Archive for the 'open access' Category

The Open Access Landscape: 13. History

Posted in open access on May 22nd, 2015

History includes most aspects of cultural research focused on the past and a number of regional, national and state studies journals. The group includes 136 journals, which published a total of 2,739 articles in 2013 and 3,090 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

86

63%

2,395

87%

28

Free

85

99%

2,370

99%

28

Pay

1

1%

25

1%

25

A$ pay

1

1%

19

1%

19

B

7

5%

149

5%

21

Free

6

86%

137

92%

23

Pay

1

14%

12

8%

12

D

42

31%

176

6%

4

Free

42

100%

176

100%

4

Table 13.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 13.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free and pay numbers; and average articles per journal. History OA journals are unusual in several ways, among them—on the good side—the lack of any C or Unknown journals and the nearly complete absence of pay journals. As usual, bolded percentages (grades) are percentages of all history journals and articles, while others (free and pay) are percentages of the grade above, and the redundant “Pay” line for A$ is omitted.

History journals are also anomalous in that the APC-charging journals do not publish more articles than the free ones.

There’s a larger than usual percentage of D journals, including these subgroups: C (ceased), eight journals with no articles in 2013; D (dying), four journals with 25 articles; E (erratic), seven journals with 54 articles; N (new), one journal with two articles; S (small), 22 journals with 95 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

118

126

123

116

%Free

97%

98%

98%

98%

Articles

3,090

2,739

2,927

2,721

%Free

98%

98%

99%

99%

Table 13.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 13.2 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 in (or were) free journals.

One of the three APC-charging journals didn’t start publishing until 2013, which may explain the tiny decline in free-article percentage. As usual, there are some journals that don’t publish articles in any given year—ten in 2013, for example. In any case, virtually all OA history journals are free, and the field is growing, although it’s still small (and will probably stay that way).

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 73 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 12 published the same number of articles (including five that stopped publishing in 2012 or before); 51 published fewer. In terms of significant change, 65 (48%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014; 25 (18%) published about the same number of articles; 46 (34%) published at least 10% fewer, including 13 journals that, so far, haven’t published any articles in 2014. Most of those 13 are annuals and may publish 2014 articles later in 2015; one is now flagged as malware, which means I won’t look at it.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

0

0

Large

2

100%

773

100%

Medium

3

100%

310

100%

Small

41

95%

966

95%

Sparse

90

99%

690

98%

Table 13.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 13.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage are in no-fee journals. Not surprisingly, there are no prolific history journals; perhaps surprisingly, the handful of APC-charging journals are small or sparse, and most articles appear in small and sparse journals.

Fees (APCs)

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

0

0

Medium

1

33%

1%

19

34%

1%

Low

1

33%

1%

12

21%

0%

Nominal

1

33%

1%

25

45%

1%

None

133

98%

2,683

98%

Table 13.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 2.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. Given the tiny number of fee-charging history journals, the table is essentially meaningless, but is included for consistency.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1970-79

2

100%

1980-89

3

100%

1990-91

2

100%

1992-93

1

100%

1994-95

1

100%

1996-97

8

100%

1998-99

4

100%

2000-01

12

100%

2002-03

14

100%

2004-05

17

94%

2006-07

11

100%

2008-09

20

95%

2010-11

27

100%

2012-13

14

93%

Table 2.5. Starting dates for history OA journals

Table 13.5 shows history OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals starting in each date range that currently don’t charge APCs. The sense of a gold rush from 2006-2011 that I find in DOAJ in general isn’t there for history: although the rate of journal creation increased significantly in 2008-2011, only one APC-charging journal was created between 2006 and 2011.

Figure 13.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 2.5 but in graphic form, with markers for the three cases where pay journals did begin.

Figure 13.1. History journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1970-79

2

31

16

1980-89

3

43

14

1990-91

2

523

262

1992-93

1

251

251

1994-95

1

20

20

1996-97

7

234

33

1998-99

4

51

13

2000-01

12

181

15

2002-03

11

161

15

2004-05

16

248

16

2006-07

10

159

16

2008-09

18

298

17

2010-11

25

303

12

2012-13

14

236

17

Table 13.5. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 13.5 includes only those journals that published at least one article in 2013 and shows, for journals started in each date range, the average articles per journal. There are two obvious points of interest in this table: some of the large and medium journals began more than 20 years ago.

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.

The OA Landscape in summary form: Act now!

