Counting fee-based and no-fee #openaccess journals.
Today the +Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
enhanced its reporting in a useful way. You can look up the number of DOAJ-listed journals that levy article processing charges (APCs), the number that don't, and the number for which it doesn't yet have enough information to say.
Before April 2015 it distinguished the no-fee and no-info categories. But then a web site makeover had the side-effect of combining those categories. Starting today, the DOAJ is distinguishing the two categories again.
At the same time, the DOAJ is in the middle of a period of significant change. In January 2015 <https://goo.gl/OMYed7
>, it asked all 10,000+ listed journalls to reapply for inclusion, and in May 2016 <https://goo.gl/qeT36p
> dropped more than 3,300 of them. Its staff is now reviewing the reapplications and hasn't yet finished. The info on fees or APCs is in the system, but DOAJ doesn't update its public tallies until it finishes reviewing a journal's reapplication. Hence, the no-info tally is artificially elevated today but will decline steadily as DOAJ continues its work.
With that qualification, here are the numbers as of today (May 24, 2016):
Total number of journals listed in DOAJ = 8,858
Yes (fee-based) = 1,424 = 16%
No (no-fee) = 2,601 = 29%
No info = 4,833 = 55%
Note that there are nearly twice as many no-fee journals as fee-based journals. This ratio will come into better focus as the no-info tally shrinks.
For some idea of where the ratio might settle, see the numbers from April 2015 <https://goo.gl/fEO1h1
>, the last time the DOAJ reported separately on no-fee and no-info journals. At that time, 32% of its journals were fee-based, 67% were no-fee, and 9% were no-info.
Here's how to verify that these are the numbers DOAJ is reporting, or to find updated numbers in the future:
Go to the DOAJ <http://doaj.org
>. Click on Search
(next to Home
in the top navigation bar). Then click on the facet + Journals vs. Articles
. Then click on Journals
. Then click on the facet + Article processing charges (APCs)
. You'll then see "No information" followed by a number, "No" followed by a number, and "Yes" followed by a number.
Bottom line: It's still true that most OA journals charge no APCs. When you hear people turn this fact upside down, by saying or implying that most OA journals do charge APCs, please correct their misunderstanding. It's holding us back.
For more background, see my 2006 article, "No-fee open-access journals."https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/4552050
For those who want to go further, here's slightly deeper dive.
While most peer-reviewed OA journals are no-fee, it doesn't follow that most articles published in peer-reviewed OA journals are published in the no-fee variety. It's closer to 50/50, depending on the year and measurement method.
See William Walters and Anne Linvill, "Characteristics of Open Access Journals in Six Subject Areas," College and Research Libraries
, August 2010. "While just 29 percent of OA journals charge publication fees, those journals represent 50 percent of the articles in our study."http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2010/09/14/crl-132.abstract
See Mikael Laakso and Bo-Christer Björk, "Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure," BMC Medicine
, October 22, 2012: "OA journals requiring article-processing charges have become increasingly common, publishing 166,700 articles in 2011 (49% of all OA articles)."http://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-10-124
See +Walt Crawford
, "The Gold OA Landscape, 2011-2014," Cites & Insights
, October 2015, p. 20: "[T]he 26% of journals that do charge APCs...published 57% of the OA articles (in reputable journals) in 2014, and assuming level APCs, pay journals have published a majority of OA articles since 2013."http://citesandinsights.info/civ15i9on.pdf#oa #openaccess #no-fee #doaj