Archive for the 'open access' Category

The (Fuller) OA Landscape: Clarifications and Deadlines

Posted in open access on July 26th, 2015

This note replaces my earlier discussions of what might/might  not happen in terms of completing the scan (of those DOAJ listings not included in the earlier study) and its outcome. A much longer version will (probably) appear in the August/September 2015 Cites & Insights (if there is one), but this one has the gist.

The Obvious

  • Nobody forced me to take on the extra 4,200 journals or promised any funding. It’s my own idea, and it’s interesting enough that I’ve watched almost no old movies and written nothing for C&I while doing it.
  • Obviously, I’ll finish the scan. (About 918 left to go–but I’ll revisit 300-400 “not able to analyze fully” cases, so call it 1,300.)
  • Obviously, I won’t entirely hide the results unless people pay for it.

The Plan

  • I will prepare a detailed analysis of the results–a very-nearly-entirely-complete view of The Open Access Landscape 2011-2014. It will be a 6×9″ paperback involvingw some new ways of looking at the data that may provide better insights, along with the methods I’ve The so far.
  • A shorter and simpler version of the analysis–lacking any graphs–will probably make up most or all of the October 2015 (or October/November 2015, or if I’m really feeling burned out the Fall 2015) issue of Cites & Insights, probably out in mid to late September, possibly not until October (the same time the book appears, since the issue will be derived from the book).
  • The book will be available in PDF ebook and paperback print forms.

The Deadline and Terms

  • From now through September 1, 2015, a $50 (or more) donation to Cites and Insights (the Paypal link is on the home page) will yield three perquisites:
  1. A link to the PDF ebook for the Interim Open Access Landscape Subject Approach, with working hotlinks for chapters, tables and graphs.
  2. A link to a special Lulu page where you can buy the paperback version of the same  book (186 p., 6×9″) for $7 plus shipping.
  3. Most importantly, once the book is ready, a link to an exclusive PDF ebook version with working hotlinks for chapters, tables and graphs.
  • After September 1, 2015, this offer is void.
  • When the full book is available, the PDF ebook version (without working hotlinks) will be at least $55; the paperback (probably around 250 pages) will be at least $60.

The Unknown

What about the dataset itself, which will certainly include full details for more than 9,000 journals in DOAJ as of early June 2015, and is likely to include 9,500 or more journals?

If donations and sales warrant, or if somebody can make a convincing case, an anonymized version will be posted to Figshare.

Otherwise, not.

(In practice, while the Figshare version of the partial dataset has been viewed more than 300 times, I’ve seen no indication that anybody has credited it in any further work–or that it’s actually been used by anybody, with the possible exception of DOAJ itself, which asked for and received a special version.)

As for a five-year overview (2011-2015):

  • I’d love to do it, if there’s strong indication that it will be worthwhile.
  • It would be reasonably “easy,” as I’d “just” have to recheck journals for APC changes, add journals added in 2015, and revisit journals to pick up 2015 article counts. Best guess is that I could finish it by the end of March 2016, assuming that I picked up a DOAJ list in early January 2016.
  • As always, I’m open to proposals: waltcrawford@gmail.com

The Open Access Landscape: 22. Philosophy

Posted in open access on July 24th, 2015

Philosophy includes journals on specific philosophers and philosophies. Another smallish group, it’s also somewhat stagnant: the 96 journals published 1,409 articles in 2013 and 1,386 in 2014. There are no “unknown” and no C-grade journals, so tables and discussions will be briefer and clearer as appropriate.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

58

60%

1,014

72%

17

Free

56

97%

981

97%

18

Pay

2

3%

33

3%

17

A$ pay

2

2%

33

2%

17

B

3

3%

169

12%

56

Free

2

67%

92

54%

46

Pay

1

33%

77

46%

77

D

33

34%

193

14%

6

Free

33

100%

193

100%

6

Table 22.1. Philosophy journals and articles by grade

 

Table 22.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free and pay numbers and percentages; and average 2013 articles per journal. Boldface percentages are of the whole set; others are of the grade above. Somewhat atypically, APC-charging journals do not in general publish more articles than free ones—but there are so few of them that this isn’t very meaningful.

On the other hand, there are a lot of D journals, partly because many of these journals are very narrow and have very few papers. The D journals include these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), nine journals with no articles in 2013; E (erratic), 12 journals with 143 articles; H (hiatus?), one journal with six articles; S (small), 11 journals with 44 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

83

85

84

84

%Free

94%

94%

94%

94%

Articles

1,386

1,409

1,438

1,266

%Free

89%

90%

93%

94%

Table 22.2. Philosophy journals and articles by date

 

Table 22.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that actually published articles each year (including all of 2014); the number of articles each year; and the percentage that were free or in non-APC journals. Oddly enough, article volume peaked in 2012, although the declines since then have been quite small—and, although nearly all the journals have been free all along, the few pay journals have gone from publishing 6% of the articles to 11%.

Since there are no “unknowns” in this group, the journal counts show that at least 11 journals didn’t publish any articles in any given year—not the same 11, to be sure.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 38 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013, 12 published the same number (but in eight of those cases, that number was zero), and 46 published fewer articles in 2014. In terms of significant changes, 36 (38%) published at least 10% more articles; 21 (22%) (including the same eight with no articles in 2013 or 2014) published about the same number; and 39 (41%) published at least 10% fewer articles in 2014, including five journals that published articles in 2013 but have yet to publish any in 2014.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Medium

3

67%

207

63%

Small

38

95%

798

94%

Sparse

55

96%

404

95%

Table 22.3. Philosophy journals by peak article volume

 

Table 22.3 shows the number of journals in each size category that has any OA philosophy journals, the number of 2013 articles in those journals, and the no-fee percentages. There are no prolific or large philosophy OA journals; even the three medium-sized journals are at the small end of that range, peaking at 61-79 articles. (In 2014, only one journal—the single medium-sized APC-charging journal—still hit the over-60 mark, with 65 articles.)

