Author Archive

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.

 

The Open Access Landscape: 6. Chemistry

Posted in open access on April 3rd, 2015

Chemistry as a subject doesn’t seem to require much clarification (noting that most biochem ended up in Biology). This subject includes 136 OA journals that published 12,258 articles in 2013 and almost exactly the same number (12,429) in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

72

53%

5,431

44%

75

Free

57

79%

3,114

57%

55

Pay

15

21%

2,317

43%

154

A$ pay

14

10%

5,123

42%

366

B

15

11%

610

5%

41

Free

6

40%

153

25%

26

Pay

9

60%

457

75%

51

C

11

8%

725

6%

66

Free

2

18%

122

17%

61

Pay

4

36%

365

50%

91

Unk

5

45%

238

33%

48

D

24

18%

369

3%

15

Free

15

63%

242

66%

16

Pay

9

38%

127

34%

14

Table 6.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 6.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade, the free, pay and unknown numbers, and average articles per journal. Note that boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all chemistry journals, while others (free, pay, unknown) are percentages of the particular grade (so, for example, 8% of the journals are grade C, highly questionable, and 36% of those eight journals require APCs and say what they are).

Since A$ means an APC of $1,000 or higher, all A$ journals are in the Pay category and the redundant line is omitted. Chemistry is an extreme case of the expensive journals having many more articles than other journals—with 10% of the journals, this group published 42% of the articles, more than twice as many per journal as less expensive apparently-good journals. Note that most apparently-good journals that don’t cost $1,000 or more per article don’t charge APCs at all—79% of them, publishing a majority of the articles in that group.

The group of D journals includes these subgroups: C: seven journals, publishing 85 articles in 2013 and 59 in 2014; no D journals; E: two journals publishing seven articles in 2013—but 41 in 2014; H: four journals publishing 242 articles in 2013 but only 113 in 2014; N: one journal, no articles in either year; S: ten journals publishing 35 articles in 2013 but only 17 in 2014 (noting that S journals are sometimes annuals and publish on a delayed basis).

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

123

126

115

99

%Free

61%

61%

59%

58%

Articles

12,261

12,020

11,139

9,016

%Free

29%

30%

32%

37%

Table 6.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 6.2 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 five “unknown” journals (with 238 articles in 2013) are omitted from all figures and percentages. The numbers may still not add up because there are some journals that don’t publish articles in any given year—five of them in 2013, for example.

The percentage of free journals is fairly typical of OA in general and, somewhat oddly for STEM, actually increased over the past few years. On the other hand, the percentage of articles appearing in free journals is quite low (although higher than biology) and has declined significantly since 2011.

These journals published slightly more articles in 2014 than in 2013, after mild growth from 2012 and significant growth from 2011. Note that, as always, journals that began in 2014 (or appeared in DOAJ after May 7, 2014) are not included; you might expect 5% more journals based on past history, but most of them probably wouldn’t publish a lot in the first year.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 64 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; eight published the same number; and 64 published fewer articles in 2014—a nicely symmetric set of results. In terms of significant change, 53 journals (39%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 33 (24%) were relatively unchanged; and 50 (37%) published at least 10% fewer articles, including six that have not yet published any 2014 articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

2

0%

2,406

0%

Large

17

47%

5,903

39%

Medium

25

68%

2,107

72%

Small

58

18%

1,542

19%

Sparse

34

66%

300

61%

Table 6.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 6.3 shows the number of journals in each size range, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is in no-free journals. The picture here is a bit unusual: Although, as usual, prolific journals charge APCs and larger journals tend to charge APCs, with the percentage of free journals getting larger as the volume of articles gets smaller, small chemistry journals (20 to 59 articles in the peak year) mostly do charge APCs, unlike medium-size and sparse journals.

