Archive for the 'open access' Category

The Open Access Landscape: 4. Arts & Architecture

Posted in open access on March 20th, 2015

Arts & Architecture includes most areas I’d consider to be in the fine arts (there are very few OA architecture journals) including music, art and dance—but note also two later topics, language & literature and media & communications. Due to original DOAJ subject assignment, or my own failures, there seem to be a few journals here that might properly belong in sociology. This topic includes 150 journals, which published a total of 2,647 articles in 2013.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

109

73%

2,461

93%

23

Free

106

97%

2,060

84%

19

Pay

3

3%

401

16%

134

B

3

2%

74

3%

25

Free

3

100%

74

100%

25

C

1

1%

15

1%

15

Unk.

1

100%

15

100%

15

D

37

25%

97

4%

3

Free

33

89%

90

93%

3

Pay

3

8%

7

7%

2

Unk.

1

3%

0%

0

Table 4.1. Journals and articles by price

Table 4.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; the fee, pay and unknown numbers; and average articles per journal. Note that boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all arts & architecture journals, while others are percentages of the particular grade—so, for example, 73% of the journals were grade A and 97% of that 73% were free.

There are no journals in this group with APCs higher than $999. The handful of APC-charging journals does include those with the most articles, as is typically the case.

The small number of D journals (and tiny number of articles!) includes these subgroups: C: nine journals, no articles in 2013; D: one journal with two articles in 2013; E: nine journals with nine articles in 2013; H: one journal with 27 articles in 2013; N: one journal with seven articles in 2013; S: 16 journals with 52 articles in 2013—small journals are not that unusual in this area.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

128

130

144

135

%Free

95%

95%

94%

95%

Articles

2,947

2,647

2,742

2,275

%Free

82%

84%

80%

87%

Table 4.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 4.2 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 two “unknown” journals (with 15 articles in 2013) are omitted. The journal numbers still don’t add up because there are journals that didn’t publish articles in any given year—18 of them in 2013, for example.

The percentages of free journals and articles are fairly typical of humanities journals—nearly all free across the board. In this case, there’s not even the fairly typical trend of lower free percentages in recent years.

Among this set of journals, OA activity appears to be increasing, with 2013 dropping slightly from 2012 and but 2014 bouncing back significantly.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 79 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 17 published the same number (including eight cases where that number was zero); 54 published fewer articles. In terms of significant change, 74 journals (49%) grew by at least 10%; 26 (17%) were relatively unchanged; and 50 (33%) declined by at least 10%, including 14 that have yet to post any 2014 articles (some of which may be small journals with long posting delays).

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific
Large

2

0%

235

0%

Medium

4

75%

337

62%

Small

55

96%

1,376

96%

Sparse

89

97%

699

99%

Table 4.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 4.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is in no-fee journals. While there are no prolific journals in arts & architecture, there are two large ones, both with APCs—but nearly all the action is in small and sparse journals. Of course, 20 to 59 articles per year (small) seems perfectly reasonable for a journal in arts & architecture—as does, for that matter, 10 to 16 articles per year.

Fees (APCs)

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

0%

0%

0%

0%

Medium

0%

0%

0%

0%

Low

2

40%

2%

42

10%

2%

Nominal

3

60%

2%

366

90%

14%

None

124

96%

2,224

84%

Table 4.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 4.4 shows the number of journals (that published articles in 2013) in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles in those journals, omitting unknown cases. There are no high-APC journals here: the highest APC is $519 and two of the four nominal cases are truly nominal at $30 or less.

For what it’s worth—which, with so few data points, isn’t much—there is a negative correlation (-0.50) between APC level and number of articles in a journal’s peak year: that is, journals with smaller APCs tended to publish more articles. That’s unusual.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1980-89

2

100%

1990-91

1

100%

1992-93

2

100%

1994-95

1

100%

1996-97

1

100%

1998-99

9

100%

2000-01

14

100%

2002-03

15

100%

2004-05

16

94%

2006-07

19

89%

2008-09

25

96%

2010-11

32

91%

2012-13

13

92%

Table 4.5. Starting dates for arts & architecture OA journals

Table 4.5 shows arts & architecture 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. As you’ll see in Figure 4.1, that’s true (as far as it goes) for arts & architecture: omitting unknown cases, there are no APC-charging journals starting earlier than 2006, but only a handful since then.

