Archive for August, 2023

Brief reminiscence

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

I remember when there was an agency that offered pretty good first-year subscription prices for magazines, since people who subscribe tend to renew (at regular prices), and ran big but absurdly long-odds sweepstakes as an incentive.

I used this agency, which will go unnamed, several times.

Recently, I made the mistake of responding to an agency with the same name and sweepstakes approach. They keep pestering me to keep entering again…which requires paging through all the stuff they’re offering,

And that’s what it is: Stuff…and really what I’d call, well, crap.

I think of the agency now as the Prolific Crap Group (changing the last name to avoid problems). And I miss the old agency, especially since I might get a new magazine subscription. It won’t be through them.

GOA[9] Refresh: The First 14,000

Saturday, August 26th, 2023

As noted in earlier posts, I’m doing an advance scan (or several) on DOAJ journals to try to clean up subject assignments and publisher category assignments, and to attempt to assign a support/funding source for diamond journals published by OA and toll publishers (rather than societies and universities).

I’ve now done the first two 7,000-journal chunks (another 5,564 left to go: then, in October or November, I’ll do a pass of journals added since early July). Here are some informal and not very meaningful results on the first 14,000 (not too meaningful because some of these no longer publish, a few will have or have already been dropped from DOAJ, and there’s always room for refinement). I did use the set of principles I’ve discussed to assign subjects (perhaps not always consistently). One point: for journals in Dergipark, the Turkish platform that seems to always use a person’s name as publisher, I’ve assumed that if that name is a university scholar and most/all of the editors are university folk, it’s a university journal. (Also: where DOAJ shows no fee on the master table but also shows “other” fees, the fee status may change.)

Subject changes

At this point, 1,014 are new journals; 2,810 subjects have been changed (I’d guess 5% errors, the rest refinements); 10,176 are unchanged.

Publisher categories

Note that quite a few “t” journals are now “o,” and a fair number of “o” journals are either “s” or “u” after visiting the websites.

University/college/research center (u): 7,130, of which 5,685 do not charge fees and 1,445 do.

Societies/associations/government (s): 2,491, of which 1,840 do not charge fees and 651 do.

Open access/independent publishers (0): 2,809, of which 1,061 do not charge fees and 1,793 do.

Traditional publishers (t): 1,563, of which 275 do not charge fees and 1,288 do.

Stopped by virus: seven.

Note that two essentially-all-OA offshoots of traditional publishers (KeAi and Sciendo) account for a lot of the changes.

Support/sponsor codes for 1,291 no-fee “o” and “t” journals

A problem here is that, ignoring the 21 that are already known defunct or where a virus stopped my checking, I have nine codes, far too many to use in tables within Diamond OA 2024. Suggestions on grouping these into a more workable number would be welcome:

  • u: Universities and research centers: 525 [obviously this will be one of the categories]
  • s: Societies and government: 375 [ditto]  –Note that these account for 900 of the 1,291.
  • q: Questionable/unknown: 190 — these may get further checks, but usually there’s not much I can do with a few minutes on websites; These are cases where the sponsoring agency just isn’t stated (or doesn’t exist).
  • c: Consortium/collective: 102 — cases where there’s a clear group of people or agencies volunteering time and resources to make the journal work.
  • f: Foundation, charity or business: 52.
  • z: No sponsorship details but has clearly ceased publishing: 19
  • i: Initial offer: 15. These the “waived through X date” cases.
  • d: Donations invited: 8. These seem to be more dependent on readers sending in money.
  • 3: SCOAP3: 2. (There may be others, but these two are flagged as such.)
  • V: virus prevented analysis: 2
  • x: Subscribe-to-open: 1. I’m SURE there are others but only one clear case. Along with “i” and some portion of “q,” these are the tough one.

So there it is. Thoughts? Suggestions for clumping all those codes? What to do with “q”–and no, sending letters or emails to publishers is not going to happen. Right now, I’m inclined to think of consortia and collectives as informal societies; doing that leaves a very small residue other than “q.”

Now, back to the other 5,564. [I’m not spending a huge amount of time on this: typically 300 journals a day, which can take a couple of hours or a lot less.]

