Archive for December, 2017

GOAJ2: December 2017 update

Sunday, December 31st, 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 December 31, 2017 [noting that most of the last day of each month is missing because of how statistics are done]:

  • The dataset: 283 views, 53 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 1,292 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks), plus 494 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 420 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 1,037 copies

December also saw 146 downloads of Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015, 56 downloads of the earlier Countries version and 46 downloads of the Subjects version.

Looking at the rest of gold OA (beyond DOAJ), Gray OA 2012-2016 has now been downloaded 2,051 times, while Gray OA 2014-2017: A Partial Followup, released in October, has 541 downloads.


Cites & Insights 18:1 (January 2018) available

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

The January 2018 Cites & Insights (18:1) is now available for downloading at

The 48-page (6″ x 9″) issue includes:

The Front  pp. 1-2

Announcing the C&I Annual for 2017, the most booklike annual to date; why you should buy a copy and support C&I; and brief “plans” for the 2018 volume. (Note: there’s also a 20% sale on that annual and all other Lulu print books, good through December 25, 2017: use coupon code LULU20.)

Intersections: Open Access Issues  pp. 2-42

Issues other than economics and ethics (and “predatory” stuff), that is.

The Back: Audiophile System Prices, 2017  pp. 42-48

This annual feature–this time based on the October 2017 Stereophile–appears as a standalone The Back this time around. Did you know that you can assemble an audiophile-approved CD-only (and probably bass-shy) system for $624, a similar vinyl-only system for $874, or a more typical system with both CD and vinyl for $2,861–or, if you’re rolling in it, spend $853,688 (yes, that’s for a stereo system).


Saying goodbye: another OFP

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

I like good magazines. Good magazines are carefully curated* collections of content delivered on a regular basis, and if done well the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. (If done really well, the ads in a magazine actually enhance the package instead of getting in the way.) *I’m not wild about overusing “curated,” but I think it’s the right term for thoughtfully-edited magazines.

Saying goodbye to a magazine I’ve subscribed to for years is always difficult–made less so lately because I suffer from CTCT (Cover-To-Cover Tendency, the tendency to read all of a magazine) and can’t keep up. (This is also why I’ve never subscribed to The New Yorker and don’t subscribe to any weeklies: I couldn’t keep up.)

I said goodbye to one old friend of a magazine last year, but that was because Conde Nast Traveler‘s new editor had changed it from a content-heavy travel magazine full of good information into an oversized art portfolio with lots of photos, little text and never any prices for anything actually travel-related. It became one of those “if you have to ask” magazines. I still miss it. (Fortunately, Travel + Leisure seems to have stepped up its game, although I worry about the Meredith takeover of Time Inc. We shall see.)

This month marks two more goodbyes, for different reasons.

Porthole–one of two cruise-related bimonthlies we subscribed to for many years–always was an “if you have to ask” magazine and almost entirely fluff. We both finally just lost interest. (It wasn’t hard to jeep up with: I could usually read a whole issue over breakfast. And then note that I hadn’t gained anything from the experience other than a meal.)

Analog is a much tougher case. It’s the oldest of the surviving science fiction/fantasy print magazines (originally with a more vivid name), and published many first-rate stories in the “golden age” and beyond. I don’t know how long I’ve subscribed to it, but probably more than 40 years (based on my awareness that I’ve always read Asimov’s, and it’s celebrating its 40th anniversary). I’ve subscribed to all three remaining SFF magazines for many years, even as they’ve gone from monthly to bimonthly (but with the same fiction page count: each issue of each magazine is now, I’m guessing, well over 100,000 words long).

I’ve been falling behind, and decided something had to give. That something is Analog–and not just because I’m falling behind (thanks to more bookreading, other demands on my time, and just plain slowing down). The other factor is that recent issues seem to be short on good story-telling, as though the new editor doesn’t think that science fiction must first be fiction. Increasingly, I either give up on a story partway through or get to the last page and wonder why I didn’t find it satisfying or intriguing or humorous or informative or much of anything.

That “what did I just read, and why is it considered a story?” feeling almost never happens with Asimov’s or The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, but it’s happening most too much of the time with Analog. So it’s time to say goodbye. It was great knowing you for some decades; too bad things have soured.

Cites & Insights 17 (2017) now available as paperback–and a brief sale

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Volume 17 of Cites & Insights is now available, including indexes, as a 492-page paperback.

Cites & Insights 17 Cover
The 6″ x 9″ trade paperback sells for $30, $15 of which goes to support Cites & Insights.

Brief sale: If you buy this book (or any other print books from Lulu by Monday, December 4, 2017, such as prior annual volumes), use the coupon code BOOKCALSAVE to save 10% on the price. (That savings does not reduce the $15–it’s a Lulu sale.)

If you care about gray OA–the gold OA journals that aren’t in DOAJ–you should buy this volume, as it includes the first (Gray OA 2012-2016) and probably the last (Gray OA 2014-2017) comprehensive studies of these journals–including an analysis of why the Shen/Bjork “420,000 2014 articles in predatory journals” is badly wrong, a case of sampling gone bad.

The volume also includes the subject supplement for GOAJ2; “The Art of the Beall”; “Gray OA Portraits” offering some notes on the “largest” gray OA publishers; economics and access; and a few non-OA essays as well.

Last year’s reduction of C&I Annual prices to $35 will continue indefinitely. (I haven’t updated the C&I Annuals page yet, so use the direct link to buy Volume 17.

In case it wasn’t obvious already: there will not be a December 2017 issue of Cites & Insights. The first 2018 issue might appear in December 2017–or it might not.