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.

Great advice (if possibly translated clumsily)

Posted in Language on June 25th, 2015

I just have to quote the following authorial guidance from a Brazilian law review, which shall go unnamed because this is, after all, Google’s translation. But what great advice, idiomatic English or not:

WRITING RECOMMENDATIONS AND STYLE

1. Write to be read (a). Encourage your reader to not give up your text.

2. Words are there to say (and even do). If you do not properly formulated, in every sentence, what you want to say, then do not write.

3. Clarity of writing indicates clarity of thought. So, define what you want to say and tell the simplest way possible.

4. Avoid metaphors, long sentences, classicisms, unnecessary latinisms.

5. When you express your views, do not just make statements. Use arguments, arguments and evidence.

6. Do not be arrogant. Who disagrees with you is not necessarily stupid or insane. No one need be described as foolish: let your analysis show the “folly” of others.

7. Use the active voice, whenever you need. If your research is innovative, using the “I understand … we hold … I conclude … it seems necessary to complete”, etc.They are perfectly acceptable, and even necessary.

8. If in other areas such as biology, health, engineering, mathematics, and even some areas of applied social sciences, write 8 to 10 pages of text is almost a dogma of scientific writing, it does not occur in the legal framework. Long texts are not necessarily incompetence of scientific writing. But papers are not textbooks. So theoretical revisions very extensive, and merely informative, they are unnecessary. Concentrate on the important literature that discusses, refute and adopt.Quote jurisprudence than leading case , it’s usually a waste of time. Propose innovative interpretations without consistent logical construction, empirical and theoretical basis, it is dispensable.

9. Your text should be clear, technically accurate, engaging and elegant.

10. Break any of these rules, if necessary. But do not write barbarisms in scientific work.

Would that we could all remember esp. #6, but also the others.


Update: In case it’s not clear, I really admire what’s being said here, the clumsiness of machine translation quite aside.

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…

Not giving up on OA just yet, but…

Posted in open access on June 25th, 2015

…it’s tough sometimes, especially for a library person and one who believes in facts.

I was tempted to write a pseudo-apology to one JB, since his slanderous attack on all OA advocates for trying to tear down the current journal system en masse turned out to have one or two actual instances, so he’s only 99% (or so) wrong. But, after rereading his article, it’s so wrong on so many “facts” (e.g., the idea that thousands of “journals” without articles somehow outweigh thousands of legitimate OA journals publishing hundreds of thousands of articles) that I just couldn’t.

I’m still tempted to write a post on The Trouble with Blacklists, since I truly believe that blacklists are inherently the wrong way to go about things, from the McCarthy era back to Church’s Index and forward to Beall’s list. A “better blacklist” just isn’t the way to improve the situation. But, well, my time may be better spent on continuing my completist analysis.

But then there’s that instance, an apparently serious (?) suggestion that All The Academic Libraries just shut down all their subscriptions: THAT’ll show the publishers! And a post that the suggestion apparently springs from–which I just reread, including an assertion that the average APC for OA articles is $3,000.

That assertion–it references a properly credentialed paper, but…–is so wrong it’s almost bizarre. Of the 6,400+ journals in DOAJ I’ve already looked at, all of 16 (that is, less than 0.25%) charge $3,000 or more, and those 16 published a whopping 2,800 or so of the nearly-400,000 OA articles in 2014 (less than 1%). Even drawing the line at $2,000 or more yields only 241 of 6,400+ journals and about 48,000 articles.

The actual average for 2013 was $1,045 per article for articles involving APCs, $630 per article overall–just a trifle less than $3,000. (I’ll publish the 2014 overall figures this fall as part of the expanded DOAJ study: they won’t be a lot higher.)

Updated 10 a,m PDT: For the “baseline” portion of the expanded study–6,465 OA journals, stripped of duplicates, that are still in DOAJ as of early May 2015, and which published slightly more than 400,000 articles in 2014–the average APC per article for the 265,000-odd articles in APC-charging journals was $1,121 in 2014; the overall average was $720. Given the growth in APC-charging journals, that’s a mild increase. I’m guessing that both averages will go down as I add in the remaining journals (4,100 minus the several hundred that I won’t be able to analyze), since so far most of them don’t have APCs at all. In any case, $3,000 is absurdly overstated.

No links here; as it is, I’m wasting time better spent concluding my exhaustive/ing analysis. Even though, as I’m beginning to suspect, that analysis–and I’ve even made the dataset freely available–will be largely ignored by the players, because, well, it doesn’t come from the traditional publishing system or from properly credentialed/degreed source–and worse, it’s from a library person.