Fees (APCs)

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

5

10%

4%

2,473

29%

21%

Medium

21

41%

16%

2,878

34%

24%

Low

11

22%

8%

1,037

12%

9%

Nominal

14

27%

11%

2,001

24%

17%

None

80

61%

3,631

30%

Table 6.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 6.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. Since the fee ranges are based on quartiles of this universe, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between chemistry journals and OA as a whole—considerably fewer high-fee journals ($1,451 and up) and considerably more medium-fee ($601 to $1,450). Most fee-paid articles are in journals with medium or high fees. There is a modest correlation (0.31) between APC level and peak volume of articles.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1970-79

1

0%

1980-89

3

67%

1990-91

1

100%

1996-97

6

67%

1998-99

3

100%

2000-01

5

60%

2002-03

5

100%

2004-05

7

100%

2006-07

16

63%

2008-09

15

33%

2010-11

42

45%

2012-13

31

68%

Table 6.5. Starting dates for chemistry OA journals

Table 6.5 shows OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in each date range that currently don’t charge APCs. There are very few old chemistry journals that are currently OA—none before 1970 and only five total prior to 1996—and in this case the gold rush, such as it is, appears to run from 2008 to 2011. Figure 6.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 6.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals. I’ve included markers for APC-charging journals, since otherwise nothing would appear before 2006. Note gaps in dates in the graph—and the empty space for 1970-79 is because the single OA journal started in that period has an unknown APC.

Figure 6.1. Chemistry journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1970-79

1

48

48

1980-89

3

1,021

340

1990-91

1

258

258

1996-97

6

1,370

228

1998-99

3

348

116

2000-01

5

1,607

321

2002-03

4

345

86

2004-05

6

441

74

2006-07

15

2,363

158

2008-09

15

1,454

97

2010-11

41

1,651

40

2012-13

31

1,352

44

Table 6.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 6.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, how many articles they published in 2013 and the average articles per journal. The numbers are all over the place, with notably prolific journals starting in the 1980s, 1996-97 and 2000-2001.

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

Ten Years of W.a.R.

Posted in Writing and blogging on April 1st, 2015

Ten years. I’ve been doing this for ten years.

The first post on Walt at Random appeared on April 1, 2005; the date was intentional.

Back then, I still worked at RLG. (Back then, there still was an RLG.) I was still writing two columns, one in EContent and one in Online. Cites & Insights was in its fifth year. And the blog seemed like a good idea at the time.

Since then? More than 2,000 posts (the dashboard says 1,990, but I’ve deleted some posts such as announcements of Lulu sales). 4,118 posted comments (almost none in recent years), plus 105,113 spamments and counting.

Here’s a look at posting frequency—counting only posts that are still available:

 

Maybe you can see a pattern in that graph, other than things completely falling apart in 2014. I can’t.

Major categories: Writing and blogging; Cites & Insights; Movies and TV; Books and publishing…and Stuff, which is partly posts I forget to categorize.

I’d link to the very first post, but I keep getting the fourth post when I try to do that. Not very interesting anyway.

Looking back ten years, I do notice one thing: there are several minor items I’ve thought about blogging about…and it turns out I already did. Ten years ago.

As for overall statistics: I haven’t a clue. (Yeah, I know, but also not about overall W.a.R. statistics.) The program that’s currently running only shows statistics for the current month. As of yesterday (when I’m actually writing this), March 31, 2015, at about 5 a.m., here’s what I see:

6.213 unique visitors. 2,2690 visits from people, with 57,291 pages. Another 183,181 pages (192,745 hits) of “not viewed traffic”—robots, worms, etc.

The summary does show other months for the current year; turns out uniqwue visitors is nearly constant, at 6,189-6,298 per month.

As for the most visited pages for March 2015? That’s an odd lot. Excluding overhead (/feed/ and the like):

  • Signs of Spring (April 16, 2011), 2,420 views—a post about our photovoltaic system. Really?
  • Post-OCLC: A midterm update (August 7, 2007), 1,359 views—now that’s just sad. (I should note that I got lots of kind words during the process, but also that there’s one library director I hope never to encounter again, as he made a point of saying how wonderful it was that RLG had been merged, resulting in my job loss—and that was all he—and of course it was a he—said. Apparently simply not responding wasn’t an option, where gratuitous salt-rubbing was.)
  • The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background (March 3, 2015), 649 views—finally, a current post.
  • The Open Access Landscape: 2. Agriculture (March 6, 2015), 415 views

And a mix of old and new with fewer than 400 views.