Fees (APCs)

APC Jour. %Fee %All Art. %Fee %All
Medium

2

40%

2%

33

23%

2%

Low

1

20%

1%

77

54%

5%

Nominal

2

40%

2%

33

23%

2%

None

91

95%

1,266

90%

Table 22.4. Philosophy journals and articles by fee range

 

No philosophy journal charges high APCs, but—perhaps surprisingly—two do charge medium fees (both well over $1,000). The contrasts between the two Fee% columns really boil down to the fact that the only fairly high-volume journal has a low (actually $600) APC, and more articles than the four other APC-charging journals combined. I didn’t even test correlation, given only five fee journals.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1970-79

2

100%

1980-89

1

100%

1990-91

2

100%

1996-97

3

100%

1998-99

1

100%

2000-01

7

86%

2002-03

9

100%

2004-05

12

100%

2006-07

11

91%

2008-09

18

94%

2010-11

23

91%

2012-13

7

100%

Table 22.6. Starting dates for philosophy OA journal

 

Table 22.5 shows philosophy OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in given date ranges that don’t currently charge APCs. The “gold rush” note, which appears to be the case for DOAJ listings in general (many more APC-charging journals founded 2006-2011) is, while technically true for this group (four of the five APC-charging journals were founded during the “gold rush”), effectively meaningless, especially since most of the journals began in 2004-2011. (Note that 1992-1995 are missing.)

Figure 22.5 shows essentially the same information as Table 22.5, and it’s a misleading graph prior to 1996. Most philosophy OA journals are fairly recent, and nearly all are free—and, as you’ll see in Table 2.6, most don’t publish many articles (with those started 2002-2003 being slightly more active than most others).

Figure 22.1. Philosophy journals by starting date

 

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1970-79

2

62

31

1980-89

1

5

5

1990-91

2

28

14

1996-97

3

39

13

1998-99

1

50

50

2000-01

5

52

10

2002-03

8

238

30

2004-05

11

192

17

2006-07

10

131

13

2008-09

14

146

10

2010-11

21

366

17

2012-13

7

100

14

Table 22.6. Articles per philosophy journal by starting date

 

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 and probably some additional analysis added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.

The Open Access Landscape: 21. Other Sciences

Posted in open access on July 17th, 2015

Other Sciences covers journals that cover many different sciences, including interdisciplinary journals that appear science-focused and science-oriented attempts at megajournals that haven’t yet achieved high volumes. The group includes 118 journals, which published 11,097 articles in 2013 and 12,189 articles in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

60

51%

4,416

40%

74

Free

41

68%

1,548

35%

38

Pay

19

32%

2,868

65%

151

A$ pay

7

6%

2,859

26%

408

B

24

20%

1,482

13%

62

Free

11

46%

620

42%

56

Pay

13

54%

862

58%

66

C

13

11%

2,180

20%

168

Pay

2

15%

52

2%

26

Unk

11

85%

2,128

98%

193

D

14

12%

160

1%

11

Free

8

57%

150

94%

19

Pay

5

36%

0%

0

Unk

1

7%

10

6%

10

Table 21.1. Other sciences journals and articles by grade

Table 21.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown cases; and average articles per journal. As usual, since A$ implies payment, the redundant line is omitted—and in this group, there are no free C-grade journals. Boldface percentages are of the whole; others are of the grade above. Journals with APCs tend to publish more articles than free journals, and the high-priced journals tend to publish the most: that’s fairly typical.

The 14 D journals include these subgroups: C (probably ceased), five journals with no 2013 articles; D (dying), one journal, seven articles; E (erratic), two journals with nine articles; H (hiatus?), three journals with 138 articles; S (small), three journals, six articles. The H group includes one journal with 101 articles—and it did come back from hiatus, with 58 articles in the last half of 2014 (after none in the first half).

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

97

99

94

79

%Free

55%

59%

59%

61%

Articles

10,368

8,959

6,717

5,075

%Free

24%

26%

27%

29%

Table 21.2. Other sciences journals and articles by date

Table 21.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that actually published articles each year, the number of articles (including all of 2014), and what percentage were free or in free journals. The 11 “unknown” journals (that is, journals that either explicitly have fees but don’t state them, or almost certainly have them but don’t state them), which published 1,821 articles in 2014, are omitted.

These are some of the lowest free percentages of any field, especially for articles, and note that the percentages of free journals and articles have declined since 2011.

It does seem clear that OA is continuing to grow in these fields, although the percentage growth declined slightly in 2014.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis (and this time including “unknowns”), 54 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; nine published the same number; 55 published fewer articles in 2014. For significant changes, 51 (43%) published at least 10% more articles; 19 (16%) stayed about the same; 48 (41%) published at least 10% fewer articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

1

0

1,393

0%

Large

12

17%

5,337

8%

Medium

31

32%

2,872

31%

Small

49

61%

1,246

63%

Sparse

25

72%

249

82%

Table 21.3. Other sciences journals by peak article volume

Table 21.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (based on peak count from 2011-2013), articles published by those journals in 2013; and what percentage is no-fee. Note that Table 21.3 does include unknown-APC journals. The basic message: most of the articles are in large and prolific journals, and only one of the 13 journals in those size ranges doesn’t charge fees—whereas, for small and sparse journals, APC-charging journals underperform free ones. The patterns are familiar.

Fees (APCs)

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

3

7%

3%

1,436

22%

16%

Medium

7

17%

7%

1,631

25%

18%

Low

9

22%

9%

848

13%

9%

Nominal

22

54%

22%

2,726

41%

30%

None

58

59%

2,318

26%

Table 21.4. Other sciences journals and articles by fee range

Table 21.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. Unknowns are omitted.