Posted in open access on May 19th, 2015
The full set of 29 subject discussions that extend this summer’s Library Technology Report issue “The State of Open Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism” has been posted, and will appear on Fridays from now through September 11, 2015. (Oops: The actual title is Open Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism.)Later this week, or possibly next week, I’ll be creating a PDF ebook that combines all of the posts with the following refinements:

  • Since it’s a single book, I’ll eliminate redundant explanations from chapters 2-29, leaving only text that’s significant for the particular chapter.
  • Each “book chapter” already has a second figure, not in the blog posts, showing stacked bars for each year with the number of free, paid and unknown-status articles.
  • I’ll be adding a paragraph to the Fees section for each chapter offering the following information, all based on 2014 numbers: maximum potential revenue from APCs, assuming there were no waivers or discounts; the average charge per article in APC-charging journals; the average charge per article for all articles in the subject area; and–one that requires a little more work–the median APC based on article count for articles involving fees–that is, the dollar amount at which half of the articles in APC-charging journals in 2014 cost that much or more and half cost that much or less. That median number is in some ways the most telling number for fee levels; it ranges from $105 to $2,177 (and no, medicine is not the highest, although it’s by far the highest total revenue amount, the only one in the nine-figure range).

The PDF will have hotlinks for the table of contents and table of figures and tables. Current working title is The OA Landscape 2011-2014: An Interim Subject View

Later–once I’ve finished migrating to a new computer and put together the draft text for the July Cites & Insights–I’ll start working on a much more ambitious book that complements the Library Technology Report rather than extending it. That effort will involve rethinking some of the grades, moving much of the analysis so that it’s based on 2014 rather than 2013, attempting to integrate at least 200 or so 2014 titles and possibly some portion of the “non-English” titles, revisiting grades for some items, backfilling some numbers…and maybe even using a May 2015 DOAJ download as the foundation, rather than sticking with the May 2014 one. Best guess is that this effort will take most of the summer; my target is to have it ready by September 14, 2015 or before. (While I’m still a young man, before I turn a decrepit 70…) [Then, I’ll start working on ways to fund and/or justify an entirely new in-depth 2016 study of the OA landscape 2011-2015.]

Getting the PDF of An Interim Subject View

This PDF will not be available via Lulu, and indeed, won’t actually be for sale directly at all. It will, however, be used as an enticement for those of you who either care about this OA research or care about Cites & Insights to step up to the plate.

To wit:

I’m soliciting donations of $25 or more to Cites & Insights. You can donate from the home page or–for that matter–right here:

The button below opens a secure link to PayPal so that you can donate money to Cites & Insights, using PayPal or a credit card.

Once the interim book is ready, and continuing until the more extended version is ready, I’ll either send the PDF as an email attachment or send a link to a Dropbox file to all those who contribute at least $25 (and yes, I’ll count this as income, not donations). The PDF doesn’t have DRM. I count on your honesty and good will to not distribute huge numbers of copies, but anybody contributing personally who wishes to send the PDF to their library as an institutional resource is encouraged to do so.

For a donation of $50 or more, you’ll get the interim edition–and when the more extended book is done, you’ll get that as well, in an exclusive edition that has hotlinked table of contents and table of figures/tables. (That book will be available from Lulu, probably for $40 ebook, $45 print book, but neither of those versions will have hotlinks.)

All donations will be considered as encouragements for me to continue the OA research and also continue Cites & Insights.

Oh, and by the way, this offer is retroactive to mid-April 2015, which only affects one person long active in OA and scholarly publishing–they’ll get both books.

Semi-relevant sidenote: Remember when blog posts used to get lots of non-spam comments? Some still do; mine basically don’t, and I don’t even turn on comments by default. A legitimate comment and question on a very recent post was actually the first non-spam comment I’ve had in just over a year!

Note added 4 p.m. May 19, 2015

If you really want the interim report in print book form, there are two ways to do that:

1. If you have access to an Expresso Book Machine or something similar, the PDF is a formatted 6×9″ book that should work perfectly, as long as some provision is made for a cover. (I’ve never used an EBM, but this will be a PDF-A file that would be acceptable to Lulu, which means it should be fine for an EBM.) Current size is about 215 pages; that may shrink very slightly.

2. I could make provisions for limited-time purchase through Lulu, at cost of production, if you really need a print copy and have no other way to get one. (I’d have to gin up a cover…)

Most of you probably don’t want the print book anyway, but just in case…

OA articles involving APCs: More complete 2014 table

Posted in open access on May 17th, 2015

On May 6, 2015, I posted “Percentage of OA articles involving APCs” showing on a subject-by-subject basis the percentage of OA articles in a given subject area that involved APCs (that is, appeared in journals charging APCs, although some articles have waivers).

That post included a full set of 28 topics or non-topics for 2013, sorted from the topic most likely to involve APCs to the one least likely, and a partial list for 2014–because I hadn’t yet finished the project of adding full-2014 numbers to my set of 6,490 journals (in DOAJ  as of May 7, 2014, capable of being analyzed by an English-reading person, actually OA and not ruled out for other reasons).

