Archive for the ‘Cites & Insights’ Category

Cites & Insights 16:4 (May 2016) now available

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

The May 2016 issue of Cites & Insights, volume 16 issue 4, is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i4.pdf

The issue is 13 pages long. If you’re reading it online or on a tablet, you may prefer the one-column 6″x9″ edition at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i4on.pdf. That version is 26 pages long (and lacks one extraneous paragraph).

The short but meaty issue includes:

The Front  p. 1

Why it’s short.

Intersections: Two Worlds of Gold OA: APCLand and OAWorld pp. 2-5

A preview of some key data from Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015, offered partly because I believe it is a new and useful way of looking at gold OA and am inviting feedback (fairly soon, since I’ll start on the book next week).

Policy: Google Books: The Final Chapter?  pp. 6-13

The Supreme Court won’t hear the Authors Guild appeal of the appeals court’s decision in Google’s favor. Maybe–maybe–the decade-long struggle is over. That’s worth a quick roundup of Google Books items since the last roundup.

Ideas for Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015: Second Call

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

If you have opinions on what was great or not so great in The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014, or ideas on how the book-length analysis and presentation could be better for the new, much more complete Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015, I’d like to hear from you–ideally before May 1, 2016 (I’ll start working on the book right around then). (Note that the PDF ebook version will be free and freely available with a CC BY license; the paperback will be priced at roughly production cost.)

Which tables and graphs seem especially worthwhile? Which writeups were more or less informative?

Since most of you haven’t seen the full book, there are two resources to base your feedback on:

  • The October 2015 Cites & Insights includes about half the text and around half the tables from the book, but none of the graphs.
  • The April 2016 Cites & Insights includes an introductory essay but mostly consists of pages 39 through 73 of the book, chapters 5 through 9, showing exactly what’s in the book.

(Note: you can reasonably ignore the “Why Anonymize?” section of the introductory essay in that issue: in consultation with SPARC, I’ve decided to make the non-anonymized spreadsheet openly available when the analysis is complete, One very minor consequence of non-anonymity: seven small journals that I’d flagged as questionable for judgmental reasons are no longer flagged. That doesn’t affect the analysis at even 0.1% levels.)

Both links are to the 6×9″ “online” versions, which better reflect the book pages.

You can comment directly on this post (for a week or two) or, better yet, send email to waltcrawford@gmail.com. I don’t promise to use your suggestions; I do promise to think about them seriously.

(I’ll be asking for feedback on one very new and fairly distinctive aspect of the 2011-2015 survey, which arose from a decision to look at countries by region–but I’ll have more to say about that next week, I think, in a blog post and as part of a short Cites & Insights.)

 


Minor updates:

  • If you’re following my recovery from surgery (excision of a Schwannoma, a benign nerv sheath tumor): No, I’m not back to full touch typing; have begun hand therapy and ordered Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Posting and C&I still much reduced and the textual portions of the book may be more concise than otherwise–which could be a good thing.
  • I’ve completed the second data-gathering pass for the 2011-2015 project. The number of fully-analyzed “good” journals is up from 9,512 to 10,324, and the rough estimate of total articles from those journals for 2015 is around 566,000.
  • Yes, there will be a Cites & Insights soon, probably before May 1; no, it probably won’t be very long, given the difficulties of six-fingered typing…

Cites & Insights 16:3 (April 2016) available

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

The April 2016 Cites & Insights (16:3) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i3.pdf

That print-oriented version is 30 pages long. If you’re planning to read online or on an ereader, you may prefer the single-column 6″ x 9″ version, 59 pages long, available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i3on.pdf

While much of this issue has appeared as a series of posts in this blog, the final section of the lead essay is new, as is the fourth essay; the final section reprints 35 pages of The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014 to serve as context for a portion of the first essay.

This issue includes:

The Front: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015: A SPARC Project pp. 1-8

Remember the “watch this space” note in the February-March “The Front”? This is what it was about. This essay includes the key announcement, a partial list of changes from the 2011-2014 project, a partial checkpoint prepared when I was halfway through the first pass, a section asking for possible “changes for the better” in the analysis and writeup (note that this year’s PDF ebook will be free and OA, since it’s a SPARC-sponsored project), another section discussing the planned anonymization of the (free) spreadsheet when analysis is done–and, new to this issue, a second checkpoint prepared at the end of the first journal pass.

