Archive for June, 2023

Refining GOA 3: How many years?

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

This one’s easy, and I don’t need to make a decision until December 2023.

The question:

Should I deal with five years of data rather than the current six?

The issues:

  • The articles-and-journals-by-year tables almost always require smaller type, in some cases very small type.
  • The more data columns, the more possible pitfalls in handling.
  • On the other hand, six years makes for more interesting graphs and multi-edition graphs (although the latter, as in Chapter 4 of GOA8, is a mixed bag: five years for each line might be easier to make sense of.
  • When I’m adding new-to-DOAJ journals, fewer years means less data to have to find and copy.

The small type bothers me. But not a lot.

Let me know if you believe it’s worthwhile to retain the six-year tables (and spreadsheet). Otherwise, I’ll probably simplify down to five years, so that GOA9 would cover 2019-2023.

The usual: feedback in comments or email to

Refining GOA (DOA) 2: Source/Funding

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

This one’s specific to Diamond OA 202[4] (if it happens), and will only make sense if you’ve read Chapter 3, starting at page 17. I’ll wait.

The quandary: Is there a meaningful breakdown of journal sponsorship/funding sources, for no-fee journals published by traditional and OA publishers, that has few enough categories to be workable (six is probably an upper limit) and distinctive enough categories that I’d be able to assign them and readers/users would find any meaning in them?

I’m open to suggestions. If, as it appears, close to 98% of such journals are sponsored or funded by (a) universities and the like, and individuals who are affiliated with academia (b) societies and government agencies or (a+b) publishing arrangements backed by one or more societies and one r more academic institutions–well, then, I wonder whether it’s worth the effort to do this. And if doing a meaningful breakdown requires more time or knowledge than I can offer (either or both of those being plausible), then, well…

Chapter 3 attempts to break down the journals in question. Looking at the breakdown, I don’t see a good set of candidates. Maybe one of you will.

In this case, if there’s no feedback or no feasible categories, again by the July 7 deadline, then it’s likely that I’ll drop the Funding category and just use the Publisher category. And, of course, if you conclude that this is a case where there’s little value-add, I’m fine with that.

As usual: feedback here or email to

Refining GOA 1: Subjects

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

This is the first (and longest, I think) of three (or more) posts discussing possible changes and refinements in how the data for the Gold Open Access/Diamond OA reports is gathered and reported, assuming that the reports continue.

I’m hoping for fast feedback: the refinements involve scanning the full dataset, and I hope to startt that by mid-July. If you have comments, make them now.

Assigning one of 28 subjects to each journal has always been a little haphazard for ambiguous cases, which I’m guessing involves a few hundred journals. I’m planning to use the notes below to (slightly) formalize these assignments.

Anthropology and Sociology

As I currently understand it, anthropology deals with individuals and humanity, past and present, while sociology deals with semi-formal groups of people, that is, society. Based on that understanding, subject assignments would change or be maintained as follows:

  • Sports moves from anthropology to sociology.
  • Labor moves from economics to sociology.
  • Tourism and archaeology stay in anthropology.
  • Area studies belong in anthropology (?)
  • Urban studies belong in anthropology (?).

History, Religion, and Education vs. Other Topics (X)

  • The history of X belongs in X (so history of religion belongs in religion).
  • X Education belongs in X.
  • Religious X may belong in X (Islamic Economics is economics).

Choosing between Arts & Architecture, Media & Communications, and Language & Literature

  • Visual arts are arts, but broadcasting is media.
  • The performing arts are difficult: movies and TV are media, but… here and below, the “focus” may be determinant. Advice especially welcome.
  • Are plays literature or arts?
  • In some difficult cases, which aspect comes first may be the determinant.


I believe I went overboard in tagging anything with “sustainable” in the title or description as ecology. The Ecology tag may make sense if sustainability appears to be a principal focus.

Earth Sciences

I’ve been putting geography, geology, mining, and space all into earth sciences. I plan to continue that, but advice is welcome.

Other advice/suggestions? (Expanding or completely rebuilding the whole subject list does not seem to be feasible–expanding would make the tables too unwieldy and, frankly, a complete reworking might result in only four subjects–medicine, science & technology, social science, and humanities–and that strikes me as worthless.)

