Archive for the ‘Cites & Insights’ Category

Cites & Impasse: feedback desired

Friday, March 17th, 2017

In the most recent W.a.R. post, I said this:

In the meantime, other than various other stuff, there’s a possible Cites & Insights (if anybody cares–and based on recent readership levels, I’m not sure) and the question of following up on 3,300-odd journals that were in DOAJ on 1/1/16 but not on 1/1/17. And slowing down a bit.

I’m still unsure–and the title of this post, which started out as a typo, may be meaningful.

Here’s the numbers:

  • The January 2017 Cites & Insights, Gray OA 2012-2016: Open Access Journals Beyond DOAJ, shows 1,043 total downloads, but 975 were in 2016 and only 68 are in March 2017. I’d hoped that this study–which I wasted spent way too much time on–would get, say, one-fifth the readership of Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 and might have some small effect on the discussions regarding “predatory” journals. (I’d really hoped that somebody might acknowledge that the “420K 2014 articles in predatory journals” figure was provably wrong–but I keep seeing that figure repeated.) [Remarkably, GOAJ  2011-2015 has another 2,099 downloads in the first half of March 2017!]
  • The February 2017 Cites & Insights, a fairly ordinary issue, has a total of 408 downloads to date, but only 82 in March: not terrible, but not impressive.

Readership is way down–and so is my motivation to write the [March? April? May? Spring?] issue–but not just because of declining readership, and partly for one reason that I think may be related to declining readership. So I’m offering up a couple of possible reasons and asking for feedback. C&I isn’t entirely going away [yet], but could become a mostly-OA-supporting-material outlet. Or not.

1. Dystopia Fatigue: 45 for the Loss

The reason that is definitely reducing my interest in writing and may be reducing others’ interest in reading C&I is that so much mental and emotional energy is spent trying to cope with the dystopian situation that could be summed up as 45–not only an administration that appears set on making America a mean-spirited, post-science, pathetic nation relying on bloated armaments to push actual great nations around, but also the newly-empowered racists and bigots who seem to feel that it’s now American to loudly proclaim the shameful feelings they once tended to keep to themselves.

It is draining to read the news. It is worse than draining to read some of the reactions. It is draining to try to determine what (other than the usual PPFA, ACLU, AU etc. checks) to do about it–and whether drastic actions are warranted.

I can only assume that others also find it draining, and may not feel like reading secondary/apolitical stuff like C&I that isn’t actually good “escapist” reading. (I’m just over halfway through The Devil’s Brood: is that escapist?)

For British readers, there s a separate-but-related dystopian present going on.

It’s hard to argue with a lack of remaining energy. I will surely agree that real action that might help preserve what’s left of America’s greatness is a whole hell of a lot more important than reading (or writing) my stuff.

Now, getting off the soapbox:

2. Old, Repetitious and Largely Irrelevant

That’s the quick way of putting it.

I’m trying to do stuff that nobody else is doing, since I gladly affirm that younger, more energetic and probably brighter people can and should be doing the kinds of things I used to do. Without mentioning my age directly, I’ll note that our taxes for 2016 are heavily impacted by being required to either take certain payments starting last year or losing half of that money to the Feds.

The GOAJ studies are good examples of stuff nobody else is doing. I’d like to think that most C&I essays also fall into that category–but they may not be worth doing. As for repetitious and irrelevant…perhaps.


[A few of you will wonder whether my continued lateral-nerve problem, being reduced to six-finger typing, is also a factor. No, the nerve still hasn’t recovered, and may or may not ever do so. But I managed to write all three booklength portions of GOAJ2011-2015 despite this problem, so while my typing continues to be much slower and less accurate than before March 2016, that’s not a major factor.]

