Archive for November, 2018

GOAJ3: November 2018 report

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Readership figures for GOAJ3 (unfortunately missing most of today, 11/30, 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: 761 views, 97 downloads
  • GOAJ3: 2,466 PDF ebooks + 186 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 737 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 241 downloads
  • No paperbacks

GOAJ2: 2011-2016

  • The dataset: 642 views, 119 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 2,345 PDF ebooks (and two paperbacks), plus 1,359 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 967 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 1,998 copies

Gray OA


Cites & Insights 18:9 (December 2018) available

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Cites & Insights 18:9 (December 2018) is now available for downloading at

The 36-page issue includes:

The Front  pp. 1-2

Notes on GOAJ4 and what it means for Volume 19 of Cites & Insights.

Words: Books, Ebooks and Libraries  pp. 2-26

Not just “books, print vs. e” but a broader range of notes on books, including a couple of library-related items.

Media: Media Notes  pp. 26-36

Two parts: magazine notes (including some anecdata about individual magazine changes) and other media notes.

That’s it. For the hundreds dozens one or two of you eagerly awaiting the print volume, index and all, I’ll post something when it’s available, probably in mid-December.

Possible temporary outage at Cites & Insights

Monday, November 26th, 2018

If you’re unable to download any issues of Cites & Insights or, indeed, reach the home page:

It’s my fault. I may have mistakenly hit a key while getting ready to upload the December 2018 Cites & Insights and deleted the entire site on my host. And I’m not enough of an expert (putting it mildly!) to undo the deletion cleanly. I’ve asked for help from my host.

The site will be restored as soon as possible.

Thanks to Blake Carver’s fast work, the site is back. The fault was ENTIRELY mine, and LISHost continues to be a great place to host library-related sutes.

Visibility: The remaining GOAJ4 question

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

There’s still one open question for GOAJ4: Should I retain and expand the Visibility measure introduced in GOAJ3, or is it a waste of time?

Here’s an excerpt from GOAJ3 that says what I meant by Visibility:


Fee/APC Free % Pay %
Visible 5,982 83.5% 2,981 95.7%
Obscure 1,184 16.5% 133 4.3%

Table 1.6. Visibility, overall

Table 1.6 offers a crude measure of the transparency of a journal’s fee status and amount (that is: is there a fee at all, and if so, how much?). “Visible” is perhaps too generous, including cases where the information is buried within a paragraph somewhere in journal information or requires linking out to a master table. “Obscure” means I was unable to locate clear text (not saying there is a fee is not the same as saying there is no fee!) on the journal’s site—and if there was a link back from DOAJ, checking the link did not yield clear text. There’s an unfortunately high percentage of obscurity among free (no-fee) journals.

I included Visibility tables for each region and each subject group.

If I keep Visibility (or Transparency, which may be a better name for it) in GOAJ4, it would be a more granular measure, probably very much like this

  • 4. Transparent: Whether the journal has a fee (APC or otherwise) and the amount of that fee is either on the home page or in an obvious location no more than one click away.
  • 3. Fairly transparent: No more than three (or four?) clicks away from the home page, and in a reasonably clear location, and not buried within text.
  • 2. Somewhat obscure: Buried within text, or misleading (e.g., a big obvious statement that there are no submission fees, with a note at the end of a discussion that there are acceptance fees), or requires going to another site or opening a PDF or spreadsheet–but still findable within a reasonable time. Journals that require membership and don’t link that requirement to a clear statement of membership dues fall into this category.
  • 1. Obscure: Hidden so well that I had to rely on DOAJ’s information, but at least following the link in DOAJ yielded a page with the information.
  • 0. Hidden or missing: Like 1, but either there is no link back from DOAJ or that link does not yield the information. In earlier volumes, such journals would be excluded for missing or hidden APCs. (That is, before DOAJ required APC information.)

So: worth it or not? Comments open for two weeks…

Toward GOAJ4: Some questions resolved, one still open

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

First off, an announcement: there will be a GOAJ4: Gold Open Access Journals 2013-2018, and its companion Gold Open Access by Country 2013-2018. The first should be out around July 2019 (health, etc, permitting); the second, a few weeks later. There will also probably be a single-essay issue of Cites & Insights offering a subject supplement. Thanks again to SPARC for continuing to sponsor this. GOAJ4 will cover journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals as of early January 1, 2019 (that is, I’ll download the spreadsheet mid-afternoon on December 31; DOAJ uses UMT.

Second, I have received some feedback on questions I posed in the subject supplement to GOAJ3 and again in two posts here. The bulleted questions follow, with the resolutions as unindented paragraphs. It’s fair to say that one principal I ended up following was to retain consistency unless there was a good reason to change, especially since I plan to include some four-year discussions (that is, how the current state of the DOAJ universe changed over the years(.

  • 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?

I’ll retain peak article volume to categorize journal sizes.

  • 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?

While I will still have a chapter on APCLand and OAWorld and note the differences as appropriate, the Country book will not make the distinction (true for the most recent version) and region chapters will probably focus primarily on overall patterns.

  • For GOAJ3 itself, is the Visibility measure useless, or should I either retain it or even expand it to a more granular measure?

This one’s still open. I’ll either drop it or make it more granular. A separate post will be forthcoming.

  • For subject segments, should Psychology be lumped into Medicine, and should Anthropology be treated as part of STEM?

After discussions with a number of sources, I’ll keep both subjects in Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • Do the publisher categories provide useful information?

I’ll keep them for now.

  • 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?

In this case, it seems clearly advantageous to use the shorter and more common forms. Still not sure what to do about the Democratic Republic of the Congo–perhaps Congo (DRC) or Congo, Dem. Rep.? Feedback welcome.

  • Should the graph of free and pay articles by year be replaced by or supplemented with a table with the same data as numbers?

No feedback received. I’ll keep the graph for consistency.

  • 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 [the 2012-2017] subject supplement offers more complete country lists, going down to 20 articles for all subjects except Medicine.

I’ll add some commentary.

  • 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?

I’ll add some commentary, which may make the Country book even larger (but since nobody but me seems to want a print copy, the likely rise to as much as $8 or $9 for a copy may be irrelevant).

  • [Added at 4:40 pm] Or should I keep things as much like the 2012-2017 version as possible, to allow direct comparisons?

That’s generally the principal I’ve followed.