The Front (also): Readership Notes  pp. 8-9

Notes on the most frequently downloaded issues in Volume 15 and the most frequently downloaded issues overall.

Intersections: “Trust Me”: The Other Problem with Beall’s Lists  pp. 9-11

As far as I can tell, Jeffrey Beall provides no evidence whatsoever–not even his classic “this publisher has a funny name”–for seven out of eight journals and publishers on his 2016 lists. This piece, which has a little additional material beyond the original post, goes into some detail.

The Back  pp. 11-12

Not precisely filler to get an even number of pages, but…OK, so these three mini-rants are mostly filler to get an even number of pages.

The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014, pp. 39-73   following page 12

I’m including chapters 5 (starting dates), 6 (country of publication), 7 (segments and subjects), 8 (biology and medicine) and 9 (biology) to provide more context for my invitation to suggest better ways to analyze and present the 2011-2015 data. Please note that these pages appear precisely as they would in the PDF ebook if you’re looking at the online 6″ x 9″ version (since the book’s 6″x9″), but are reduced very slightly for the print-oriented version (to 5.5″x8.5″) so that two book pages will fit on one printed page.

Next issue?

I did not label this the April-May 2016 issue. Whether there’s a May issue in late April or early May, or a May-June issue later in May, depends on a number of factors having mostly to do with Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015.

Cites & Insights 16:2 (February-March 2016) available

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

Cites & Insights 16:2 (February-March 2016) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i2.pdf

The double issue is 46 pages long.

If you’re reading online or on a tablet or other e-device, you may prefer the single-column 6″x9″ version, which is 89 pages long and available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i2on.pdf

The issue includes:

The Front    p. 1

A placeholder of sorts.

Intersections: Economics and Access   pp. 1-46

Embargoes, costs, spending, Lingua/Glossa, flipping and more.

 

Cites & Insights 16:1 (January 2016) available

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

It’s an odds-and-ends issue, and what may be oddest of all is that it’s still around…

The January 2016 Cites & Insights (16:1) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i1.pdf

The two-column print-oriented issue is 26 pages long. If you’re reading it online or on a tablet (or whatever), you might prefer the 51-page single-column 6×9″ version at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i1on.pdf

The issue includes:

The Front  pp. 1-2

Starting the Volume: notes on the annual edition of Volume 15, The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014, and “plans” for the year.

Intersections: PPPPredatory Article Counts: An Investigation  pp. 2-10

The series of four blog posts, put together and slightly edited. Why I believe the numbers in a published study of “predatory” article volume are wrong and how they might have gotten that way–with the lagniappe of a first-cut study as to how often the lists of ppppredators actually makes a case.

Media: 50 Movie Gunslinger Classics, part 2  pp. 10-19

After a mere two years, here’s the second half. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne, George Hayes (before and after his “Gabby” persona), Yakima Canutt and many others…

The Back  pp. 19-26

This year’s installment of The Low and the High of It, now including portable systems, with a mere 551 to 1 ratio between the cheapest and most expensive CD-only stereo system consisting entirely of Stereophile-recommended components (only 37 to 1 for all-Class-A components) and, wait for it, 1,224 to 1 between the cheapest and most expensive CD-and-LP stereo systems. Also a baker’s dozen of other items.

So: how many people downloaded this issue between its actual upload (at around 3 p.m. Tuesday) and this post, and how many will download it between this post and social media publicity? I’ll have an idea of the first number (if I had to guess, I’d guess 10 or fewer) but not the second…

One sale gone, another started: 25%

Friday, November 20th, 2015

When you go to buy my books, always check the Lulu home page for discounts. Just a reminder…

I’m guessing there will be a series of brief sales for a while, but can’t be sure. In the meantime:

SHOP25 as a coupon code gets you 25% off print books (and calendars, if you’re so inclined) from now through November 23, 2015.

Coupon codes are case sensitive.

Another reminder: you’re not decreasing my net revenue (counted toward future research) by using these sale codes–I get the same net revenue.

For various reasons, I took a look yesterday at all-time Lulu sales (it takes me one minute to generate that spreadsheet and not much longer to go through it). I noticed something that, because it’s at such a low level, had slipped my attention.