On a brighter note, thanks to the person who just contributed to my ongoing OA research and C&I. And received the free PDF ebook and $7 paperback offer in return–and will get the Big Study this Fall. Assuming my temporary sense of futility fades, that is.

The Open Access Landscape: 17. Mathematics

Posted in open access on June 19th, 2015

Mathematics includes statistics. The topic includes the highest percentage of no-fee journals outside of the humanities and social sciences, although most articles are in fee-charging journals. In all, there are 228 journals, publishing 13,190 articles in 2013 and 14,750 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

167

73%

8,336

63%

50

Free

145

87%

4,757

57%

33

Pay

22

13%

3,579

43%

163

A$ pay

4

2%

3,472

26%

868

B

18

8%

771

6%

43

Free

5

28%

150

19%

30

Pay

13

72%

621

81%

48

C

8

4%

298

2%

37

Free

4

50%

176

59%

44

Pay

2

25%

104

35%

52

Unk

2

25%

18

6%

9

D

31

14%

313

2%

10

Free

25

81%

189

60%

8

Pay

6

19%

124

40%

21

Table 17.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 17.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown numbers; and average articles per journal. Boldface percentages are of the overall math set; others are of the grade above them—e.g., 73% of the journals have grade A, and 87% of those journals are free (don’t charge APCs).

As is generally the case, fee-charging journals tend to publish more articles than free journals (several times as many for A journals)—and in math, the handful of A$ journals publish many more articles than others. There are only two unknown journals, neither one publishing much.

The D journals (a relatively typical percentage) include these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), nine journals, 98 articles; D (dying), three journals, 37 articles; E (erratic), five journals, 23 articles; H (hiatus?), five journals, 129 articles; S (small): nine journals, 26 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

214

220

207

191

%Free

78%

78%

79%

79%

Articles

14,750

13,190

11,831

9,065

%Free

39%

40%

41%

47%

Table 17.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 17.2 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 what percentage was free. Unknown journals are ignored.

As usual, the journal numbers don’t quite add up because there are some small journals each year that don’t publish any articles.

The percentage of free journals is nearly constant and unusually high for STEM, in fact the highest outside of humanities and social sciences—but the percentage of free articles, never a majority, falls significantly over the period, although it’s still higher than most STEM.

OA activity seems to be growing in mathematics at a fairly healthy rate, 11%-12% for each of the past two years after a 30% jump in 2012.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 99 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 22 published the same number; 107 published fewer articles in 2014. Significant changes are different: 83 journals (36%) published at least 10% more articles in 2014; 59 (26%) published roughly the same number; and 86 (38%) published at least 10% fewer articles, including nine (all but one of them an annual or biennial) that have not yet posted any 2014 articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

2

0%

2,500

0%

Large

12

17%

4,571

11%

Medium

28

68%

2,189

71%

Small

109

80%

3,163

79%

Sparse

77

92%

767

92%

Table 17.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 17.3 shows the number of journals in each size category; 2013 articles for journals in that group; and the percentage of no-fee journals and articles in no-fee journals. Large and prolific journals dominate account for 53% of all articles, even though they represent only 6% of the journals—and no-fee journals dominate in both count and article count in the three smaller categories. It’s an extreme case of the typical pattern.

Fees (APCs)

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

11

23%

5%

5,358

68%

41%

Low

24

51%

11%

2,178

28%

17%

Nominal

12

26%

5%

364

5%

3%

None

179

79%

5,272

40%

Table 17.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 17.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range that includes any journals and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. What’s not here may be interesting: there are no high-priced math journals, with the highest being $1,400. A “normal” distribution for the first %Fee column would be 25% for High, Medium, Low, Nominal—and, oddly enough, the Medium and Nominal figures are roughly typical, because more than half of all fee-charging math journals have low APCs ($201 to $600).

Noting that journals with medium APCs publish a disproportionately high percentage of articles in fee-based journals, and that those with nominal fees charge very few, a check on correlation seemed worthwhile—and, atypically, there is a fairly strong (0.56) correlation between APC level and peak article count (which only tracks through 2013). The correlation between 2014 article count and APC level is nearly as high (0.54).

