Now! with HTTPS (but not fully secure yet)

June 4th, 2017

Thanks to Blake Carver’s assistance, I’m pleased to note that all three of my sites–

Walt at Random

Cites & Insights

WaltCrawford.name

–now support secure (https) connections.

At least for now, and possibly for some time to come, these sites will connect via https: but be flagged as having insecure content, because some links within the sites are http: links.

On Firefox, that means a little orange warning sign in front of the secure-site lock.

On Chrome, you get an info icon rather than the “Secure” message. I can assure youthat none of these sites care about your location, try to use your camera or microphone or any of the other things Chromewarns about.

On Edge, you just don’t get the lock icon.

I have no idea when (or whether) all links will be changed to https. Ifthat includes links within these blog posts, “never” may be the answer.

GOAJ2: Slow start

June 4th, 2017

OOPS: I failed to take this out of draft status on May 31, when it was written. Better late than never…


Now that GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016 is out (go to waltcrawford.name/goaj.html for links, as usual), I’ll stop tracking Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 and pick up the new one instead.

It’s been a slow first two weeks.

  • Ebook/pdf: 117 downloads
  • Trade paperbacks: None other than my own
  • C&I 17.4 [chapters 1-7]: 51 downloads
  • Dataset: 94 views, 15 downloads

Next steps

The Countries of OAWorld 2: 2011-2016 will be out very early in June (came out on June 1 if all goes well), as a free PDF or $7 trade paperback. Links in the usual place.

GOAJ2 includes single pages on each subject, with three key tables. Additional tables and graphs on the 28 subjects will make up most of the next Cites & Insights, when that appears. There won’t be a separate subject-oriented book.

As always, thanks to SPARC for sponsoring this project. By the way, if you haven’t downloaded the book or read C&I 17.4 yet, you really should. Lots of good stuff–including a discussion on page 10, “The Biggest Numbers,” that offers a one-time-only view of as much of gold OA as anybody’s likely to gather together. How does 962,170 strike you?

The Countries of OAWorld 2: 2011-2016 now available

June 1st, 2017

The Countries of OAWorld 2: 2011-2016 is now available as a free PDF ebook or a nominally-priced* ($7) trade paperback.

The 269-page book includes a full set of tables and graphs for every country with at least 25 fully-analyzed OAWorld journals and a slightly less complete set for countries with ten to 24 journals: 64 in all. For the six regions that have them, countries with one to nine OAWorld journals are summarized briefly.

Links to the free PDF and to purchase the book from Lulu (as usual, printed on high-quality 60# cream paper) are at the Gold Open Access project page, https://waltcrawford.name/goaj.html

[*Why is this book a dollar more expensive than GOAJ2? Because it’s 81 pages longer. In both cases, the price is rounded up to the nearest $0.50 from Lulu’s production costs. My “profit” is $0.14 on each copy sold. Lulu frequently has sales of 10% to 20%, which can be used for either book.]

My travel magazine grumpiness: An example

May 23rd, 2017

Some of you may remember that somewhere (apparently not here) I wrote a brief elegy mourning the death of the Conde Nast Traveler I’d read and loved for years–the new editorial team increasing page size, making it mostly Pretty Photos for Beautiful People, and–most of all–abandoning prices when discussing hotels and restaurants. I didn’t renew what had once been a first-rate travel magazine; I don’t miss it. I believe it’s become a magazine for the eight-digit crowd: those with $10 million or more net worth who can go along with “If you have to ask…” price irrelevance.

More recently, it appears that National Geographic Traveler has been redesigned: still more text, but, well, there go the prices.

Meanwhile, Travel + Leisure has become more substantive since Time Inc. acquired it–with, wonder of wonders, price notes in most hotel/restaurant discussions. What a concept!

I’m reading the March 2017 issue (I’m usually two months behind on magazines) and hit a little item about chefs who have opened up restaurants with a few hotel rooms attached. Consider:

  • Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis wants $58 and up for a three-course meal…and $166 and up for a double room. So that’s $282 plus tax and tips and wine for two people. Not bad.
  • Coombeshead Farm in Cornwall wants $61 and up for a farm-to-table dinner and $215 and up for a double room. Figure $327 plus tax and tips and wine. Also plausible.

And then there’s the nearby one:

  • SingleThread in Healdsburg wants $294 and up for a fancy tasting menu…and $700 and up for a double room. Figure $1,288 plus tax and tips and wine.

See, without prices, I might either believe that all three are “If you have to ask…” situations or ponder whether the Healdsburg place–just a couple of hours away–might be worth a try.

But with prices: well. $961 (the smallest differential) would pay for a pretty decent two-night Monterey vacation. We live in Livermore, only “reasonably priced” by the Bay Area’s odd standards, but at one of our favorite restaurants a good three-course meal (salad, entree with starch and vegetables, bread, and dessert) goes for $23. At another good local restaurant I see the bill for dinner for three, including wine and tip, as $136.

We’re not poverty-stricken, but in planning possible vacations and visits the difference between $327 and $1,288 is decidedly worth noting…and knowing about. A travel magazine that deliberately hides that difference–and the decision at Conde Nast to get rid of prices can’t have been accidental–is doing a disservice to all but the wealthiest readers.