Figure 4.1. Arts & architecture OA journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1980-89

2

29

15

1990-91

1

19

19

1992-93

2

29

15

1994-95

1

16

16

1996-97

1

67

67

1998-99

6

173

29

2000-01

14

276

20

2002-03

13

176

14

2004-05

14

219

16

2006-07

16

431

27

2008-09

21

365

17

2010-11

26

512

20

2012-13

13

335

26

Table 4.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 4.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, and the average articles per journal. I don’t think there’s anything especially noteworthy here.

Comments

Mostly small and very small journals, almost all of them without fees: that’s the picture here and it’s much as you’d expect. Very small (what I call “sparse”) can also frequently mean two things: long delays for online posting and years when there simply aren’t any articles. Both of those come into play here, I believe—if 2014 counts were taken in, say, July 2015, I suspect there would be more journals represented, but not all 150 by any means.

 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: 3. Anthropology

Posted in open access on March 13th, 2015

Anthropology includes archæology and sports science. This topic includes 132 journals, which published a total of 2,663 articles in 2013

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

91

69%

2,043

77%

22

Free

81

89%

1,761

86%

22

Pay

10

11%

282

14%

28

A$ pay

2

2%

81

3%

41

B

12

9%

209

8%

17

Free

9

75%

150

72%

17

Pay

3

25%

59

28%

20

C

3

2%

190

7%

63

Unknown

3

100%

190

100%

63

D

24

18%

140

5%

6

Free

23

96%

138

99%

6

Pay

1

4%

2

1%

2

Table 3.1. Journals and articles by grade and price

Table 3.1 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 anthropology journals, while others (free, pay, unknown) are percentages of the particular grade (so, for example, 9% of the journals were grade B, and 75% of those journals were free).

All A$ journals have APCs of $1,000 or more, so they’re all by definition in the Pay category, so the separate line is omitted. It’s fairly typical for these journals to have more articles per journal than ones with lower or no APCs—but in this case, there’s the oddity that the three journals to be avoided, all because of unknown APCs, have even more articles.

D journals—which, as is usually the case, have very few articles overall—include these subgroups: C: three journals, no articles in 2013 or 2014; D: one journal, 6 articles; E: four journals, 50 articles; H: three journals, 36 articles; N: one journal, no articles; S: 12 journals, 48 articles. Two of the three H journals have returned from hiatus, with significant numbers of 2014 articles, and the one apparently-dying journal may be returning to life.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

113

122

123

109

%Free

86%

87%

88%

89%

Articles

2,632

2,473

2,648

2,308

%Free

76%

83%

82%

83%

Table 3.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 3.2 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 was free.

The three “unknown” journals (with 190 articles in 2013 and 162 in 2014) are omitted. The journal numbers don’t add up to 129 because there are some journals that don’t publish articles in any given year—seven of them in 2013, for example.

Percentages of free journals and articles from those journals are typical of the social sciences, with free journals dominating. The percentage of articles from free journals has declined slightly, as has the percentage of free journals, but in neither case is the decline major.

OA activity in anthropology is up slightly from 2013—but not quite up to 2012 levels for this set of journals. (There may be new journals that emerged after May 7, 2014.)

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis (and including the three “unknown” journals), 68 journals published more papers in 2014 than in 2013; 11 had the same number; 53 published fewer articles. In terms of significant change, 67 (51%) increased article volume by at least 10%; 47 (36%) had at least a 10% decline; and 18 (14%) were relatively unchanged. Of the 47 journals with significantly fewer articles, 11 had no 2014 articles and may yet post them on a delayed basis.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

0

0

Large

0

0

Medium

9

67%

753

60%

Small

49

82%

1290

79%

Sparse

74

91%

620

93%

Table 3.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 3.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is no-fee. There are no prolific or even large anthropology journals; most are sparse. Only three journals published more than 100 articles in their peak year (161 the highest), and the peak for 2014 was 118 articles.

As expected, even with the dominance of no-fee journals for this topic (or cluster of topics), the percentage of no-fee articles and journals goes down as the volume goes up.

Fees (APCs)

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

1

6%

1%

54

13%

2%

Medium

2

13%

2%

120

28%

5%

Low

6

38%

5%

80

19%

3%

Nominal

7

44%

5%

170

40%

7%

None

113

88%

2,049

83%

Table 3.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 3.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range (High: $1,451+; Medium: $601 to $1,450; Low: $201-$600; Nominal: $8 to $200) and the number of 2013 articles for those journals.

