Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

A few notes on the first 2,000

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

Followup: some notes on the first 2,000 journals–partly to show just how unrepresentative any sample is. Compare this to the first 1,000… This is not at all a representative sample (I sort by publisher, then journal, because that speeds things up).

A few items do seem interesting.

  • Of the 1,866 journals for which data has been recorded (134 are either unavailable or have malware issues), 692 have fees. (Easy explanation: BMC’s 360-odd journals are in the second 1,000; almost all have fees.)
  • Of that 692, I find that ninehave submission fees–and 19 others have both submission and processing fees. 60 others have fees that vary based on article length (I don’t record that if the surcharge begins at 11 pages or higher).
  • In 345 of the 946 cases, I gathered the fee status and amount from the DOAJ record because it was not easy to locate within the journal’s website.
  • Malware is still with us: 65 of the 134 for which I don’t yet have data recorded were flagged by Malwarebytes–an uncomfortably high figure (but about half of those are in one series). 52 others don’t seem to be there…and two aren’t OA journals, AFAICT
  • In 34 cases where I do have data, the URL in DOAJ did not yield the website but a journal title search in Chrome did yield the website.

Paperback version of C&I 19 now available

Monday, January 13th, 2020

The paperback version of Cites & Insights 2019, including indexes that are exclusive to that version, is now available from Lulu for $25. (I plan to adjust all C&I prices to a standard level, for the final year of availability, in the near future.)

The cover for this final paperback builds on nine previous cover images.

You can find it directly at

(or just go to Lulu and search for Cites & Insights 2019).

If you hurry, you can use coupon code ONEFIVE and save 15%–good through January 16.

An unfond farewell to 2019

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

I don’t normally write year-end posts, but the last few months have been exceptional. (In case you’re wondering, I’m not going to discuss politics, so as to avoid existential despair.)

Oh, the first part of the year–pretty much up to November–was fine. Did GOA4 (there’s the first half of the year), then started reading more books and the like–and made a probably overdue decision to shut down Cites & Insights, setting in motion a series of cleanup essays.

It’s the last two months that made 2019 so very special:

  • In mid-November, I wound up in the hospital for 11 nights, thanks to a roaring staph infection that had probably been building for months and apparently slowing me down for at least a few months. (I finish the antibiotics course on January 1…it’s a 60-day process *after* hospital release.)
  • In early December, I was back in the hospital, this time for four nights thanks to an intestinal blockage. No surgery required, but spent most of three days with no food or liquids, just intravenous fluids.
  • As a side note, I had not been in a hospital for more than one night in perhaps 50 years. Yes, I’ve been lucky.
  • Turns out both probably had something to do with the robotic-assisted prostatectomy of roughly two years ago: around 30% of the time, this faster and safer form of prostatectomy leads fluid sacs and/or adhesions.
  • By the way, the prostatectomy itself seems to have been wholly successful: PSA numbers since have been consistently too low to measure.
  • While the staph infection has no long-term consequences, once I get enough Activia in me to restore the biome, the same is not true for the obstruction, since no surgery was done: it means changing my diet, probably permanently, in a number of annoying ways (which, among other things, make it difficult to get enough calories: I was 160lb. before the hospitalization, 148lb. when I came out, and after 20+ days am struggling to get above 15o–aiming for 155lb, but that may take months). I’ll miss cashews and other nuts, Clif bars and anything else with rolled oats, raw carrots, raw spinach, raw… oh, and raw fruit with skins on in general. An ongoing learning process…
  • I shouldn’t forget that my spouse has been absolutely wonderful through all of this. We’ll celebrate our 42nd anniversary on 1/1/2020…
  • The web host on which this blog, and, and Cites & Insights all reside is shutting down in April 2020. Turns out that, as I’ve gotten older and more retired from a lifetime of technology work, I’ve become wary: specifically, I can’t even bring myself to start the necessary migration process. Anyone want to help?
  • Finally, just as lagniappe, the day after Christmas the keyboard on my 4-year-old Toshiba laptop went wonky: all any key would yield is l, q, – or the Windows key. After finding out that a repair, if feasible, would be at least $250 for a notebook that only cost about $400, I am now the proud possessor of a 17.3″ HP notebook, one of very few 17″-screen notebooks still available. Better CPU (8th generation Core i5 instead of, what, 2nd generation i3?), 8GB RAM–and only 250GB of storage rather than 500GB, but with a huge difference: the 250GB is SSD. (I never used more than 150GB on the old machine: I don’t do video or heavyweight photo work. Indeed, as I found when migrating data, if it wasn’t for 50GB of FLAC music files, I’d have about 6GB total to move over: text just doesn’t take much space.) I think I’ve re-established credentials at most websites I use (at least in Firefox), and I’ve reinstalled or redownloaded almost all of the programs I actually use–and the transition from Office 2015 to Office 2019 seems painless so far. (Although, when my wife finally gets a new laptop, Office 365 may be tempting: I don’t like subscription software, but a terabyte of cloud storage would make backup painless.)
  • One bit of good news here: Just as people have told me, SSD makes the new laptop a LOT faster than the old one when starting programs or doing file-based operations. I mean, three seconds to load either Word or Excel–I’ve timed it–and a second to load the 14,000-row GOA5 spreadsheet. Seems like the daily Malwarebytes scan is much, much faster as well. So yes, if you’re buying a new PC, absolutely look for SSD storage.
  • Oh, and of course I’ve now lost access to my websites, so that’s something more to work out besides the need to migrate…

