Gray OA: Another snapshot

As noted in August, I’m trying to determine the actual size and flavor of “gray OA”–that is, gold OA journals that weren’t in DOAJ as of 12/31/15.

I’ve now reached roughly the halfway point: 500 publishers and “publishers” (and ones that are neither) out of slightly more than 1,000.

Here’s what I find:

  • There are 10,044 journal names so far–excluding ones that are in DOAJ, but…
  • Only 2,655 of those have published at least one article between 1/1/2011 and 6/30/2016, and can be properly analyzed.
  • 6,402 “journals” are entirely empty–and most of those consist of nothing more than template-generated webpages.
  • 587 might have articles, but don’t state APCs–and most that I’ve checked have very few articles.
  • 402 either can’t be reached, don’t work, aren’t OA at all, are “hybrid” or otherwise don’t belong.

You may notice that those numbers are nowhere near being 25% larger than in the August update, although they include 25% more “publishers.”

Article counts? 38.666 for the first half of2016; 79,787 for 2015; 75,608 (approximately) for 2014; 56.040 (approximately) for 2013; 40,593 (approximately) for 2012.

Are there some paper mills here? Yes, I think so, although not many (and I’m guessing most of the authors know exactly what they’re doing). To wit, the ten journals with the most 2015 articles (that’s ten of 2,655, or less than 0.5%) have between one-sixth and one-fifth of all the articles–e.g., 15,870 for 2015 and 14,678 for 2014.

Still not willing to suggest what the final numbers will be.

And now setting it aside to write the big essay for the next C&I…and take care of other business.


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