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1970-79

1

0%

1980-89

5

100%

1990-91

4

100%

1992-93

7

100%

1994-95

7

86%

1996-97

12

92%

1998-99

8

100%

2000-01

12

100%

2002-03

16

94%

2004-05

16

75%

2006-07

25

76%

2008-09

22

77%

2010-11

58

62%

2012-13

35

77%

Table 17.5. Starting dates for math OA journals

Table 17.5 shows mathematics OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given date range that don’t currently charge APCs. While I see a sense of a “gold rush” from 2006 through 2011 for DOAJ as a whole, with many APC-charging journals starting then, there’s not as much of that here: quite a few journals started later than 2005, but (except for 2010-2011) at least three-quarters of new journals in each period are free. Yes, it’s a drop from earlier periods, but hardly a gold rush, especially since none of the journals charge very high fees.

Figure 17.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 17.5, but as a graph with lines for free and APC-charging (pay) journals. While there’s a big jump for pay journals in recent years, the same is true for free journals, and the two lines track each other fairly well from 2008 on. (There are markers for pay journals because of values that would otherwise disappear.)

Figure 17.1. Mathematics journals by starting date

Table 17.6 shows journals that actually published articles in 2013, when they started, and average 2013 articles per journal. The periods 1992-97, 2004-07 and 2010-11 stand out for relatively high articles per journal, but that may not mean much of anything.

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1970-79

1

45

45

1980-89

5

129

26

1990-91

4

80

20

1992-93

7

466

67

1994-95

7

494

71

1996-97

12

1,108

92

1998-99

8

324

41

2000-01

11

487

44

2002-03

15

454

30

2004-05

16

1,296

81

2006-07

25

1,912

76

2008-09

19

430

23

2010-11

55

4,945

90

2012-13

35

1,020

29

Table 17.6. Articles per 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: 16. Library Science

Posted in open access on June 12th, 2015

Library Science
includes bibliography, archives and museums and some aspects of information science (that did not appear to be based on computer science). It’s not the smallest set of journals (two others are smaller), but at least for 2013, it’s the smallest set of articles: 77 journals that published 1,363 articles in 2013 and 1,460 in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

56

73%

1,213

89%

22

Free

53

95%

1,158

95%

22

Pay

3

5%

55

5%

18

B

1

1%

37

3%

37

Free

1

100%

37

100%

37

C

1

1%

60

4%

60

Unk

1

100%

60

100%

60

D

19

25%

53

4%

3

Free

18

95%

53

100%

3

Pay

1

5%

0%

0

Table 16.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 16.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown numbers; and average 2013 articles per journal. Since there are no over-$1000 journals, APC-charging B grade journals, free or APC-charging C-grade journals or unknown D journals, those lines are omitted. Boldface percentages are percentages of all journals or articles; others are percentages of the grade above.

Library science journals are distinctly atypical in that the APC-charging journals published fewer articles per journal than the free ones, but there are so few APC-charging journals that this may not mean much.

The percentage of D journals is slightly on the high side but accounts for very few articles, and includes these subgroups: C (ceased), four journals with no 2013 articles; D (dying), one journal with three articles; E (erratic), one journal with three articles; H (hiatus?), two journals with 12 articles; S (small), 11 journals with 35 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

70

71

74

70

%Free

96%

96%

95%

94%

Articles

1,400

1,303

1,406

1,288

%Free

96%

96%

94%

93%

Table 16.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 16.2 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 what percentage of journals and articles were free. The single journal with unknown APC is omittied; additionally, some journals didn’t publish articles in any given year.

These are somewhat unusual numbers, as the very high percentage of non-APC journals and articles actually increased in 2013 and 2014; after a significant increase in OA activity from 2011 to 2012, there was an apparent (but possibly not entirely genuine) decrease in 2013—and a return to 2012 levels in 2014.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 36 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; eight published the same number; 33 published fewer articles in 2014. In terms of significant change, 31 journals (40%) published at least 10% more articles; 15 (19%) published roughly the same number; 31 (40%) published at least 10% fewer articles, including seven that—as of mid-April 2015—do not show any 2014 articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Medium

5

80%

349

83%

Small

31

90%

680

93%

Sparse

41

98%

334

97%

Table 16.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 16.3 shows the number of journals in each size category (omitting prolific and large journals, which don’t exist among OA library science journals), 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is or is in no-fee journals. Only one journal published more than 100 articles (or more than 65 articles, for that matter) in a year. This is one case where library science does follow the overall pattern: larger journals are more likely to charge fees, although the numbers are very small.

