Gold OA 2024/Diamond OA 2024: Status and plans update

December 13th, 2023

I had originally planned to download the DOAJ dataset again in early November, but wound up doing this on December 1, 2023. The dataset included 20,345 journals, of which 19,565 were in the July 1 version. That meant 780 to have countries normalized, regions, subjects and segments assigned, and publisher and support categories established.

With a change in methodology based on the idea that most new OA journals come from publishers that already have OA journals, even though other events kept me from starting work on these until December 3, I was able to complete the scans by December 7, 2023.

As of now, the dataset includes roughly 2,120 newly-added journals and 3,262 with changes in key fields. 6,611 have fees; 13,733 do not. Of the 1,624 non-fee journals that are not from societies/governments or universities and the like, some 640 are sponsored by universities (and the like), 525 by societies/government, the rest through various means–including 235 where the funding source is unclear.

Plans at this point, changed a bit since the last post:

Journal data

  • I plan to download data again on December 26, 2027 when I anticipate having fewer than 100 new journals. That’s also when I’ll look at currency conversion rates and calculate journal fees. Based on recent experience, there should be more than enough time to handle this by December 30.
  • The final download will be after 4 pm PST on December 31–that is. midnight 1/1/2024 UMT. I’d expect no more than a handful of added journals.
  • With any luck, the new master dataset will be ready for the first pass on January 2, 2024.

Anticipated testing timeline and unknowns

  • At this point, I anticipate losing a lot less time to medical treatments (assuming the prostate cancer stays in remission, which seems reasonably likely), but considerably more time exercising. On the whole, and given the usual slowing with age, I’d expect to get slightly  more done each day than in 2023.
  • Assuming around 20,500 journals to be scanned, I’ll stick with the “sometime in spring” projection–optimistically in mid-May, pessimistically in late June. Which places the new dataset and books in early summer or, optimistically, VERY late spring.


  • Changes made last year will continue.
  • The new dataset and books will carry five years of data (2019-2023) rather than six, partly so there are fewer tables with very small text for very large numbers.

I’ll probably do weekly or fortnightly updates in this blog and more-or-less daily quick notes at Mastodon. I am completely gone from the deadbird site.

Comments always welcome, and I still need suggestions as to how to group support/funding sources for Diamond OA 2024.

GOA8 and Diamond 2023: Through December 9, 2023

December 10th, 2023

Gold Open Access 8

  • PDF downloads: 358
  • Dataset:61 downloads.
  • Books: none.

Diamond OA 2023

  • PDF downloads: 206
  • Books: none

Gold Open Access 7

  • PDF downloads: 1,353
  • Print version: 1 copy
  • Dataset: 75 downloads, 479 views
  • Country book: 505 downloads, no print


Cites & Insights: Use it or lose it?

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.

Retiring the Kindle Fire

October 22nd, 2023

I’m guessing that yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle was probably the last use I’ll ever make of my Kindle Fire HD 8.9. I read today’s Chron (and WaPo) on the spiffy new Samsung Tab S6 Lite we picked up earlier in the week, very similar to the tablet my wife purchased a while back.

All I really ever used the Kindle for was reading the daily newspaper(s): I prefer print books and have a two-screen notebook setup I use for my computing and social media needs. And I’ll probably mostly use the Samsung as a newspaper reader, although possibly for more.

The end of the Kindle era was pretty much established for me when Amazon shut down the Kindle Newsstand, ending subscription delivery of newspapers. That meant getting via Silk, which we’ve always regarded as The World’s Worst Browser. And in the past few weeks the Fire’s been getting a bit cranky, shutting down for no apparent reason. And, to be sure, whenever I brought up the Chron and wanted to use the e-edition, the only reading mode that makes sense to me, It made me click on a box reminding me that the device couldn’t handle the paper properly. (Not sure why, but that’s no longer an issue.)

The Ssmsung has a larger screen (10.25″ rather than 8.9″), probably a sharper one (actually fewer ppi–2000×1200 compared to the Fire’s 1920×1200, and vastly faster CPU–and, of course, it runs pure Android, not Kindle’s “special” version.

Here’s the thing: I had that Kindle Fire for just under eleven years–the device was registered with Amazon on December 22, 2012. It was the cheap version with lock-screen ads (for a few years, then they went away). Apparently it cost $299, although I remember it being even less. (The Samsung is just slightly more expensive–but that’s comparing 2023 dollars to 2012 dollars.)

The real message: ELEVEN YEARS of daily use. I’m pretty pleased with that. Wonder how long I’ll use the Samsung?

[I’m still using a 19″ Sony LCD display as my second screen, and that display was manufactured in October 2005, so I’ve probably had it for more than 17 years. Of long daily use. And it still works beautifully.]

