Not giving up on OA just yet, but…

…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.

Comments are closed.