Since the fee ranges are based on quartiles of the OA universe, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between anthropology/archaeology journals and OA as a whole: almost no very expensive journals, with most of the fee-charging journals showing fairly modest fees. Of course, there are so few fee-charging journals in all in this topic that Table 3.4 may not be terribly meaningful. The base line here: Only three journals charge more than $600.

While there’s no significant correlation (0.25) between peak article volume and APC level, there is a modest correlation (0.41) for 2013 articles—but that correlation drops to insignificant levels (0.27) for 2014 article volumes, so it’s not particularly meaningful.

Starting Dates

Year Total Free%
1970-79

1

100%

1980-89

4

100%

1990-91

2

0%

1992-93

3

100%

1994-95

3

100%

1996-97

6

83%

1998-99

3

67%

2000-01

7

100%

2002-03

11

55%

2004-05

11

100%

2006-07

18

100%

2008-09

22

91%

2010-11

24

88%

2012-13

17

71%

Table 3.5. Starting dates for anthropology OA journals

Table 3.5 shows anthropology/archaeology OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given date range that currently don’t charge APCs. While I get the sense from DOAJ as a whole that there has been a gold rush of fee-charging journals from 2006 through 2012, that’s not evident here—but there are so few fee-charging journals that any pattern would be hard to spot. Note that there weren’t any very early journals that are now OA.

Figure 3.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 3.5, but in a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals. I’ve added markers for pay journals, since the 1990-91 and 2002-03 cases would otherwise disappear (since there’s no line).

Figure 3.1. Anthropology journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1970-79

1

11

11

1980-89

3

28

9

1990-91

2

10

5

1992-93

3

56

19

1994-95

2

17

9

1996-97

6

122

20

1998-99

3

54

18

2000-01

6

155

26

2002-03

11

399

36

2004-05

10

181

18

2006-07

18

398

22

2008-09

20

361

18

2010-11

23

616

27

2012-13

17

255

15

Table 3.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Finally, Table 3.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, and the average articles per journal. Since all of the average articles per journal figures are quite low, it’s hard to suggest anything terribly significant here, although it’s interesting that the journals established in 2002 and 2003 seem to have more articles per journal than older and newer ones—and also that the largest number of articles is in journals that began in 2010 and 2011.

Comments

Anthropology (including archæology and sports sciences) OA journals are reasonably typical of those in humanities and social sciences—predominantly free, mostly lower APCs for those journals that do have APCs, generally smaller numbers of articles per journal.

At this point, excluding journals founded in 2014, it’s a relatively stable field since 2012, with less than a 4% variation in article totals for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Definitions and notes

See The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background for definitions and notes

If you’d be interested in a book combining all of the topical views, with an additional graph added for each topic, please let me know–in a comment here or in mail to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.

The Open Access Landscape: 2. Agriculture

Posted in open access on March 6th, 2015

Agriculture includes aquaculture, fisheries and other aspects of raising and processing plants and animals, including food and some aspects of nutrition. This topic includes 309 journals, which published a total of 16,880 articles in 2013.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

213

69%

12,376

73%

58

Free

150

70%

6,630

54%

44

Pay

63

30%

5,746

46%

91

A$ pay

12

4%

1,490

9%

124

B

22

7%

1,019

6%

46

Free

7

32%

101

10%

14

Pay

15

68%

918

90%

61

C

23

7%

847

5%

37

Pay

7

30%

351

41%

50

Unk.

16

70%

496

59%

31

D

39

13%

1,148

7%

29

Free

23

59%

714

62%

31

Pay

15

38%

433

38%

29

Unk.

1

3%

1

0%

1

Table 2.1. Journals and articles by grade and price

Table 2.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade, the free, pay and unknown numbers, and average articles per journal. Note that boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of all agriculture journals, while others (free, pay, unknown) are percentages of the particular grade (so, for example, 7% of the journals were grade B, and 32% of that 7% were free).

Since A$ means an APC of $1,000 or more, all A$ journals are in the Pay category, so that isn’t listed as a separate line. It’s not particularly surprising that those journals tend to have the most articles—and it’s typical of OA in general that journals with APCs publish more articles (on the whole) than those without.

