Archive for October, 2018

GOAJ3: October 2018 report

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Readership figures for GOAJ3 (unfortunately missing most of today, 10/31, and the last day of each month)–and, for now, I’ll keep reporting on GOAJ2 as well.

All links available from the project home page, as always.

GOAJ3: 2012-2017

  • The dataset: 678 views, 84 downloads
  • GOAJ3: 2,348 PDF ebooks + 170 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 680 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 222 downloads
  • No paperbacks

Goaj2: 2011-2016

  • The dataset: 598 views, 114 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 2,315 PDF ebooks (and two paperbacks), plus 1,339 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 923 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 1,979 copies

Gray OA


Cites & Insights 18:8 (November 2018) available

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The November 2018 Cites & Insights, volume 8, issue 8, is now available for downloading at

The 40-page issue consists of one essay:

Policy: Ethics  pp. 1-40

Starting with the “grievance” hoax, continuing with other stings and peer review, “predatory” nonsense, open access, and various other ethical issues–and ending with some thoughts on society publishers and for-profit publishers.

Will there be a December 2018 issue to close out the volume? Hard to say. One way to help: VOTE. Make sure others VOTE. Some indications that our experiment in democracy hasn’t been completely swamped would be encouraging. I’m more likely to write when I’m not despairing for the soul of the nation…

Paywall: The Movie–not a review

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

I just finished watching Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, after hearing about it for a few weeks.

It’s the longest video I’ve ever watched on my notebook computer (I watch TV and movies on a proper TV).

I recommend it to others.

Yes, there’s a factual error (the description of green OA by one person).

As I say, this isn’t a review.

I thought it interesting that a so-called society publisher effectively acted as an Elsevier advocate.

I found it interesting because I could attach faces and voices to quite a few people I’ve dealt with online. (I have never been to an OA conference. That’s not likely to change.)

To my mind, only one participant came off as a tool–and it would be unkind to identify the person in question. (No, not the AAAS person.)

Overall, I thought it was a good flick and worth the time. If you haven’t seen it and can spare the 1:05, give it a watch. On my notebook, at least, expanded to full screen it was smooth and had no problems. And, of course, if you’re crazy an entrepreneur, you could legally turn it into a DVD and sell copies: it has a CC BY license. Unlike far too many articles on OA, it walks the talk,

How Open should I be?

Friday, October 26th, 2018

Here’s a question–and I’m specifically inviting answers–that may or may not be moot:

If there is a GOAJ4: Gold Open Access Journals 2013-2018, should I use LibreOffice rather than Word 2013 and Excel 2013 to produce it, thus being as Open as possible?

[I don’t know yet whether there will be a GOAJ4. I hope to hear soon…]

I’ve downloaded the most recent LibreOffice, just to experiment a bit…

The Issues

So far, the spreadsheet portion of LibreOffice seems to work just fine–for example, it handles very large pivot tables rapidly–but I haven’t tried graphs yet. Since GOAJ graphs aren’t especially fancy, I wouldn’t anticipate problems.

On the document side, however…

  • LibreOffice doesn’t seem to pick up tracking instructions when importing a .docx file–and doesn’t seem to kern by default.
  • As a result of this and possibly other issues, the country supplement shows up as 319 pages rather than 293; GOAJ3 itself shows up as 187 pages rather than 179 (in both cases ignoring front matter); and, just for interest, Cites & Insights 18.7 showed up as 73 pages rather than 70.
  • So far, I haven’t figured out how to say “always kern type,” which you can effectively do in Word by setting that in base styles.I imagine I could figure it out.
  • LibreOffice seems to offer lots more options than Word 2013 in some areas–but I must admit that I found the page views harder to read, sometimes with phantom bolding and the like.

In general, it just feels like LibreOffice 6 is typographically clumsy compared to Word–but, of course, I’m used to Word.

So: what do you think? Worth what may be some extra effort and clumsiness? (Am I missing some fundamental steps in LibreOffice?)

Comments open for two weeks, I believe.

Other Questions Still Open

NOTE [15 Nov 2018]: I’ve resolved all but one of the queries below.

I asked a series of questions at the end of the subject supplement and on Facebook. I’d still like to hear opinions. To date, there haven’t been any:

  • Would it make more sense to categorize journal sizes based on the latest year’s volume, rather than the peak article volume over the six-year period?
  • Does the split between APCLand and OAWorld (used this year in GOAJ3 and this subject supplement, but not in Gold Open Access Journals by Country 2012-2017) make sense, or is it a distraction?
  • For GOAJ3 itself, is the Visibility measure useless, or should I either retain it or even expand it to a more granular measure?
  • For subject segments, should Psychology be lumped into Medicine, and should Anthropology be treated as part of STEM?
  • Do the publisher categories provide useful information?
  • For country listings, should I continue to use names as provided in DOAJ or normalize to shorter forms used in Wikipedia and elsewhere—that is, Iran, Taiwan, Russia, Macedonia, Moldova, Bolivia and Venezuela? If so, what forms should I use for the Republic of Korea (South Korea?) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
  • Should the graph of free and pay articles by year be replaced by or supplemented with a table with the same data as numbers?
  • How about commentary? Last year’s subject supplement included my brief comments about what seemed most interesting in each subject’s tables—but the room left by removing commentary means that this subject supplement offers more complete country lists, going down to 20 articles for all subjects except Medicine.
  • Similarly, the last two country-oriented publications have eschewed commentary in order to avoid even longer/larger publications. Would you like to see commentary restored?
  • [Added at 4:40 pm] Or should I keep things as much like the 2012-2017 version as possible, to allow direct comparisons?

And, again, here are resolutions of all but one of these questions.

Comment here or by email to



Cites & Insights 18:7 (October 2018) available

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Cites & Insights 18:7 (October 2018) is now available for downloading at

The 24-page issue includes:

Intersections: A Few Small Essays   pp. 1-13

Half of this section is an informal commentary on a remarkable new free list of >35,000 open access journals (and other things) in the humanities and social sciences (mostly) from Jan Szczepanski. There are also commentaries on “when good scholars go bad”–why I think the new spate of articles Viewing With Alarm scholars at serious institutions with articles in “bad” journals are looking at the wrong side of the equation; the colors, and why I think two is enough; why I do not (currently) plan to cover the new Hot Topic in OA; whether you can or should be an OA observer without being an advocate [for or against] or a skeptic; why “Intersections”; and a comprehensive guide to really useful applications of blockchain in libraries. [Omitted for space and because I’m a coward: A suggestion that societies that depend on subscription revenues aren’t necessarily better than commercial publishers…]

The Back: Audiophile System Prices 2018  pp. 13-24

This time around, I’m including median systems in each category: systems composed of median-priced components. You can assemble a complete (CD and LP) audiophile system for $1,918–or you can spend $832,223 before adding power conditioners and other extras.