I’ve finished that pass now, and can provide a full table for 2014. (Later this week, I think, there will be an announcement on availability of a combined report on that work–one that goes beyond the weekly postings.)

That table appears below. I should also note, in passing, that the total number of articles in the 6,490 journals went from around 366 thousand in 2013 to nearly 408 thousand in 2014–a growth rate of more than 10%, although some fields show less OA activity in 2014. Note that these numbers still ignore some 2,000 journals that didn’t appear to have any English interface, so they’re probably still 10%-18% too low.

Anyway, here’s the table:

Subject %APC
Mega 100%
Biology 80%
Computer science 75%
Physics 72%
Engineering 70%
Chemistry 70%
Ecology 68%
Medicine 65%
Other Sciences 64%
Mathematics 61%
Earth Sciences 54%
Agriculture 54%
Zoology 52%
Religion 51%
Psychology 51%
Economics 46%
Technology 45%
Sociology 44%
Miscellany 40%
Media & Communications 37%
Language & Literature 28%
Political Science 25%
Anthropology 22%
Education 19%
Arts & Architecture 17%
Law 12%
Philosophy 11%
Library Science 4%
History 2%

Want to encourage this research?

Read this post and respond.

The Open Access Landscape: 12. Engineering

Posted in open access on May 15th, 2015

Engineering
journals were distinguished from Technology journals based on narrower subjects and journal titles. This group includes 245 journals, which published 19,336 articles in 2013—and 21,495 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

146

60%

8,192

42%

56

Free

108

74%

4,219

52%

39

Pay

38

26%

3,973

48%

105

A$ pay

11

4%

1,792

9%

163

B

43

18%

7,521

39%

175

Free

6

14%

427

6%

71

Pay

37

86%

7,094

94%

192

C

19

8%

1,356

7%

71

Free

3

16%

67

5%

22

Pay

6

32%

186

14%

31

Unk

10

53%

1,103

81%

110

D

26

11%

475

2%

18

Free

23

88%

325

68%

14

Pay

2

8%

150

32%

75

Unk

1

4%

0%

0

Table 12.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 12.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown numbers; and average articles per journal. The boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all engineering journals and articles; others (free, pay, unk) are percentages of the grade above. All A$ journals charge APCs, so the Pay line is omitted.

Possibly noteworthy: a fairly high percentage of journals are slightly questionable—grade B—including a number of high-volume journals that charge APCs.

The small number of D journals includes these subgroups: C: 13 journals with 171 articles; D: two journals, 21 articles; E: three journals, 62 articles; H: five journals, 209 articles; S: three journals, 12 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

218

230

209

178

%Free

58%

59%

59%

63%

Articles

20,186

18,233

13,388

8,893

%Free

25%

28%

32%

47%

Table 12.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 12.2 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 eleven “unknown” journals (with 1,103 articles in 2013) are omitted. The journal numbers still don’t add up to 245 because there are some journals that didn’t publish articles in any given year—for example, four journals didn’t publish articles in 2013.

These are fairly striking numbers. While the percentage of free journals isn’t a lot lower than average for all of OA, it’s declined somewhat since 2011. What’s really changed is the number of articles in what’s clearly a growing field of OA publishing: just under half were in no-fee journals in 2011, while only one-quarter are in such journals in 2014. That’s during a period in which the number of articles more than doubled, while the number of journals publishing in any given year only increased by one-quarter.

Clearly, OA activity is increasing in engineering fields, even without considering journals founded in 2014. In all, 122 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 19 published the same number of articles; 104 published fewer. Looking at significant change, 96 (39%) published at least 10% more articles; 62 (39%) published at least 10% more articles; 62 (25%) stayed about the same; and 87 (36%) published at least 10% fewer articles, including 16 that have not yet published any articles in 2014. (The counts in this paragraph do include “unknown” journals.)

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

2

0%

2,231

0%

Large

23

13%

9,061

5%

Medium

55

47%

4,110

47%

Small

118

68%

3,423

67%

Sparse

47

66%

511

61%

Table 12.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 12.3 shows the number of journals in each size category; 2013 articles for journals in that group; and what percentage is no-fee or in no-fee journals. Note that the peak is based on 2011 through the first half of 2014; there would be six journals in the Prolific category if all of 2014 was included.

Larger journals dominate engineering, and as the journal size goes up, the percentage of free journals goes down, radically for the two largest categories (which account for considerably more than half of all 2013 articles).