[Added a bit later: If you’re wondering about the remaining 5,564: as always, I sort by publisher and journal–and I’m in the “U”s. Best guess: 4,500 or more of the remaining 5,564 are university journals.

American Graffiti 50 Years Later

Saturday, August 26th, 2023

Apparently the only major motion picture made about my high school graduating class is now 50 years old, worth a quick note. (OK, so it’s not explicitly identified as Thomas Downey, but that’s what it is.)

That’s pretty much it. My only connection with George Lucas is that we were both in the ’62 graduating class. I’ve been in the same room with him twice, at alumni reunions, but since we never knew each other in high school and he had lots of other attention, I’ve still never met him. (They were sizable reunions–around 560 seuiors graduated, and the 50th still had more than 200 attendees including significant others.) I could get another chance this year–a one-year-delayed 60th reunion, and AFAIK he always goes–but I’m not going.

Good movie, to be sure, and a string of others that seem to have had some small effect on cinema.

Toward GOA9/Diamond OA 2024

Sunday, August 13th, 2023
  1. A few otes along the way:
  • There’s been just enough interest in Diamond Open Access 2023 that I’m inclined to do Diamond Open Access 2024 (if the overall project continues).
  • Unless family situations or other events conspire against it, it’s likely that I will propose doing another round–Gold Open Access 2024 (GOA9) and Diamond Open Access 2024. Of course, the proposal may not be accepted..
  • I’m doing some significant cleanup work this summer and fall. To wit:
  • After downloading the DOAJ dataset on July 11–19,564 journals–I began by doing a country span, cleaning up shortened country names.
  • Now I’m doing a full scan to do three things:
  1. Look at subject assignments again, after formulating some reasonably coherent principles for ambiguous cases. The new set won’t be perfect, but should be a little cleaner.
  2. Look at publisher categories again, specifically moving a fair number of single-journal “o/open” publishers to u/university or s/society categories (and in at least one case moving a whole “t”/toll publisher to “o?-open based on the actual publisher description.
  3. For no-fee cases where the category is “o” or “t”, attempt to assign a support/funding category based on what information I can find. Right now, I’m using a fairly long (but still ambiguous!) set of subcategories, but when the task is done I’ll reduce it to two or three categories, The current set:
q: Questionable/unknown
s: Society or societies/gov
c: Collective/consortium
u: Universit(y|ies)
f:  Foundation, charity or business
d: Donations invited
x: S-t-o
i: Initial offer/low-volume
z: Defunct

So far, I’m just over halfway through the scan. Some time this fall, I’ll do a second download and scan newly-added journals. And if there’s no project next year? Such is life.

A few words about N.K. Jemisin

Friday, August 11th, 2023

I started reading N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon in 2019. I gave up part way in–while very well written, it was just more than I could cope with. Admittedly, at my advanced age, I’m not usually much for massive world-building epics (I’ve not read any of the Song of Fire and Ice books or seen any of The Game of Thrones, and am exceedingly unlikely to change that status).

But Jemisin won three Hugos in a row for the novels in her second trilogy. That’s never happened. I needed to take another look, without prepping for a deep dive. Last time I was at the library. I spotted How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?–a collection of Jemisin’s shorter fiction.

Well now.

Brilliant, almost always very satisfying, occasionally challenging (frequently both), and always superbly written.

Still not sure whether I’m up to Jemisin’s longer works. I’ll try the first book in one of her trilogies. Not sure whether it will suit me–but of this I am now sure: If it doesn’t, it’s on me: she pretty clearly deserves all the awards she’s won.

GOA8 and Diamond OA 2023: Stats as of August 1, 2023

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023

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

Gold Open Access 8

  • PDF downloads: 158
  • Dataset: 143 views, 36 downloads.
  • Books: none.
  • [Now projecting Diamond OA 2023 around end of June.]

Diamond OA 2023

  • PDF downloads: 123
  • Books: none

Gold Open Access 7

  • PDF downloads: 1,160
  • Print version: 1 copy
  • Dataset: 4016 downloads
  • Country book: 229 downloads, no print

Diamond OA is off to a good start!