Archive for the ‘C&I Books’ Category

Gold Open Access Project: Usage Notes

Thursday, June 20th, 2024

The first notes for GOA24/DIA24 (“GOA9”), and the first note since February.

Gold Open Access 2024 (GOA9)

59 pdf ebooks and no paperbacks.

Dataset: 67 downloads, as far as I can tell (and 68 views at Figshare)

Diamond OA 2024

The big surprise (the power of Peter Suber and Mastodon?): 2,256 PDF ebooks. No paperbacks.

Gold Open Access 8

948 PDF ebooks, one print paperback (plus, of course, the copy I purchased)

Dataset: 264 downloads (and 664 views at Figshare)

Diamond OA 2023

435 PDF ebooks, no paperbacks.

Diamond OA 2024 is now available

Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

I’m delighted to announce that Diamond OA 2024: The World of No-Fee Open Access Publishing is now available as a free PDF or a nominally-priced ($8 US, as low as GBP6.25 or as high as CAD$13) trade paperback.

And that’s it for GOA9: I’ll provide stats in the next week or two and periodically through the rest of the year, and look at GOA10 in a few months. The bad news: diamond OA seems to be slipping somewhat. The good: still more than 400,000 articles in 2023.

GOA8 and Diamond 23 through February 16, 2024

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Gold Open Access 8

  • PDF downloads: 522
  • Dataset:85 downloads.
  • Books: none.

Diamond OA 2023

  • PDF downloads: 338
  • Books: none

Gold Open Access 7

  • PDF downloads: 1,476
  • Print version: 1 copy
  • Dataset: 86 downloads
  • Country book: 372 downloads, no print


Cites & Insights: Use it or lose it?

Monday, November 13th, 2023

As somnee of you may know, I published an odd little ejournal/zine/newsletter, Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, from December 2001 through the end of 2019–19 volumes (and one preliminary issue), 227 issues, roughly 6,510 pages and just under 4.5 million words–most, but not all, mine. My set of printed & bound volumes takes up just about 18 inches on a bookshelf (Volumes 6-19 are available as Lulu PoD paperbacks; I have Velobound copies of the first five volumes.)

During its peak years, C&I had quite a substantial readership–as many as 55,000 downloads for one particular essay. There were more than 600,000 downloads from 2013 through 2015 and (maybe) 800,000 downloads from 2016 through 2019. But only about 38,000 in 2019. I had sponsorship for  five years, and never charged for access.

I always hoped that a few people or institutions would find C&I worth preserving–and the annual print volumes even had indexes (of a sort). No print volume has ever sold more than four copies. Four have sold none at all.

When I stopped publishing C&I at the end of 2019, I promised it would remain available online through 2022 if that was feasible. It has remained available.

I just checked 2023-to-date usage. To my surprise, there are still thousands of downloads, apparently more than 10,000 total, including nearly 800 for one particular essay. So I plan to keep C&I available at least through 2024.

Use it or lose it?

But I would like to trim my Lulu catalog. (To see the list, just go to and search for “walt crawford.” I see 51 results.) So here’s the deal: The Lulu (trade paperback) versions of any C&I volumes that have no sales between now and November 12, 2024 will be deleted.

The odd background…

For some reason, I reread the 2001 issues (and single 2000 issue) of C&I recently. It was…well, not terrible, and given the total lack of outside editorial oversight, better than I expected.

It was also very topical, as expected and intended. (I sure would love to see or remember  whether PC Magazine published a ten-year followup to an astonishing set of 10-year predictions in 2001, but otherwise…)

With some exceptions, there isn’t much there that’s particularly relevant in 2023-2024. Maybe it’s reasonable to just shut it down. And if there had been total downloads in the hundreds or very low thousands for 2023, I might have done that. But the journal archives are safe, for now.

Oh: the most frequently-downloaded issues this year were from 2014 and considered OA and, in some cases, “predatory” journals.

Should there be a Gold Open Access 8?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

It’s mid-August; in another few weeks I’ll need to decide whether to propose (to SPARC) Gold Open Access 2017-2022 (GOA8). I’m inviting feedback, as it’s not an entirely easy decision. Feel free to comment (but those close after two weeks) or send me email at

The factors or questions involved:

Is it feasible?

Probably yes. As of today, DOAJ shows 18,135 journals, with around 31o removals and 940 additions during 2022. Of course, DOAJ could add thousands more journals between now and December 31, but I’m assuming that won’t happen–that there would wind up being around 19,000, including around 1,800 not in previous editions.

That’s probably too many to complete as rapidly as this year, when there were 17,270 journals of which around 2,200 were new and 16,620 could be fully analyzed, and data gathering was completed on May 6, but should be doable by the end of June or, at worst, mid-July. Massaging the data and preparing the books should take about as long as this year. So, barring health and other unforeseen issues, GOA8 should be complete by late summer, and possibly early summer.

