process) and been paid for each one. (It’s a single fee, not a royalty situation, if you’re interested.)
  • For the next couple of months, all of the archives are freely available. Thus, “Big-Deal Serial Purchasing: Tracking the Damage” (LTR 50:4, May/June 2014) is now fully available (and since it will be a year old in a couple of months, should remain so), as is “Policy and Library Technology” (LTR 41:2, March/April 2005).

This may be a good opportunity for some of you to explore the LTR archives. And you can back up the URL (remove the /LTR) to journals.ala.org for a few of the other ALA-published journals such as LRTS.

The Open Access Landscape 2011-14: Status and possibilities

Posted in open access on April 13th, 2015

If you haven’t seen any of The Open Access Landscape posts, they’re not hard to find. If you don’t give a damn about OA or these subject-oriented discussions, then you should move along: nothing to see here.

If you do care, then please read on and comment if appropriate.

Status

It now seems probable that (barring death, disease, family crises or being so unnerved by the end of FriendFeed that I just stop doing everything) I will include full-2014 article counts in all of the subject posts.

I’ve been nibbling away at the 1,702 OA journals in medicine, and now have 1,400 of them done. It’s been good to do them 50 to 100 at a time, not only to get them all done but because a bunch of the journals insist on putting up a picture with each article in the tables of contents, and I can only take so many of those medical pictures at one sitting…

It also seems probable that (with the same caveats) I’ll do the full series. (If I disappeared tomorrow, you’d see six more posts–I’m a little ahead.)

Possibilities

As I noted in “The Front” in the May 2015 Cites & Insights, each post in this series begins as a draft chapter in a possible book–and I’m already adding one more table to each chapter after posting it (using Word’s blog template and publish-to-blog capabilities). That essay includes a somewhat compressed example of the additional table, which I find to be quite revealing.

I’d like to do the book–but it only makes sense to do it if I believe there will be some sales. That’s why I’ve invited comments (or direct email) on each post to express interest. To date, there have been no expressions of interest. That may (or may not) doom the project.

There are also some possibilities that could make the book more interesting and cause it to deviate further from the series of posts, depending on how much additional work I wished to do. For example:

  • I could add the 220-odd journals in DOAJ that began in 2014 and aren’t already in the study (six 2014 journals are there already), making Table x.2 and the discussion of whether OA in a given subject appears to be growing or declining even more complete. (That would also mean replacing Figure x.2, the new figure at the end of each current draft chapter.) In this case, I’d only modify those portions of the discussion, not the rest. Level of effort: Moderate (maybe an extra half-week to do the data gathering and 15-30 minutes per chapter, or 7-14 hours overall, to update the tables and discussions).

This would still not make this book a full 2011-2014 up-to-date picture or replacement for the Library Technology Reports issue, as I wouldn’t be including a detailed over view and–more significantly–I haven’t done any backfilling (adding or updating 2013 and sometimes 2012 figures for late article postings), I wouldn’t be adding what must be hundreds of earlier journals added to DOAJ since May 2014, I wouldn’t be modifying any grades or subgrades based on new data (e.g., a few “dead” journals have come back to life), and most of the analysis would still be based on 2013 rather than 2014 data.

  • I could add new analysis of article distribution by journal size, based on 2014 article counts and with segments based on actual data rather than my own sense of appropriate levels. (That is: I’d do running totals for all journals and for each subject, starting with the most prolific journal and continuing downward, then assign overall segments based on, say, the article count range representing one-quarter of all articles, etc.–then applying those ranges to subjects. Very similar to what I’ve done with fee levels.) Level of effort: Also moderate–no new data gathering, but more new analysis and adding new tables and text to all chapters. Worth: Another interesting way of looking at the data.
  • Theoretically, I could move to 2014 data for all of the tables that involve article counts (tables x.1, x.3, x.4, x.6–basically everything except table x.5 and figure x.1) and update the tables and text. Level of effort: Significant, as it means essentially rewriting most of each chapter.
  • Theoretically, I could add more journals–both new additions to DOAJ and, using Chrome as a browser and Google’s translate facilities, more of the non-English journals. At that point, the only thing that would make this not a full 2011-2014 picture would be the lack of backfilling and grade changing. I could even do limited backfilling, looking at journals with no 2013 articles or 2013 counts that are less than 2/3 of 2014 counts. Level of effort: Major, both investigation and rewriting everything.