Fees (APCs)

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

5

5%

2%

897

7%

5%

Medium

21

22%

9%

1,433

11%

8%

Low

36

38%

15%

3,177

24%

17%

Nominal

32

34%

14%

7,688

58%

42%

None

140

60%

5,038

28%

Table 12.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 12.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles in those journals. To the extent that the first %Fee figures diverge from 25%, they represent deviations from the norm for all of OA—in this case, a much lower percentage of high-priced (more than $1,450) journals and somewhat higher percentages of low- and nominal-fee journals. It’s interesting that the nominal-fee journals ($8 to $200) publish most of the articles that appear in APC-charging journals.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

1

100%

1970-79

1

100%

1980-89

3

100%

1992-93

2

50%

1994-95

1

100%

1996-97

2

50%

1998-99

6

83%

2000-01

15

67%

2002-03

15

93%

2004-05

9

67%

2006-07

25

68%

2008-09

34

44%

2010-11

76

54%

2012-13

55

44%

Table 12.5. Starting dates for engineering OA journals

Table 12.5 shows engineering OA journals by starting date, including the percentage for each date range that currently don’t charge APCs. The overall sense of a gold rush from 2006 through 2011 is certainly apparent here—except that it continues into 2012-2013, with most new journals (except 2006-2007) APC-charging and many more journals than in previous periods. (No journals began in 1960-69 or 1990-1.)

Figure 12.1. Engineering journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

1

21

21

1970-79

1

43

43

1980-89

3

202

67

1992/93

2

264

132

1994-95

1

11

11

1996-97

2

358

179

1998-99

5

120

24

2000-01

15

1,023

68

2002-03

14

637

46

2004-05

9

848

94

2006-07

24

916

38

2008-09

34

3,501

103

2010-11

74

5,153

70

2012-13

55

6,239

113

Table 12.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Figure 12.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 12.5 but in graphic form—and I think it makes the gold rush clearer. Table 12.6 shows the number of journals beginning in each time period that actually published one or more articles in 2013, the number of articles, and average articles per journal. Other than two earlier cases involving just two journals in each period, the most interesting periods may be 2004-05, 2008-09 and 2011-2012, in each case with relatively high average articles per journal.

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.

The Open Access Landscape: 11. Education

Posted in open access on May 8th, 2015

Education is the second-largest set of journals in the humanities and social sciences, and could have been larger—some STEM journals could have gone here. Although the group includes 319 journals (fifth largest overall), the journals only published 7,332 articles in 2013 (and slightly fewer, 7,038, in 2014), fewer than 14 other groups.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

233

73%

5,823

79%

25

Free

218

94%

5,160

89%

24

Pay

15

6%

663

11%

44

A$ pay

1

0%

29

0%

29

B

28

9%

1,044

14%

37

Free

14

50%

381

36%

27

Pay

14

50%

663

64%

47

C

3

1%

88

1%

29

Pay

1

33%

36

41%

36

Unk

2

67%

52

59%

26

D

54

17%

348

5%

6

Free

50

93%

334

96%

7

Pay

4

7%

14

4%

4

Table 11.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 11.1 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 the journals; others (free, pay, unk.) are percentages of the grade above. Since A$ implies a fee, the redundant Pay line is omitted.

While it’s true, here as for most fields, that journals with APCs publish more articles (in general) than those without, the differences aren’t enormous: in general, these journals aren’t huge.

There are a fair number of D journals (but relatively few articles), including these subgroups: C: eleven journals but only 24 articles; E: 12 journals with 86 articles; H: eight journals with 141 articles; S: 23 journals, 97 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

296

304

296

268

%Free

89%

89%

90%

92%

Articles

6,939

7,280

7,195

6,023

%Free

81%

81%

81%

89%

Table 11.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 11.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that actually published articles each year (including all of 2014), how many articles they published, and what percentage were free. The two “unknown” journals (with 52 articles in 2013) are omitted. Additionally, there are always some journals that don’t publish articles in a given year, especially with as many small journals as in education—e.g., 15 journals didn’t publish any articles in 2013.

Open access education journals are predominantly free—92% in 2011, declining only slightly by 2014. More than four out of five articles appear in no-fee journals, and after a sharp drop in 2012 that percentage has stayed constant since.

While there are certainly some annuals and other journals that have yet to post 2014 articles, it does appear that there’s been some decline in publishing activity. On the other hand, 214 of the 341-article drop is accounted for by three journals (two with APCs, one free) that either haven’t published any articles in 2014 or, in one case, is now flagged as hosting malware and so wasn’t reached or counted.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 133 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 29 published the same number; 157 published fewer articles. In terms of significant change, 115 (36%) published at least 10% more articles; 65 (20%) were relatively unchanged; 139 (44%) published significantly fewer articles, including 23 that have yet to post any 2014 articles. It’s curious but probably not meaningful that, if you omit the 23 journals with no 2014 articles, the number of journals with significantly more articles is almost precisely the same as the number with significantly fewer.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific 0 0
Large 2 50% 315 65%
Medium 26 62% 1,880 61%
Small 134 89% 3,641 86%
Sparse 157 93% 1,496 92%

Table 11.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 11.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is or is in no-fee journals. Not only are there no prolific OA education journals, there are almost no large ones and very few medium-sized (60 to 199 articles); in fact, nearly half of the journals are sparse, publishing fewer than 20 articles per year. As usual, the percentage of free journals goes down as the article volume goes up.

