GOA5: Status and Questions

As of today, I’ve completed the initial scan of 14,128 DOAJ-listed gold OA journals, the second scan (starting April 14) to pick up additional articles and do some follow-up, and a “pre-third” scan (starting April 29) to clear up as many problematic journals as possible. The final third scan will begin Friday, May 15, a deadline shared earlier, to see whether more malware and problematic cases have been cleared up. (There are 786 journals in that final scan, including around 140 malware cases where I was able to gather the data needed but am hoping that the malware will be cleared up.

Once that final scan is complete–around a week to ten days, barring other issues–I’ll start adding calculated data (e.g., 2019 journal revenue), then start in on the books. I’m still saying “July or maybe August” for completion, especially given the state of things (and some known causes of likely delay), but it’s possible that it could be done in late June. MODIFIED May 14: Things have opened up enough that I will be having cataract surgery during June, both eyes, two weeks apart. It’s likely that I’ll get either no work or very little work done on the project while resting my eyes…so don’t expect the books and dataset until late July or some time in August.

Oh, and if you’re wondering: almost certainly not more than 14,000 fully-analyzed journals (with articles later than 2013), but also certainly more than 800,000 articles for 2019, probably quite a bit more than 800,000.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at changes in the books/reports and would be delighted to get feedback (definitely before May 22, preferably by May 14) on a couple of issus. To wit:

  • Should I reduce the growth/shrinkage tables from seven rows to three? I did this for the Subject and Publisher book last year (which won’t be repeated due to lack of interest), using Grew 25% +, Even +/- 24.99%, and Shrank 25% + instead of the finer categories in the main book and Country book. My inclination is to make this change, but I’d love feedback.
  • Should I change the format to the Country style? Which is to say: drop the captions for tables and figures but add third-level headings with the same information. The differences are that headings appear above the tables and figures rather than below, that the tables and figures don’t have numbered captions (no “Table 10.43); that there’s some space savings; and that you don’t get commentary for one table appearing immediately above the next table. (A book designer would say that I’d also be violating a classic tenet, as many heading3 cases would appear without prior heading2 cases.) I can still create an index of the tables and figures, since the only heading3 instances would be these labels. [Page 57 of GOA4, the paragraph beginning “Table 7.11.,” is one case where the paragraph seems “attached” to the next table.] My inclination is also to make this change.
  • Should I move subject coverage to follow region coverage? Here, I don’t think there’s much choice, Since there is no Cites & Insights in which to provide expanded subject coverage, and since I believe it’s not enough to just provide three tables for each subject, and since ginormously long and complicated subject-group chapters seem absurd, I think the solution is to have what was Chapters 12-18 in GOA4 appear as Chapters 9-15 and have 31 subject chapters (three groups and 28 subjects) follow. Objections? Other suggestions?

I believe that’s it. There may be other tweaks, but for consistency the fee price ranges and article count ranges will be the same as in previous years.

Oh: if you’re wondering: no-fee journals are still right around 70% of all the journals, but the percentage of articles with fees seems to have gone up a bit, maybe crossing the 60% mark. In other words, on average fee-based journals have about twice as many articles as no-fee journals.

Responses welcome as comments here or as email to waltcrawford@gmail.com. Preferably by May 14, absolutely by May 22.

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