Status notes on Gold OA 2024/Diamond OA 2024

September 20th, 2023

First off: Barring major health or other problems, there will be a Gold OA 2024/Diamond OA 2024 set of studies and accompanying spreadsheet.

Here are some notes on a preliminary pass cleaning up some metadata on most of the dataset:


  • In November, I’ll do a second subject/support/country scan for newly-added journals.
  • In mid-December, I’ll do a near-final cleanup and prepare the dataset.
  • January 1, I’ll do final data additions and should be able to start the scan shortly thereafter.
  • The schedule largely depends on personal and family health issues: This year was bad–half a day lost Monday-Friday for seven weeks, and general exhaustion a bit beyond that–but I was still able to finish data gathering in mid-May, do the Gold OA report on June 5, and do the Diamond OA report on June 21.
  • There will be significantly more journals this time around, and once again I’m aiming for “some time in the summer” for both reports–with the hope of dates comparable to this year.


Please follow the link already provided. I could use suggestions on how to cluster support/sponsorship categories for the Diamond OA report.


I’m old. (78, if you’re wondering.) Health issues are always possible. I’m expecting some PT this fall and possibly into next year. I don’t currently believe it will significantly impact the schedule.

And I enjoy doing this and regard it as worthwhile, so I’ll do the best I can.

And, of course, it would be lovely to see one or two print copies of each of the books sold (from which I make essentially no revenue–under $0.50)–but I won’t be holding my breath.

Toward Gold Open Access 2024/Diamond OA 2024: refreshing subjects and support

September 13th, 2023

I just completed the pass through DOAJ journals downloaded July 11, 2023 (19,564 of them) to recheck publisher category, refresh/refine subject assignments, and refresh/assign funding source codes for diamond OA journals from publishers other than societies and universities.

All of this is preliminary and subject to further change, of course, but this is a good start. As of today, there are roughly 300 more journals in DOAJ; in November or early December, I’ll do a similar pass of newly-added journals. Note that “no-fee” and “fee” are based on a single column in the DOAJ metadata; some “no-fee” journals have fees other than APCs  and will change to fee in the end. (Best guess: a few hundred.)

Here’s what I see as of now:

Subject changes

  • 3,262 subjects were changed.
  • 1,342 subjects for newly-added journals.
  • 14,960 checked and unchanged.

Publisher category

  • u [Universities, colleges, research centers]: 12,030, of which 9,817 are no-fee and 2,213 have fees.
  • o [Open/not otherwise categorized]: 3,186, of which 1,273 are no-fee and 1,913 have fees.
  • s [Societies, govt]: 2,536, of which 1,876 are no-fee and 660 have fees.
  • t [Traditional]: 1,804, of which 283 are no-fee and 1,521 have fees. Note that–although there are 1,342 newly-added journals–this is a much lower number than in GOA8, as I concluded that some publishers tagged as traditional were really almost entirely open (and quite a few “o” journals turned out to be university or society journals).
  • V [blocked by virus]: four.

Support category for the 1,556 no-fee open and traditional journals

  • u [University and academia]: 610
  • s [Society, govt]: 502 – thus, 1,112 of the 1,156 (71%) are funded from traditi0nal sources.
  • q [Questionable/unknown]: 225. Possible that later investigation can reduce this, which is mostly journals with no stated funding source.
  • c [Collective/consortium]: 106. Includes journals clearly volunteer-run with an apparent intenti0n to stay that way. (Also includes a few supported by multiple institutions, but most of these are in u or s
  • f [Foundation, charity or business]: 62.
  • z [Defunct]: 19 journals that have clearly ceased publishing.
  • i [Initial offer]: 17 journals where the no-fee statement suggests that there will be a fee in the future.
  • d [Donations solicited]: 8 journals that explicitly invite donations.
  • 3 [SCOAP3]: two.
  • x [subscribe-to-open]: two clear cases
  • V [Virus blocked]: two.
  • a [Advertising revenue]: one.

One issue to be resolved before Diamond OA 2024 is done: how to group all but u & s into two or three manageable clusters (or in some cases treat them as u or s).


I’m not sure a list of current subject assignments is useful, but given that there are quite a few more journals, it may be worth noting subjects that have fewer journals in the current list than in GOA8, usually because of refinements/reassignments (and in a few cases clear error).

In alphabetic order, these are biology, earth sciences, education, history, sociology, technology. For education and history, this is partly an explicit shift so that history *of* x or education *about* x is classified as X.


GOA8 and Diamond OA 2023: Through September 3

September 4th, 2023

Gold Open Access 8

  • PDF downloads: 189
  • Dataset:57 downloads.
  • Books: none.

Diamond OA 2023

  • PDF downloads: 138
  • Books: none

Gold Open Access 7

  • PDF downloads: 1,184
  • Print version: 1 copy
  • Dataset: 423 downloads [typo last month]
  • Country book: 249 downloads, no print


Brief reminiscence

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

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

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.