Archive for the 'Cites & Insights' Category

Cites & Insights 15:6 (June 2015) available

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on May 4th, 2015

Cites & Insights 15:6 (June 2015) is now available for downloading at

The print-oriented two-column version is 24 pages long. For those reading online or on an e-device, or who wish to follow links in the issue, a 46-page single-column 6×9″ version is available at

The June 2015 issue includes:

The Front: Making It Easy, Making It Hard: A Personal Note on Counting Articles  pp. 1-4

This oddity offers some notes on OA publishers and journals that make it easier–or harder–than usual to find out how many articles appear in a journal over a given year, from the utter simplicity of MDPI, SciELO and j-stage to the utter…well, read the article.

Intersections: Who Needs Open Access, Anyway?  pp. 4-24

Noting and discussing a range of commentaries by people who are either “I’m all for OA, but…” (where the but is the most important word in that phrase) or discussing ways in which others attempt to undermine OA: clearing out two years of “oa-anti” tags.


Supporting OA research & Cites & Insights: another path

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on April 30th, 2015

There’s still one day to go for responses to this post, but given the count of supportive comments so far (zero: while I appreciated the “only institutions care” truthtelling, it’s not precisely supportive), I suspect that there will not be an Indiegogo campaign.

Maybe that’s just as well.

This does not mean (a) that I’m giving up gold OA research entirely, or even (b) that once I finish the current cycle, that’s all there is. I find this stuff interesting–and readership for OA-related issues of C&I suggests that a lot of people find it at least somewhat worthwhile. And, honestly, I’m really interested in seeing what a full-scale revisit in early 2016 would show about OA in 2011-2015.

But I’m also aware that people (librarians and other people) tend to value less that which they do not pay for, and that it’s hard to justify doing a lot of work when there’s no clear sense that it’s reaching people or yielding positive value.

So I’m going to suggest another path for those who do want to support my research (and the continued health of Cites & Insights) but neither want to commit to (or even suggest the possibility of) buying a book or come up with a significant sum of money to help out C&I.

To wit, what public stations call a sustaining membership. As it happens, one person has already done that: signed up with PayPal to send me $2 a month–little enough to basically be invisible for the donor, but of some value to me.

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Visit Cites & Insights. You’ll find the PayPal link above the fold, fairly near to the top of the page.
  • Follow the PayPal link.
  • Set up an ongoing monthly payment. $2 is fine. $3 is even better. Big spenders might even go for $4, but I don’t want to push it.
  • Once it’s set up, you’ll get a thank you note from me–and ongoing gratitude.

If 12 more people did that, it would assure the ongoing direct costs of Cites & Insights–basically, hosting and domain registration (but not part of my pseudo-broadband).

If 50 people did that, it would pretty much cover the indirect costs (software, supplies, part of broadband) as well–and it would encourage me to keep doing related research such as OA.

If 100 people did that, it would be enough to encourage me a lot to keep on keeping on, including OA research.

And if 200 people did that–hey, I can dream–it would assure that I’d do the 2016 project and keep C&I healthy.

(Of course, modest institutional support or grant support would do equally well: for a few years C&I had a sponsor at an appropriate level, with its name on the front and back pages. With one exception, I’d be delighted to accept sponsorship from any appropriate body. No, the exception is definitely not OCLC.)

So that’s it: another way to support what I’m doing. You’ve already figured out, I’m guessing, that none of this is a matter of life, death, or being able to keep food on the table and property taxes paid. It’s a matter of explicit recognition of ongoing value, and maybe a little help for related bills.

And, since this post is about economics, maybe it’s fitting that tomorrow’s weekly installment in The Open Access Landscape is…economics.

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

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

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.


Open Access articles in Cites & Insights

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on March 2nd, 2015

After some years of not writing about OA in Cites & Insights, seems like I’ve been writing about it quite a bit. John Dupuis suggested that I provide a list of all the OA-related essays over the last year or so. I’ve done that below, starting with December 2012 (the first significant OA-related material since 2009). All OA-related essays appear under the “Intersections” flag, since OA involves the intersection of libraries, policy, media and technology.

All references below are to Cites & Insights.

Cites & Insights 15:4 (April 2015) Available

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on March 1st, 2015

Cites & Insights 15:4 (April 2015) is now available for downloading at

The print-oriented version is 38 pages long; it includes boldface as applied but the links don’t work.

If you’re reading online or on an e-device and want working links (but no boldface), you may prefer the single-column 6×9″ version at

The single-column version is 72 pages long.

