A while back, I wrote a post explaining why the dataset for Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 will not include journal names and publishers, and invited people to send me email explaining possible positive use cases if that decision was changed.
I’ve received one such email so far, resulting in an exchange of email; I’ve saved it for later consideration.
Meanwhile, a tweetstorm has erupted that seems to say that my work is useless if I don’t provide the full data. Apparently the other post is too long to read (or didn’t get read), so here’s a slightly different and shorter version–but you still need to read the other post before you respond.
- If somebody attempted to replicate the research starting in, say, July 2016, the results will be different for some significant number of journals, for several reasons (some of them having to do with what gets counted, some of them having to do with delays in posting, some because journals that yield 404s in March may not in July or vice-versa).
- Somebody out to snipe or discredit will also look at individual journals and disagree with my choice of which of 28 broad subjects to assign it to; in quite a few cases, more than one choice is reasonable.
- I’m very interested in use cases–cases where useful additional research would be possible based on a non-anonymized spreadsheet. (In some such cases, the dataset will be made available to the group or person–I’ve already done that for the previous dataset.) If there are convincing cases, I’d talk to SPARC about whether it makes sense to open up the data completely. And hope that I don’t spend the rest of the year dealing with a stream of “But THIS NUMBER’S WRONG, so your whole study’s worthless” or “But THIS JOURNAL’S REALLY ABOUT X, so your whole study’s worthless” or variants of that.
- Email (to email@example.com) calmly suggesting positive use cases will be dealt with politely and taken into account. Head-on attacks 140 characters at a time are, shall we say, less likely to persuade me. (Well, they might persuade me never to get involved in this kind of project again, so if that’s your motive…)
- Oh, and by the way: This isn’t about hiding methodology. I’ve never done so, and don’t plan to start now.
I’ll be off the air entirely for several days beginning the evening of March 28, so email may not receive quick responses at that point. Meanwhile, I’d like to get back to getting something done.