To wit: yes, occasionally somebody does buy a Cites & Insights Annual edition. Excluding my own copies, there have been sixteen such sales over the years, with the most being 2007 (4 copies) and 2008 (3 copies); the only one with no outside sales to date is the latest, 2015. Since I produce these so I’ll have my own copy (if I include cost of paper and inkjet ink, it’s actually cheaper for me to buy one at my author’s price than it is to print out a new copy of each issue and have Fedex Kinko’s bind it in an ugly Velobind binding–and the result is both more handsome and more usable), this is a nice extra. Of course, it’s also a great way to have past issues on hand…

Five thousand pages!

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

I maintain a little spreadsheet to track word and page counts for Cites & Insights [with the slightly-out-of-date name “first10 length”]. I print it out every month ortwo but I don’t look at it very often.

And I missed a milestone of sorts: through the December 2015 issue (not including phantom issues that are only in the annual paperbacks), C&I has passed the 5,000-page mark: in all, 5,002 pages. (If you’re wondering, the longest volume was volume 9, 2009, with 418 pages; the shortest were volume 1 [252 pages including the preview issue], volume 2 [262 pages], and volume 11 [274 pages: the year C&I almost shut down for good].

Word count’s not at a milestone; it should hit four million words in two to four months.

No deeper meaning; just marking a wordy milestone. It’s a handsome set of paperbacks on one of my bookshelves–although the first five volumes are sort of ugly, being Velobound things produced at Kinko’s. In case you weren’t aware, volumes 6 through 15 are all available, $45 each [with occasional Lulu discounts: check the front page], with roughly half the proceeds going to continue C&I and my OA research. Oh, and on most of them you get a huge photo from our travels–all of them have such photos, but in all but two the photo’s a wraparound, 11″ high and close to 18″ wide. More information here.

Cites & Insights Annual, Two-Day Sale and a Non-Update

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

I have it down to do another teaser post to help convince folks that there’s loads of great stuff in The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014, either paperback or site-licensed PDF ebook–but given that there’s only been one copy sold in November to date, and indeed only one since October 22, maybe that’s a waste of my energy.

That’s the non-update: the total continues to be nine paperback copies and two PDF ebooks, with five copies showing up in Worldcat.org. Special arrangements (grants, donations, consulting, etc.) unchanged.

Meanwhile: if you do want the paperback–or any or all of my other self-published books–you can buy them today and tomorrow (November 19, 2015) for 20% off using the coupon code PRESALE20

[Any time you do buy stuff at Lulu, check the home page: it should show current offers.]

And then there’s the Cites & Insights Annual edition for 2015; I’ve now received my copy (and modified the cover, since the title was a little too far down the page).

Here’s the skinny:

Volume 15 is 354 pages long (including table of contents and indices) and, as usual, $45 (or $36 today and tomorrow).

Highlights of this 11-issue volume include:

  • Three full-issue essays related to Open Access: Economics, The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014, and Ethics
  • A fair use trilogy: Google Books, HathiTrust and miscellaneous topics
  • More pieces of the OA puzzle, mostly leading up to The Gold OA Landscape
  • The usual: Deathwatch, Ebooks & Pbooks; a eulogy to FriendFeed and some notes on Twitter; and more

And the indices that aren’t otherwise available.
The photo: the library at Ephesus–a familiar view if you own Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples but this is a slightly different photo and a considerably larger view

Oops: while Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples used a different picture of The Library At Ephesus, The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 used the same picture–but much larger, with a little more touchup, and using Paint.net’s auto-equalization, which yielded a slightly different color range.

Cites & Insights 15:11 (December 2015) available

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

The December 2015 issue of Cites & Insights (15:11) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i11.pdf

This issue is 58 pages long. If you plan to read it online or on an ereader (ebook, tablet, whatever), you may prefer the single-column 6″ x 9″ edition, 111 pages long, at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i11on.pdf

This issue contains one essay:

Intersections: Ethics and Access 2015  pp. 1-58

No weird old tricks for reducing belly fat, but 102 items worth reading in a baker’s dozen of subtopics related to ethics and access (open and otherwise)–and #25 may astonish you! Or not.

No, it’s really not a listicle–otherwise I’d have to find 102 ads and free (or plagiarized) illustrations. It’s a bigger-than-usual roundup, with just a little humor (and a few exclamation points–and one interrobang).

