Archive for 2019

GOA4: June Update

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Readership for the new edition and GOAJ3. As always, readership figures omit most of the last day of each month, because of the tools available.

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

GOA4: 2013-2018

  • The dataset: 153 views, 25 downloads.
  • GOA4: 721 PDF ebooks and one paperback.
  • Countries 4: 173 PDF ebooks
  • Subjects and Publishers: 55 PDF ebooks

GOAJ3: 2012-2017

  • The dataset: 1,412 views, 179 downloads
  • GOAJ3: 3,328 PDF ebooks + 391 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 997 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 493 downloads
  • One paperback

Cites & Insights June 2019 (19:2) available

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

The June 2019 Cites & Insights (19:2) is now available at

The 72-page issue includes:

The Front: Some Notes on GOA4 pp. 1-12

A discussion of the new Key Facts tables, and a much longer discussion of how I use pivot tables in a template to make it possible to produce all three books from GOA4 within a few weeks after finishing the data gathering.

Intersections: Economics and Access 2019 pp. 12-72

Probably the last Economics and Access roundup, since 2019 is probably the last year for Cites & Insights.

Why is this a very late June 2019 issue rather than a slightly early July 2019 issue? Because I don’t know how many issues it will take to shut things down nicely. This gives me a little flexibility.

What would it take to keep C&I going, I hear almost nobody asking?

  • A lot more readership
  • Some useful feedback
  • Perhaps some sales of the annual paperback issues
  • And, of course, some sense that it still matters to hundreds of people.

I do plan to keep the GOA series going as long as SPARC finds it worth supporting and I believe I can do it well. I also plan to keep this blog going for a while–and I continue to be active on Facebook, Twitter and Mokum.

If plans do not change, I’ll keep the Cites & Insights site up for at least two years after the final edition of GOA or the final issue of C&I, whichever comes last. (And up for at least that long.)

Gold Open Access Subject/Publisher Profiles Available

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

goa4 subjects & publisher cover

I’m pleased to announce the final piece of this year’s Gold Open Access project: Gold Open Access 2013-2018: Subject and Publisher Profiles.

This 6″ x 9″ trade paperback begins with additional tables for the subjects covered in Gold Open Access 2013-2018L Articles in Journals (GOA4). It then adds brief profiles (usually two pages, occasionally one or three) for each publisher with at least ten gold OA journals in DOAJ as of January 1, 2019.

These profiles are split into two parts:

  • Traditional, Open Access, and Society publishers
  • University and College publishers

There’s also a country index for all the publisher profiles. The cover represents those profiles (except for one in Serbia: the free heatmap tool I used doesn’t currently include Serbia–which was also probably missing from the cover of the Countries supplement).

The link above is to the $7.50 paperback at Lulu. The book is also available as a free PDF ebook at As always, you can find these and other links for all GOA versions at the project page,

This is an experiment, to see whether the publisher profiles are worthwhile. If you find them worthwhile, please let me know ( Otherwise, even if the GOA project continues, this will be a one-time experiment.

GOA4: May 2019 Update

Friday, May 31st, 2019

GOA4 came out on May 3, 2019. The Country supplement came out on May 18, 2019. (Barring unexpected delays, the experimental Subjects and Publishers supplement will appear sometime next week–that is, somewhere around June 4-8, 2019.)

So it’s time to start reporting readership for the new edition and stop reporting GOAJ2 and Gray OA figures. As always, readership figures omit most of the last day of each month, because of the tools available.

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

GOA4: 2013-2018

  • The dataset: 107 views, 12 downloads.
  • GOA4: 491 PDF ebooks and one paperback.
  • Countries 4: 144 PDF ebooks

GOAJ3: 2012-2017

  • The dataset: 1,369 views, 169 downloads
  • GOAJ3: 3,261 PDF ebooks + 384 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 968 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 476 downloads
  • One paperback

Gold Open Access by Country 2013-2018 now available

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

I’m pleased to announce that Gold Open Access by Country 2013-2018 is now available. It includes a profile of each country with at least ten gold OA journals active in 2018, and summary notes on each country with one to nine gold OA journals.

Just for fun, I’ve added a thought experiment: if all journals were OA, what would likely expected costs be–under several scenarios and comparing different sets of countries.