The #1 search keyphrase: “what is a peachcot”

Which seems like an ideal place to end this blogiversary post.

The Open Access Landscape: 5. Biology

Posted in open access on March 27th, 2015

Biology includes most everything that has “bio” as a leading part of its topic. This topic includes 336 journals, which published a total of 24,127 articles in 2013—and, excluding brand-new journals, 29,927 articles in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

155

46%

8,744

36%

56

Free

98

63%

5,149

59%

53

Pay

57

37%

3,595

41%

63

A$ pay

93

28%

12,807

53%

138

B

18

5%

1,401

6%

78

Free

5

28%

377

27%

75

Pay

13

72%

1,024

73%

79

C

24

7%

825

3%

34

Free

1

4%

32

4%

32

Pay

7

29%

225

27%

32

Unk

16

67%

568

69%

36

D

46

14%

350

1%

8

Free

22

48%

192

55%

9

Pay

22

48%

151

43%

7

Unk

2

4%

7

2%

4

Table 5.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 5.1 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 biology journals, while others (free, pay, unknown) are percentages of that grade—so, for example, 7% of the journals are grade C and 4% of those 7% are (or is, since it’s only one journal) free.

Since A$ means an apparently-good journal with an APC of $1,000 or more, all A$ journals are in the Pay category; I’ve omitted a redundant line. Biology stands out for the very high percentage of articles—more than half—appearing in expensive journals, themselves a high percentage of all biology journals. Notably, those journals on average publish more than twice as many articles per journal as APC-charging apparently-good journals with lower fees (but not quite twice as many as those requiring investigation).

D journals—which, as usual, have far fewer articles per journal than any other group—break down as follows: C: 11 journals with 94 articles in 2013; D: six journals, 37 articles; E: 6 journals, 55 articles; H: seven journals, 93 articles; S: 16 journals, 71 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

301

314

299

268

%Free

39%

39%

40%

40%

Articles

29,352

23,552

22,374

19,993

%Free

19%

24%

24%

24%

Table 5.2. Journals and articles by year

Table 5.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that published articles (so far) in each year, including all of 2014, how many articles those journals published and what percentage were free. The 18 “unknown” journals (with 575 articles in 2013) are omitted. The journal numbers still don’t quite add up because some journals don’t publish articles in any given year (and it’s likely that a number of small journals haven’t yet posted 2014 articles).

The percentage of non-fee OA journals is distinctly lower than in most of OA, but has stayed fairly constant. The percentage of articles in non-fee journals is very low, much lower than typical, and dropped significantly in 2014.

Since there appear to be slight downturns in OA publishing in some topics (omitting brand-new journals), it’s worth noting the substantial increase in article count for biology journals, up by nearly a quarter (24.6%).

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 150 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 16 published the same number; 170 published fewer. In terms of significant change, 127 journals (38%) published at least 10% more articles, 68 (20%) were relatively unchanged; and 141 (42%) published significantly fewer articles, including 17 small journals that have yet to publish any 2014 articles (those 17 published a total of 90 articles in 2013) and four, one of them with more than 100 articles in 2013, that seem to have disappeared or have defective sites.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

2

0%

2,195

0%

Large

28

21%

9,837

16%

Medium

90

31%

7,778

32%

Small

135

41%

3,601

39%

Sparse

81

46%

716

50%

Table 5.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 5.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (where “peak” does not include full-2014 numbers), 2013 articles in that group, and what percentage is or is in no-fee journals. Both of the prolific biology OA journals charge fees (one over $1,000, one under). There’s a clear and typical stepwise correlation between the size of the journal and the likelihood of it charging APCs—although even among the two least-prolific categories, a majority of journals charge fees.

