Archive for the ‘Cites & Insights’ Category

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.

Cites & Insights June 2016 available

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The June 2016 issue of Cites & Insights (volume 16, issue 5) is now available for downloading.

The issue consists of a brief introduction and excerpts from Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015–roughly one-third of the book.

The link above is to the single-column 6×9″ version intended for online/tablet reading, because the page size and column width are the same as the book. That version,, is 74 pages long.

The two-column print-oriented version at is 32 pages long, but some tables have very small type.

The July issue may be on a non-OA topic. If there is a July issue: I’m working on two bonus book-length supplements to the book.

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

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 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 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

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

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.