I guess the question is whether any or all of these are worth doing, and “worth” at some point needs to include a financial aspect, at least a limited one.

These all lead up to the issue of whether it will make sense to do a five-year 2011-2015 study, rechecking all data. That wouldn’t take as long as the current study has taken, because I understand some of the article-count shortcuts better and because I could reuse a lot of the data, but it would still be a multi-hundred-hour project. I really want to do it; I’m looking for ways to make it realistic.

For either of these–whether to do an expanded 2011-2014 job with one or more of the bullets above included, and whether to plan on a 2011-2015 study in the first half of 2016–feedback is needed. Feedback might include whether it would be ludicrous to do an Indiegogo fundraiser in either or both cases, or whether there are other sources of (relatively modest) funding (e.g., doing all four bullets and a really good book for 2011-2014 might be at the $2,500-$4,000 level, where doing just the first or first two bullets might be justified at $1,000-$2,000; the 2011-2015 project would look like $5,000-$10,000 total, depending partly on how much goes out in perks). My first Indiegogo attempt was a disaster, but that was in a whole different area.

Comments? Advice? Sources of funding?

I won’t make any serious decisions about the 2011-2014 project until I finish the subject pass, which I’m guessing is going to be late May or sometime in June; the book wouldn’t come out until the LTR issue does, and with added bullets might be as late as September or October 2015. The 2011-2015 project couldn’t begin until mid-January 2016 in any case.

 

Misleading graphs: an anecdote

Posted in Technology and software on April 10th, 2015

This is the kind of thing I would have posted on FriendFeed to get quick reactions from a few hundred smart library folk. Unfortunately, FriendFeed’s really gone now–and frenf.it isn’t quite there yet. (Maybe soon.) So there may be more casual posts here, although they (unfortunately) almost certainly won’t get the kind of quick, open feedback they did there.

I use Excel for my “statistical” work and to create charts. (Excel 2010 at the moment, maybe 2013 in a few months…)

One thing I’ve always liked about Excel’s graphs, at least as starting points for customization, is that they’ve been “honest”–the Y axis always begins at zero, unless there are negative numbers in the dataset.

Today, I was finishing Chapter 13 of The Open Access Landscape (yes, I’m a little ahead; the posted version will appear on May 22) and adding the “bonus graph” that only appears in the book version (if the book appears–and if it does, it now seems likely there will be some other exclusive content, but that’s another post): a stacked-bar graph showing articles by year (2011 through 2014) with segments for articles in free OA journals, articles in journals with APCs (“pay”), and articles in journals that probably have APCs but where I can’t find the amount (“unknown”).

As usual, I selected the table with my mouse, clicked on Insert, Bar graph, the stacked-bar option.

And noticed at first that the graph was a little more dramatic than I’d expected.

It didn’t take long to figure out why: Excel had used 2,400 articles as the Y axis rather than 0.

It didn’t take much longer to fix, yielding a really non-dramatic graph that happens to be accurate and not misleading.

I’m still not sure I know why Excel made this choice. It could be because, unlike all the earlier similar graphs, the range of numbers–and especially the range of “free” numbers, 98%-99% of the total (there just aren’t many APC-charging OA history journals!)–is so narrow: from 2,683 to 3,039. (The “pay” numbers range from 32 to 56.) Setting the vertical range from 2,400 to 3,200 instead of from 0 to 3,100 made the changes more obvious and made the “pay” segment at least a little visible–but it also made the graph misleading. (Charts of Dow-Jones Industrial changes in newspapers do this every day–they turn tiny little deviations into Big Dramatic Changes.)