The small number of D journals (with even fewer articles proportionally) include these subgroups: C: 11 journals, 25 articles in 2013; D: 5 journals, 21 articles; E: 4 journals, 16 articles; H: 10 journals, 1,056 articles; N: one journal, four articles; S: 8 journals, 26 articles. Worth noting: two journals make up the bulk of the H articles—one with 263 articles in 2013 and one with 536, for a total of 799 of the 1,056. Neither had any articles in the first half of 2014 when checked in late 2014—but when checked in early 2015, the one with 263 articles in 2013 shows 298 articles for 2014, so it’s apparently back. The other (with 536 in 2013) had eight articles in 2014, so it’s nearly comatose.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

273

281

273

256

%Free

62%

61%

62%

64%

Articles

15,266

16,383

14,702

13,205

%Free

44%

45%

47%

50%

Table 2.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 2.2 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 17 “unknown” journals (with 497 articles in 2013) are omitted. The journal numbers still don’t add up because there are some journals that don’t publish articles in any given year—eleven of them in 2013, for example.

The percentage of free journals is fairly typical for all of OA and didn’t change significantly during this time; the percentage of free articles is higher than the overall OA average and, as with that average, declined in recent years.

Is OA activity in agriculture declining? It’s really not possible to say, given that new journals may have emerged, that some journals post articles months after the publication date, and that some journals have erratic publishing patterns, but at least it seems likely that growth slowed in 2014. More specifically, the same set of journals published 917 fewer articles than in 2013—but note that one journal (discussed in the previous section, going from 536 to 8) accounts for more than half of that difference.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 125 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 24 had the same number; 160 published fewer articles in 2014 than in 2013. In terms of significant change, 89 (28%) had at least 10% more articles in 2014, 87 (28%) were relatively unchanged (-9% to +9%), and 133 (43%) declined by 10% or more, including 14 that have yet to post any 2014 articles (some of which may be small journals with long posting delays.)

Peak Journals No-Fee% Articles No-Fee%
Prolific

0

0

Large

17

24%

5,710

21%

Medium

81

54%

6,274

53%

Small

128

58%

4,129

58%

Sparse

72

68%

767

70%

Table 2.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 2.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is in no-fee journals. There are no prolific agriculture journals (1,000 or more articles per year), and sparse journals are much less common than overall. That the percentage of no-fee journals goes down as the article frequency goes up is a consistent and expected pattern.

Fees (APCs)

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

11

10%

4%

1,151

13%

7%

Medium

19

17%

7%

1,347

15%

8%

Low

41

37%

15%

3,558

40%

22%

Nominal

39

35%

14%

2,882

32%

18%

None

171

61%

7,445

45%

Table 2.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 2.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range (High: $1,451+; Medium: $601 to $1,450; Low: $201-$600; Nominal: $8 to $200) and the number of 2013 articles for those journals.

Since the fee ranges are based on quartiles of this study universe, deviations from 25% in the first %Fee column represent differences between agricultural journals and OA as a whole—e.g., far fewer very expensive journals and generally lower APCs throughout, with most fee-paid articles in journals with low or nominal APCs.

It seemed worth considering whether there’s a statistical correlation between APC level and volume of articles (as indicated by peak year, 2011-2013). That is, does the number of articles change in a predictable manner as the APC changes? The answer, at least for agriculture OA journals, is no: the correlation is 0.06, far too low to be considered of any significance.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

4

75%

1960-69

4

25%

1970-79

4

100%

1980-89

3

67%

1990-91

4

75%

1992-93

3

67%

1994-95

6

50%

1996-97

9

89%

1998-99

15

87%

2000-01

18

67%

2002-03

31

71%

2004-05

28

82%

2006-07

41

49%

2008-09

44

57%

2010-11

58

45%

2012-13

35

37%

Table 2.5. Starting dates for agriculture OA journals

Table 2.5 shows agriculture 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 agriculture is very much typical. Note that, except for odd cases in early year, the bulk of new journals was consistently free until 2005—and has dropped significantly since then.

Figure 2.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 2.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging journals. Note the wide gap from 1996 through 2005, with free journals growing at a much faster rate—and the jumps in APC-charging journals since then.