 

Gold OA: The basis for going on (1 of 2)

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

At this point–seven weeks after The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014 was published–it seems like a good time to discuss the issues surrounding possible continuation of this full-survey research for another year (that is, covering 2015, done in 2016).

Part 2 will deal with finances: what it would take to make it happen.

This part deals with a related question: Since I’m not depending on this revenue to keep meals on the table or a roof over our heads, why do I need any revenue for it at all?

[No, nobody’s said that quite so flatly. Still: every time somebody says “there’s something wrong with charging for a writeup about open access or the research it took to do that writeup, because OA’s supposed to be free,” or something of the sort–which has happened every time I or ALA (or MIT) has published something on OA that carries a price–once I calm down, I turn it into the question above.]

Turns out, this is a philosophical question of sorts: Namely, what motivates me to do anything (other than lie around the house, do some housework, read books, watch TV, go for walks and like that)?

That question’s been clarified in my own mind over the years since it’s become clear that Cites & Insights itself is unlikely to attract significant contributions (the total has never reached the high three figures in a year, much less four figures). Here’s how I’ve worked it out in my own head, although I’m sure it’s an incomplete model.

I see four factors: Fun, Interest, Worth/Usefulness/Effectiveness, and Appreciation. Two are internal, two external.

Fun

I do some essays in Cites & Insights because they’re fun or amusing to me. Certainly true of The Back, The Middle, most Media essays (esp. old movies). That’s part of why I started looking at liblogging, library blogging and library slogans (and, for that matter, library use of social media): it was fun.

“Fun” and “interesting” can overlap in slightly unpredictable ways. It was, initially, fun to unveil the realities behind Beall’s lists, and in some ways it’s been fun to see how well Chrome/Google does or does not translate non-English journal websites (and to appreciate some of the blank verse generated by some translations).

Interest

I have lots of interests, and I’ll pursue an interest to what might possibly be considered extremes–I’m a completist in some areas. It has certainly been interesting to examine the Gold OA landscape in detail, and once I got well into it I realized that I wanted to see it through.

Interest certainly explains some ongoing features in Cites & Insights. I don’t find copyright discussions particularly amusing, but they’re interesting, just as one example.

But I have lots of interests, and could readily cultivate more. And time eventually does become a limiting factor. At this point, I don’t expect to live for more than 30 years or so–possibly quite a bit less, probably not much more. (For a long time, I’d pegged 93 as my desirable stopping point; I’ve moved that to 98–which gives me 28 more years–as long as I’m im good mental and reasonable physical health. I have no desire to live to 103 or 108 or some extreme old age–but ask me again 20 years from now, I suppose.) There are a lot of books I’d like to read and quite a few I wouldn’t mind rereading; there are a lot of movies I want to watch; I read and enjoy quite a few magazines (and one daily “paper”); there’s a fair amount of TV I enjoy watching (although probably very little by most people’s standards); lots of music to pay attention to; and… and… and…

So at a certain point I have to balance competing interests, especially since time is finite and some significant portion of it is taken up with household maintenance, family life, sleep (yes, I get 7.5 to 8 hours a day; no, I’m not willing to reduce that much), vacations, exercise and long walks/hikes, etc…

Balance isn’t much of an issue when I’m choosing a book that may take 4-5 hours to read or an essay that may take 5-10 hours to write. It’s a lot more of an issue when I’m contemplating a project that would probably take 500 to 600 hours over the course of six or seven months.

Which is to say: I find the ongoing story of gold OA interesting. Do I find it interesting enough to give up 500-600 hours per year of other stuff? Which brings us to:

Worth/Usefulness/Effectiveness

When something’s fun and not too time-consuming, this and the final factor don’t come into play.

When it’s a question of balance and which projects are worth starting or continuing, this and the final factor definitely do come into play.

To wit: what is this worth (and how useful is it) to me and other people?

(Yes, this and the final factor overlap a lot. That’s how life is.)

I look at readership, citations, and things like that as indications of worth and usefulness. If an issue of C&I is only read 200 times over the course of three months, it apparently wasn’t found to be worthwhile or useful; if it’s read 2,000 times over three months, it apparently was worthwhile or useful.

Of course, worth can also have a financial aspect, which gets more into appreciation: do people find something sufficiently useful or worthwhile to pay for it?