So yeah, I’m hoping 2020 is less eventful than the last two months of 2019…

Final two issues of C&I delayed, future uncertain

Friday, November 29th, 2019

I had planned to release the December issue of C&I around now–and the final issue near the end of December 2019.

An eleven-night stay in the hospital (sepsis/staph, to be followed by six weeks of daily antibiotic injections and some period of draining) changed all that.

Based on energy and more important matters, the final issues will probably get done. Eventually. The spirit is good, but needing to keep legs elevated a third of thetime, and still not-quite-back-to-normal energy, and being homebound…isn’t helping.

Beyond that, I now learn that my web host is shutting down in a few months, and have to figure out, how, where, or whether to move this blog (tricky because the sitename is based on a domain that’s presumably going away), (where I feel obliged to retain some pages/pointers related to the GOA project for a few years), and C&I (which I’d planned to retain for three years).

Anyway: I’m not dead yet. We shall see what happens.

GOAJ4: Starting the Deep Dive

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Just a quick note that I’ve completed downloading, crosschecking, and normalization for GOAJ4: Gold Open Access Journals 2013-2018 and have begun the months-long process of gathering data.

The Good News

The starting count is 12,415 journals. That will certainly not be the final count of fully-analyzed journals, given duplicates and other issues. (Will there be more than 12,000 fully analyzable? Based on last year’s records, it may be close…)

The data is in better shape than ever before at this point in the process.

I’ve done the first 350 journals (sorted by publisher, as that allows the most efficiency).

The Bad News

Malware is still a problem, especially (so far) in Indonesia. Efforts to reach out to the mostly-academic publishers to convince them to clean up their software don’t seem to be wholly effective. (Of 11 Indonesian titles scanned so far, five had malware sufficient to block analysis.)

I will probably post a spreadsheet of some sort listing journals with malware, once I’m at least a quarter or half way through. As usual, malware-infected sites will get two more chances, one no earlier than late April 2017.

[A special one-finger salute to WordPress’s new “friendly” editor–if there are no tags on this post, it’s because I can find no way to select them, or to allow comments, once I’ve started adding comments. Bring back the “unfriendly” WYSIWYG editor–oh, and along with it, the ability to edit HTML directly. This is a TERRIBLE “upgrade.”]

Cites & Insights 19:1 available

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Cites & Insights for January 2019 (19:1) is now available for downloading at

The 42-page issue–out early, before I dive deep into Gold Open Access Journals 4–consists of a single essay/roundup:

Intersections: Open Access Stuff (pp. 1-42)

Catching up on OA-related stuff that doesn’t fit neatly into one of the areas I’ve dealt with recently–that is, stuff that’s not about big deals, creative commons licenses, the colors of OA, economics, libraries, peer review, “predatory,” or overarching OA issues. Oh, and also not about PlanS. 

Can I also note here how much I am NOT in love with the newest iteration of WordPress’ oh-so-friendly WYSIWYG interface? It’s the first one in a while that’s so user-friendly it actively gets in my way. But never mind…

I’ve written way too much on OA…

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

For those who care about what I have to say about open access, including the original research I’ve done (in addition to the SPARC-sponsored GOAJ series), I’ve prepared and will try to maintain a page listing all of the Cites & Insights essays on OA-related topics since 2012, with an order link for the paperback collection of earlier essays.

The page is available at

An update: Why I’m still less engaged, and likely to be

Monday, July 9th, 2018

A few folks may have read this May 2018 post explaining why I wouldn’t be around much in late June/early July–to wit, prostate cancer and a robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (just call it RALRP)–and why that might delay pieces of this year’s GOAJ project.

The latter didn’t happen: thanks to increasing comfort with what I’ll call “template spreadsheets”–workbooks with multiple sheets, using pivot tables in a manner that means replacing the rows on the first sheet means a whole new set of graphs and tables with essentially no additional work–the country view and subject supplements were both done well before June 26, date of the surgery.

The surgery itself went very well (my wife thinks it took about five hours; I was, of course, Not There during that time–my first experience with general anesthesia, and thanks to anti-nausea drugs nausea was never a problem). The ten days following, stage one of the long recovery process, were annoying because of catheter-related stuff and lack of energy, but my wife helped see to it that I didn’t veg out entirely, was off opioids within four days, was walking inside every day and outside three days later, and was up to mile-plus outside walks by July 6, Removal Day.