Figure 2.1. Agriculture journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

4

194

49

1960-69

4

216

54

1970-79

4

132

33

1980-89

3

172

57

1990-91

4

309

77

1992-93

3

145

48

1994-95

6

234

39

1996-97

9

400

44

1998-99

14

1,162

83

2000-01

17

807

47

2002-03

30

1,394

46

2004-05

27

1,205

45

2006-07

39

2,251

58

2008-09

42

3,137

75

2010-11

58

4,084

70

2012-13

34

1,038

31

Table 2.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Finally, Table 2.6 shows journals that published articles in 2013, when they started, and the average articles per journal. There are four unusual time periods: four journals beginning in 1990-91, 14 beginning 1998-99, 42 beginning 2008-2009 and 58 beginning 2010-2011. Those journals average 70 to 83 articles per journal per year; the rest all average fewer than 60, in most cases fewer than 50.

Definitions and notes

See The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background for definitions and notes

A few offhand words about The Open Access Landscape

Posted in open access on March 5th, 2015

The background post went up on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Did I run out of steam before preparing any of the topical posts/chapters?

Not really. I already had a reasonably final draft of the first one ready before I posted the background. Since it was the first one, I wanted to give it a couple of days in which I might refine the model (since chapters will follow a similar model).

That turned out to be wise: I’ve added some information and revised one caption while the post has been scheduled for posting.

You’ll see it tomorrow (Friday, March 6) at around 8:10 a.m. PST.

My current plan is to publish one chapter/post/topic a week, probably on Fridays, until I’m done, I run out of energy, or other things intervene. As of this point, I’ve done the 2014 counts for the next topic and am just starting the chapter itself–in between doing other things.

As for doing “full”-2014 counts for most topics (scare quotes because some journals, mostly annuals and 2/yr publications, take a LONG time to post the online articles): with one huge exception, most topics have 100 to 350 journals to check; at 309, the first topic was among the largest. (Six topics have fewer than 100 journals; those will be easy.) The one huge exception is, well, huge: 1,702 journals. Fortunately, I won’t get to it for another 17 weeks, and I can nibble away at 2014 counts until then.

It’s possible that all of the topic posts will include 2014 counts. It’s probable that all but one of them will.

I hope people will find these worthwhile, and that people will be interested in a combined bookform set late this year…and, to be sure, that people will contribute to C&I and/or help me find a way to make a complete followup study in 2016 plausible to do.

(This offhand commentary is not part of the canon, so won’t be listed at the end of the background when I start adding those links.)

The Open Access Landscape: 1. Background

Posted in open access on March 3rd, 2015

In early 2015, I completed what I believe to be the closest thing to a universal survey of Open Access (OA) journals, sometimes called Gold OA: all the journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) as of May 7, 2014, that had enough English in some version of the interface so that I could evaluate them. That turned out to be 7,301 journals, of which 6,490 journals published at least one article between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2014 and had websites that made it possible for me to count or estimate the number of articles each year.

The analysis and description of the state of OA journals, based on this universe of 6,490 journals, appears in mid-2015 as Idealism and Opportunism: The State of Open Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism*, an issue of Library Technology Reports from the American Library Association.

This series of blog posts (which may turn into a book if there’s enough interest) complements that study by expanding on Chapter 5, “A Closer Look at Subjects.” If time and energy permit, I plan to prepare a post on each of 27 topics (and two clusters that aren’t really topics) and, possibly, several groups of topics. Each post will discuss the journals on one topic, looking at them in some of the ways that Open Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism* looks at the broader set of journals. Subjects were assigned based on the very detailed subjects in DOAJ and, in some cases, the title or publication pattern of the journal.

This introductory post notes some of the definitions that apply across all of the posts, the one way in which these posts may introduce new data, and some caveats.

Definitions

A number of terms and category breakdowns used in Open Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism are also used in these posts, generally without explicit definitions.

Grades

The earlier studies on large subsets of DOAJ and the Beall lists used grades to group journals, including A, B, C, D, E, H, N, O and X. Grades E (empty), H (hybrid), N (not OA), O (opaque/obscure) and X (unreachable/unworkable) make up the 811 difference between the 7,301 journals checked and the 6,490 in the universe discussed in these posts. The following grades and subgrades appear in these posts:

  • A: Apparently good. No apparent issues with a journal, and if there’s an article processing charge as of late 2014 it’s $999 or less.
  • A$: Good but pricey. No apparent issues, but an APC of $1,000 or more.
  • B: May need investigation. The journal may be great, but something about the site suggested that a scholar might want to investigate further—e.g., poor-quality English in the interface or misleading claims or journal titles.
  • C: Highly questionable. Journals with serious problems that I believe most scholars and librarians would and should ignore. Reasons include APCs that aren’t stated (or probably exist but aren’t discussed), false claims by the publisher, and implausible things such as two-day review turnaround.
  • D: Dormant, diminutive, dying or dead—journals that might be locked out of DOAJ in the future or seem to be going away. The D grade includes these subgrades: C: Apparently ceased; D: Dying; E: Erratic publication patterns (fewer than five articles in some years); H: Hiatus (possibly); N: New; S: Small (fewer than five articles in some years, never more than 10 articles per year).