Since fee ranges are based on quartiles of all APC-charging journals, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between other sciences and DOAJ fee-charging journals in general—to wit, far fewer high- and medium-priced journals and far more nominal APCs. On the other hand, the two top tiers do represent roughly one-quarter of the fee-based articles in each case.

Do the APCs correlate with number of 2013 articles or peak articles? Yes, to some extent: 0.50 for 2013 articles (a minimally strong correlation) and a slightly lower 0.45 for peak articles.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1980-89

3

33%

1990-91

0

1992-93

1

0%

1994-95

0

1996-97

2

50%

1998-99

1

100%

2000-01

4

0%

2002-03

6

0%

2004-05

3

33%

2006-07

12

25%

2008-09

19

42%

2010-11

39

44%

2012-13

28

50%

Table 21.5. Starting dates for OA journals in other sciences

Table 21.5 shows other sciences 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 from 2006-2011, with rapidly increasing growth in APCs—but for these journals, most are so recent that there’s nothing special about the APC-charging ones.

Figure 21.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 21.5, but in graphic form and omitting unknown journals. I use markers—square for free, diamond for APC-charging—so that the few journals prior to 2000-01 will be visible.

Figure 21.1. Other sciences journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1980-89

3

114

38

1992-93

1

53

53

1996-97

2

1,414

707

1998-99

1

92

92

2000-01

4

952

238

2002-03

6

503

84

2004-05

3

108

36

2006-07

12

927

77

2008-09

16

966

60

2010-11

35

2,986

85

2012-13

28

2,982

107

Table 21.6 Articles per journal by starting date for other sciences journals

Table 21.6 shows all journals that actually published articles in 2013, when they started, and average 2013 articles per journal. There are obvious oddities—the two 1996-97 journals, four 2000-01 journals and 28 2012-13 journals being standouts—and I’m not sure they mean much of anything.

Overall, this is an odd assortment of journals with the great majority of articles appearing in the bare majority of APC-charging journals.

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 and probably some additional analysis added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.

The Perils of Projection

Posted in open access on July 14th, 2015

If someone was tracking my updates on the Fuller DOAJ project, they might be inclined to believe that I’ll be done with the scan in two or three more weeks–after all, I seem to be making impressive progress.

I might even have believed the same thing. But life happens: medical issues, dealing with recalcitrant equipment (non-computer in this case), other priorities…

The week ending June 14, I scanned 340 sites.

The week ending June 21, I scanned 460 sites–and felt like that was a reasonable pace.

The week ending June 28, I scanned 500 sites.

The week ending July 5, during which I hit a long series of very easy journals to check (ISRN…), I scanned 600 sites.

I knew I couldn’t keep that up–but with 2,500 or so left to go at that point, if I could average 500 per week, I’d be done in five weeks (that is, four weeks from now.)

The week ending July 12–last week–I scanned 480 sites. OK; I could still be done in another four or five weeks.

This week? I’ll be happy enough to reach 300 sites and delighted if I reach 400.

Maybe I’ll get back to 400-500 next week. Maybe not.

So: I’m reasonably comfortable in believing that I will have finished the actual scan and begun the analysis and writeup (and trying to find ways to make all this work worthwhile, one way or another) by the time I turn 70: that still gives me eight weeks.

I’m much less inclined to believe that I’ll have finished the writeup by the time I turn 70. Especially if I plan to do an August/September issue of C&I.

So, well, I can’t project how long this will take. Such is life.

 

The Open Access Landscape: 20. Megajournals and Miscellany

Posted in open access on July 10th, 2015

This chapter covers two groups: megajournals, journals that publish articles in a wide variety of fields and had at least 1,000 articles in 2011, 2012 or 2013, and miscellany, journals so broadly defined as to include most anything (including, for example, student research journals and some interdisciplinary journals) and some fields that I couldn’t find a place for. It includes some but not all journals called “general works” in DOAJ. (Some journals in miscellany could be considered megajournals based on 2014 article counts.)

The first brief section covers megajournals in summary fashion; the rest of Chapter 20 covers miscellany in the usual manner.

Megajournals

Not including 2014 articles, there are four megajournals, all with grade A$, one with a high APC and three with medium APCs, all prolific (by definition). The four journals are all growing, at rates from 1% (but that’s on by far the largest base) to 125% between 2013 and 2014. One journal started in 2003; the others started in 2010-11.

In all, these journals published 15,523 articles in 2011; 26,512 in 2012; 36,673 in 2013; and 40,673 in 2014.

Miscellany

This diverse group includes 87 journals, which published 7,375 articles in 2013 and 8,482 articles in 2014. The rest of this chapter coves these 87 journals.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

51

59%

2,885

39%

57

Free

46

90%

2,695

93%

59

Pay

5

10%

190

7%

38

A$ pay

2

2%

74

1%

37

B

9

10%

1,039

14%

115

Free

3

33%

60

6%

20

Pay

6

67%

979

94%

163

C

9

10%

3,268

44%

363

Free

4

44%

2,157

66%

539

Unk

5

56%

1,111

34%

222

D

16

18%

109

1%

7

Free

11

69%

59

54%

5

Pay

4

25%

46

42%

12

Unk

1

6%

4

4%

4

Table 20.1. Miscellaneous journals and articles by grade

Table 20.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown numbers (there were no pay journals in grade C); and average 2013 articles per journal. Boldface percentages are percentages of all miscellaneous journals; others are percentages of the grade above.

The A and A$ group is atypical: free journals average more articles than APC-charging journals—but by far the highest numbers are questionable journals, grade C.