The moral to this story? Even though Excel’s defaults are typically reasonably honest, you still need to check what’s happened.

The Open Access Landscape: 7. Computer Science

Posted in open access on April 10th, 2015

Computer Science includes software, data processing, AI, robotics and portions of what might be considered information science. This topic includes 338 journals, which published a total of 23,281 articles in 2013 and essentially the same number (not allowing for new journals), 23,153, in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

188

56%

10,667

46%

57

Free

116

62%

4,061

38%

35

Pay

72

38%

6,606

62%

92

A$ pay

11

3%

1,533

7%

139

B

60

18%

7,100

30%

118

Free

16

27%

1,057

15%

66

Pay

44

73%

6,043

85%

137

C

19

6%

3,394

15%

179

Free

1

5%

15

0%

15

Pay

6

32%

2,361

70%

394

Unk

12

63%

1,018

30%

85

D

60

18%

587

3%

10

Free

45

75%

361

61%

8

Pay

15

25%

226

39%

15

Table 7.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 7.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade, the free, pay and unknown numbers, and average articles per journal. Boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all computer science journals or articles, while others (free, pay, unknown) are percentages of the particular grade. So, for example, 18% of the journals are grade B, and 27% of that 18% are free.

Since A$ means an APC of $1,000 or more, all A$ journals are Pay, so that line doesn’t appear. As is fairly typical, those journals average many more articles per journal than other A journals—but, unusually, they average fewer articles per journal than the highly questionable C journals and just more than the large number of APC-charging B journals. Across the board and as usual, however, journals with APCs publish more articles—on average—than journals without APCs.

The D journals, which as usual include relatively few articles, include these subgroups: C: five journals with 33 articles in 2013; D: ten journals, 37 articles; E: 12 journals, 41 articles; H: 11 journals, 393 articles; S: 22 journals, 83 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

284

316

304

262

%Free

53%

54%

55%

58%

Articles

22,314

22,263

20,111

12,562

%Free

22%

25%

27%

31%

Table 7.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 7.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that published articles in each year, including all of 2014, how many articles those journals published and what percentage were free.

The 12 “unknown” journals (with 1,018 articles in 2013, a fairly large number for journals that conceal their APCs) are omitted. The numbers still don’t add up to 338 because some journals don’t publish articles in any give year—ten of them in 2013, for example.

Although most computer science OA journals don’t charge APCs, the percentages here are lower than for OA as a whole or STEM, and show a slow decline (that is, increase in APC-charging journals) over recent years. The article percentages are distinctly low even for STEM, and the percentage of free articles has been steadily declining.

Without the “unknown” journals, total OA articles increased marginally in 2014, after a modest increase from 2012 and a huge increase from 2011. It’s quite possible that OA activity in computer science fields has plateaued, although new journals may change that picture.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 120 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 20 stayed the same; 198 published fewer articles in 2014. In terms of significant change, 111 journals (33%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 58 (17%) were relatively unchanged; and 169 (precisely half) published at least 10% fewer articles in 2014—including 42 that, so far, have not published any articles in 2014 (but a few of those are tricky cases, because one publisher’s archival controls seem to be malfunctioning).

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

4

0%

3,316

0%

Large

26

8%

8,691

8%

Medium

86

29%

7,193

30%

Small

124

62%

3,284

64%

Sparse

98

76%

797

69%

Table 7.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 7.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is free or in no-fee journals. The pattern here is not terribly unusual: the prolific journals all charge APCs, nearly all of the large ones also do, and two-thirds of the small and sparse ones don’t.

Fees (APCs)

APC Jour. %Fee %All Art. %Fee %All
High

5

3%

2%

719

4%

3%

Medium

21

14%

6%

1,273

8%

5%

Low

43

29%

13%

5,964

36%

26%

Nominal

79

53%

24%

8,813

53%

38%

None

178

55%

5,494

24%

Table 7.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 7.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. “Unknowns”—journals with APCs that aren’t stated—are left out of these calculations.

