Archive for September, 2017

GOAJ2: September 2017 update

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Here’s how things are going for GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016 and The Countries of OAWorld 2011-2016 and related stuff (all linked to from the project home page), through September 30, 2017 [noting that most of the last day of each month is missing because of how statistics are done):

  • The dataset: 192 views, 39 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 915 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks), plus 225 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 320 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 816 copies

Along with 224 new PDF downloads of GOAJ2 and 31 new downloads of Countries, September also saw 279 downloads of Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 and 232 downloads of the earlier Countries version.

As comparisons for C&I issues: the July 2017 Cites & Insights, another Economics of Access essay, now has 816 downloads to date; the August 2017 issue, with no serious essays at all (old movie reviews and The Back. snarky little stuff), has 692 downloads; and the personal whines discussions making up September 2017, which has only been out since September 14, has 437 downloads (and, so far, no responses). The hottest issues of the year continue to be January (Gray OA 2012-2016) with 1,747 downloads to date and April (The Art of the Beall) with 1,724 downloads.


Coffee (an OFP)

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

This is the first in a possible series of OFPs, truly random posts related to life changes in later years. I won’t offer the expansion of the initialism just yet, but “get offa my lawn” might enter in…

The Early Days

My credentials as a Proper Northern California Coffee Drinker are pretty solid. I started buying coffee beans at Peet’s original Vine Street store (Berkeley) shortly after it opened in 1966–it wasn’t that far away from my Northside residence. One grinder, one Melitta porcelain cone, filters, and shazam: “pour over coffee.”

(I also drank a lot of coffee at Caffe Espresso just across from the north edge of the UC campus; I believe the place is gone. My introduction to Ronald Reagan’s regard for free speech and assembly came when I was on my way down to have some coffee and faced lots of people coming my way, then realized why: cops with batons held firmly between hands were shoving us along as martial law was declared. But that’s another story…)

I don’t believe I ever cared for Starbuck’s, which seemed like a Peet’s wannabe. I probably purchased Peet’s beans for 20 years or more… I even had my own blend (not on Peet’s menu; I purchased half-pound bags of different beans to make it).

The Middle Years

When we got married, we had two coffee grinders and two Melitta cones and carafes. And purchased our beans at Peet’s.

Later, though, I learned to like Kona coffee–except Peet’s (and knew that Peet’s denigrated Kona as being too weak). Finally figured out that I really wasn’t wild about what seemed like over-roasted coffee. Started buying beans elsewhere. Kona got to be too expensive and pure Kona too hard to find, and moved on to a range of coffees.

Much more recently–a few years ago–I moved from beans to ground coffee; not that I couldn’t detect a difference, but that the difference didn’t matter to me. (My wife mostly gave up coffee because it started giving her problems.) I usually purchased one of a group of good-quality ground coffees, either Costa Rica or Colombia or Tanzania Peaberry or possibly a Kauai coffee, always medium-roast, the way I liked it.

When I say “coffee” I mean black coffee, for what that’s worth.


For years, I had one cup of coffee with breakfast, and that was it–except when dining out or on a cruise.

More recently, I wanted a second cup of coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up. But for that, I didn’t feel like the whole pour-over route. I tried some instant coffees and found them acceptable as an alternative hot caffeinated beverage, not really coffee but OK.

And then…

Trader Joe’s 100% Colombian Instant Coffee. The only instant I’ve seen that’s from a single country rather than the usual “wherever we can get beans the cheapest” laundry list on instant-coffee labels. The label also claims that it tastes amazingly close to freshly brewed coffee. It’s not wildly expensive ($3.99 for a 3.5-oz. jar).

As an afternoon coffee it was great–much, much better than any instant I’d had before. It was, well, coffee.

Then one morning I didn’t feel like doing the pour-over ritual and instead made a cup of TJ’s. And liked it a lot–not as a coffee substitute but as coffee. I went back and forth between ground & this, and have now pretty much settled on the TJ. (I suspect I would be able to tell the difference between it and pour-over Colombian, if I could somehow make both to the same strength, but I doubt that I would care. I might try it some day: there’s 50+ filters sitting in the cupboard…)

Oh, when my wife does have half a cup of coffee, she likes the TJ’s instant just fine.

The bottle suggests a heaping teaspoon for a reasonably strong cup. I suspect if you’re a dark-roast devotee, that’s probably right. I use a scant teaspoon–actually about two-thirds in an 8oz. mug–which makes a good medium-body cup.


If you love the coffee you drink, I wouldn’t suggest changing it for a minute.

But for some of you, this might be an interesting alternative. (I’ve noticed that some TJ cashiers make a point of saying how good the 100% Colombian Instant is, and they rarely talk up products.)

Or maybe I’m just getting old and my taste buds are shot. I can live with that.

Keurig? Not gonna happen…not in this household.

The next OFP, if and when it happens, will be very different–about audio and some surprises.




Cites & Insights: September 2017 issue (17:8) available

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The September 2017 issue of Cites & Insights (17:8) is now available for downloading at

A very personal and very short issue (12 6″ x 9″ pages) includes two essays:

The Front: Maybe I’m Doing it Wrong  pp. 1-4

Hat-tip to Randy Newman for the title, and–although this was written over the weekend and it’s not referred to in the essay, even indirectly–to CHE for once again making my point.

Perspective: Where I Stand: OA, “Predatory,” Blacklists, the Bealllists and Thought Leadership  pp. 4-12

That’s not even the full title. There’s a subtitle, “or why 140 characters is less than 1% of what I need to say about this cluster of topics,” which relates to the Twitter “conversation” that resulted in this somewhat-redundant commentary being written.

Enjoy. Or not.

Modified 9:10 a.m. to fix link-ruining typo. Thanks, Linda Ueki Absher