  • Should I spend most of the “pause”–the next three or four weeks, before Phase 2 of the GOAJ2011-2016 research and then all the analysis and writeup–on revisiting the 3,000-odd “departed” journals for a supplemental chapter and just let C&I lie dormant? And use leftover time to catch up on reading…
  • Should I try to split the time between that revisit [which turns out to be reasonably fast because I’m only looking at 2016 availability and article counts, not APC levels] and doing a C&I issue? [Which would probably consist of one medium-length roundup on access & economics and one relatively brief roundup on the disappearing blacklists.]
  • Other suggestions?

Comments are open. I’m interested in your feedback.

Updated March 22, 2017:
I’m still looking for feedback of all sorts. If your comment doesn’t show up, it may be awaiting moderation or possibly deleted as spam–I’ve had to change spam control (from Spam Kismet 2, which no longer seems compatible, to WP-SpamShield), and I no longer see spam-trapped comments. You can always email me your comment (, if it doesn’t show up within a day of posting…if you note “Intended as a post comment” I’ll add it here.

Cites & Insights 17:2 (February 2017) available

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Cites & Insights 17:2 (February 2017) is now available for downloading at

The 30-page issue (6″ x 9″, single column, optimized for online/tablet reading) includes:

The Front  pp. 1-3

Announcing the 2016 Cites & Insights Annual and reduced prices for all C&I Annuals; also a change to CC BY (from CC BY-NC) and partial readership notes.

Technology  pp. 4-18

Eleven little items spotlighting older (but still relevant) items–and an update on the bandwidth of a 747: it’s now 4.7 petabits per second (New York to LA), assuming consumer media–namely a whole bunch of 4 terabyte solid state drives. (As before, the limiting factor is always weight, not space.)

The Back  pp. 18-30

The annual update to The Money of Music, and eleven other items or groups of items.

The next issue will probably be on Economics and Access. When that will be…well, I’ve started the scan for Gold Open Access Journals 2012-2016 (that might turn out to be 2011-2016 if I can figure out how to make the tables readable), and we’ll see how that goes.

Cites & Insights now CC BY

Friday, December 30th, 2016

As a somewhat overdue finish to the year, I’ve changed the Cites & Insights Creative Commons license from BY-NC 1.0 to BY (that is, attribution) International 4.0.

As before, this applies to all original material in C&I–and since the license appears on the home page, you should assume (as I do) that it applies retroactively.

Cites & Insights v. 16 available as paperback–and a sale!

Friday, December 16th, 2016

The paperback edition of Cites & Insights 16, 2016, is now available. The best way to get it is from the Cites & Insights Annual Volumes page.

This is a relatively slender volume, not surprisingly given the two major research projects in 2016 and various medical issues. It’s also the final 8.5″ x 11″ edition, since Cites & Insights is now published in single-column 6″ x 9″ form.

The cover is taken from the same photograph (Linda Driver’s photo taken in Papeete, Tahiti) as was used for the cover of Balanced Libraries–but in addition to being larger, this version turns out to be crisper and with better color balance. I don’t know whether that’s an improvement in scanning (as I’ve gone through two or three multifunction printers since 2007) or in’s current version over whatever I was using in 2007.

Temporary (?) Reduction on All C&I Annual Prices

From now until at least the end of January 2017, prices for all eleven Cites & Insights annual volumes have been reduced to $35 (each, not all 11!).

For each volume ordered between now and January 31, 2017, I’ll extend that price for another month, up through December 2017 if there are 11 sales.

When I remember, I’ll also post Lulu sales codes as new posts.

Note: I have modified the cover on Volume 11 so that the title is now readable on the spine (changed the background to the same lighter color as the back cover and enlarged the type).

Purchase of C&I Annuals helps to support Cites & Insights, and it’s the only way to get the annual indices. In a couple of cases, the Annuals also have special issues that are no longer available online.

Cites & Insights Number 200 available

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

A very special Cites & Insights, Volume 17, Issue 1, whole number 200, is now available for downloading at (or at if you prefer).