D journals include these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), four journals, no 2013 articles; D (dying), one journal, no articles; E (erratic), four journals, 44 articles; H (possible hiatus), two journals, 34 articles; N (new), two journals, 12 articles; S (small), three journals, 19 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

66

76

72

57

%Free

73%

72%

72%

75%

Articles

6,708

6,260

5,626

2,579

%Free

49%

45%

47%

72%

Table 20.2. Miscellaneous journals and articles by date

Table 20.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that published articles in each year (including all of 2014), the number of articles, and what percentage was free. The six unknown journals (that probably have APCs but don’t state them), with 1,115 articles in 2013, are omitted. Additionally, in any given year some journals don’t publish any issues.

The percentage of free journals is higher than average and reasonably constant during this period, but the percentage of free articles, which starts out strong, declined very rapidly in 2012 and stayed at a bit less than half from then on—also higher than average.

Miscellaneous journals are increasing in OA activity, although if 2014 was included in peak calculation it would move three journals to the megajournal category, resulting in a very slight reduction in 2014 numbers from 2013.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 35 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 12 published the same number; 40 published fewer articles in 2014. For significant changes, 32 (37%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014; 22 (25%) were roughly the same; and 33 (38%) published at least 10% fewer articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Large

10

30%

5,254

25%

Medium

11

64%

956

65%

Small

29

72%

864

72%

Sparse

37

78%

301

80%

Table 20.3. Miscellaneous journals by peak article volume

Table 20.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (based on 2011-2013 peaks); 2013 articles for journals in that group; and what percentage is or appears in no-fee journals. Almost by definition, prolific journals here are classed as megajournals (and three of the large journals could migrate to megajournals in 2014). This group is unusual in that the large journals dominate article publication to a much greater degree than in most topics—but the percentage trend lines are fairly typical.

Fees (APCs)

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

1

5%

1%

65

2%

1%

Medium

3

14%

4%

51

1%

1%

Low

4

19%

5%

233

7%

4%

Nominal

13

62%

16%

3,097

90%

49%

None

60

74%

2,814

45%

Table 20.4. Miscellaneous journals and articles by fee range

Table 20.4 shows the number of journals in each APC range and the number of 2013 articles in those journals. Since fee ranges are based on quartiles of the full study universe, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between miscellaneous journals and DOAJ as a whole—and the differences are extreme, with almost no expensive journals and a predominance of journals with nominal fees. It’s also unusual that journals with higher-than-nominal fees published relatively few articles in 2013.

Given the curiosities above, if there was a correlation between APC and article volume, it should be a negative one—and while the correlation is negative (-0.25), it’s too small to be statistically significant.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

2

100%

1996-97

2

50%

1998-99

2

100%

2000-01

2

100%

2002-03

3

100%

2004-05

7

57%

2006-07

7

71%

2008-09

14

79%

2010-11

20

65%

2012-13

28

61%

Table 20.6. Starting dates for miscellaneous journals

Table 20.6 shows miscellaneous OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given period that don’t currently charge APCs. For DOAJ as a whole, there’s a sense of a gold rush—with many APC-charging journals starting in 2006-2011, slowing down in 2012-2013.

That’s not at all the case here. Quite apart from the huge gap between two very early journals that are now OA and newer journals, with none founded between 1960 and 1995, there’s an overall jump in journals from 2008 through 2013, but the percentage of APC-charging journals, which does jump in 2004, actually declines in recent years.

Figure 20.1 shows essentially the same information as a graph, omitting the two pre-1960 journals and with markers to make journals more visible.

Figure 20.1. Miscellaneous journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

2

170

85

1996-97

1

4

4

1998-99

2

45

23

2000-01

2

39

20

2002-03

2

840

420

2004-05

7

408

58

2006-07

7

352

50

2008-09

13

585

45

2010-11

18

2,688

149

2012-13

28

2,244

80

Table 20.6. Articles per miscellaneous journal by starting date

Table 20.6 shows journals that actually published articles in 2013, when they started and the average 2013 articles per journal. As is usual for this odd group of journals, the table is full of oddities, such as the very high articles per journal for the two journals from 2002-2003 and the 18 started in 2010-2011.

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 and probably some additional analysis added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.

Halfway There: Another (Fuller) OA Analysis Update

Posted in open access on July 9th, 2015

I just finished analyzing journal 2,200 (of 4,018) in the alphabetic spreadsheet of journals that:

  • are in DOAJ as of May 2015
  • didn’t match my master spreadsheet of journals (grades A-D using the old grades) included in the interim Fuller Report and the ongoing series of subject posts, either by a URL match or a title match
  • aren’t listed as having a 2015 start date

(If you’re wondering, 2,200 of 4,018 gets me into the Ks–past the swamp of International Journals and slightly less explosive swamp of Journals of)

Seems like an appropriate time to say how things are going and offer a slight update to my irritable comments about what will happen with all of this. (The last portion of this post, after the first update.)

Do note that all journals graded lower than D last time around–more than 800 of them–are being retested, so if some of the “X” numbers below seem high, they’re really not.

The Grades

Using the revised grading system instituted for this pass, one in which all A & B journals–and only A&B journals–will be used for most analysis. (C journals will be noted briefly, but since they’re all journals I regard as “worth avoiding,” they won’t get a lot of play.)