 

Fees (APCs)

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

94

49%

30%

12,024

68%

51%

Medium

35

18%

11%

2,597

15%

11%

Low

44

23%

14%

1,865

10%

8%

Nominal

19

10%

6%

1,316

7%

6%

None

126

40%

5,750

24%

Table 5.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 5.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range (High: $1,451+; Medium: $601 to $1,450; Low: $201 to $600; Nominal: $8 to $200) and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. (Unknowns are omitted.) %Fee shows the percentage of all fee-charging journals or articles in those journals; %All shows the percentage of all journals or articles (excluding unknowns).

Since the fee ranges are based on quartiles of the full study universe, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between biology journals and OA as a whole—e.g., a much higher percentage of high-cost journals and much lower percentage of nominal-cost journals. Also noteworthy: more than two-thirds of articles in fee-charging journals (and a majority of all articles) appeared in the most expensive journals.

There’s no significant correlation (0.10) between APC charged and peak article volume.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

7

57%

1960-69

2

0%

1970-79

2

50%

1980-89

9

56%

1990-91

1

100%

1992-93

0

0%

1994-95

5

60%

1996-97

9

67%

1998-99

12

67%

2000-01

15

53%

2002-03

19

53%

2004-05

20

35%

2006-07

25

32%

2008-09

48

35%

2010-11

112

28%

2012-13

49

35%

Table 5.5. Starting dates for biology OA journals

Table 5.5 shows biology OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given date range that currently don’t charge APCs. (One 2014 journal is omitted.)

For DOAJ as a whole, there’s a sense of a gold rush starting in 2006, with a sharp increase in the percentage of APC-charging journals—and there’s certainly a sharp drop in the percentage of free biology journals, starting in 2004 rather than 2006. With one anomaly (both of the journals started in the 1960s currently charge APCs), at least half of the journals started in each time period prior to 2004 currently don’t charge APCs—but that’s true for barely more than a third in more recent periods. The gold rush shows here as a sharp increase in the overall number of biology OA journals beginning in 2008, most of those journals charging fees.

Figure 5.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 5.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals (since they’re lines without markers, the pre-1960 mark for free journals doesn’t show). Note the dramatic change starting in 2006.

Figure 5.1. Biology journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

6

308

51

1960-69

2

186

93

1970-79

2

117

59

1980-89

9

442

49

1990-91

1

30

30

1992-93

0

0

0

1994-95

5

527

105

1996-97

9

483

54

1998-99

12

1,044

87

2000-01

15

1,082

72

2002-03

18

2,356

131

2004-05

20

2,872

144

2006-07

25

1,756

70

2008-09

48

2,559

53

2010-11

110

8,200

75

2012-13

49

2,165

44

Table 5.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 5.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, 2013 articles and average articles per journal. Perhaps noteworthy are the high average articles per journal figures for 2002-2005.

Comments

The patterns are fairly clear: an unusually high percentage of very expensive journals, an unusually low percentage of articles in no-fee journals, a distinct gold rush in recent years.

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

Mystery Classics Disc 44

Posted in Movies and TV on March 26th, 2015

What? You thought I’d given up old movies? Not entirely—but the Open Access Landscape project has been interesting enough to use up most of the Wednesday afternoons I’d otherwise spend on movies.

Power, Passion and Murder, 1983, color (TV—see below). Michelle Pfeiffer, Darren McGavin, Stella Stevens and a whole bunch of other people. 1:28.

The good parts: interesting cast members, and I believe they get the look and feel of ’30s Hollywood down pretty well…although that was even before my time.

The bad parts: Where to begin? The plot—or, rather, the two plots that seem to come and go with no real interaction—seems contrived and more vignette than anything else. One plot boils down to: studio head has a bad evening. The other boils down to: single actress seduces married man, leading rapidly to disaster. In neither case is there enough development (character or otherwise) for me to feel anything about it. The picture varies from soft and damaged to mediocre. The sound is far worse—with volume levels and distortion varying so widely that I probably missed a significant chunk of the dialogue.