Fees (APCs)

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

2

50%

3%

46

84%

4%

Nominal

2

50%

3%

9

16%

1%

None

72

95%

1,248

96%

Table 16.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 16.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range (omitting High and Medium, since there aren’t any—the highest APC is $400) and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. There are so few APC-charging journals that comments about relative balance are pointless. It may be worth noting that only one of the two nominal-fee journals published any articles in 2013 or 2014.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

1

100%

1960-69
1970-79

1

100%

1980-89

1

100%

1990-91

1

100%

1992-93

1

100%

1994-95

2

100%

1996-97

6

100%

1998-99

5

100%

2000-01

2

100%

2002-03

9

89%

2004-05

6

100%

2006-07

16

94%

2008-09

8

100%

2010-11

14

79%

2012-13

4

100%

Table 16.5. Starting dates for library science OA journals

Table 16.5 shows library science OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given period that currently don’t charge APCs. With so few APC-charging journals, there’s no real sense of a “gold rush,” although it is true that three of the four started between 2006 and 2011, the period that seems to represent a gold rush overall.

Figure 16.1 shows much the same information (with markers so that the separate starting points for fee journals are visible) and also shows the growth trend in library science journals.

Figure 16.1. Library science OA journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

1

33

33

1960-69
1970-79

1

9

9

1980-89

1

21

21

1990-91

1

8

8

1992-93

1

5

5

1994-95

2

41

21

1996-97

5

40

8

1998-99

5

237

47

2000-01

2

21

11

2002-03

9

168

19

2004-05

5

77

15

2006-07

15

243

16

2008-09

7

124

18

2010-11

13

247

19

2012-13

4

89

22

Table 16.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 16.6 shows journals that actually published articles in 2013, when they started, and average 2013 articles per journal. The 1998-99 time period stands out for fairly large numbers of articles—just as 1996-97 stands out for very few.

Overall, this is a group with relatively small journals and very few APC-charging journals, where OA has stayed fairly steady over the past few years.

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 1

Posted in open access on June 11th, 2015

While donations/book purchases to support this followon to The Open Access Landscape have so far been less than overwhelming, it’s a project that interests me (and would lay the groundwork for a 2016 revisit covering pretty much all of Gold OA for 2011-2015), so I’ve started–but don’t know whether or when I’ll finish.

Changes in Grading and Approach

On reflection, I’ve made some changes in grades (existing and future) and my approach. To wit:

  • A$ has been collapsed into A.
  • D and its various subgrades has been collapsed into A-with-subgrades, since “may not be included in DOAJ at some point” really isn’t what I’m looking at. The new subgrades of A include C (nothing since 2012 or explicitly ceased/merged), D (apparently dying, none in 2014), E&H (as in old D/E and D/H, and these are judgment calls), N (2014 only and fewer than 5), O–the only new subgrade, “Oneshot,” for a journal that’s only had articles in one year 2011-2013, and none in 2014, and S–the biggest group (small).
  • B now has subgrades as appropriate to indicate why something may need investigation: A (author repetition), E (problematic English in a journal that claims to be English or support English), G (garish or other site problems), I (questionable “impact factors” prominently featured), M (minimal information), P (peer review/turnaround/editorial issues), Q (questionable claims), T (questionable article titles on casual inspection, O (other–usually a mix of problems). In practice B journals frequently have more than one issue, and I note the first one encountered.
  • C now has subgrades as appropriate to indicate why I regard it as better to avoid: A (APC missing or hidden, the most frequent cause), E (English so bad–in an English-language journal–as to be unworkable), F (falsehoods on the site), P (implausible turnaround/peer review), S (incompetent site), T (absurd article titles or approach), O (other: usually a mix of problems).
  • X, excluded from study, combines old grades E-X and now has these subgrades: E (empty since at least 2010), M (either Malwarebytes, McAfee Site Advisor, Chrome defenses or Windows Security says the site has security issues–I’m tired of getting viruses from “OA journals”), N (not OA, but my definition’s looser these days–still, required registration or an embargo are deal-killers), O (opaque: undated issues or otherwise unable to count articles by year–and I do try DOAJ as well), P (parking page or other non-journal page), U (reachable but unusable site), X (unreachable, trying both Excel-to-Chrome and direct-in-Chrome search, but NOT title search: if a journal can’t be bothered to update its URL in DOAJ or provide a link, given that I’m using a June 8, 2015 DOAJ download, it’s effectively incompetent), and the new T (Chrome’s translation did not make it possible for me to evaluate the journal for APC, peer review, OA and article  count)

Yes, I’m using Chrome as my default browser (although for many uses I prefer Firefox), for one simple reason: built-in page translation, so I can attempt to evaluate journals that don’t have English interface options.