Is it feasible for me to do?

Not automatically the same question. I’m getting older every year*, and my own and family health and other issues can be less predictable every year.

I worked faster this year than last, partly because of better familiarity with datasets, partly because of  tools that worked well. I don’t anticipate a similar improvement next year, but not necessarily any big slowdown either. Assuming, of course, my mind and body keep functioning fairly well…

During the first half of each year, I devote as much time to the GOA project as I can without disrupting all the other aspects of life–chores, shopping, daily walks, weekly hikes, evening TV and reading. My guess is that I average about 20-25 hours a week of data gathering during that time**.

Is it worthwhile?

Ah, there’s the question. I find it interesting, but only if it’s both useful and being used. I’d earlier suggested that one sign that people found my datagathering and analysis worthwhile might be a few of them buying the nominally-priced books. On that basis, I should stop: Nobody (but me) has purchased any copies of any GOA6 or GOA7 book (there were two sales for GOA5).

As for the free PDF versions, so far there have been about 220 downloads of GOA7 and about 45 of the country book. (GOA6, to date, has about 2,000 downloads, and about 270 of the country book. Back in the good old days, GOA3 and GOA4 each had more than 4,600 PDF downloads.)

The dataset shows 19 downloads and 91 views to date; I think only the download figure means much. GOA6 has 106 downloads so far.

OK, these are early days, but those are discouraging figures.

Basically: if it’s not worthwhile to other people, then it’s not worthwhile to me. So I could use some feedback.

Will SPARC keep sponsoring it?

That’s a separate question, one that won’t arise until I decide whether to propose another edition.

Your thoughts?


*Don’t we all? In my case, I’ll turn 77 in mid-September. My physical health is, I believe, no worse than it was a year ago and probably better than two years ago. My mental health? Not for me to say.

**So what do I do with those 20-25 hours a week during the latter part of the year? The last two or three years, I did more book reading–five or six books a month instead of the two or three a month I average while working on GOA–and spent more time watching TV, catching up on never-seen series or extras for series/movies we own; we only watch one show a night (and one movie a weekend), and there are shows we don’t both want to see. Last year, for example, I watched all of Schitt’s Creek. Oh, and I probably spent WAY too much time on Twitter and Facebook. This year has been different: in an effort to improve/retain mental flexibility, I picked up a collection of NYT Sunday crossword puzzles and have been doing one a day–and enjoying it enormously, while getting better at it. Also reading a lot more books and spending a little more time on social media–but not, at least so far, watching more TV. Not that y’all need to know this.

Gold Open Access 6: Early Notes

Monday, December 28th, 2020

I’m almost ready to start data gathering for Gold Open Access 6 (2014-2019). Thursday afternoon after 4 pm (that is, after Midnight January 1 UMT), I’ll do a final download of DOAJ metadata and check the Adds & Deletions spreadsheet–deleting any journals deleted today (December 28) through December 31, and massaging rows of the metadata added since December 27 into new rows of the master sheet used to gather data. I’m guessing there will be no more than one or two deletions and perhaps a dozen additions since I checked this at 12:30 AM (UMT) December 28. [That guess is based on the fact that three titles were deleted and 41 added between December 15 and December 28.]

I downloaded early to do a more thorough job of checking consistency and, for the first time in years, rechecking subject assignments against the subjects and keywords in the DOAJ roles. That process included catching errors from previous years (most of them from VERY early years) and being somewhat more consistent in ambiguous cases–e.g., more journals that cover sustainability going into Ecology, nearly all journals on nutrition going into Medicine, nearly all journals with tourism as a primary focus going into Anthropology, and generally replacing Technology with more specific subjects as appropriate.

Processing the December 15 download yielded 13,528 matches against the GOA5 master spreadsheet, plus 2,103 new titles. Of unmatched GOA5 journals, 456 were explicitly removed from DOAJ and 90 are the usual “small number of mysteries”–most of them cases where a journal has changed both ISSN and normalized URL during the past year. Including the additions and deletes done yesterday, there are currently 15.668 titles in the master spreadsheet; the final number should be slightly higher. Whereas GOA5 wound up with slightly fewer than 14,000 journals being fully analyzed, it’s very likely that GOA6 will include significantly more than 15,000 fully analyzed journals. Will it reach a million articles? Probably not, but we shall see…somewhere between June and September, depending on health, other activities, and how difficult it is to do the manual checking.

Changes from GOA5

In general, metrics remain the same, except for the changes in subject assignments.

“Miscellaneous” has been eliminated as a publisher category (there were 138 such journals in GOA5); “o” now stands for “open/other.”