Oh, and if SingleThread is actually a life-changing experience well worth the fee, well, I guess my life just won’t be changed.

Sad.

Cites & Insights 17:4 (May 2017) available

May 19th, 2017

Cites & Insights 17:4 (May 2017) is now available for downloading at https://citesandinsights,info/civ17i4.pdf

The 80-page issue consists of an introductory page, a final page, and the first seven chapters of GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2017.

It’s a shorter version–unchanged but omitting sections on subjects and regions.

If you’re downloading the free ebook or purchasing the $6 trade paperback (see here for links), there’s no reason to read the issue: you won’t learn anything more.

GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016

May 18th, 2017

I’m pleased to announce the availability of GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016, the results of the second comprehensive study of serious gold OA: journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals as of 12:0 a.m., January 1, 2017.

For links to the free (and complete) dataset, the free PDF ebook, and the $6 trade paperback, check the project page at https://waltcrawford.name/goaj.html

Thanks again to SPARC for sponsoring this project.

This edition includes 8,992 fully-analyzed journals that published 523,205 articles in 2016. (A few hundred journals were excluded for various reasons, fully described.)

Additionally, a brief one-time-only discussion, “The Biggest Numbers,” covers the broadest known universe of gold OA, including journals removed from DOAJ in 2016 and journals included in one-time “blacklists.”

The project is not quite done yet: there will be a book-length supplement detailing OA by country (excluding the 12 big publishers in “APCLand”). That supplement will show up on the project page and be announced in posts when it’s ready. It’s likely that a near-future issue of Cites & Insights will add to the subject coverage in GOAJ2, but that won’t appear as a book or separate PDF.

A brief version of the book, the first seven chapters, will appear as Cites & Insights 17:4 in a few days.

Mystery Collection Disc 47

May 11th, 2017

In the past, you could expect about one old-movie-on-DVD post every four to six weeks, and a disc from this endless (OK, 60 disc/250 movie) collection every two or three months. Now…well, the post for Disc 46 was in December 2015 and the most recent post was April 2016. With no further ado, then…

The Swap (orig. Sam’s Song), 1969, color. Jordan Leondopoulos (dir,), Robert De Niro, Jarred Mickey, Jennifer Warren, Sybil Danning, Terrayne Crawford. 1:29 [1:21]

Guy gets out of prison, goes looking for his brother’s murderer, gets warned off by a cop, keeps looking, finds out his brother was making pornos, keeps looking, eventually finds and shoots the killer…getting shot himself in the process.

Put that way, it doesn’t sound that great…and the movie’s nothing special. Maybe the missing eight minutes (which must have had the footage that got an R rating) made all the difference? A young (and, honestly, not very interesting) De Niro stars…or doesn’t. Ah, looking at the IMDB listing and reviews makes it a bit more interesting: De Niro’s the director, and what I saw is a 1979 thing that remakes his 1969 Sam’s Song into a different movie. Still not compelling or very good. Charitably, for De Niro completists, $0.75.

Night of the Sharks (orig. La notte degli squali), 1988, color. Tonino Ricci (dir.), Treat Williams, Janet Agren, Antonio Fargas. 1:27.

Let’s see. I watched this on December 15, 2016. Apparently I watched the previous movie on April 2, 2016. At this rate, I’ll be done with the remainder of this set and the other two megapacks on hand in…about 75 years. Guess I’ll have to pick up the pace. One can only hope that most of the rest aren’t quite as lame as this one is.

Plot? Such as it is: the brother of a laid-back diver had been bugging telephone calls between a crook and the President for years, and has cut a CD with the Greatest Hits: he wants a big payoff to return the disc. He then mails the original to his beach-bum brother (the flick was filmed in the Dominican Republic, so let’s assume it’s set there). From then on, we have occasional spurts of action and lots of underwater and above-water footage, all of it in the daytime, involving this really mean shark who really, really wants our hero. There’s more, of course, but it’s all pretty lame: poorly directed, not very well shot, badly “written.” Oh: I suppose this is the R version, as there’s about 15 seconds of topless women at a swimming pool who are totally unrelated to the plot. Hey, it’s bad Italian cinema. Very charitably, $0.75.

We Interrupt These Mini-Reviews for a Message

My wife asked a reasonable question, given that book reading, OA research, etc., etc. conspired to leave more than half a year between viewing movies that weren’t any good: Why? Thinking about it…I’m raising my standards. If after fifteen or twenty minutes the flick doesn’t seem likely to be at least at the $1 level, I’ll stop and do one of the “not viewed” write-ups. That should help. Now, back to the flicks.

Beyond Justice, color, 1992. Duccio Tessari (dir.), Rutger Hauer, Carol Alt, Omar Sharif, Elliott Gould. 1:53 [1:46]

A wealthy young businesswoman’s son (sort of a rotten kid, kept in private school only through her frequent donations) is kidnapped by her ex-husband (his father), the son of a Moroccan Emir. There’s some nonsense with silver boxes planted in both their houses—all of which leads up to The Situation: the Emir wants the grandson to become the next Emir (Omar Sharif), since his son is too Westernized or something.