Cleanup

I went through the spreadsheet used for the current set of reports, eliminating a handful of duplicates, changing grades to the new system, and revisiting journals where the 2013 count is less than half the 2014 and 2012 counts (in quite a few cases, these are annuals that show up very late, and I filled in the 2013 counts).

The cleaned-up base spreadsheet has 6,465 journals, including 5,533 A, 495 B, 397 C, and 40 X–that’s right, in the process of cleaning up 40 journals became unusable. Some journals changed grades because late-2014 articles moved them or because of other reasons. (The old E-X grades are not part of the base spreadsheet: sometimes journals come back to life, so I’m revisiting those.) Incidentally, of the 40 new Xs, 18 are for malware, and in 9 cases journal sites are now parking pages.

Download and crossmatch

I exported the DOAJ .CSV metadata on June 8, 2015. It included 10,611 journals.

  • Of those, five reported a 2015 start date. I eliminated those–this is still a 2011-2014 study–leaving 10,606.
  • I checked both URLs and titles for duplications. In 15 cases (29 journals), I made changes to disambiguate them (usually changing to an alternate URL for one title). In six cases (three journals), the duplication in URL was because the journal appeared under two titles (one English, one not); I eliminated the non-English duplicates. At this point, the DOAJ set included 10,603 journals.
  • Using Vlookup (with “false” to allow only exact matches), I matched URLs in the Base and DOAJ spreadsheets. I was delighted to find that 6,167 journals had exactly the same URL in June 2015 as in May 2014. I saved off the Base subset (all but 298) as Base_URL and deleted the DOAJ matching subset, leaving 4,436 journals.
  • Again using Vlookup, I matched journal titles in the remaining Base subset and remaining DOAJ subset. There were 191 matches. For these, I replaced the old URL with the new URL, saved the Base subset as Base_Title, and deleted the matches from the DOAJ subset, leaving 4,245 journals.
  • With only 108 Base journals left unmatched, it was reasonable to do visual title matches (the Base titles had been normalized in a way that could obscure some exact matches). This yielded 27 new matches, added to Base_Title (with the DOAJ title and URL), leaving a subset of 80 Base journals not found in the DOAJ download–and 4,218 DOAJ titles to investigate (presumably including many of the 800-odd titles graded E-X in the earlier study).
  • Combining the matched Base subsets yields a new Base_Curr of 6,305 journals, a Base_Nomatch remnant of 80 journals (I’ll look at those again when everything else is done–some probably failed new DOAJ criteria, some probably for other reasons), and 4,218 journals in the new DOAJ_P2 spreadsheet waiting to be checked.

Starting the slog

I’ve now checked the first 100 of the 4,218 (alphabetically by title). In one full day–with no yard work, no writing, nothing else–I managed 75 titles. At that rate, it would take 57 days to finish the scan, which I could comfortably do by my original September 14, 2015 target date.

But, of course, I rarely have full days: there’s yardwork (still 160-200 sq.ft of “grass” to remove in front, little by little, plus trips to get more rocks, plus actual weeding), there’s Cites & Insights unless I set it aside for the next three months, there’s hiking, there’s shopping, there’s lots of other things. My best guess is that I could average about three, maybe 3.5 “full day equivalents” per week–which makes this a 19-week project (or more). That takes me well into October, and maybe November. Unless I give up.

The first 100 are almost certainly not representative at all. How could they be?

For what it’s worth, there are 77 A (of which 6 have APCs*), six B, no C, and 17 X, and the A-C group published 2,405 articles in 2014.

I checked the first 100 against the beginning of the old E-X spreadsheet (all of which would be X in the new scheme). Five that were E-X are still X, while 14 are now A or B.

Continuing

I’ll keep going until I lose interest (or find that it’s really running too slowly) or I finish. I’m convinced this will yield an even more interesting look at gold OA 2011-2014 and a nearly complete look at the field (of the first 100, four came out XT–that is, Chrome/Google’s translate wasn’t enough for me to evaluate the journal–and two XO (obscure). That’s almost certainly not a meaningful sample, but if it was, I’d be happy enough.