The 72-page 6″ x 9″ issue is a monograph:

Gray OA 2012-2016: Open Access Journals Beyond DOAJ

It’s the result of several months of investigation into the rest of gold OA, beyond “serious gold OA” (journals in DOAJ). I liken it to making brandy out of sour grapes, since it relies on Beall’s lists as the most complete known lists of “other” OA publishers and journals [journals that are also in DOAJ–a few hundred–aren’t included in the monograph].

This monograph is not available in paperback form; at 72 pages (actually 68 + front matter) it just didn’t make sense. It looks at — gulp — more than 18,900 journals and “journals,” of which 7,743 appear to have published at least one article between 1/1/2012 and 6/30/2016–and, if you’re familiar with a certain article claiming 420,000 “predatory” articles in 2014 [Chapter 4 of this monograph deals with that paper], the maximum number of articles for 2014 appears to be 255,183–but only 113,996 of these were in journals on the lists at the time the article was done, and only 29,947 in journals where a legitimate case against the journal or publisher had been made.

It doesn’t look like a typical issue (the first page is a book title page but with the C&I banner at the bottom of the page) and it’s distinctly not typical: more effort went into this issue than into a year’s worth of typical issues.

If you can’t get to Cites & Insights…

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

…try the alternate domain, should yield the C&I home page; should yield issue 16:8, etc.

Cites & Insights Nov/Dec 2016 (16:9) available

Friday, November 4th, 2016

The November/December 2016 issue of Cites & Insights [16:9] is now available for downloading at

It’s a stub issue, two pages long, for reasons explained in the single essay: The Front: Big Change Coming.

It is not the end of C&I. As the essay explains, there will be at least one more issue (and quite possibly several or many more after that).

If you read C&I on paper, you will most definitely want to read this issue. It won’t take long (to download or to read).

For those who read C&I online or on an e-device, you may prefer the four-page single-column 6″ x 9″ version at

Cites & Insights 16:8 available

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The September/October 2016 Cites & Insights (16:8) is now available for downloading at

The print-oriented two-column 8.5×11″ issue is 24 pages long. If you plan to read the issue on a computer, tablet or e-reader, you may prefer the 47-page 6×9″ single-column “online version” at

The content in both versions is identical.

This issue consists of a single essay:

Intersections: Ethics and Access   pp. 1-24

A much shorter roundup than the previous Ethics and Access piece, still covering a lot of ground, including DOAJ, NEJM and Data Sharing, Sci-Hub, Identifying “Bad Guys,” Questionable?, The Aginners, Speaking of Beall… and Miscellany.


Cites & Insights 16:7 (August 2016) available

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Cites & Insights 16:7 (August 2016) is now available for downloading at

The issue is 22 pages long. Those reading on a computer, tablet, etc. may prefer the 6″x9″ single-column version at

The single-column version is 43 pages long.

This issue includes the following:

The Front  p. 1

A quick blurb to announce The Countries of OAWorld 2011-2015, the final ebook/paperback in the Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 trilogy.

Words: Catching Up with Books. E and P  pp. 1-17

What it says–not only ebooks and [or vs.] print books but other aspects of the book marketplace.

The Back  pp. 17-22

Fifteen snarky little essays, fewer than half on audiophollies.

Cites & Insights 16:6 (July 2016) available

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Cites & Insights 16:6 (July 2016) is now available for downloading at

The 2-column print version is 14 pages. If you’re reading it online or on a tablet, you may prefer the 27-page 6″ x 9″ single-column edition.

This issue includes the following:

The Front  pp. 1-2

The release of Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015: A Subject Approach and revisions to growth/shrinkage tables in both books, and a quick update on the final piece: The Countries of OAWorld, out sometime in July.

Media: Of Magazines and Newspapers  pp. 2-14

It’s been two years since a magazine roundup (and I repeat some of that essay, with updates) and much longer since notes on newspapers. This piece offers some stats and comments on both–neither of which is going away or going all-digital any time soon.