This issue includes the following:

Intersections: The Economies of Open Access  pp. 1-38

Publishing costs money. That’s a given, although sometimes that cost is so negligible that it can be handled as departmental or library or society overhead. This roundup looks at a range of items related to the economics of journals in general and OA journals in particular, divided into ten general topics. It turns out that I have stronger feelings than I thought about this issue, so there’s a fair amount of my own commentary mixed in with excerpts from various posts and articles.

Cites & Insights 15:3 (March 2015) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on February 3rd, 2015

Cites & Insights 15:3 (March 2015) is now available for downloading at

The issue is 24 pages long.

If you plan to view it online or need working hyperlinks (at the expense of boldface working–someday, I’ll have a new computer and new version of Word’s PDF conversion and Acrobat), the single-column 6×9″ version, 46 pages long, is available at

This issue includes the following:

Intersections: One More Chunk of DOAJ    pp. 1-10

Because there will be a published concise version of all this stuff–out this summer from ALA’s Library Technology Reports, working title “Idealism and Opportunism: The State of Open Access Journals”–I went through 2,200-odd additional DOAJ journals with English as one of the language options (but not the first one), and was able to add 1,507 more entries to my DOAJ master spreadsheet, which now includes 6,490 journals qualifying for full analysis and 811 that don’t. This essay offers some summary information on the 1,507 added journals and some overall notes on the full DOAJ set–including some new and replacement tables (there may be errors in tables 2.66 b and c and 2.67 b and c in earlier issues).

The essay also offers some details on “N” (not OA) journals, notes on very small journals, a few comments on opportunism, idealism and initiative–and the URLs for two spreadsheets offering anonymized versions of the DOAJ and Beall data. (Note that the DOAJ spreadsheet has just been changed to shift 580 “B” journals there because of $1,000-or-more APCs to a new “A$” subgrade, since the high APC was the only issue with them. The summary text in this issue has NOT been changed to reflect this refinement; the Library Technology Reports issue will reflect the change.)

The two spreadsheeets are on figshare and licensed with the Creative Commons “BY” license, making them available for any use as long as attribution is provided. Each spreadsheet includes a data key as a second page.

Words: Books, E and P,  2014    pp. 10-24

Bringing discussions of ebooks vs. (or and) pbooks up to date from the January 2014 essay. In most cases, “and” is now the prevailing attitude as ebook sales appear to have plateaued–although of course there are still those who say print books will die Because Digital and now, oddly, a few who say ebooks will die or are dead (which I regard as equally unlikely).


Corrections for December and January Cites & Insights

Posted in Cites & Insights on January 11th, 2015

I got fancy with gold OA analysis in these two issues, adding breakdowns by 27 individual subjects as well as by larger subject groups and major areas.

Unfortunately, I used the wrong column in preparing some of the tables in both issues. The error is consistent: I used the sum of articles 2011-2014 rather than the 2013 article count.

Change in correction: For most tables, this turns out to be a matter of clarification, not correction: To wit, for “Volume” in Tables 2.30 through 2.54 and all tables 2.55-2.65 that have “Volume” as a column heading, the numbers in Volume represent the total number of articles January 2011-June 2014. That’s consistent with the usage in some (not all) earlier tables, so no correction is required.

Actual errors:

  • December 2014: In tables 2.66a and 2.67a, the “Articles” counts are also the sum of 2011 through June 30, 2014; the $/article figures are simply wrong (they represent 2013 potential revenues divided by 2011-2014 article counts) and should be ignored. Clarification: For Tables 2.66b-c and 2.67b-c, the “Article” and “$/article” figures represent total article volume and potential revenue volume for 2011-2014. This means you can’t reasonably compare them to Tables 2.66a and 2.67a.
  • January 2015: Tables 3.33 and 3.34 contain the same errors–the Articles counts include 2011 through mid-2014, making the $/article figures meaningless.

The March 2013 issue will have correct tables for DOAJ (including an additional 1,500-odd journals). I’ll add corrected tables for Beall (including journals in DOAJ) and OASPA (including journals in DOAJ), to make direct comparisons feasible.

My apologies for the errors.

Cites & Insights 15.2 (February 2015) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on January 4th, 2015

Cites & Insights 15.2 (February 2015) is now available for downloading at

The two-column print-oriented version (with non-working links but with boldface) is 24 pages long.

A single-column 6×9″ version optimized for online viewing and with working hyperlinks (but without boldface), 46 pages long, is available at

For those of you tired of open access facts and figures, this issue has less than half a page (on page 3) devoted to open access.

The issue includes:

The Front  pp. 1-3

Notes on readership, 2014. Also a few notes on “the fourth half,” partially likely to appear in the March 2015 issue.