If you’ve read this far you must find this research interesting and possibly worthwhile. The best way to encourage me to keep going is to contribute to Cites & Insights (at the link–the home page), noting that $25 gets you the PDF of the current study (and a $7 print book offer) and $50 will also get you the PDF of the more complete study, if I finish it.

Of course, in the hour I spent writing this post, I could have evaluated five to ten journals. Oh well.


*Updated 2 p.m. June 11, 2015: Of the next 40 journals (101-140), 34 have APCs, just to show how meaningless a small sample is. Why so many–and so fast, as it happens? I hit “Advances in…” and most are new-in-2014 Hindawi journals, all with $600 APCs and all very easy to deal with. For that matter, Chrome/Google did just fine with the others, some of them in Chinese.

The Open Access Landscape: 15. Law

Posted in open access on June 5th, 2015

Law includes forensics. The group includes 106 journals, which published a total of 2,019 articles in 2013 and 1,918 in 2014. Very few OA law journals charge fees, and most of them publish relatively few (but relatively long) papers, so the tables and graphs in this chapter may be unusual.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

67

63%

1,549

77%

23

Free

66

99%

1,529

99%

23

Pay

1

1%

20

1%

20

B

7

7%

235

12%

34

Free

5

71%

128

54%

26

Pay

2

29%

107

46%

54

D

32

30%

235

12%

7

Free

30

94%

214

91%

7

Pay

2

6%

21

9%

11

Table 15.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 15.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; the free and pay numbers (there are no “unknown” cases); and average 2013 articles per journal. Boldface percentages are percentages of the full set of OA law journals; others are percentages of that particular grade. There are no APCs over $1,000, so the A$ row does not appear. Technically, in the B and D groups, pay journals do show more articles per journal than free ones, but with only two pay journals in each group, that’s fairly meaningless.

The percentage of D journals is fairly high, and includes the following subgroups: C (ceased), two journals, no articles; E (erratic), eight journals with 82 articles; H (possibly on hiatus), five journals with 70 articles; S (small), 17 journals with 83 articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

90

103

98

94

%Free

96%

95%

95%

95%

Articles

1,918

2,019

1,633

1,578

%Free

88%

93%

94%

96%

Table 15.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 15.2 shows the number of journals that published articles in each year, including all of 2014; how many articles those journals published; and what percentage was free or in free journals.

The journal numbers are lower than 106 each year because there are always some journals with no articles. Notably, the percentage of free journals has pretty much stayed constant, while the percentage of articles in free journals has declined significantly over time. It does appear that OA activity in law declined slightly in 2014 after growing significantly in 2013, but a fair number of annual and biennial journals might yet publish 2014-dated articles. On the other hand, one journal with 68 articles in 2013 was unreachable when tested (through three different routes) in 2015, and that loss alone accounts for more than two-thirds of the difference.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 41 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; ten published the same number; 55 published fewer articles in 2014. In terms of significant changes, 37 (35%) published at least 10% more articles; 18 (17%) were about the same; 51 (48%) published at least 10% fewer articles, including 18 that, as of mid-April 2015, had yet to post any 2014 articles.

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

0

Large

0

Medium

6

83%

427

81%

Small

37

92%

1,026

94%

Sparse

63

98%

566

99%

Table 15.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 15.3 shows the number of journals in each size category, 2013 articles for journals in that group, and what percentage is in no-fee journals. Not only are there no prolific or even large OA law journals, the largest medium-sized journal published just over 100 articles in 2013: these are almost all sparse or, at best, small journals. Even within this odd grouping and with so few fee journals, however, the percentage of paid journals and articles does rise as the volume of articles rises.

Fees (APCs)

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

0

0

Medium

1

20%

1%

3

2%

0%

Low

1

20%

1%

25

17%

1%

Nominal

3

60%

3%

120

81%

6%

None

101

95%

1,871

93%

Table 15.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 15.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. With no high-priced journals and only two that have APCs higher than $200 (actually $160), comparisons of quartiles seem futile: let’s just say that the few fee-charging journals mostly don’t charge much (and, as you can see, the most expensive law journal didn’t publish much: three articles in 2013).