As usual, links to the free PDF and nominally-priced trade paperback ($7, of which I get $0.12) are at

To get directly to the book:



There will be a third book in a few weeks, beginning with profiles for each subject and adding brief profiles for a range of publishers with large groups of OA journals–specifically including some of the many university publishers. As with the first two parts, it will be available as a free (CC BY) PDF or as a nominally-priced 6×9″ cream paper trade paperback (price set at production cost rounded up to the nearest $0.50).

Gold Open Access 2013-2018 now available

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

I’m delighted to announce publication of Gold Open Access 2013-2018: Articles in Journals (GOA4).

As always, links to the modestly priced trade paperback, free PDF ebook, and dataset are at the project page,

Should you wish to skip that step:

All three have CC-BY licenses.

SPARC sponsors this project.

Highlights and changes

This report covers 12,150 fully-analyzed journals (out of a universe of 12,415)–and not only did article count finally exceed 600,000, it exceeds 700,000 2018 articles.

As usual, most articles in biomed and STEM involve fees of some sort, while most articles in H&SS (humanities and social sciences) do not–and, as usual, most journals do not have fees.

The incorrect term APC has been replaced by fee (which includes submission fees, processing/publishing fees and required membership dues). The apparently confusing term free has been replaced by no-fee.

Dropped: the visibility metric and the APCLand/OAWorld distinction.

Added: A look at the four iterations of GOA/GOAJ, and a comparison of journals added (or changed such that matching didn’t work) to DOAJ in 2018 with those continuing from GOAJ3.

Changed: A new Key Facts table should make it possible to get a quick picture of the journals and articles, fee and no-fee article percentages, distribution by subject segment, and average article cost for each element–and, for all but the overall picture, how this group (subject, country, publisher category, etc.) compares to the whole dataset. A number of tables have been modified to emphasize article percentages and cost per article. Oh, and the series name has changed to reflect the fact that it always has been about articles in journals.

Coming Soon

Gold Open Access by Country 2013-2018 (paperback and free PDF ebook)

Gold Open Access 2013-2018: Subject and Publisher Profiles (paperback, free PDF ebook, and probably all or part of two Cites & Insights issues)

And, to be sure, the May 2019 Cites & Insights, consisting of the first few chapters of GOA4. I’m reconsidering this: it seems like a waste of time and was only read 300 or so times last year. There may or may not be a brief “backgrounder” issue related to GOA4.

“Soon”? A few weeks in each case, depending on other events.

And, for those fond of new colors/minerals/whatever: Yes, of course gold OA includes so-called “platinum” and “diamond” OA.

Added May 4, 2019: A few of you who downloaded the book very early may notice a fairly obvious error on the back cover. Since the cover’s purely decorative, it’s not a fundamental error–but I’ve corrected it now. If you really wonder what the error is: buy the trade paperback. Since the print on the rear cover is striclty a decorative element, I’m not planning to redo the paperback.

GOAJ3: April 2019 update

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Readership figures for GOAJ3 (unfortunately missing most of today, 4/30, and the last day of each month)–and the final report on GOAJ2 as well. GOA4 will be out sometime in May, and future reports will include GOA4 and GOAJ3.

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

GOAJ3: 2012-2017

  • The dataset: 1,318views, 163 downloads \
  • GOAJ3: 3,166 PDF ebooks + 300 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 936 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 378 downloads
  • No paperbacks

GOAJ2: 2011-2016

  • The dataset: 737 views, 136 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 2,540 PDF ebooks (and two paperbacks), plus 1,423 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 1,117 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 2,118 copies

Gray OA

Good news on OA journal malware!

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

As noted in some previous posts, there appeared to be a significant problem with malware-infected OA journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals, found as I was doing the data gathering for Gold Open Access 2013-2018 or GOAJ4.–which I encountered when doing the data-gathering for GOAJ4 or Gold Open Access 2013-2018: Articles in Journals.

This year, I contacted DOAJ–and they acted, with staff contacting affected institutions (almost always universities) and letting them know about the problem.

The results are in, and they’re impressive: retesting problematic cases among the 12,415 journals in DOAJ as of January 1, 2019, I now find all of nineteen malware cases, two of which are “outbound” calls such that, if you’re running good antivirus/antimalware software like Malwarebytes Pro, you can still use the journal site. Those two are from Spain. The other seventeen include four each from Argentina (one university) and Brazil, three from Ecuador, two from Mexico, and one each from Colombia, Peru, Spain and Venezuela. [Added: Minor oops–there’s a third “outbound” case from the U.S.]