A: Apparently Good

1,569 journals (of the first 2,200), including the following subgrades (noting that most A journals don’t have subgrades):

  • 86 apparently ceased or canceled or merged (no articles since 2012)
  • 9 apparently dying (no articles in 2014 and a “dying” pattern)
  • 59 erratic (some years with few or no articles)
  • 40 either on hiatus or very slow in posting or something
  • 1 “oneshot”–a journal with a handful of articles in 2013, none before or since
  • 61 small journals

B: Deserves some attention but still probably good

156 journals in all–just under one-tenth as many as A–including these subgrades:

  • 6 with more author repetition than I’d like to see
  • 16 with problematic English (where English is a primary language for the journal)
  • 19 “garish or other site problems”
  • 34 cases where journals highlight questionable impact factors
  • 30 journals with minimal author guidelines
  • 17 journals with mild peer review/turnaround/editorial board issues
  • 33 journals with questionable but not clearly false claims
  • 1 journal with questionable but not outrageous article titles

C: Questionable journals, probably best avoided

Thirty journals in all, including:

  • 20 that appear to have APCs (fees) but don’t say what they are
  • 1 with clear falsehoods on the journal site
  • 2 with a mix of problems bad enough to be a red flag
  • 3 with major peer review/turnaround/editorial board issues
  • 1 incompetent site
  • 3 journals with wholly absurd article titles

X: Journals not fully analyzed

445 journals (and “journals”) in all, including:

  • 11 empty journals (no articles in 2011-2014)
  • 21 cases of apparent malware, as flagged by McAfee Site Advisor or Malwarebytes
  • 89 non-OA, including sites that require registration to read articles and, more questionably, ones that publish entirely conference/workshop proceedings
  • 90 opaque or obscure: cases where I found it too difficult to figure out the article counts, mostly because there are no tables of contents, sometimes because the issues aren’t dated (in dates I can understand)
  • 7 parking/ad/blog pages
  • 55 cases where Chrome/Google translate didn’t yield enough info for me to analyze the journal (sometimes because the info just wasn’t there).
  • 21 reachable but unusable sites (the “incompetent site” from C could be moved hereI)
  • 26 journals merged into other journals with no clear way of finding the original material
  • 125 unreachable, including 404s, timeouts, DNS failures and others. Some of these will be retested. Note that I now assume that if a May 2015 DOAJ URL doesn’t work either through the Excel-to-browser link or when directly pasted into the browser address bar, the journal’s unreachable or incompetent.

The really encouraging figure there is that there have, so far, only been 55 cases out of considerably more than 1,000 where Chrome/Google’s translate wasn’t enough for me to proceed. If that continues, my final spreadsheet will represent around 97% of all DOAJ journals (lacking opaque/obscure and translate-insufficient cases).

What happens with all this stuff

I believe the final spreadsheet (“final” only in terms of 2011-2014) will be the closest thing to a comprehensive picture of Gold OA during that period that we’re going to get. (I’ve read the Outsell 2013 paper, and given that Outsell is All About the Benjamins, you wouldn’t expect a comprehensive picture.)

Obviously I’m doing this work because I care about it.

Obviously I want to see the results used.

Yes, I’d like some institutional sponsorship, both for a small amount of revenue but also–perhaps more importantly–because it would provide gravitas for the results, such that maybe some of those writing Important Articles on the Future of OA and scholarly articles would actually, you know, use the best available information as background.

Sure, I was irritable when I wrote the previous update and accompanying post. Only one print copy of the interim report had been sold, and I think there were a total of four donors with ebook copies.

Since then, the number of contributors has jumped from four to…well, four.

No, I’m not going to throw the work away. Yes, I’ll certainly make some of the major findings available in posts and in Cites & Insights.

The more detailed analysis, however, which I’d think any institution that paid $2.5K for Outsell’s OA report should consider as an essential fleshing out of the story…is not going to be given away. It’s not going to cost $2.5K either; more likely, somewhere in the $50-$60 region.

Posting the updated, comprehensive, anonymized spreadsheet? Tough to justify with no additional funding. Maybe after an embargo of sorts…

We shall see. Meanwhile, if you care about this stuff, the best way to show it is to contribute $50 to Cites & Insights, which will get you a link to the interim PDF, a special link to a site where you can buy the interim paperback for $7 plus shipping…and, when it’s ready, a link to an exclusive PDF of the comprehensive 2011-2014 report with hotlinked tables of contents and figures–a version that won’t be available for sale. This offer ends the day before I announce availability of the report.

Czechlists: A bit of humor and a non-update

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on July 6th, 2015

The humor:

I’m making great headway in looking at “the other 4,100+”–journals in DOAJ as of May 2015 that aren’t included in my interim full-2014 Gold OA report. (I’m almost halfway through, and now do anticipate finishing before mid-September; more on that later)

Chrome’s translation features (based on Google Translate) are critical to my ability to do this. Generally, it’s doing a fine job.

But then there was this–a screen capture from the translated version of an Open Journal Systems interface for a Persian journal:

czech

I’m roughly 99.9% certain that Chrome provided an accurate word-for-word Persian-to-English translation.

The non-update:

If you’re waiting for the August 2015 issue of Cites & Insights, you’ll have a long wait–if there is a separate August issue at all, it will probably appear in late August; a combined August/September issue is more likely.

Meanwhile, I can suggest a couple of recent issues to keep you going…but first, a little background on first-month (or first 25-to-27-day) readership figures. Here’s what I see for this year so far:

  • January 2015 (“The Third Half” of the DOAJ study): 1,694 downloads in December 2014
  • February 2015 (Deathwatch 2015! and Copyright Extremism): 533 downloads in January 2015
  • March 2015 (more about OA journals, Ebooks & Pbooks): 1,025 downloads in February 2015
  • April 2015 (the economics of OA): 1,771 downloads in March 2015
  • May 2015 (FriendFeed and Twitter): 664 downloads in April 2015
  • June 2015 (Who Needs Open Access, Anyway?–and notes on counting articles): 1,044 downloads in May 2015
  • July 2015 (Thinking About Libraries and Access, also A Few Words): 365 downloads in June 2015

I was hoping to see a little discussion engendered by Thinking About Libraries and Access, maybe even a little controversy. I wasn’t expecting to see a huge drop in readership, at least not that much of a drop. I figure 500+ first-month readership is doing OK, 700+ doing well, 1,000+ doing great.

So I’ll suggest that you might want to read the current issue–the whole thing (I surely could use a little more support for the more complete 2014 DOAJ overview), but especially the central essay.