Article Volume

In some cases, I group journals based on the peak article volume between 2011 and 2013; the smallest group of volume categories has five ranges:

  • Prolific: 1,000 articles or more.
  • Large: 200 to 999 articles.
  • Medium: 60 to 199 articles.
  • Small: 20 to 59 articles.
  • Sparse: 1 to 19 articles.

Note that these are per year counts: a quarterly with 15 articles in each issue would fall into the Medium category.

These categories are not based on simple analysis of what’s out there. There are very few prolific journals, a few hundred large journals, over a thousand medium journals, more than 2,500 small journals and more than 2,200 sparse journals.

Fee Levels

I tend to refer to all fees as APCs, although some journals charge submission fees or require paid membership in an association. Where APCs are variable, I take the fee that would apply for a research paper by a non-member of an association and that is either ten pages long or a different length specified as normal for that journal.

Fee levels are based on actual analysis of the universe: while most OA journals don’t charge APCs at all, among those that do, 25% of the journals (roughly) fall into each of these four ranges:

  • High: $1,451 or more.
  • Medium: $601 to $1,450.
  • Low: $201 to $600.
  • Nominal: $8 to $200.

Note that in some cases journals are characterized as Free, Pay or Unkown: Unknown journals are those that almost certainly have APCs but don’t state the amount, and are all grade C.

New Data

Where time and energy have allowed, I’ve rechecked journals within a subject to determine the number of articles for all of 2014 (or at least all those posted to the journal site by February 27, 2015 or later).

The only change in data for any journal from what’s used in Open Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism* (and is available in anonymized form at http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1299451) is the use of full-2014 numbers when available. When it is, I note it; with luck, all but one (enormous) subject will have full-year counts.

Caveats

I have not changed grades, APCs or anything else about a journal based on the revisit and that article level assignments are usually based on 2013 or peak levels.

The total 2014 article counts for a topic are probably low for three reasons:

  • As with the full report, these figures omit 2,400-odd journals with no English interface, apparently accounting for 18% or so of articles not accounted for.
  • Some journals post the last issue of a year well into the next year, so some of those counts might go up later.
  • New OA journals almost certainly emerged in some (if not all) topics between May 7, 2014 and December 31, 2014. I have not included any such journals.

I would love to revisit the whole DOAJ scene for a longitudinal study, if financial resources become available to make that realistic, but that revisit would not happen until 2016 and would include all of 2014 and all of 2015. (Feel free to contact me if you know of ways to make this realistically feasible.)

Want the Book?

I believe the 29 (or 37) chapters, plus a modified version of this background chapter, would make a worthwhile book—and if enough people express interest in such a book, it will happen (when the series of posts is done). Ten interested parties might be enough. If you’re interested (which does not imply a commitment), leave a comment on one of the posts or send me mail: waltcrawford@gmail.com.

*Title changed March 23, 2014, at the suggestion of the senior editor for Library Technology Reports–a suggestion with which I immediately agreed, since it’s a better title.


Subjects posted:

Open Access articles in Cites & Insights

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on March 2nd, 2015

After some years of not writing about OA in Cites & Insights, seems like I’ve been writing about it quite a bit. John Dupuis suggested that I provide a list of all the OA-related essays over the last year or so. I’ve done that below, starting with December 2012 (the first significant OA-related material since 2009). All OA-related essays appear under the “Intersections” flag, since OA involves the intersection of libraries, policy, media and technology.

All references below are to Cites & Insights.

Cites & Insights 15:4 (April 2015) Available

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on March 1st, 2015

Cites & Insights 15:4 (April 2015) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i4.pdf

The print-oriented version is 38 pages long; it includes boldface as applied but the links don’t work.

If you’re reading online or on an e-device and want working links (but no boldface), you may prefer the single-column 6×9″ version at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i4on.pdf

The single-column version is 72 pages long.