Fees (APCs)

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

0

0

Medium

6

17%

2%

238

17%

3%

Low

12

34%

4%

405

29%

6%

Nominal

17

49%

5%

762

54%

10%

None

282

89%

5,875

81%

Table 11.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 11.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals.

Percentages in the first %Fee column that are higher or lower than 25% show deviations from overall OA patterns—and in this case the pattern’s very clear. There are no high-priced OA education journals, very few medium-priced (only two of them over $1,000), and a larger handful of low-priced and nominal-fee journals. It’s curious that nominal-fee journals publish more articles (overall and on average) than those with low and medium fees.

Given the figures in the table, you might expect a negative statistical correlation between APC and article count (that is, the numbers get higher as the fee gets lower), but while the correlation is negative (-0.14), it’s not statistically significant.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1960-69

1

100%

1970-79

0

1980-89

6

83%

1990-91

2

100%

1992-93

4

100%

1994-95

4

100%

1996-97

13

92%

1998-99

12

100%

2000-01

23

96%

2002-03

19

95%

2004-05

44

98%

2006-07

32

100%

2008-09

43

84%

2010-11

77

83%

2012-13

38

68%

Table 11.5. Starting dates for education OA journals

Table 11.5 shows education OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given date range that don’t currently charge APCs. (It omits one free journal that started in 2014 and was in DOAJ early enough to be in the study universe.)

For DOAJ journals as a whole, there’s a sense of a gold rush for APC-charging journals starting in 2006. There really aren’t enough APC-charging education journals to constitute a gold rush, and the field in general only started to grow rapidly in 2004—but it is noteworthy that only five APC-charging journals started before 2008, and 24 of the 35 APC-charging journals started in 2010-2013.

Figure 11.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 11.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals. I’ve included markers for pay journals so that the data points (one journal each) in 1980-89 and 1996-97 show up.

Figure 11.1. Education journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1960-69

1

61

61

1970-79

0

1980-89

6

216

36

1990/91

2

50

25

1992/93

4

132

33

1994-95

4

60

15

1996-97

13

475

37

1998-99

12

328

27

2000-01

22

577

26

2002-03

18

469

26

2004-05

41

705

17

2006-07

32

697

22

2008-09

41

984

24

2010-11

73

1,775

24

2012-13

37

803

22

Table 11.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 11.6 shows the number of journals started in each date range that actually published articles in 2013, the number of articles, and average articles per journal. It’s mildly interesting that older journals tend to have more articles than younger journals.

The overall picture for education OA journals is clear enough: many specialized journals, many of them with very few articles, with only a few charging APCs.

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

Percentage of OA articles involving APCs

Posted in open access on May 6th, 2015

Heather Morrison recently posted “Which subjects are most likely to charge article processing charges?” at Sustaining the Knowledge Commons.  It’s an interesting post, and since my own (non-sampled, all journals in DOAJ  as of May 2014 that I was able to evaluate as a English-speaker, 6,490 of them that actually have articles available) in-depth study won’t be out (as an issue of Library Technology Reports; the anonymized data is available here) until this summer, I thought I’d add my own figures.

Except that, the more I work with the data, the more I feel that the most relevant figures really aren’t what percentage of OA journals charge APCs (something over a third, but definitely a minority overall) but what percentage of OA articles appear in journals that charge APCs (a majority overall, but not in the humanities and social sciences).

So here are two quick tables, the first covering the set of 29 topic groups (two of which aren’t really topics) and 2013 articles, the second covering 23 of the 29 and 2014 articles (I haven’t quite finished revisiting 2014 article counts). Both tables are in descending order by percentage of articles that appeared in journals that clearly charge APCs. (There are some journals where it’s just not clear, but those journals only represent 2%-3% of articles.) (The two non-topics are “mega”–four multidisciplinary journals publishing more than 1,000 articles per year–and “miscellany,” journals that didn’t fit into one of the other slots.)