Otherwise…well, maybe the February issue. The May issue probably got the readership it deserves. (It’s up to 1,094 downloads as of June 30, and anything over 700 in the first year makes me pretty happy on that count. For that matter, the February issue’s up to 900 downloads.)

Meanwhile, back to the survey…

 

The Open Access Landscape: 19. Medicine

Posted in open access on July 3rd, 2015

Medicine includes all aspects of human health and exercise, including some aspects of nutrition. This is by far the largest group of journals and articles. The group includes 1,702 journals, which published 103,908 articles in 2013 and 127,207 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

927

54%

51,146

49%

55

Free

687

74%

34,512

67%

50

Pay

240

26%

16,634

33%

69

A$ pay

351

21%

35,615

34%

101

B

96

6%

6,392

6%

67

Free

34

35%

1,186

19%

35

Pay

62

65%

5,206

81%

84

C

106

6%

8,269

8%

78

Free

3

3%

94

1%

31

Pay

41

39%

2,411

29%

59

Unk

62

58%

5,764

70%

93

D

222

13%

2,486

2%

11

Free

115

52%

1,620

65%

14

Pay

100

45%

743

30%

7

Unk

7

3%

123

5%

18

Table 19.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 19.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown (that is, almost certainly having an APC but not stating it) numbers; and average 2013 articles per journal. Boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of the full set; others are percentages of the grade above. Since all A$ journals charge APCs by definition, the redundant line is omitted.

Journals with APCs typically publish more than journals that don’t have fees—and for this group, journals with substantial fees ($1,000 and more) publish a lot more articles than others, followed closely by a fair number of unknown-APC journals.

The D journals include these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), 56 journals with 712 articles in 2013; D (dying), 25 journals with 168 articles; E (erratic), 41 journals with 339 articles; H (hiatus?), 29 journals with 945 articles; N (new), five journals with 58 articles; S (small), 66 journals with 264 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

1,534

1,597

1,525

1,409

%Free

50%

51%

51%

51%

Articles

122,028

98,021

86,684

72,358

%Free

32%

38%

43%

46%

Table 19.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 19.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that actually published articles each year, including all of 2014; how many articles those journals published; and what percentage were free or in free journals.

The 69 journals with unknown APCs, which published 5,887 articles in 2013, are omitted from these tables. Journal numbers don’t add up because some journals didn’t publish articles in any given year.

It’s interesting that the percentage of free journals—one of the lowest percentages of any field—stays essentially unchanged, declining just a bit in 2014, while the percentage of free articles declines substantially year-by-year as the volume of articles increases.

OA activity in medicine is increasing at a healthy rate (although counting practices in some journals may account for a small portion of the 2014 increase).

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 873 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 104 published the same number of articles; 725 published fewer articles in 2014. In terms of significant changes, 730 (43%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014; 374 (22%) published roughly the same number; 598 (35%) published at least 10% fewer, including 92 that have not (as of April 2014) published any articles in 2014 (and did publish some in 2013).

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

5

20%

6,017

19%

Large

109

18%

31,941

16%

Medium

466

45%

39,993

42%

Small

753

58%

22,880

56%

Sparse

369

48%

3,077

52%

Table 19.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 19.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (noting that peak volume doesn’t include all of 2014—in fact, nine journals published more than 1,000 articles in 2014); 2013 articles for that group; and what percentage is no-fee.

There are prolific journals in medicine, and the number of such journals is growing. Most articles appear in large and medium-sized journals, and the vast majority of large and prolific journals charge fees. Except for the anomalies at top and bottom, these figures follow the typical pattern: free percentage drops as article volume rises.

Fees (APCs)

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

363

46%

22%

32,485

54%

33%

Medium

204

26%

12%

11,432

19%

12%

Low

121

15%

7%

7,790

13%

8%

Nominal

106

13%

6%

8,902

15%

9%

None

839

51%

37,412

38%

Table 19.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 19.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. Since the fee ranges were based on quartiles for all OA fee-charging journals, you’d expect the first %Fee column to be right around 25%, especially since medicine is such a large percentage of all OA (and more so of all fee-charging OA). But that’s not how it works out: in fact, most high-fee journals (more than $1,450) are in medicine, constituting nearly half of all fee-charging medicine journals…and that’s balanced out by relatively few low-fee and nominal-fee journals.

Indeed, a majority of articles in fee-charging journals in 2013 appeared in journals with very high fees.

How high can you go, in this field where there’s clearly money available and being taken advantage of? A dozen journals charge more than $3,000 per article; 176 in all charge at least $2,000 per article.

Is there a statistical correlation between number of articles and size of APC? Not really—the coefficient is 0.11, far too low to be significant.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

14

79%

1960-69

11

64%

1970-79

10

90%

1980-89

21

67%

1990-91

5

40%

1992-93

9

67%

1994-95

23

78%

1996-97

37

78%

1998-99

43

81%

2000-01

73

77%

2002-03

92

78%

2004-05

90

67%

2006-07

172

49%

2008-09

269

38%

2010-11

601

37%

2012-13

230

48%

Table 19.5. Starting dates for medicine OA journals

Table 19.5 shows medicine OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started within a date range that currently don’t charge APCs. For DOAJ as a whole—and emphatically so for medicine—there’s a sense of a gold rush beginning in 2006, with lots more APC-charging journals. In general, the gold rush seemed to decline after 2011, but it’s still fairly robust for medicine. Namely, prior to 2006, with the single odd exception of 1990-91 (when three currently-fee journals and two free journals started), at least two-thirds of journals launched in any given period are free—but starting in 2006, most newly-launched journals charge APCs.

Figure 19.1 shows very much the same information as Table 19.5, but separates out the “unknown” journals. Note that free journals began to pick up in 1992 and maintained a solid lead through 2004, after which APC-charging journals zoomed ahead.

