Archive for May, 2022

GOA7: It’s out!

Monday, May 30th, 2022

I’m pleased to announce publication of the first three of four deliverables for Gold Open Access 2016-2021: Articles in Journals (GOA7).

The color paperback is available for $10.50 US$, and comparable amounts in other currencies supported by Lulu. The link’s a little long, but going to and searching goa7 will get you right to the page. (Here’s the link: ) I profit by anywhere from $0,10 to $0.60 depending on what currency you use (sorry, Canadians).

The pdf–exactly the same body content as the book, but preceded by the front and back covers–is available for free from my website.

The spreadsheet is available at Figshare, but you can also download it from my website.

These are all CC-BY licensed: do what you wish with them, as long as you name the source–and it’s kind to point people to the originals, so I have some idea of usage.

[I’d love to see a few copies of the paperback sold–and I’m almost a bit surprised that some i-school or library school that cares about OA doesn’t have a set of these studies, but that’s just ego on my part, I guess.]

All of these links, and links to all past studies, are at

The fourth piece? (Gold Open Access by Country 2016-2021: The Long Tail) I’ll be starting on that later this week. The next post on this blog asks pertinent questions about that study.

Gold Open Access by Country: two quick questions

Sunday, May 29th, 2022

[UPDATE June 3, 2022: No responses were received here. Two responses were received to a shorter related tweetstream. Neither response convinced me that either table is particularly useful in the Country book, and they won’t be included there. The data remains, and I’ll probably retain it in future datasets if any.]

I’m close to finishing GOA7 and thinking about the country book. I have two questions. Responses (email or comment) by May 2 would be most helpful. (Relatively few people download the country books, but I’m hoping…)

1. Are the starting-date tables useful?

They’re already tables with five broad date ranges rather than graphs with two-year increments, but I wonder whether they serve any purpose at all.

[Inclination: to remove them.]

2. Are the publisher category tables useful?

This is especially a question given that this country book excludes the Big 11–but then, the fact that the Big 11 include one society, two universities, and two OA publishers along with six traditional publishers–and that one OA publisher now has more articles and revenue than the biggest traditional publishing group, which swallowed up at least two OA publishers–make me really question the usefulness of these tables.

I’m going to be asking that second question about GOA8 as well (if there is one).

In this case–for future GOA editions, if any–dropping the tables would also mean dropping the PubCat column, but not publisher names.

[Inclination: to remove them.]

Removing both may reduce the book size slightly, by making it possible to do more two-page profiles, and will leave a bit more room for commentary in other cases.

Let me know what you think. If you’re not aware that the country books exist, well, that’s a different issue.

GOA6: Usage Update

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

As of May 26, 2022, as far as I can tell:


  • Overall report: 1,457 PDF copies (no books other than my copy)
  • Countries: 205 PDF (no books)
  • Dataset: 553 views, 94 downloads


  • Overall report: 1,034 copies (two books)
  • Countries: 253 copies (no books)
  • Dataset: 1246 views, 172 downloads

GOA7 should be out within the next two weeks. I’ll stop tracking GOA5 at the end of the summer.



GOA7: Quick update

Friday, May 20th, 2022

I’m making good progress on GOA7–the book. Barring huge disruptions in the next few weeks–not a safe bet–it should be ready (and the dataset published) in early June. Possibly even very late May, but don’t quote me on that. (Then, after resting for a couple of days, comes the subject book.)

I don’t include political commentary in the book, but not because I don’t have feelings, politics in this case being the politics of OA publishing and funding. So there won’t be any notes on the subversion of the OA vision by Big Publishers, even if the potential revenue from author-side fees did increase by nearly half a billion dollars from 2020 to 2021 (to roughly one and three quarters billion).

And “Big Publishers” is a tricky term in this case: MDPI, not a traditional publisher at all, appears to have taken in around $540 million in 2021–up more than $200 million from 2020 (partly by publishing a lot more articles, partly by a $255 increase in average cost per article). MDPI now publishes more DOAJ-listed OA articles than all of the Holtzbrinck Group (Springer, Nature, Frontiers, BMC).

But the book is, as usual, mostly lots of tables and graphs with limited commentary–describing what is, not what I think it should be.

Enough for now. Back to the book.

GOA7: Preliminary baseline

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I believe I’ve now completed the online work for Gold Open Access 2016-2021 (GOA7), to be followed by a day or three of consistency/typo checking, a few days of adding data (persistent DOAJ urls for ongoing work, GOA6 fees and status for comparisons, and various columns of derived data), and several weeks of massaging data and preparing the book. Current hope is mid- to late June for the main book and figshare dataset, a few weeks later for the new “long tail” country book. I’m nearly certain the main book will not be ready in May, and it’s possible that emergencies and problems could push it into July, but “sometime in June” is probable.

So where do things stand, with the understanding that consistency checks may cause numbers to shift very slightly?

Refining Problematic-Journal Coding

Last year, the xm (malware) and xx (unavailable/unworkable) codes included journals with the same problem for two or more years, which were excluded, and those where it was new, which were included.

This year, I refined the coding–adding a few new codes, all of which result in exclusion from the overall study:

  • x2: xm in one year, xx in another. One journal, no 2021 articles.
  • xm2: Malware this year and last. 383 journals (of which 47 come from Brazil, 276 from Indonesia, and 23 from Ukraine), of which DOAJ says 193 had 2021 articles, a total of 5,367 2021 articles.
  • xmi: Malware this year and no articles later than 2019. Nine journals.
  • xo: No longer in DOAJ. 119 journals and problematic in some other way.
  • xx2: unavailable/unworkable this year and last. Twenty journals, two with 2021 articles (22 articles).
  • xxi: unavailable and with no DOAJ-listed articles since 2019. 27 journals.

So the excluded page in the eventual Figshare spreadsheet will include 658 journals (including 89 xd and 10 non-OA journals)–about 160 more than last year, but 119 of those are no longer in DOAJ, so this is actually an improvement.

The most encouraging thing is that there are relatively few new malware cases: 142 in all, compared to 260 last year. Of the 142, 96 are from Indonesia; no other country has more than five. There are slightly more unavailable/unworkable cases (90 compared to 75), but that’s not bad.

The Baseline

Subject to small further refinement, here’s what I see, by code:

Journals 2021 content 2021 articles
a 15,305 14,876 1,242,250
bi 391
bx 699 666 29,096
xm 142 85 2,600
xx 90 16 1,124
Total 16,627 15,643 1,275,070

Again, subject to refinement…but probably not major changes. Compares to last year’s 15,128 fully analyzed journals and 1,061,256 2020 articles.