Archive for the ‘open access’ Category

Halfway through: a quick note on GOAJ16

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

As of a few minutes ago I’m just over halfway through the initial data gathering pass for Gold Open Access Journals 2012-2016 (that date range may turn out to be 2011-2016 if I can figure out the formatting: I’m gathering/keeping the 2011 data).

That is: I’ve done 4,740 journals, and there are 4,710 left to do. (I do them 20 at a time–which can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours or more–so the precise halfway point wasn’t a good place to pause.)

A few tidbits on the first 4,740:

  • 784 of them will be checked again no earlier than April, either because there were problems or because they seemed likely to have more 2016 articles/issues posted a bit later in 2017.
  • 685 of those checked so far are new to the list–but only 50 of those actually started publishing in 2016.
  • 4,346 so far are “good”–tagged either A or B.
  • 36 are duplicates, either cases of slight changes in titles or two language versions or…: in each case, if I catch it. only one gets counted.
  • The rest have some problem–malware, unreachable, unusable, etc. All those will be revisited.
  • 2,621 do not charge APCs; 1,919 do have stated APCs.

Nothing profound. Just a 15-minute break before heading back to the process. I may or may not be halfway through in terms of time required: note that “half hour to two hours or more” range. At least I know the first 20 of the second half will be quick (the rest of Libertas Academica, now part of Sage: predictable layout and easy to count by year of publication).

Gold Open Access Journals: January update

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

It’s January 31–the last day of the month, when I fetch usage statistics for my websites (as always, omitting about 6 hours of that last day), so here’s an update on GOAJ:

  • Paperbacks: No change. Two copies of GOAJ itself sold. So far, none of the others.
  • Dataset: 26 more views, 1004 total views; 5 more downloads, 445 total downloads.
  • GOAJ: no additional Lulu,  42 total Lulu copies, 2,422(!) more (total 11,584* copies from my site: total 11,626 (actual total almost certainly over 12,000).
  • Subjects: No additional Lulu, 19 total Lulu copies, 82 additional, 293* other copies, 312* total.
  • Countries: No additional Lulu, 8 total Lulu copies, 112 additional, 1,166* total other copies, 1,174 total.
  • C&I: New totals 1,223* copies of the excerpted GOAJ version (16.5) and 3,999* copies of “APCLand and OAWorld” (16.4.)

*Missing downloads from 11/13-11/30/16 and, for C&I, 11/13-12/15/16.

Gray OA and the state of C&I

Gray OA 2011-2016 (Cites & Insights 17.1) shows a total of 818 downloads to date, and no apparent recognition anywhere else that the Shen/Bjork “predatory articles” numbers are demonstrated to be so dramatically wrong; the dataset shows 129 views and only 19 downloads. I’d already concluded that it was crazy to consider updating the study (which probably involved more work than GOAJ); the lack of interest confirms that conclusion–and, of course, the source material’s disappeared in any case.

As for C&I and the balance between new issues of that and work on the second edition of GOAJ (2012-2016, or maybe 2011-2016) can’t help but be swayed by the figures for C&I 17.2: 166 total to date. Issue 17.3 will emerge……..eventually.

Missing those lists? Never fear…

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

It appears that the content in Beall’s blog disappeared a few days ago, including the notorious lists of ppppredatory publishers and journals.

I have no inside information as to what happened.

Here’s the thing, though:

In addition to the usual Internet Archive approach to finding slightly earlier versions of the lists, I can recommend the following–with the caveat that I regard the lists as useless and damaging as “blacklists” but useful as a broad directory of gray/gold OA (gold OA not in DOAJ):

  • There’s a spreadsheet including all the journals from both lists as of July 8, 2016–including publishers, journals, URLs, but also article counts for each journal for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and the first half of 2016, as well as the current APC (as of late 2016) and my status code for each journal
  • Gray OA 2012-2016: Open Access Journals Beyond DOAJ, the January 2017 Cites & Insights, provides full analysis of this universe and how it meshes with the larger DOAJ universe, and even a breakdown of the vastly inflated “predatory” numbers in one piece of published research.

Both free, both CC-BY; the first is the master dataset for the second. Neither has been seen by all that many people, which is sort of a shame.

All times are UTC

Friday, January 13th, 2017

I use Chrome as my default browser while researching journals, because it makes it so easy to use the Google language tools to translate pages. Almost always, I can use the translation–and occasionally, as with Italian author guides, the translation has the feel of free verse.

Then there’s this–just encountered when checking
Herakleion : Revista Interdisciplinar de Historia y Arqueología del Mediterráneo, a Spanish journal.

One of the tabs is
Normas de Publicación
(which I already recognize as “publication norms” or author guidelines).
Translating the page yielded this:
All times are UTC
which is an…interesting…translation.

And no doubt true.

All of Gold OA?