Figure 19.1. Medicine OA journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

14

2,600

186

1960-69

11

1,013

92

1970-79

9

498

55

1980-89

20

1,596

80

1990-91

5

267

53

1992-93

9

1,122

125

1994-95

23

2,018

88

1996-97

37

2,660

72

1998-99

43

3,210

75

2000-01

71

5,000

70

2002-03

89

7,156

80

2004-05

85

6,411

75

2006-07

164

11,182

68

2008-09

262

11,959

46

2010-11

594

38,011

64

2012-13

229

9,205

40

Table 19.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 19.6 shows journals that actually published articles in 2013, when they started, and the average 2013 articles per journal. You could read this table as saying “old journals rule,” since the highest articles-per-journal averages are for pre-1960, 1992-93, and 1960-69 journals respectively. On the other hand, that huge number of journals launched 2010-2011 is also doing pretty well.

Overall, the slogan for medical OA could be “come and get it” or “there’s gold in them thar ills.” The money’s there; journals have emerged to take it.

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 and probably some additional analysis added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.

The Open Access Landscape: 18. Media & Communications

Posted in open access on June 26th, 2015

Media & Communications includes film, performance, communication theory and some related fields. It’s a relatively small group, with 79 journals, which published a total of 1,667 articles in 2013 and 2,003 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

63

80%

1,509

91%

24

Free

58

92%

1,107

73%

19

Pay

5

8%

402

27%

80

B

3

4%

53

3%

18

Free

3

100%

53

100%

18

C

1

1%

44

3%

44

Unk

1

100%

44

100%

44

D

12

15%

61

4%

5

Free

11

92%

59

97%

5

Pay

1

8%

2

3%

2

Table 18.1. Media & communications journals and articles by grade

Table 18.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown numbers; and average articles per journal. Several lines are missing, as there are no OA media & communications journals charging more than $1,000 (or more than $600, for that matter), no B-grade journals with APCs, and the only C journal gets that grade because it probably has an APC but doesn’t state it.

Boldface percentages are percentages of the full set; others are percentages of the grade above, only relevant for A and D. As usual, journals with APCs tend to publish more articles than those without—about four times as many, for A journals.

D journals include these subgroups: C (probably ceased), three journals with 25 articles; D (dying), two journals with 18 articles; E (erratic), one journal with two articles; N (new), one journal with two articles; S (small), eight journals with 13 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

72

74

71

67

%Free

92%

92%

96%

96%

Articles

1,943

1,623

1,334

1,163

%Free

62%

75%

87%

93%

Table 18.2. Media and communications journals and articles by date

Table 18.2 shows the number of free and APC-charging journals that actually published articles in each year, including all of 2014; how many articles those journals published; and the free percentage. The unknown-class journal (with 44 articles in 2011, 2012 and 2013, but 60 in 2014) is omitted. The figures don’t add up to 79 because of new journals and journals that, in any given year, didn’t publish any articles—e.g., six of them in 2014.

The percentage of free journals is high, as is typical for the humanities and social sciences, but is declining slightly. The percentage of articles appearing in free journals was very high but has declined substantially, to a level that’s on the low side for HSS.

OA activity is clearly increasing for media and communications, 15% to 22% per year at this point, and much of that growth appears to be in fee-charging journals.

Journal-by-journal, 36 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; nine published the same number; 34 published fewer articles in 2014. For significant changes, 30 journals (38%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014; 20 (25%) published roughly the same number; 29 (37%) published at least 10% fewer articles in 2014, including six that have yet to publish any at all. (One of those seems to have disappeared.)

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

0

0

Large

1

0%

201

0%

Medium

3

67%

310

50%

Small

30

90%

738

89%

Sparse

45

96%

418

97%

Table 18.3. Media and communications journals by peak article volume

Table 18.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (based on the highest year 2011-2013), 2013 articles for journals in that group, and the free percentages. There are no prolific journals in this area. The table is revealing: while most articles in 2013 appeared in small and sparse journals and the vast majority of those journals don’t charge APCs, the single large journal accounts for a substantial percentage of all articles—and that journal more than doubled its article count in 2014. The overall pattern is typical (percentage of free journals and articles goes down as article frequency goes up), but there really aren’t many journals that aren’t small or sparse.

Fees (APCs)

APC Jour. %Fee %All Art. %Fee %All
Low

4

67%

5%

369

91%

23%

Nominal

2

33%

3%

35

9%

2%

None

72

92%

1,219

75%

Table 18.4. Media and communications journals and articles by fee range

Table 18.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range that has any journals (the highest APC for any media and communications journal is $590, still in the Low quartile) and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. We’re dealing with so few APC-charging journals that the percentages are silly, but I suppose it’s worth noting that the two nominal-APC journals publish almost nothing, while the four with low APCs publish a fair number of articles. For what it’s worth (not much), there’s a mild statistical correlation (0.30) between APC level and peak article volume.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1980-89

2

100%

1990-91

0

1992-93

0

1994-95

1

100%

1996-97

3

100%

1998-99

1

100%

2000-01

7

100%

2002-03

8

88%

2004-05

4

100%

2006-07

19

84%

2008-09

12

100%

2010-11

13

100%

2012-13

9

67%

Table 18.5. Starting dates for media and communications OA journals

Table 18.5 shows media and communications OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given period that currently don’t charge APCs. The apparent gold rush for APC-charging journals from 2006 through 2011 (for DOAJ as a whole) really isn’t evident here—but in general, OA publishing in this area bloomed starting in during that period, with more than half of all the journals starting during those six years. For that matter, there aren’t any really old journals—the earliest began in 1985 (two of them), and there were no others until 1994.

Figure 18.1 shows much the same data as Table 18.5 in graphic form; there are markers for both free and pay journals (square for free, diamond for pay) so that isolated instances (e.g., all pay journals) are visible.