This issue includes the following:

Intersections: The Economies of Open Access  pp. 1-38

Publishing costs money. That’s a given, although sometimes that cost is so negligible that it can be handled as departmental or library or society overhead. This roundup looks at a range of items related to the economics of journals in general and OA journals in particular, divided into ten general topics. It turns out that I have stronger feelings than I thought about this issue, so there’s a fair amount of my own commentary mixed in with excerpts from various posts and articles.

Open Access Journals: New Grade Summary

Posted in open access on February 4th, 2015

As noted in the current Cites & Insights, I’ve moved 580 DOAJ journals from Grade B to Grade A$ because the only reason to regard them as possibly requiring investigation is that they have APCs of $1,000 or more. That’s something to be aware of, and the justifications for high APCs still need discussion, but if an author has the money and finds the APC reasonable, there’s nothing else about these journals to raise concerns.

The Library Technology Reports issue this summer will reflect that change, but none of the existing C&I coverage does.

Here’s a table (that probably won’t appear in this form in the report) that shows the number of journals and 2013 articles in each grade, as revised.

Grade Desc. Journals %J Articles %A
A Apparently good

3,976

54.5%

177,077

48.4%

A$ Apparently good with high APC

580

7.9%

113,574

31.0%

B May need investigation

567

7.8%

40,273

11.0%

C Highly questionable

294

4.0%

25,284

6.9%

DC Ceased

263

3.6%

1,362

0.4%

DD Dying

93

1.3%

533

0.1%

DE Erratic

182

2.5%

1,554

0.4%

DH Hiatus?

145

2.0%

5,006

1.4%

DN New?

16

0.2%

98

0.0%

DS Small

374

5.1%

1,449

0.4%

E Empty

18

0.2%

EC Empty/cancelled

53

0.7%

N Not OA

165

2.3%

O Opaque

189

2.6%

X Unreachable or unworkable

386

5.3%

Total

7,301

366,210

If you draw the conclusion from this table that journals with high APCs publish a lot of articles, you wouldn’t be wrong.

Do we need OA megajournals in humanities & social sciences?

Posted in open access on December 29th, 2014

I can’t answer that question, of course. I can offer some factual input.

I’ve now looked at all of the journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (as of May 2014) that have enough English in their interface for me to be able to (a) determine whether the journal charges article processing fees (or submission fees or whatever) and, if so, how much those fees amount to, (b) determine that they are in fact publishing refereed scholarly articles and (c) determine how many such articles they’ve published in 2011, 2012, 2013 and the first half of 2014.

That caveat is because somewhere north of 2,000 journals in DOAJ either didn’t have English or Eng as one of the languages in their DOAJ record or, when I went there, did not have enough English for me to be able to do those things. So I’ve only looked at 7,301 DOAJ journals (plus another 6,949 “Beall journals”–most of them not actually journals–that weren’t in DOAJ at that point and another 401 OASPA-member journals that weren’t in DOAJ, in many cases because they’d ceased publishing).

Within those 7,301 journals, here’s, briefly, what I found for humanities & social sciences, omitting the few journals with unknown/unstated APCs–there are a dozen such journals in this group):

Humanities alone

(OK, so my definition of humanities may not be the same as yours, but set that aside…)

  • Journals with APCs that published some articles between 2011 and June 30, 2014: 38 journals, publishing around 1,750 articles in the first half of 2014, around 3,200 in 2013, around 2,800 in 2012 and around 2,150 in 2011. (Median APC: $300.)
  • Journals with no APCs–free on both sides–that published some articles between 2011 and June 30, 2014: 745 journals, publishing around 5,850 articles in the first half of 2014, around 12,700 in 2013, around 12,850 in 2012, and around 11,400 in 2011.
  • That adds up to around 15,900 articles in 2013 and around 15,600 in 2012; the 2014 numbers may be slightly lower, but a lot of these journals only post issues once a year, so it’s too early to say.

Humanities and social sciences (which includes all of the above)

  • Journals with APCs (as above): 270 journals, publishing around 8,200 articles in the first half of 2014, around 14,500 in 2013, around 13,500 in 2012 and around 10,200 in 2011. (Median APC $203.)
  • Journals without APCs (free on both sides): 1,930 journals, publishing around 16,100 articles in the first half of 2014, around 37,700 in 2013 and the same in 2012; around 33,650 in 2011.
  • That adds up to around 52,000 articles in 2013 and around 51,200 in 2012.