Meanwhile…the mother (Carol Alt, with Elliott Gould as her lawyer who also wants to marry her) hires a mercenary (Rutger Hauer) to find and rescue the son—and insists on accompanying them. After which we get lots of intrigue, lots of shooting, an enormous amount of Moroccan desert scenery, a feuding desert tribe that gets involved at the last minute—and an ending that leaves me wondering why the whole bloody mess was necessary in the first place, as the still-alive Emir gives his grandson the choice of how to proceed and he goes with his mother. (The father’s kaput.) Oh, and the mother falls for the handsome mercenary.

Great cast (but Gould’s completely wasted). Great scenery. Ennio Morricone score. Bizarre and ultimately pointless plot. There must have been dialogue and direction, but…. I watched the last half of it double-speed, which kept it moving. Not a great movie by a long shot, but possibly worth $1.

Cold Blood (orig. Das Amulett des Todes), color, 1975. Günter Vaessen (dir), Rutger Hauer, Vera Tschechowa, Horst Frank. 1:20 [says 1:30 on sleeve, actual runtime 1:14]

The original title makes a little more sense, but not a lot. The “plot”? A young woman has gone off to a country house—where she has the key oh-so-cleverly hidden by leaving it on the sill over the door, because nobody would ever think to look there. Anyway, she takes a shower, hears shots, and see that three men have been chasing another man who’s headed for her house…and shoot him, while seeing her.

So they’re going to take her with them so she won’t call the police and can bind up the guy’s wounds. Of course, she drives her car with The Boss of the little gang and the guy who’s been shot (Hauer). Of course, The Boss either falls asleep or has been stabbed and she easily eludes the other car, gets the guy worked on by a doctor, and goes with him to a semi-deserted country estate…where, equally of course, she jumps into bed with him (after a display of nudity which pleases one of the gang watching with binoculars—because, of course, they’ve found where she’s driven to and she disrobes in front of an open window).

What can I say? The explicit sex scene is the most complicated acting in the flick and makes no more sense than anything else. Of course she’d jump in bed with a guy she’s never met but who’s endangered her life and is probably a criminal because…well, Rutger Hauer, I guess. $0.50 if you’re a Hauer or Tschechowa fan, $0.25 otherwise.

 

GOAJ: April 2017 update

April 30th, 2017

It’s April 30–the last day of the month, when I fetch usage statistics for my websites (as always, omitting part of that last day), so here’s an update on GOAJ. (I might have stopped doing these, but the GOAJ download numbers are still astonishing, so…):

  • Paperbacks: No change. Two copies of GOAJ itself sold. So far, none of the others.
  • Dataset: 8 more views, 1,067 total views; 410 total downloads.
  • GOAJ:  45 total Lulu copies, 2,741 more (total 21,330* copies from my site: total 21,375. Actual number of human downloads probably around 500 for April.
  • Subjects: 20 total Lulu copies, 58 additional, 433* other copies, 453* total.
  • Countries: 8 total Lulu copies, 206 additional, 1,793* total other copies, 1,801 total.
  • C&I: New totals 1,463* copies of the excerpted GOAJ version (16.5) and 4,259* copies of “APCLand and OAWorld” (16.4.)

*Missing downloads from 11/13-11/30/16 and, for C&I, 11/13-12/15/16.

Gray OA

Gray OA 2011-2016 (Cites & Insights 17.1) shows a total of 1,263 downloads to date, and no apparent recognition anywhere else that the Shen/Bjork “predatory articles” numbers are demonstrated to be so dramatically wrong; the dataset shows 258 views and 68 downloads.

Notes on comments

April 7th, 2017
  1. By default, comments are off (quite a few posts don’t really need commenting, and every post draws robospam). I don’t always remember to turn them on in cases where feedback is desirable.
  2. The spam software I formerly used allowed me to review all the spam, which I did. That software isn’t compatible with current WordPress. The software I’m using now does not show me spam, so it’s difficult to rescue a comment.
  3. The solution in both cases: send me email (waltcrawford@gmail.com), and if the comment is supposed to be attached to a post, say so: I’ll do that as appropriate.

Cites & Insights 17:3 (April 2017) available

April 6th, 2017

Cites & Insights 17:3 (April 2017) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ17i3.pdf

The 32-page 6″x9″ single-column issue* includes two essays:

The Art of the Beall   pp. 1-20

[Hat-tip to Phil Davis for the title.] The blacklists have “disappeared,” but not the blather. Almost entirely material from January 16, 2017 to April 3, 2017. And remember that a comprehensive study of journals that were on the lists and their article counts from 2012 through June 30, 2016 is available as C&I 17.1.

Libraries and Communities  pp. 21-32

If the first essay’s all recent material, this one’s not: items date from October 2009 to May 2014. Some thoughts on libraries and/in their communities, mostly by people better qualified to write about these things than I am

*Reminder: Cites & Insights is now optimized for online/tablet reading. If you’re printing it out, I recommend having your PDF software print as a booklet, which should require 8 sheets of paper. Very slightly smaller type, good paper efficiency.