It’s been roughly three weeks since “Journals, ‘Journals’ and Wannabes: Investigating the List” (Cites & Insights 14:7, July 2014) appeared.
Thanks largely to those who tweeted and retweeted items about it or even blogged about it (you know who you are, and thanks), it’s had reasonably good readership so far: just under 1,400 copies downloaded as of the last time I looked.
That’s not great–less than half the first-month downloads for “Ethics and Access 1: The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall” (April 2014), although I suppose people could have been hot to read “Forecasts and Futurism” in that issue, but more than the first-month downloads for “Ethics and Access 2: The So-Called Sting” (May 2014, accompanied by “Future Libraries: A Roundup”).
In case it’s not obvious, the July issue was a lot of work, so much so that it can only be justified by whim. Still, I believe the results made it at least partly worthwhile–specifically, the finding (as I interpret it) that most of the vast number of “journals” on Beall’s lists aren’t really predatory because either they don’t actually exist or because authors who are paying attention wouldn’t submit papers to them anyway. Oh, and the perhaps-more-important finding that the casual assumption, which I’ve seen stated by people who should know better, that most OA journals are sketchy isn’t supported by any facts in evidence, and certainly not by Beall’s list.
There’s the question. The issue’s been downloaded. I’ll assume it’s been read (never quite a safe assumption, but…)
Will it have any medium-term or long-term impact?
Will people view Gold OA journals a little less cynically?
Will people regard Beall’s efforts as the hobby (or hobbyhorse) they are rather than as indictments of OA in general?
I don’t have answers. It is, of course, awfully early to say. I’m not sure how I would find answers.
But it feels like an important question.