Now I’m engaged in in stage two, which will last weeks, months, possibly years to some extent. Energy is still a mild problem, but I’m getting back to normal by stages. July 7 brought exceedingly good news: the pathology report, showing negative results for adjacent matter and (removed) lymph nodes. This makes the long-term prognosis MUCH more positive, according to Dr. Thong, and is a much better outcome than expected.

A note that may be irrelevant if you’re not in Stanford HealthCare’s service area or are female: Dr. Alan Eih Chih Thong. MD, gets a 5* rating in my book. He *listened* to not only our concerns but to my family history, and indeed changed his recommended course of treatment based on my family history and health. Since he also did the surgery, and apparently did a great job, I have nothing but good things to say about Thong and his teem, including Jessica Rose Kee, PA-C, and others.

I should note that Dr. Hilary Petersmeyer Bagshaw, MD, did a fine job of explaining the initially-preferred course, radiation + hormone therapy, which would have been under her supervision. I’m sure she would have done a fine job, but if you have a likelihood of 20 more years’ survival, that course is best kept as Plan B if surgery doesn’t eliminate the problem. As I told her at the time, I hope not to need her services, even as I’m sure they’d be first-rate.

Other than energy and doing lots of Kegels in the hope that they’ll eventually help matters, what will slow done some writing stuff is focus and motivation. I don’t want to write about OA or at least another month; I’m not sure most other topics offer enough focus; and, frankly, sitting sipping coffee while the country is in self-inflicted flames isn’t just fine.

But I’ll be back: I’m not really going anywhere. Even if, as I read Twitter and Facebook, there are more and more occasions when I wish I could resign as a Straight White Man. But that’s another story…

Cites & Insights 18:3 (June 2018) available

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Cites & Insights 18:3 (June 2018) is now available for downloading at

The 76-page issue is basically a shorter version of GOAJ3: Gold Open Access Journals 2012-2017 for those who aren’t ready to read the whole thing (links here):

GOAJ3: Gold Open Access Journals 2012-2017, chapters 1-7    pp. 2-76

The first seven chapters of the 19-chapter book, providing the key findings. (The full book is a free PDF download or a $5 trade paperback.)

If I’m more absent than usual in late June/early July…

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

…you can thank PSA 18, Gleason 8, RALP 1. For a few of you, that may be all you need to know.

Oh, and for the RALP: I can reasonably claim to be a 60-year-old in terms of probable life expectancy. That’s important.

The longer story:

I have prostate cancer, as confirmed through an MRI and an MRI-guided ultrasound-based biopsy (an interesting procedure involving overlays for precision targeting, which I was watching as it took place), and with no apparent metastasis or leakage (as confirmed through a full-body bone scan).

The 60-year-old part involves the discussion leading up to final choice of action (which was not the original recommendation, based on my chronological age). After that discussion, involving some reading, my family’s record, and my own health record, we’ve decided on a RALP–Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostastectomy. I say “we” advisedly: my wife, the smart one in the household (and a retired librarian/library director as well as top-notch systems analyst), was definitely involved, and the urologist/oncologist was definitely listening carefully as we discussed things.

[The cancer is at a level with a substantial risk of recurrence some years down the road; this option means Plan B–radiation and hormone deprivation–is a followup if needed, while the reverse is not true.]

That will take place in late June, with one more day of pre-surgery stuff earlier in June.

Also between now and then, I expect to be helping with landscaping what was our back lawn (with some pleasure, I freecycled our electric mower and trimmer this week, as neither will be needed in the future), doing heavy lifting and moving stuff around and helping to select river rocks, given that I may not be in a position to do much lifting for a few weeks afterwards…

What this may mean for things anyone else would care about:

  • GOAJ3: Gold Open Access Journals 2012-2017 will not be delayed. It should be out in the first half of June. (Basically, it’s done, and set aside for a week before doing final proofreading and prepping for publication.)
  • Gold Open Access by Country 2012-2017–which is not a direct new edition of The Countries of OAWorld 2011-2016–could possibly be delayed until July, but probably not: I’d expect it to be out some time in June.
  • The subject supplement issue of C&I probably will be delayed until July or even August. OK, things went well–and thanks to lower back pain, I couldn’t help my wife as much as I’d hoped. It’s out now,
  • I will be even less good about catching up on social networks, quite probably completely losing 2-4 days in late June and possibly more. I’m already giving up on tweets or timeline items more than 2-4 hours old so I can spend more time on the project and on health/household matters.

Otherwise? We shall see how it goes. I’m generally very healthy (I’m still not on any prescription medicines, which I suspect is rare for my age), and see no reason this will make me less so after a recovery period. Unless I decide to just sit around watching old movies and daytime TV, which may be just right for 2-3 days but seems implausible longer-term.