Cast or no cast, this is a mess. Trying to find it in IMDB makes things even messier: it is, apparently, two separate episodes of PBS’ Great Performances mashed together into a single, well, mash. Or is it two episodes of something else? If I try to reconstruct it, there’s “Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson” from 1987 (or was it 1983?), with Pfeiffer and a bunch of other people—but I don’t remember seeing most of the people in the cast listing actually in the segments starring Pfeiffer. There’s also “A Table at Ciro’s” with McGavin, Stevens and others—I guess from 1983. Apparently the mess is supposed to be 16 minutes longer. It would still be a mess. Charitably, $0.50.

Midnight Cop (orig. Killing Blue), 1988, color. Peter Patzak (dir.), Armin Mueller-Stahl, Morgan Fairchild, Frank Stallone, Julia Kent, Michael York. 1:36.

This nourish cop flick set in Berlin is a little strange at times (the police station seems to be going through some extreme renovations that involve lots of broken toilets), but it’s also surprisingly effective and tags an ending onto the main plot that’s a nice, satisfying twist.

Basically, a police inspector is having trouble sleeping, lost his wife and daughter, and is pretty much messed up because he accidentally shot a young girl while trying to arrest a major criminal (who got away); he frequently takes gifts to the place where the now-crippled girl is recovering but (until late in the film) isn’t prepared to meet her. Meanwhile, he has a new assistant—and is dealing with a DA (who’s a friend) as well. The colleague’s daughter’s friend is murdered in an odd manner; they both become involved; a drug dealer seems to be the obvious suspect; a prostitute also becomes involved with the inspector and in the plot; and all is not quite what it seems.

I liked it. Morgan Fairchild makes a great prostitute; Michael York is very effective in a complicated role; Armin Mueller-Stahl, the inspector, is first-rate; the whole cast is good. Pretty good print, no real problems. I’ll give it $1.50.

The Stoolie, 1972, color. John G. Avidsen & George Silano (dirs.), Jackie Mason, Dan Frazer, Marcia Jean Kurtz. 1:30 [1:28]

This feels like a Jackie Mason vanity project (he’s the star and the executive producer) to show his chops as a dramatic actor. If so, I’d rate it a D: he certainly maintains a cheap-grifter persona throughout, but that’s about it. He plays, well, a bozo, a low-rent criminal (who’s such a loser that his “partners” in crime screw him out of his share as a matter of course) who’s also a stoolie for one police detective in Weehawken. He ups his game enough to convince the detective to give him $7,500 in police money to set up a string (or something)—and takes off for Miami with the money.

There, after demonstrating to various & sundry what a bozo he is, he meets up with a young woman who’s as down on life as he seems to be, and shazam, they’re in love and engaged…but the detective nearing retirement, who faces being thrown off the force for throwing away $7,500, has tracked him down. The rest of the movie is attempts by the cop and the grifter, with the girl along for the ride, to raise the $7,500 (he’d already spent all but a few hundred)—which the cop finally manages to do, turning thoroughly bad in the process. He drives off with his money (upped to $10,000) and two bags of heroin taped to the car, one of which is leaking. The couple are left in Miami, where their future…well, it’s a low-rent movie. A dispiriting movie at that. Charitably, $0.75.

Cross Mission (orig. Fuoco incrociato), 1988, color. Alfonso Brescia (dir.), Richard Randall, Brigitte Porsche (as “Porsh”), Peter Hintz, Maurice Poli. 1:31.

The plot: a military dictator has run a Latin American country for two decades. He oversees an operation to burn down one cocaine/marijuana plantation at the UN’s behest—so that he can run three other, larger plantations with better camouflage without interference. Oh, and there are rebels, which his spokesman denies. Also, the dictator has certain magical powers that involve a little person.

There’s an American woman, a photographer/journalist, and an American man, apparently a buddy of the dictator. Of course they wind up in bed. Of course the man turns rebel. Most of the movie is shooting and explosions. About the only surprise (spoiler alert): the woman winds up dead.

Truly trashy. If you’re a big fan of gunfire and explosions in the Spaghetti Western mode (the flick’s Italian), maybe $0.50.


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