So I guess the question is: are there tens of thousands of worthwhile articles out there that aren’t getting published because there aren’t enough good OA journals in HSS? Note that the average no-fee humanities journal only publishes about 17 articles a year; if each one added four more articles–probably not an overwhelming addition to the presumably-volunteer editors’ workloads–that would take care of another 3,000-odd articles.

I’m not part of the academy or The Academy. I don’t know what’s actually needed. I am a little suspicious of grand schemes…but that’s just me.

If you’re wondering: I will have a some summary figures and notes on the completion of this absurdly large investigation in the March 2015 Cites & Insights, out some time in February 2015; a thoughtful, edited, complete, coherent view (with advice for librarians) will appear in the summer from a publisher I regard as highly reputable, but it will carry a price.

Comments are open on this post.

Two weeks in: a quick update

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on December 16th, 2014

Cites & Insights 15.1, January 2015, was published two weeks ago, featuring the “third half” of my vast-but-incomplete survey of gold OA in 2011-2014, along with some additional notes related to gold OA.

“Going for the gold: OA journals in 2014: any interest?”–asking whether a coherent, well-organized look at the overall state of OA journals in 2014 (or, really, 2011-2014), based on an even larger survey of the journals, done as a paperback book, would be of any interest–appeared the next day, December 3, 2014. Essentially the same text appeared as one of the shorter pieces in the “third half” essay.

As of this morning (at 5 a.m., when the daily statistics run for month-to-day happens), December 16, 2014, C&I 15.1 is doing OK in terms of readership: 1,355 downloads to date (1,168 of the print-oriented two-column version, 187 of the 6×9″ single-column version). Those are strong numbers; I’d like to think the issue’s having some mild impact.

As of this morning, total non-spam responses to the other post (and to the piece in C&I) are a little less strong. 1,355 less strong, to be exact. (Lots of spamments, but that happens any time I turn comments on.)

That’s a shame, but it’s also reality.

Meanwhile, I’m now a little more than halfway in scanning the remaining 2,200-odd journals, which are now down to 1,800-odd as I remove journals where there’s not enough English in the interface for me to determine whether they have article processing charges and how their issue archives work. That is: I have 1,010 journals that I’ve been able to record information on, with 800-odd to go, but I imagine another 100+ will disappear in that process.

A word to OA publishers who are trying to offer an English interface without actually doing any work: Having an English flag (either literally a flag or a pull-down list option) is really sort of pointless if all it does is change the OJS menu headings to English, with all the text linked from them still in the primary language of the journal. Cute, but pointless.

But at least better than the journals hosting malware…and I think I have one of you to “thank” for spending most of a day last week recovering from a nasty little Trojan disguised as a Flash update. I saw a second attempt this week, but the combination of anti-crap software I’m running flagged it immediately.

Oh, just as a sidebar, here are some year-to-November-30* figures for OA-related essays in Volume 14:

  • April 2014, 14:4 (The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall and another essay): 2,781 two-column plus 3,393 single-column (a rare case in which the single-column outdid the two-column), for a total of 6,174, a big number for C&I: by far the largest 2014 download count for any issue of C&I (that’s out of some 176,000 total downloads through November 30, although as noted in the footnote below that’s missing 11 days, the last day of each month).
  • May 2014, 14:5 (The So-Called Sting and another essay): 1,690 two-column plus 1,283 single-column, for a total of 2,973, also a very good number.
  • July 2014, 14:7 (Journals, “Journals” and Wannabes): 1,839 two-column plus 1,042 single column, for a total of 2,881, which is very good, especially noting that the window is getting smaller.
  • October/November 2014, 14:10 (Journals and “Journals”: Taking a Deeper Look): 817 two-column plus 239 single-column for a total of 1,056. Not bad for a relatively brief period.
  • December 2014, 14:11 (Journals and “Journals” Part 2): 998 two-column plus 456 single-column, for a total of 1,454, which is pretty good given that it came out on November 2, so that’s one month’s readership.

The three Journals and “Journals” issues show 96, 27, and 88 additional downloads for December 1-15, respectively.


*Technically, November 29: because of how the statistics run, I never actually see the figures for the final day of a given month.


Update December 18, 2014: Comments now turned off. The question of whether or not to write a Publish-on-Demand paperback based on all of this has been rendered moot, in a way that will serve libraries quite well, I believe.


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