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Given the recent publication of “Hybrid open access—A longitudinal study” by Mikael Laakso and Bo-Christer Björk, I thought it might be interesting to put together all the pieces: my study of DOAJ-listed journals, my study of “others” (using Beall’s generally pernicious lists as a source directory), and this study of hybrid articles.

Here’s what I come up with, complete for 2012 and 2013, partial for 2014 and 2015. “Questionable” for DOAJ includes journals with unstated/hidden APCs; for the gray segment, it includes a variety of things (see Table 3.4).

2012 2013 2013% 2014 2015 2015%




















































I believe this is as complete a picture of gold OA as we’re likely to get, although it does omit a few thousand articles where journals have malware or are otherwise resistant to article counts. I’d suggest a 5% margin of error—and also suggest, as I’ve long suspected, that hybrid OA is still within that margin of error, less than 5% of gold OA.

Moved, left no forwarding address? Bentham open

Monday, January 9th, 2017

I’m doing the 2016 DOAJ scan by publisher name–a publisher will frequently use the same APC placement and issue organization for all its journals, saving me time–and just reached Bentham Open, with about 70 journals (quite a few ceased).

And could reach NONE of the first 10…either DNS errors or timeouts. All with URLs starting either or

Just for fun, searched for Bentham Open…and got a site at

So far, of the first 10 tried, the five that had already ceased have simply disappeared, while the other five can now be reached from the parent site at

In no case do I see a stub site or autoforward–neither for the publisher (or “publisher”) as a whole nor for any of the journals.

At this point, I’ll do the 60 others by using the new parent site–but isn’t one mark of an even semi-reputable publisher that when you change URLs you don’t simply shut down the old site?

Or is “semi-reputable publisher” too kind a word in this case?

A pence for your thoughts

Friday, January 6th, 2017

As I’m starting the long slog of adding 2016 data (and adding all data for just under 1,900 journals not there on 12/31/2015) to the spreadsheet for Gold Open Access [2011 or]2012-2016, I find the need for an early shoutout:

To The Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford for both the lowest Article Processing Charge I’ve seen and the best statement about the charge:

“We have introduced Author Publication Charges for all authors who consider they may be submitted to REF2020 from 1 April 2013 when the HEFCE rule comes into force. These are set at 1p sterling (£0.01), and should be paid in cash when the author bumps into one of the Editors or anyone who knows them. Why? Because on one interpretation of the guidelines only journals charging APCs are eligible.” 

Update, January 17, 2017: This was posted because I thought it was amusing and refreshing. But after it was picked up by better-known commentators (independently of my post or otherwise), the APC was dropped (they now interpret the guidelines differently).

Sort of a shame, that: humor in author guidelines is in perilously short supply.

Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015: December update

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

It’s December 31–the last day of the month, when I fetch usage statistics for my websites (as always, omitting about 5.5 hours of that last day), so here’s an update on GOAJ–just the total numbers this time:

  • Paperbacks: Two copies of GOAJ itself sold. So far, none of the others.
  • Dataset: 978 views (irrelevant), 440 downloads (relevant).
  • GOAJ: 42 Lulu copies, 9,162* copies from my site: total 9,202.
  • Subjects: 19 Lulu copies, 211* other copies, 230 total.
  • Countries: 8 Lulu copies, 1,054* other copies, 1,062 total.
  • C&I: 1,139* copies of the excerpted GOAJ version (16.5) and 3,925* copies of “APCLand and OAWorld” (16.4.)

As a sidenote, the most downloaded issue of Cites & Insights for the period between October 2012 and December 31, 2016** is issue 14.4, with 15,936 copies, half again as many as the second most downloaded. The primary essay is The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall. Unfortunately, more recent and probably more important related commentaries have not reached anywhere that audience…and it’s clear that many librarians and even more scholars take Beall’s word (typically offered without a shred of evidence) as gospel. [Look to the third essay in the hyperlinked issue–the one with “Trust Me” in the title.]

**The most downloaded C&I will probably always be the Library 2,0 and “Library 2.0” essay, with nearly 34,000 downloads before I added a speed bump.

*Note added 12/12/16: These numbers do not include November 13-December 15, 2016 for C&I or November 13-30, 2016 for downloads from my site; downloads during that period, almost certainly in the high hundreds for GOAJ, are simply missing.

Hybrid OA: 2-3% of gold OA?

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Repeating what I just posted on Google+:

If this article is even close to being right–and I have no reason to doubt it–there’s finally a good figure for how much we undercount OA by omitting hybrid: 2.8%–for 2013, 13,994 hybrid as compared to 493,475 gold (in DOAJ journals, that is, not including 188,000-odd in “gray” OA journals: include those and hybrid’s just barely over 2%: 13,994 compared to more than 682,000).

So: next time somebody says “but you’re not counting hybrid articles,” a reasonable rejoinder might be “So?”–and, of course, a link to this [fully available] article.

And a tip of the hat to Valerie Hawkins for pointing out the article…

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.