GOA7: A note on currency fluctuation

In this final week of December, I’ve already done the preliminary DOAJ download and assigned subjects (and normalized long country names) for 2,219 added journals (and 548 gone). The subject process went faster this year, such that all normalization was done by Christmas. So I did an interim update, adding 30 more and removing six. A final update will happen later Friday afternoon (after midnight GMT on 1/1/2022), probably adding another 10-20 and removing a few. Then the slog will begin, probably January 2. (Given time needed for family and personal health and other issues, and the considerably larger dataset, this process is likely to continue well into summer.)

In the meantime, I wondered about a probably-minor issue: to what extent might apparent fee changes be affected or masked by changes in currency strengths (since I convert all fees to USD)?

I prepared the conversion spreadsheet for GOA7 on December 24. As with last year, in most cases–32 currencies–the conversion rate was the 2021 annual average (from OFX). In seven cases, where OFX could not provide figures, I used the 12/24 daily rate from exchange-rates.org. The seven daily rates account for 361 journals; the 32 yearly averages account for 2,608.

So to what extent do fluctuations between 2020 and 2021 conversion rates matter?

  • Ten currencies weakened by 5% or more from 2020 to 2021 (one by just over 10%), representing a total of 844 journals–but that’s predominantly the 696 in GBP (pound sterling), since the pound did weaken significantly (6.78%) [The Euro also weakened against the dollar, but by only 3.74%–and journals designated in Euros and only Euros account for another 628.)
  • Seven currencies strengthened by more than 5% (four by more than 10%), but those seven only account for 50 journals.

Conclusion: overall, currency fluctuation is a relatively minor factor in fee fluctuation.

Now, off to start writing the Appendix (the part on preliminary steps) and do some non-GOA stuff for the rest of the week.

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