Table 1: Percentage of 2013 articles appearing in APC-charging journals, all topics

Topic 2013
Mega 100%
Biology 74%
Computer science 72%
Ecology 70%
Chemistry 68%
Engineering 68%
Physics 68%
Mathematics 60%
Other Sciences 60%
Medicine 58%
Earth Sciences 54%
Religion 53%
Agriculture 53%
Zoology 47%
Miscellany 47%
Economics 47%
Technology 46%
Psychology 44%
Sociology 35%
Language & Literature 26%
Media & Communications 24%
Education 19%
Anthropology 16%
Political Science 15%
Arts & Architecture 15%
Philosophy 10%
Law 7%
Library Science 4%
History 2%

And here’s the partial table, for all of 2014 (note: this is newer data than in the published report):

Topic 2014
Mega 100%
Biology 80%
Computer science 75%
Physics 72%
Engineering 70%
Chemistry 70%
Ecology 68%
Medicine 65%
Other Sciences 64%
Mathematics 61%
Earth Sciences 54%
Agriculture 54%
Economics 46%
Miscellany 40%
Media & Communications 37%
Language & Literature 28%
Anthropology 22%
Education 19%
Arts & Architecture 17%
Law 12%
Philosophy 11%
Library Science 4%
History 2%

In case it’s not obvious (and it probably isn’t), the missing seven are the last alphabetically, from Psychology through Zoology.

These figures can’t be directly compared to Morrison’s because of different assumptions and different subject groupings (and because I’m looking at articles rather than journals), but they may provide an additional point.

Additional Note, added 5/7/15

Heather Morrison attempted to post a comment on this, including multiple links–which caused it to be treated as spam. Rather than post the comment here, given that I’ve added a significant comment to her comment, I’ll link you back to the comment at her post. (If that sounds complicated, just go look.)

Completion Note, added 5/17/15

The full table for 2014 is now available here, along with the overall total showing more than 10% growth in OA articles from 2013 to 2014–to just under 408,000 in 2014 (which may still be 10%-18% low).

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 http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i6.pdf

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 http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i6on.pdf

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.

 

The Open Access Landscape: 10. Economics

Posted in open access on May 1st, 2015

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


Economics includes most business topics. It’s the second largest group of journals (and by far the largest group in the humanities and social sciences)—but not the second largest collection of articles. This topic includes 345 journals, which published a total of 10,663 articles in 2013 and 10,217 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

230

67%

7,413

70%

32

Free

188

82%

4,475

60%

24

Pay

42

18%

2,938

40%

70

A$ pay

2

1%

28

0%

14

B

45

13%

2,029

19%

45

Free

13

29%

569

28%

44

Pay

32

71%

1,460

72%

46

C

15

4%

703

7%

47

Pay

8

53%

308

44%

39

Unk

7

47%

395

56%

56

D

53

15%

490

5%

9

Free

36

68%

249

51%

7

Pay

16

30%

239

49%

15

Unk

1

2%

2

0%

2

Table 10.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 10.1 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 economics journals; others (free, pay, unknown) are percentages of the grade above. Since A$ requires an APC of $1,000 or more, the “pay” line is redundant and omitted.

These numbers are somewhat unusual. Typically, A$ journals have the highest number of articles per journal; here, they’re the lowest of any A-C group—and among B journals, free and pay journals have roughly the same number of articles. Still, the A figures are fairly typical, with fee-charging journals publishing more than twice as many articles per journal as free journals (but fewer articles overall).

There are quite a few D journals here, including these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), 20 journals with a total of 36 articles in 2013; D (dying), four journals with 22 articles; E (erratic), three journals with three articles; H (hiatus?), 13 journals with 387 articles; N (new), one journal with five articles; S (small), 12 journals with 37 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

307

325

314

277

%Free

68%

69%

70%

72%

Articles

10,217

10,663

12,159

10,413

%Free

48%

50%

52%

52%

Table 10.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 10.2 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 eight “unknown” journals (with 397 articles in 2013) are omitted. The journal numbers still don’t add up to 345 because some journals (12 in 2013) didn’t publish any articles in any given year.

The percentage of free journals is on the low side for social sciences but better than average for all of OA, declining slightly over the past few years. The percentage of articles in free journals is also on the low side for social sciences but considerably better than average for OA in general—and, again, declined slightly over the past few years.

The numbers here are unusual—showing a large decline in OA publishing from 2012 to 2013 and a small decline in 2014, albeit one that brings 2014 numbers below 2011 numbers. These numbers don’t include journals that entered DOAJ after May 7, 2014 and some journals that post articles online very late. It appears to be a real decline, but one that largely involves a few journals. For example, one journal dropped from 1,220 articles in 2012 to 480 in 2013 and a mere 100 in 2014: that alone accounts for 85% of the 2013-2014 decline and more than half of the decline from 2012 to 2014.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 140 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 46 published exactly the same number; and 159 published fewer articles. In terms of significant change, 121 (35%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 91 (26%) published roughly the same number; and 133 (39%) published at least 10% fewer articles in 2014—including 30 that, to date, haven’t published any 2014 articles. (That last number includes six journals that were unreachable.)