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
Pre-1960

1

100%

1960-69

0

1970-79

1

100%

1980-89

0

1990-91

1

100%

1992-93

2

100%

1994-95

4

100%

1996-97

7

100%

1998-99

4

100%

2000-01

9

100%

2002-03

6

100%

2004-05

9

100%

2006-07

12

100%

2008-09

17

94%

2010-11

24

83%

2012-13

9

100%

Table 15.5. Starting dates for law OA journals

Table 15.5 shows law OA journals by starting date, including the percentage of journals started in a given date range that currently don’t charge APCs. Technically, you could say that law follows the overall DOAJ pattern of a “gold rush,” with most APC-charging journals starting in 2006-2011, except that it’s all of them and it’s in a narrower date range, 2008-2011. More to the point, two-thirds of all the law OA journals are less than a decade old.

Figure 15.1 shows much the same information as Figure 15.5 but in graphic form, and includes markers for free journals so that the outliers (pre-1960 and 1970-79) show up.

Figure 15.1. Law journals by starting date

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
Pre-1960

1

36

36

1970-79

1

42

42

1990-91

1

17

17

1992-93

1

15

15

1994-95

4

58

15

1996-97

7

123

18

1998-99

4

121

30

2000-01

9

101

11

2002-03

6

90

15

2004-05

8

146

18

2006-07

12

236

20

2008-09

16

176

11

2010-11

24

576

24

2012-13

9

282

31

Table 15.6. Articles per journal by starting date

Table 15.6 shows journals that actually published articles in 2013 (omitting empty rows), when they started, and the average articles per journal. Average articles per journal is such a random mix that it may not warrant discussion.

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.

Cites & Insights 15:7 (July 2015) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on June 2nd, 2015

Cites & Insights 15:7 (July 2015) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i7.pdf

This odd summer issue is 20 pages long. If you’re planning to read it online or on an e-device, you may prefer the 37-page one-column 6×9″ edition, available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i7on.pdf

(Thanks to a change in software support, both versions should show boldface, have working hyperlinks, and have bookmarks.)

The issue includes:

The Front: The Open Access Landscape: An Interim View   pp. 1-4

There’s a new ebook and book out, containing all of the Open Access Landscape subject chapters–but with more material as well. You can’t buy it as such, but a small donation to Cites & Insights will get you a link to the PDF and another link to pick up the 202-page (186+xvi) paperback for $7. You can donate at the Cites & Insights home page. (Also: Chapter 16 to show what’s included, and some notes about the PDF changes in this issue.)

Perspective: Thinking about Libraries and Access, Take 2    pp. 4-11

My current personal beliefs about the present and future of OA–including cases where I know what I believe and I hope I’m wrong. Also the first “Thinking about Libraries and Access” (from nine years ago) and some brief notes.

Perspective: A Few Words, Part 1   pp. 11-20

Twenty years ago (as of ALA Annual, that is), I was pleasantly surprised with an unexpected award. This “essay” consists of anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph of (nearly all) my books and articles leading up to that award–from 1976 through 1994 in pretty much chronological order. You may find it amusing. Or not.

The Open Access Landscape: 14. Language & Literature

Posted in open access on May 29th, 2015

Language and literature includes linguistics and a number of other fields, as well as author-specific journals and the like. The group includes 262 journals, which published a total of 6,243 articles in 2013 and 5,816 articles in 2014.

Grades

Grade Journals %J Articles %A A/J
A

189

72%

5,542

89%

29

Free

183

97%

4,235

76%

23

Pay

6

3%

1,307

24%

218

B

14

5%

458

7%

33

Free

10

71%

175

38%

18

Pay

4

29%

283

62%

71

D

59

23%

243

4%

4

Free

57

97%

177

73%

3

Pay

1

2%

9

4%

9

Unk

1

2%

57

23%

57

Table 14.1. Journals and articles by grade

Table 14.1 shows the number of journals and 2013 articles for each grade; free, pay and unknown numbers; and average articles per journal. Boldface percentages (grades) are percentages of the whole set; other percentages are percentages of the grade above. There are no A$ or C journals, but an unusually high percentage of D journals. Otherwise, as usual, the few pay journals publish many more articles per journal than the free ones—to an extreme in this case.

The large percentage of D journals breaks down into these subgroups: C (apparently ceased), 20 journals with a total of one article in 2013; D (dying), two journals with four articles; E (erratic), 13 journals with 124 articles; H (hiatus?), three journals with 45 articles; S (small), 21 journals with 69 articles. The overall picture is fairly clear: with 23% of the journals, D journals account for only 4% of the articles.

Article Volume (including all of 2014)

2014 2013 2012 2011
Journals

219

239

248

229

%Free

95%

95%

96%

96%

Articles

5,787

6,186

5,802

4,862

%Free

71%

74%

76%

77%

Table 14.2. Journals and articles by date

Table 14.2 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 what percentage were or were in free journals.