Since fee ranges for the OA universe were established based on actual quartiles (that is, 25% of fee-charging journals are in each range from High through Nominal), deviations from 25% represent differences between computer science OA journals and OA as a while. Here’ the differences are fairly clear: computer science journals are far less likely to charge high or even medium APCs than fee-charging OA journals as a whole—and the journals with relatively high fees don’t publish a large percentage of articles.

There is no statistical correlation (-0.06) between APC level and volume of articles; given the broad figures, a negative correlation might be expected.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1980-89

2

50%

1990-91

0

1992-93

2

100%

1994-95

2

100%

1996-97

6

83%

1998-99

7

100%

2000-01

11

91%

2002-03

19

79%

2004-05

19

79%

2006-07

35

57%

2008-09

66

53%

2010-11

111

43%

2012-13

57

30%

Table 7.5. Starting dates for computer science OA journals

Table 7.5 shows computer science journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given date range that currently do not charge APCs.

For DOAJ as a whole, I get a sense of a gold rush of new APC-charging journals from 2006 through 2011, diminishing somewhat since then. Not surprisingly, there are no very early computer science OA journals: before 1980, there just wasn’t much of a field there. The gold rush seems clear enough: from 1992 through 2005, at least three-quarters of OA journals do not charge APCs—but that percentage drops sharply in later years as the number of new journals rises sharply. Figure 7.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 7.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals, including markers so that certain dates show up. I think the graph is fairly clear: almost no APC-charging journals as free journals started rising—then a huge surge in APC-charging journals through 2010-2011.

Figure 7.1. Computer science OA journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1980-89

2

23

12

1990-91

0

0

1992-93

2

65

33

1994-95

2

166

83

1996-97

6

303

51

1998-99

6

334

56

2000-01

11

375

34

2002-03

18

1,279

71

2004-05

18

2,165

120

2006-07

33

2,125

64

2008-09

64

4,184

65

2010-11

109

8,434

77

2012-13

57

3,828

67

Table 7.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 7.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, and average articles per journal. Two time periods stand out: journals that began in 2004-2005 have considerably more articles per journal than others, with 1994-95 not too far behind.

Comments

Computer science is generally a newer field than most other broad topical divisions. While the emergence of hundreds of OA journals, most of them charging APCs, suggests a gold rush, most of those journals charge relatively modest fees—and the ones with four-digit APCs don’t publish a high percentage of articles.

Definitions and notes

See The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background for definitions and notes

If you’re interested in a book-form version of this material (with an additional bonus graph added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com

Cites & Insights 15:5 (May 2015) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on April 6th, 2015

The May 2015 Cites & Insights (15:5) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i5.pdf

The 2-column print-oriented version is 24 pages long.

If you’re reading it online or on an e-reader (tablet, etc.), or if you want working links, you may prefer the one-column 6×9″ version (46 pages long), available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i5on.pdf

This issue includes:

The Front: The Open Access Landscape  pp. 1-3

Notes on the series of blog posts that began in early March 2015 and will continue through either mid-September or mid-November; the potential book that would combine those posts and add new material; and the possibility of a five-year longitudinal study of the state of gold OA (2011-2015) in 2016, if funding becomes available.

Libraries: FriendFeed, Going. LSW, Not.  pp. 3-10

An elegy (of sorts) for FriendFeed, scheduled to disappear on April 9 (unless Facebook listens to InfoWorld and others and lets it keep going)–and to the Library Society of the World, which in its own informal way has meant so much to me and many others.

Social Networks: Slightly More Than 140 Characters Words Sentences Paragraphs About Twitter  pp. 10-19

A possibly-amusing set of mostly-old musings by others about Twitter’s inevitable decline and fall, certainly gone by now, and the decline of Western civilization–also why it’s nothing but a note-taking system and the need for balance.

The Back  pp. 19-24

Ten brief (and some not-so-brief) rants and amusements.

 


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