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

1

0%

480

0%

Large

5

40%

1,349

18%

Medium

54

33%

3,723

34%

Small

144

72%

3,801

71%

Sparse

141

81%

1,310

83%

Table 10.3. Journals by peak article numbers

Table 10.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (based on the largest number of articles in 2011, 2012, or 2013); 2013 articles for that group; and what percentage is (or is in) no-fee journals. The single prolific journal was only prolific in 2011 and 2012: it’s now down to the Small category for 2014.

There are quite a few sparse economics journals, primarily free, and the field also has a fairly high percentage of free small journals.

Fees (APCs)

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

0

0

Medium

11

11%

3%

411

8%

4%

Low

31

31%

9%

1,773

36%

17%

Nominal

58

58%

17%

2,789

56%

27%

None

237

70%

5,293

52%

Table 10.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 10.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. The %Fee percentages are of all fee-charging journals. “Unknown” journals are omitted.

Since the fee ranges are based on quartiles, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between economics OA journals and OA journals as a whole—and they’re big differences. There are no high-priced economics journals (that is, among the top 25% of all fee-charging journals), with the most expensive being $1,350, and there are very few medium-priced journals. More than half of APC-charging journals charge nominal fees, $8 to $200—and those journals publish more than half of the articles in APC-charging journals. It’s also interesting that the more expensive journals publish relatively fewer articles than their less-expensive competitors.

There’s no correlation (-0.02) between APC size and number of 2013 articles. That’s hardly surprising.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1970-79

4

100%

1980-89

2

100%

1992-93

1

100%

1994-95

3

100%

1996-97

7

86%

1998-99

9

100%

2000-01

19

89%

2002-03

16

81%

2004-05

26

92%

2006-07

37

92%

2008-09

64

70%

2010-11

99

51%

2012-13

58

50%

Table 10.5 Starting dates for economics OA journals

Table 10.5 shows economics OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in 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 and possibly declining in 2012. Economics is different: startups were slow until 2008, and that’s also the point at which significant numbers of APC-charging journals appeared. The rate of new journals slowed significantly in 2013, but half of the new ones were still APC-charging. Note that there are no OA economics journals dating back prior to 1970, and that none began in 1990-91.

Figure 10.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 10.5, but in a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals. Note the wide gap until 2010.

Figure 10.1. Economics OA journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1970-79

4

51

13

1980-89

2

107

54

1994-95

3

38

13

1996-97

6

65

11

1998-99

9

140

16

2000-01

18

501

28

2002-03

16

404

25

2004-05

24

704

29

2006-07

35

1,397

40

2008-09

58

1,806

31

2010-11

92

3,820

42

2012-13

58

1,630

28

Table 10.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 10.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, and the average 2013 articles per journal. Note that there were no new economics OA journals in 1990-91 and that those started in 1992-93 didn’t publish any articles in 2013. The most interesting item in this table may be that the two journals started in the 1980s publish more articles per journal than for any period since then, but with only two journals, that may not be very meaningful.

In general, economics OA journals aren’t all that unusual for social sciences: proportionally fewer APC-charging journals than in STEM or biomed, and with relatively lower APCs.

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.

Feedback needed now: The Open Access Landscape

Posted in open access on April 27th, 2015

If you think the work I’m doing related to The Open Access Landscape 2011-2014 (and potentially 2011-2015) is valuable, read on–understanding that I really need some form of feedback this week (by May 1, 2015).

If you don’t think it’s valuable, feel free to skip the rest of this.

Anybody still here?

If so, then here’s the moderately short version (followed by the three pieces of the longer version):

I need feedback this week to decide how to proceed. Feedback can be a comment on this post, a message to me (waltcrawford@gmail.com), a response to the messages I’ll probably put up on various social networks… It should reach me by May 1, 2015.

Why by May 1, 2015? Because if I’m going to do something like an IndieGoGo campaign (see under “The Possible Campaign”), I’d want to discuss it in the June 2015 Cites & Insights. That would mean writing a new “The Front” before I start to revise and prepare the issue, which I plan to publish early next week.

Why IndieGoGo rather than Kickstarter? Because, at least the last time I looked, Kickstarter requires a video, and I’m not a video person and don’t really have the equipment–hardware and software–to do a decent little intro.

After my last experience staging such a campaign, I’m a little gunshy–and the 100% lack of  feedback based on the message at the end of every weekly post, and the extra post, doesn’t make me less gunshy.

Positive feedback does not commit you to contribute to the IndieGoGo campaign or, alternatively, to buy the book (PDF or paperback) when it comes out, which it probably will whether I do the campaign or not. It only says that you might consider it. I will not pester you–there won’t be individual emails saying “Well? Why haven’t you coughed up?”

The lack of positive feedback won’t necessarily doom the project. It will pretty much doom any crowdfunding campaign or putting much additional effort into the current project. It might or might not doom what I really want to do next year (see The Long-Term Goal below). Good feedback and a successful campaign would assure more effort and help assure the long-term goal.