SEVENTEEN PLUS TWO–down from more than 200 initially,

It’s also the case that many/most other problematic cases were cleaned up: there are now a total of 100 “XX” cases (unreachable or unworkable, including 404 and other errors).

This is a huge improvement, especially for malware. Consider:

  • First GOAJ: 218 XX-equivalent and 103 XM/malware
  • Second GOAJ: 199 XX-equivalent and 67 XM/malware
  • Third GOAJ: 43 XX–but 228 XM/malware (including 30 “BM” outbound-call cases)
  • Fourth GOAJ: 100 XX, and 19 XM/malware including two outbound-call cases.

Thanks to Tom, Clara, managing editors and others at DOAJ, and to the responsive contacts in Indonesia and other countries with malware issues.

You can safely assume that, if there’s a GOAJ5 or beyond, I will be staying in touch with DOAJ about data issues. The results this year are, I believe, well worthwhile.

[Yes, the data gathering phase is done. Now for data massaging and report-writing: figure June or possibly late May for the report. I’ll entice you with two big numberx: the report will include more than 12,000 fully-analyzed journals–with more than 700,000 articles in 2018.]

GOAJ3: March 2019 update

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

3eadership figures for GOAJ3 (unfortunately missing most of today, 3/31, 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: 845 views, 154 downloads [last month’s “views” figure was in error]
  • GOAJ3: 3,016 PDF ebooks + 288 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 904PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 359 downloads
  • No paperbacks

GOAJ2: 2011-2016

  • The dataset: 729 views, 134 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 2,495 PDF ebooks (and two paperbacks), plus 1,412 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 1,075 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 2,082 copies

Gray OA

Gold Open Access Journals 4: Possible changes

Monday, March 25th, 2019

As I work to prepare matrices for Gold Open Access Journals 4, 2013-2018, before starting the second data pass next week (April 1), I find that I’m *definitely* planning some presentation changes, while keeping things as comparable to GOAJ3 as makes sense–but I’m also thinking that some additional changes might make it more useful and used.

The principles behind the planned and possible changes: to increase clarity and to increase the emphasis on articles and costs. That is: you can analyze percentages of no-fee gold OA journals in DOAJ easily enough, directly on DOAJ. What makes my research different is that I look at article counts–and on possible average cost per article for a grouping, which is far more meaningful than average fee per journal.

Already planned

  • Change “APC” to “Fee” throughout, and “Free” to “No-fee” (or “No fee” as appropriate). (Note that “Fee” includes submission and processing/publishing fees, and required society memberships if present. That’s always been true for “APC” in these reports.)
  • Replace the “Journals and articles” table that begins most discussions with a new “Key Facts” table that (a) drops the %Free column for journals (but retains %No-fee for articles), (b) adds a $/article column. (c) expands the table to show figures for each of the three segments as well as overall figures, (d) in most cases (excluding the first/overall occurrence), adds Rel% columns showing how this group’s percentages and $/art compare with overall figures. [Example: For Latin America in 2017, Article fee% is -75% relative to the universe, $/article is down 94%, and so on…]
  • There will be a chapter offering some comparisons of the four generations of DOAJ data.

Being considered (comments welcome!)

In most tables that currently show no-fee journal percentages as a column, drop that column and add a $/article column.

Comments welcome (for the next two weeks at least).

Example added [3/26/19]

To help visualize and consider these possible [probable] changes, I’ve generated a PDF consisting of three chapters [using the same Word template as last year]:

  1. A “chapter” with a set of sample tables using all 2017 data (except in one case, where both the universe table and a table for Latin America appear)
  2. Chapter 16, Latin America, from GOAJ3, unchanged.
  3. Chapter 16, Latin America, with new tables and figures based on the changes discussed above. [Commentary has not generally been changed, and I haven’t moved tables to save space. If journal counts are different than those in the first Chapter 16–I haven’t checked–it’s because the new matrix is entirely consistent in using overall analyzed journal counts except where annual activity is clearly indicated; in some cases, the new journal count may be higher.]