I recognized that my series of books on liblogging had ceased to be worthwhile/useful about a year too late, when sales declined to pretty much nothing and readership for related C&I issues declined substantially. But I did eventually recognize it and stopped doing the series. (A ten-year recap might or might not happen; if it does, it will be at a “this might be fun/interesting” level, not a “people might be willing to buy this” level–there wouldn’t be a book.)

There have been other themes in Cites & Insights that have disappeared because it appeared that people didn’t find them useful or worthwhile. Indeed, I stopped doing individual HTML essays because there didn’t seem to be much demand for them (and it was clear nobody found them worthwhile enough to pay for) and they were never interesting or fun to do–while the single-column version of C&I has proven to be useful enough to keep doing.

As to effectiveness: that’s so hard to measure that I generally ignore it–but I do have to mention it within this discussion.

So how does the OA research fall on the interesting/worthwhile axis?

Journal Readership

Looking at OA-related issues of Cites & Insights over the past two years, including research-based ones and others, I find the following download numbers through this morning at 5:30 a.m. (but missing most of the last day of each month):

  • April 2014 (“The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall”): 10,576, one of the highest total downloads figures ever — but in terms of effectiveness, I look at how often the lists continue to be used as the basis for policy or, sigh, “research,” and have to wonder whether there’s been any real effect at all.
  • May 2014 (“The So-Called Sting”): 4,126 downloads, a high figure.
  • July 2014 (“Journals, ‘Journals’ and Wannabes”): 5,121–a high figure, and since this was a full-issue essay, I can reasonably assume that the readership was entirely related to this essay.
  • August 2014 (“Access and Ethics 3”): 1,643, a decent-but-not-great figure.
  • October/November 2014 (“Journals and ‘Journals’: Taking a Deeper Look”): 1,704, another decent-but-not-great figure.
  • December 2014 (…Part 2): 1,669, another decent-but-not-great figure.
  • January 2015 (“The Third Half”): 2,783, a good solid figure, especially since it represents less than a year.
  • March 2015 (“One More Chunk of DOAJ”): 2,281, a good solid figure, but in this case the essay taking up most of the issue–“Books, E and P, 2014”–probably accounts for much of that, since that’s always been a hot topic.
  • April 2015 (“The Economics of Open Access”): 2,476, a good solid figure–and this one’s a single-essay issue.
  • June 2015 (“Who Needs Open Access Anyway?”): 1,595, a decent figure for five months.
  • July 2015 (“Thinking About Libraries and Access, Take 2”): 839 downloads–and this one’s a little disappointing because that essay was my own take on/beliefs about OA. This suggests that people are a lot less interested in what I think than in what I’ve found out through research. That’s OK, of course…but…
  • October 2015 (“The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014”): 2,169 downloads in the first seven weeks or so, which I regard as very good numbers, especially for the first couple of months.

But…

Appreciated

This shows up in citations elsewhere, tweets and the like, but also in donations and sales (and, heck, speaking invitations–one of the coins of the realm, but there haven’t been any in a couple of years–certainly none related to this research).

When it comes to citations, I don’t have any real complaints; ditto tweets.

As far as donations: still in the low three digits, and that was mostly when I was offering a free ebook and production-priced paperback. None since the project was completed (other than two very small recurring donations that are for C&I, not OA research.)

As for sales…

Book Purchases

For the same period–the books appeared a couple of days before the October 2015 issue did–here’s what I show, not including my own copy: Seven paperback copies, one site-licensed PDF ebook. Total: Eight copies.

In other words, not even one-half of one percent of those who’ve downloaded the October 2015 issue have, so far, found the research sufficiently worthwhile to buy the full story.

Of course, there could be dozens, nay, hundreds of orders just waiting to go to Amazon or Ingram.

So where does this leave me? Wondering whether the effectiveness and demonstrated worth is enough to justify doing it again.

(If you’re wondering, I’d say total revenue counted toward this project–including all donations and all self-published book sales of any sort since September 1, 2015–is more than one-third of the way, but considerably less than halfway, toward being enough to make the anonymized spreadsheet available on figshare. It’s a bit more than one-fifth of the way toward making me think seriously about doing it again.)

Which brings us to Part 2, later today or maybe another day.