Figure 18.1. Media and communications journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1980-89

2

25

13

1990-91

0

1992-93

0

1994-95

1

14

14

1996-97

3

48

16

1998-99

1

79

79

2000-01

6

71

12

2002-03

8

218

27

2004-05

4

71

18

2006-07

19

733

39

2008-09

10

135

14

2010-11

12

162

14

2012-13

9

111

12

Table 18.5. Articles per media and communications journal by starting date

Table 18.6 shows journals that actually published articles in 2013, when they started, and average 2013 articles per journal. The most prolific journals began in 2006; the single journal started in 1998-89 is also fairly prolific.

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 and probably some additional analysis added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.

The (Fuller) Open Access Landscape, Progress Report 2

Posted in open access on June 25th, 2015

As of right now, I’m just over one-quarter of the way done: 1,100 journals checked, 3,118 more to go.

I thought a quick progress report might be in order–but please read the whole thing, since some numbers look awful until I add context.

Do note the background: These are 4,218 journals that are in DOAJ as of May 2015, didn’t start in 2015, and weren’t in the main portion of the 2014 study, either because they didn’t appear to have an English interface available, they started in 2014 (later than May 6) or, crucially, they didn’t fit into grades A-D. I’m using Chrome to check these, with Google’s translate facility called into play when needed.

The Big Numbers

The 892 journals where I counted articles published 24,138 articles in 2014, up very slightly from around 23,000 in 2013.

Using the new grading system, where A$ disappears, D disappears, and E-X are now X subgrades, the 1,100 include 819 A, 61 B, 12 C, and 208 X. If that 208 count seems awfully high, read on…

A Subgrades

The 819 A journals–where I see no reason to fault the journal–include:

  • 18 C: Apparently ceased with no 2013 or 2014 articles
  • 5 D: Apparently dying, with no 2014 articles
  • 38 E: Erratic, with some years lower than five articles
  • 25 H: Possible hiatus with no 2014 articles
  • 32 S: Small, never more than 10 articles per year

These were all “D” subgrades in the previous study.

B Subgrades

The 61 B journals–what I think of as “yellow flags”–include:

  • 3 A: Obvious author repetition
  • 2 E: Problematic English in an English-language journal
  • 9 G: Garish or other site problems
  • 19 I: Questionable impact factors given prominent placement
  • 13 M: Minimal information
  • 4 P: Peer review/turnaround issues
  • 11 Q: Questionable claims

C Subgrades

The dozen C journals–“red flags,” but just over one percent–include:

  •  9 A: APC not stated but almost certainly applies.
  • 1 S: Incompetent site
  • 2 T: Absurd titles/articles

X Subgrades

The 208 X journals include:

  • 2 E: Empty since 2010
  • 11 M: Malware (flagged by McAfee Site Advisor or Malwarebytes)
  • 48 N: Not OA, including proceedings journals and those that don’t publish scholarly articles
  • 38 O: Opaque: Unable or unwilling to do article counts–most commonly with wholly undated archives or whole-issue PDFs the only way to see contents.
  • 5 P: Parking pages or other non-journal pages
  • 38 T: Translation insufficient to evaluate journal, for various reasons. (This could be MUCH higher; Chrome’s been doing pretty well.)
  • 10 U: Site reachable but wholly incompetent
  • 56 X: Site not reachable. NOTE: If the URL provided BY THE JOURNAL to DOAJ, as of May 2015, won’t yield the journal’s page in June-September 2015 either through the Excel/browser backchannel or by direct entry into the Chrome address bar, it’s not reachable. Yes, a title-word search would find a few more, but if a journal can’t be bothered to provide a forwarding address or update its DOAJ entry, it’s a red flag in my book. (Testy? Maybe so.)

But…

I’ve been checking the new completions against the old “Not A-D” spreadsheet as I go, and am now through 191 of the 811 journals in that spreadsheet, just under one-quarter.

Of those 191:

  • 83 have recovered–mostly to Grade A, 12 to B and 8 to C (that’s of the 12 C so far).
  • 88 are still in what’s now Grade X, formerly E-X. Thus, there are only 120 new cases of E-X, and only 82 where translation isn’t the key issue. That’s not bad.
  • 20 are unclear, most of them probably DOAJ dropouts between May 2014 and May 2015.

All things considered, this expansion will yield a considerably more comprehensive picture, even though there may still be several hundred journals where I simply can’t figure out what’s going on.

Other Notes: Revised Publishing Plan

If you care about this work and want me to keep doing it, contribute to Cites & Insights: $50 gets you the interim report (free ebook and a private link to a $7 paper back) and a promise of a free ebook if/when I complete this project, probably some time this Fall.  The link gets you to the home page, with the donation info prominent. This offer will end when the new study becomes available.

Otherwise, I’ll probably offer the new study for some amount higher than $50–or possibly $50 for the PDF ebook and $60 or more for the paperback.

As for the anonymized dataset: If or when there are enough contributions or sales to make it worthwhile–let’s say at least half what I was paid for the Library Technology Reports issue that started all this–I’ll put it on Figshare. If not, well, I’ll feel no obligation to do so; if the work’s not worth supporting, so be it.

Yes, I know, institutional support makes more sense than expecting individuals to care enough about OA to spend money on it. I get that. And if anybody has a way of putting me in touch with an institution that would support this at a reasonable (not even minimum-wage) level, I’d be delighted: the email address is waltcrawford@gmail.com

But, of course, I’m not already part of an institution, I lack Appropriate Educational Credentials (boy, am I enjoying the many European and Latin American journals that don’t allow anybody without a doctorate to submit articles!), and when it comes to OA I seem to be tarred with the library brush and have a nasty habit of preferring facts to presumptions. Such is life.

Now, back to the analysis…


This blog is protected by dr Dave\\\\\\\'s Spam Karma 2: 105814 Spams eaten and counting...