The single “unknown” journal did not publish in 2011 or 2012 and is omitted from the table. Journal numbers don’t add up because some journals—at least 14 in any given year—didn’t publish articles in each year.

The percentage of free journals is extremely high and fairly typical for the humanities; the percentage of free articles has declined over the years and is actually lower than average for humanities fields.

Is OA activity in language and literature declining? Possibly, but there’s some evidence that one journal (with very high article counts that were extrapolated from sample issues) may have been overcounted for 2013; that overcount would result in roughly equal article counts for 2012 through 2014. It does appear that, after the sharp jump in 2012, there has been very little growth and possibly some decline in activity, although annuals in this area frequently post articles very late, so there may still be some 2014 growth to come.

Looked at on a journal-by-journal basis, 115 journals published more articles in 2014 than in 2013; 37 published the same number; and 110 published fewer articles in 2014. For significant changes, 109 (42%) published at least 10% more articles; 53 (20%) published roughly the same number (including 13 that didn’t publish any articles in either year); and 100 published at least 10% fewer articles in 2014 (including 29 that have yet to publish any articles).

Journals No-Fee % Articles No-Fee %
Prolific

1

100%

1,120

100%

Large

3

0%

994

0%

Medium

9

56%

741

35%

Small

90

96%

2,134

92%

Sparse

159

99%

1,254

99%

Table 14.3. Journals by peak article volume

Table 14.3 shows the number of journals in each size category; 2013 articles for journals in that group; and what percentage is or is in no-fee journals. The single prolific journal may be a measuring error (it was well under 1,000 in both 2012 and 2014, although it’s definitely a large journal). The main message here is that almost all language and literature journals are small or sparse—95% of them, in fact.

Fees (APCs)

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

0

0

Medium

1

9%

0%

9

1%

0%

Low

5

45%

2%

874

55%

14%

Nominal

5

45%

2%

716

45%

12%

None

250

96%

4,587

74%

Table 14.4. Journals and articles by fee range

Table 14.4 shows the number of journals in each fee range and the number of 2013 articles for those journals. The %Fee for journals for all OA journals is 25%; as should be obvious, what few of these journals charge fees have much lower fees. (In fact, there are only two journals charging more than $353.)

Oddly enough, there is a mild statistical correlation between APC level and number of articles published, but it’s a negative correlation (-0.34)—that is, as APCs go down the number of articles rises. I don’t think it’s a particularly meaningful correlation.

Starting Dates and the Gold Rush

Year Total Free%
1960-69

4

100%

1970-79

3

100%

1980-89

6

83%

1990-91

1

100%

1992-93

3

100%

1994-95

5

100%

1996-97

9

100%

1998-99

16

100%

2000-01

16

94%

2002-03

23

100%

2004-05

28

96%

2006-07

28

100%

2008-09

51

100%

2010-11

47

85%

2012-13

22

91%

Table 14.5. Starting dates for language & literature OA journals

Table 14.5 shows language & literature 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 new APC-charging journals between 2006 and 2011, and while there aren’t really enough APC-charging language & literature OA journals to constitute a “rush” of any sort, it’s true that seven of the eleven started in 2010-2011, part of the substantial growth in new OA journals from 2008 through 2011.

Figure 14.1 shows essentially the same information as Table 14.5 in graph form, with markers for pay journals so the two early instances appear. (None of these journals started before 1960, although one started in 1960.)

Figure 14.1. Language & literature journals by starting date

Table 14.6 (below) shows journals that published articles in 2013 by starting date, the number of articles published in 2013 and average articles per journal. To the extent that anything stands out, it’s the relatively high articles per journal in journals founded at the turn of the century, those founded in 2006-2007 and those that started in 2010-2011. None of these averages are particularly high for journals in general.

Year Journals Articles Art/Jrnl
1960-69

4

76

19

1970-79

3

55

18

1980-89

4

125

31

1990-91

1

5

5

1992-93

2

22

11

1994-95

4

68

17

1996-97

8

153

19

1998-99

16

256

16

2000-01

16

619

39

2002-03

21

311

15

2004-05

25

506

20

2006-07

24

1,392

58

2008-09

46

604

13

2010-11

44

1,533

35

2012-13

22

518

24

Table 14.6. Articles per 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 added in each chapter), let me know, either in a comment or by email to waltcrawford at gmail dot com.


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