The Middle: Deathwatch 2014!  pp. 3-15

That’s right! After a one-year hiatus, it’s time for another Deathwatch, and this one does include a few death of books/death of libraries items.

Policy: ©: Going to Extremes  pp. 15-24

Starting with 69 citations on copyright extremism (from both sides), this roundup includes two dozen items that still seemed worth noting.


Two weeks in: a quick update

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on December 16th, 2014

Cites & Insights 15.1, January 2015, was published two weeks ago, featuring the “third half” of my vast-but-incomplete survey of gold OA in 2011-2014, along with some additional notes related to gold OA.

“Going for the gold: OA journals in 2014: any interest?”–asking whether a coherent, well-organized look at the overall state of OA journals in 2014 (or, really, 2011-2014), based on an even larger survey of the journals, done as a paperback book, would be of any interest–appeared the next day, December 3, 2014. Essentially the same text appeared as one of the shorter pieces in the “third half” essay.

As of this morning (at 5 a.m., when the daily statistics run for month-to-day happens), December 16, 2014, C&I 15.1 is doing OK in terms of readership: 1,355 downloads to date (1,168 of the print-oriented two-column version, 187 of the 6×9″ single-column version). Those are strong numbers; I’d like to think the issue’s having some mild impact.

As of this morning, total non-spam responses to the other post (and to the piece in C&I) are a little less strong. 1,355 less strong, to be exact. (Lots of spamments, but that happens any time I turn comments on.)

That’s a shame, but it’s also reality.

Meanwhile, I’m now a little more than halfway in scanning the remaining 2,200-odd journals, which are now down to 1,800-odd as I remove journals where there’s not enough English in the interface for me to determine whether they have article processing charges and how their issue archives work. That is: I have 1,010 journals that I’ve been able to record information on, with 800-odd to go, but I imagine another 100+ will disappear in that process.

A word to OA publishers who are trying to offer an English interface without actually doing any work: Having an English flag (either literally a flag or a pull-down list option) is really sort of pointless if all it does is change the OJS menu headings to English, with all the text linked from them still in the primary language of the journal. Cute, but pointless.

But at least better than the journals hosting malware…and I think I have one of you to “thank” for spending most of a day last week recovering from a nasty little Trojan disguised as a Flash update. I saw a second attempt this week, but the combination of anti-crap software I’m running flagged it immediately.

Oh, just as a sidebar, here are some year-to-November-30* figures for OA-related essays in Volume 14:

  • April 2014, 14:4 (The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall and another essay): 2,781 two-column plus 3,393 single-column (a rare case in which the single-column outdid the two-column), for a total of 6,174, a big number for C&I: by far the largest 2014 download count for any issue of C&I (that’s out of some 176,000 total downloads through November 30, although as noted in the footnote below that’s missing 11 days, the last day of each month).
  • May 2014, 14:5 (The So-Called Sting and another essay): 1,690 two-column plus 1,283 single-column, for a total of 2,973, also a very good number.
  • July 2014, 14:7 (Journals, “Journals” and Wannabes): 1,839 two-column plus 1,042 single column, for a total of 2,881, which is very good, especially noting that the window is getting smaller.
  • October/November 2014, 14:10 (Journals and “Journals”: Taking a Deeper Look): 817 two-column plus 239 single-column for a total of 1,056. Not bad for a relatively brief period.
  • December 2014, 14:11 (Journals and “Journals” Part 2): 998 two-column plus 456 single-column, for a total of 1,454, which is pretty good given that it came out on November 2, so that’s one month’s readership.

The three Journals and “Journals” issues show 96, 27, and 88 additional downloads for December 1-15, respectively.

*Technically, November 29: because of how the statistics run, I never actually see the figures for the final day of a given month.

Update December 18, 2014: Comments now turned off. The question of whether or not to write a Publish-on-Demand paperback based on all of this has been rendered moot, in a way that will serve libraries quite well, I believe.

Cites & Insights 15:1 (January 2015) available

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on December 2nd, 2014

The January 2015 issue of Cites & Insights (15:1) is now available for downloading at

The print-oriented two-column version is 28 pages long.

If you’re reading online or on an e-device, you may prefer the single-column 6″x9″ version, which is 57 pages long.

The issue includes:

Intersections: The Third Half    pp. 1-21

Most of this essay (pp. 7-19) is the “Third Half” of the two-part Journals and “Journals” examination in the October/November and December 2014 issues–adding another 1,200-odd bio/med journals from DOAJ and looking at overall patterns. The essay also includes four briefer discussions related to DOAJ and gold OA journals.

The Back   pp. 21-28

A baker’s dozen of sometimes-snarky mini-essays.


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