That’s the moderately short version. The rest of this message consists of three parts: Potential additional refinements for 2011-2014; The Possible Campaign Outline; The Long-Term Goal.

Potential Additional Refinements for 2011-2014

Here’s what I’d probably do with good feedback and a successful campaign:

  • Add the 220 (or so) 2014 additions to DOAJ to the spreadsheet.
  • Do selective rechecking for 2013 values.
  • Redo key measures based on 2014 rather than 2013 counts.
  • Introduce new measures of article-quantity distribution, one based on quartiles of peak-article-count, one based on quartiles of cumulative article count for 2014 (that is, the range of 2014 article volumes that makes up one-quarter of all articles)
  • Try out making these two local and global (that is, showing the local quartiles for a given topic and showing how local distribution differs from global distibution)
  • Rework all of the chapters to add topics to table/figure captions, add new measures, and provide narrative summaries of the distinctive aspects of a topic’s OA journals.
  • As soon as the Library Technology Reports is issued, change the publication dates on remaining blog posts (which will not include any of these refinrements) so that new chapters appear twice a week rather than once a week.

The Possible Campaign Outline

If I did an IndieGoGo campaign for The Open Access Landscape 2011-2014, it would have a base goal of $1,000 and stretch goals of $1,500, $3,000 and $5,000, as follows:

Base Goal: Prepare and Issue Refined 2011-2014 Study

With refinements as shown above, to the extent that they’re easily doable. Issue results as a PDF ebook and a paperback book (with possible casebound option depending on campaign results).

Note in the perks below that the base goal might include making the ebook/PDF version free.

Note also that, if anybody contributes at the $75 and higher levels, the base goal also involves preparing an indexed version of Ethics and Open Access: A Cites & Insights Reader in late 2015/early 2016.

Stretch Goal 1: $1,500: Post anonymized data to Figshare

Additionally, all revenue in excess of $1,250 would count toward the long-term goal (see below).

Stretch Goal 2: $3,000: Probable move to long-term goal

See below.

Stretch Goal 3: $5,000: Long-term Goal becomes Action Plan

See below.

The Perks

  • $25: Option A: Acknowledgment in the book and a free copy of the exclusive PDF version (with in-PDF autograph on title page, and with working links in contents and figures table). At least a $40 value.
  • $25: Option B: Same as Option A, but with explicit preference to make regular PDF version freely available. (Otherwise, it will cost $40 for those not participating in the campaign.)
  • $50: Options A and B: Same as $25, plus 40% discount off a paperback copy of the book. (Planned price $45, so discounted price would be $27.) At least a $58 value.
  • $75: Option A: Same as $50 (and assumes Option B) plus a free PDF exclusive edition of Ethics and Open Access: A Cites & Insights Reader. (Exclusive: working links.) At least a $98 value.
  • $75: Option B: Like $75A, but instead of the 40% discount, a free PDF of The Open Access Landscape 2011-2015 in late 2016, if that project goes forward. (If not, I’ll come up with something else.) At least a $98 value.

All levels from here on include acknowledgment, the free exclusive PDF version and the free exclusive PDF Ethics and Open Access,  plus whatever’s stated at the level. If at least 20 contributors choose Option B or any level higher than $50, the non-exclusive PDF version of the 2011-2014 book will be made freely available.

  • $100: Add a free copy of the paperback. At least a $125 value.
  • $125: Add a free signed copy of the paperback. Priceless!
  • $150: Like $125, plus a free PDF of the 2011-2015 book. At least a $170 value.
  • $175: Add a free casebound copy of the 2011-2014 book.
  • $200: Add a free signed casebound copy of the 2011-2015 book.
  • $225: Everything–a free signed casebound copy and a free PDF of the 2011-2015 book.

The Long-Term Goal

Prepare The Open Access Landscape 2011-2015 during 2016.

  • Start with the DOAJ dataset as of early 2016 (say January 6 or so).
  • Gather data for as many journals as possible, including selective use of Google Translate to try to deal with journals with no English interface–and more extensive use of alternative methods to locate journals where the URL in the DOAJ dataset doesn’t work.
  • Recheck existing data in all cases.
  • Refine grading system and assign all new grades.
  • Prepare the project.
  • File the anonymized spreadsheet with Figshare.
  • (Propose a summary version in Library Technology Reports.)

If an IndieGoGo campaign yields more than $1,500 but less than $5,000, I’d do a later campaign (probably late Fall 2015) to try to raise the rest–that is, looking for $3,500 in new funding for the 2011-2015 project.

There it is. Lunacy? A good idea? Somewhere in between?

Let me know. By May 1, 2015, if at all possible.


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