I’m trying to retain Start (starting date), which DOAJ no longer includes in its downloadable data, by looking for the earliest articles in journals that don’t already have such dates.

I may revise subjects in a few cases when the actual contents appear at odds with the assignment made based on DOAJ information. I’d be surprised if there were even a few dozen such changes.

And, of course, the five-year graphs comparing various editions will be six-year graphs. Since the GOA6 paperback that almost nobody buys will once again be full-color, I won’t attempt to make each of the six lines distinct by dot/dash patterns, relying on color in some cases,

Preliminary Subject Counts

The table that follows shows, for each GOA subject, the journal count in GOA5 (“G5”); the number of continuing journals (“Cont”) after subjects have been rescanned and journals have been deleted; the number of newly-added journals (“New”); and the preliminary GOA6 count (“Total”). These numbers are subject to small changes due to additions and deletions over the next four days and possible on-the-fly revisions during data checking.

Arts & Architecture36934665411
Computer Science32436153414
Earth Sciences45045264516
Language & Literature8938701451,015
Library Science16516316179
Media & Communications24527048318
Other Sciences23019932231
Political Science38041581496

Added later on 12/28: Why “June to September”?

Why am I so uncertain when I’ll be finished with data gathering (visiting 15,688+ web sites at least once, and probably 2,500+ of them twice)?

Because the time required is so unpredictable, as are factors like the time I can or will devote to it, health, crises, etc.

Let’s look at GOA5. The base dataset was 14,128 journals, including just over 2,000 newly-added journals. The first pass took 102 days–but I felt rushed all the time. The second pass involved 2,476 journals, of which 1,479 required a third visit and 636 a fourth visit–a total of 4,591 additional visits. Those passes took a total of 38 days. So, let’s see, I was able to do an average of 139 journals a day on the first pass–I’m guessing more like 160-170/day for continuing and 100/day for new–and 120/day for the rechecks.

This time, assuming a net gain of 12 journals over the next four days, there will be around 15,680, of which around 2,185 are new. But I’ll be adding starting dates to those 2,173 (and rechecking them on others). So figure anywhere from 100 to 130 journals/day average. That means 120 to 157 days. Assume that total rechecks amount to 32% of the original count, or 5,018, at 100-120/day. adding 43 to 51 days.

So it’s fair to assume at least 163 days to 208 days, if all goes well. So I could be done with data gathering by mid-June, but it could also take until the end of July–again, assuming all goes well, including my energy.

It took about a month after data gathering to process the data and prepare GOA5. I’m guessing about the same this year. So the uploaded dataset and GOA6 could be ready by mid-July, but it could take until early September. Figure less than a month to prepare the Countries book.

It’s conceivable that GOA6 could be ready in June, but it’s highly unlikely. I can’t reasonably devote more than about 30 hours/week to this project: I’m retired, I’m old, there are all the other facets of life to deal with, and–perhaps most important–I know from experience that doing more than 20 journals at a time without a break, with breaks getting longer and longer, just doesn’t work.

So: July-August most likely, late June barely possible, September also possible.

Meanwhile, the color paperback GOA5 is a really great way to read about Gold Open Access; it’s a shame only two copies have been purchased. (My profit on each copy is $0.68. if you’re wondering.)

Cites & Insights Annual Volumes now $20 each

Monday, December 28th, 2020

I’ve changed the pricing on each paperback annual volume of Cites & Insights, volumes 11 through 19, to $20 each. [It appears that Lulu discards PDFs after some point, and to reprice volumes 6-10 I’d have to redo the publishing process. Given that sales have never reached high single figures, it’s not worthwhile.]

Links to all volumes are on the C&I Annuals page at, or you can just search for Cites & Insights at

GOA4: September 2019 Update

Monday, September 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: 273 views, 63 downloads.
  • GOA4: 1,281 PDF ebooks and one paperback.
  • Countries 4: 302 PDF ebooks
  • Subjects and Publishers: 241 PDF ebooks

GOAJ3: 2012-2017

  • The dataset: 1,555 views, 255 downloads
  • GOAJ3: 3,593 PDF ebooks + 436 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 1,101 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 558 downloads
  • One paperback

GOA4: July 2019 update

Wednesday, July 31st, 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: 207 views, 3 downloads.
  • GOA4: 833 PDF ebooks and one paperback.
  • Countries 4: 201 PDF ebooks
  • Subjects and Publishers: 113 PDF ebooks

GOAJ3: 2012-2017

  • The dataset: 1,463 views, 195 downloads
  • GOAJ3: 3,428 PDF ebooks + 405 copies of first few chapters (C&I 18.3)
  • Countries: 1,044 PDF ebooks
  • Subject supplement (C&I 18.4): 517 downloads
  • One paperback

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.