Please get comments to me by July 7, 2023: email at or reply uere.

Diamond OA 2023 is now available

Monday, June 26th, 2023

Diamond OA 2023: The World of No-Fee OA Publishing is now available as an $8 trade paperback or a free PDF ebook.

This new study is based on the no-fee portion of the dataset for Gold Open Access 2017-2022 [GOA8]. A little tentative original added research looks at apparent funding/sponsorship sources for no-fee journals that are not published by universities, societies or government. (Spoiler alert: in about 98% of the cases, that is, those published by traditional and open access publishers, funding appears to be from either universities and academia or from societies and government.)

This book offers overviews and tables by subject and size of journals, but most of the book is “the world”–regional profiles with notes on countries with one to nine diamond journals, and 75 profiles of countries with ten or more such journals.

Worth doing?

If you find this worthwhile, publicize it to others: the download statistics (and,  of course, the paperback sales figures if there are any) will weigh heavily on the decision whether to do this optional extra if there’s another GOA cycle next year.

Direct comments–whether it’s useful, what could be done better (if I have the knowledge, resources and time), etc–are also welcome.

In the next few days, I’ll be asking a couple of questions relating specifically to the next cycle, one about subject assignments and one about support/funding categories.

Meantime, it’s here. (And it appears that seven people figured out the semi-blind hint in a Mastodon posting.) Read it. Publicize it if it’s worthwhile. Hey, maybe even buy the paperback. (Full disclosure: I will receive $0.01 for each print book sold, slightly more for some of the non-USD currencies accepts, up to about $0.20 for copies sold in Euros. )

Gold Open Access: stats for June 15, 2023

Thursday, June 15th, 2023

Here’s what I’m seeing–possibly a little off:

Gold Open Access 8

  • PDF downloads: 124
  • Dataset: 65 views, four downloads. [Note: just saw that the link that *should* get you this spreadsheet was pointing to the Figshare copy. I’ve fixed that.]
  • Books: none.
  • [Now projecting Diamond OA 2023 around end of June.]

Gold Open Access 7

  • PDF downloads: 1,123
  • Print version: 1 copy
  • Dataset: 306 downloads
  • Country book: 214 downloads, no print

Gold Open Access 6

  • PDF downloads: 3,175. No print versions.
  • Dataset: 251 downloads
  • Country book: 481 downloads.


Bandwidth of a 747

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

A while back–ending in 2011–I got involved in a multiyear discussion of the bandwidth of a 747 carrying packaged data from New York to LA–that is, latency issues aside, how did it compare to online transmission? Back then, big tech companies would use trucks as data transfer devices when latency wasn’t crucial. I suspect they still do.

Looking back, I see that the champion for consumer-grade devices was originally Blu-Ray discs–and that, even then, the limiting factor for a 747SP was weight, not volume. By 2011, the champion was hard disks, and the effective transfer rate was 250 Terabytes per second.

That’s still pretty impressive, but of course storage keeps getting denser and cheaper, and with SSDs, a lot lighter than hard disks. Specifically, today’s 4TB Sandisk Ultra SSD weighs about 1.4 ounces, compared to 1.6 pounds for the 3TB Sandisk/Western Digital hard disk of 2011. (It’s a lot cheaper, too: Sandisk’s currently selling them for under $250.)

A little quick calculation yields a bandwidth of 5 Petabytes per second–5,000 Terabytes. I won’t even bother figuring out how much data that is…

Just for fun. And, since I still remember the difficulty my former employer had trying to find money and space for one terabyte of additional storage, a reminder of how things change.

Minor update to GOA8

Monday, June 5th, 2023

I discovered a typo in the GOA8 dataset that affected six diamond journals totaling 300 articles, assigning all six to Eastern Europe rather than Western Europe. The typo has been corrected, and the dataset (on figshare and on and book (at Lulu and on have been corrected. Note that this error only affected Region tables and chapters: it has no effect on article counts, revenue, or anything else.

[Yes, the same error occurred in the Diamond book, which I’m working on now. I’m ahead of schedule on that, so you can still expect it in very early July or late June.]