Re: Need for systematic scientometric analyses of open-access data

From: Medical Education Online <Editor_at_MED-ED-ONLINE.ORG>
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 08:21:20 -0500


I think your estimate of ~ 200 peer-reviewed open access journals may
significantly underestimate the actual number of such journals.
Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh has compiled a list of open access peer-reviewed
journals in education which which includes around 100. (main site) (mirror site, the main site
wasn't working when I just checked)

There is some overlap with other fields however, education is by no means
in the forefront of the open access movement and I suspect this list, even
with some overlap with other fields accounts for a small segment of the
open access peer-reviewed journals that are being published.

Another excellent list of open access journals in medicine is the Free
Medical Journals site.

Though they include journals that do not meet your definition e.g. ones
free after a given period of time, there appears to be a large number that
are truly open access.

Dave Solomon

At 12:51 PM 12/21/2002 +0000, you wrote:
>Thanks to colleagues Thomas Krichel (below) and Helene Bosc (previous
>posting) for pointing out (delicately) that I was mistaken to take at
>face value Ebs Hilf's cheerful suggestion that my own prior estimate
>-- that so far there are only about 200 open-access peer-reviewed
>journals (out of 20,000 toll-access peer-reviewed journals in all)
>-- may have been too pessimistic!
>Perhaps it was not too pessimistic. The Regensburg list (although a
>splendid model for how such resources might in the future be organized)
>is somewhat illusory. Some of it is not peer-reviewed journals, and many of
>those that are listed as in some sense "free," are not open-access (which
>means free, complete online access to the full-text).
>But please recall the context of all this: There are two BOAI strategies
>for achieving open access: BOAI-1 is the self-archiving of toll-access
>publications by their authors, in their institutional Eprint Archives,
>and BOAI-2 is the creation of new open-access journals (and the conversion
>of existing toll-access journals to open access)
>All BOAI proponents, including myself, are full supporters of both BOAI
>strategies, which complement one another; but some of us devote our
>personal efforts more to one strategy or the other. It is no secret that
>my own efforts are devoted mostly to BOAI-1 (self-archiving), and I have
>reasons for this: I believe the relation between the two strategies is
>that self-archiving is immediately feasible, right now, and will prepare
>the way for open-access journals, by first making the literature openly
>accessible (thereby solving the urgent immediate-access problem) and
>then eventually the 20,000 toll-access journals will convert to open
>access by downsizing to become peer-review service providers instead of
>journal-text providers.
>This is merely a hypothesis, however, for although it correctly
>describes what is possible and attainable immediately (and has
>already been attained by the authors of millions of self-archived
>papers: see
>and ) it -- like BOAI-2 -- depends on
>second-guessing human nature, which one can never do with assurance! Will
>researchers choose to free their own toll-access research by self-archiving
>it today? Will they choose to publish in the open-access journals that are
>available? Will new open-access journals be created?
>Now the immediate occasion for this discussion thread was the recent $9
>million grant to the Public Library of Science for the founding of new
>open-access journals (i.e., BOAI-2):
>This is excellent news for open access -- and a good time to take stock
>of the relative progress of BOAI-1 and BOAI-2 to date: What proportion
>of the peer-reviewed research literature is currently being made openly
>accessible through self-archiving (BOAI-1) and through open-access
>journals (BOAI-2), and how quickly are the two complementary strategies
>The immediate metric for comparison is the individual peer-reviewed journal
>article. There are about 2 million of those published per year (although
>that too is just a very vague guess) in the planet's 20,000 peer
>reviewed journals (also a guess). About 200,000 physics papers have been
>self-archived since 1991 (but there might possibly be some double-counting
>there, because the same paper may appear as a pre-refereeing preprint
>and also a peer-reviewed postprint). ResearchIndex has harvested about
>500,000 computer science papers from the Web (but how many of them are
>peer-reviewed final drafts?); OAIster lists over a million records (but
>some of them are double-counted from these other sources, and again the
>proportion of them that are peer-reviewed is not yet analyzed). There are
>probably other archives, and certainly many more self-archived papers,
>on personal websites, not yet harvested and tallied, in all disciplines.
>The corresponding figures for BOAI-2 are also uncertain. It was here
>that Ebs suggested I was being too pessimistic. I had estimated that
>of the total 20,000 peer-reviewed journals (a guess) about 200 were
>open-access journals (also a guess). Ebs suggested mine was a gross
>under-estimate, and it was here that he cited the Regensburg data as
>counterevidence. I think a closer analysis of the Regensburg data (and
>other data from the Web) will indeed show that the number of open-access
>journals is higher than 200, perhaps considerably higher. (There may
>also be more than 20,000 peer-reviewed journals worldwide.) But not as
>high as Ebs has suggested!
>The systematic comparison will be subtle, but, I think, very
>instructive. Not only do estimates have to sort out the dates of the
>open-access articles -- so we can get an estimate of the amount of growth
>across time, especially in the last 3 years -- but they will have to
>be careful not to double-count the open-access journal articles,
>erroneously crediting them to self-archiving. What is needed is a 3-year
>time series, showing the growth of the number of self-archived
>peer-reviewed articles and the number of articles published in
>open-access journals -- comparing them to one another (with
>subcomparisons by fields) as well as to the estimated total number of
>peer-reviewed articles annually, so we can estimate how soon universal
>open-access will be achieved (and what route will complete it first).
>And (as noted by Helene, as well as myself) it will also be important to
>ascertain the "level" at which the relative growth in open-access is
>taking place. Estimates of the quality/impact level of both the
>open-access journals and the self-archived articles will need to be
>made, for whereas the Public Library of Science is explicitly aiming at
>a top-down approach (capturing the highest-level research initially,
>and allowing the effect to generalize downward as a result), some of
>the initial spontaneous new and converted open-access journals may be
>coming more from the lower, weaker levels of the current hierarchy
>20,000-journal quality hierarchy (and such bottom-up effects may be
>slower to generalize than top-down effects). It will also be interesting
>to know the correlation between an article's quality/impact and the
>probability that it is self-archived (although here we already
>know that there is a post-hoc causal connection too -- for
>"free online access substantially increases a paper's impact"
> ).
>Stevan Harnad
>On Fri, 20 Dec 2002, Thomas Krichel wrote:
> >sh> The excellent (truly remarkable!) Regensburg resource Ebs cites below:
> >sh> lists 759 Physics journals, of which 103 (14%) are open
> >sh> access. (Is this complete?)
> >
> > The list is a remarkable piece of work. It is unfortunate that
> > you seem to missread their data. When they award the green mark,
> > it means that the journal comes "with freely available fulltext
> articles".
> > It does not mean "open access".
> >
> > I checked this out for the Wirtschaftswoche, marked green for, a
> > German Economics magazine and by no intents and purposes
> > a scholarly journal. Some contents are short full texts,
> > others are summaries of articles in the magazine, and
> > some are short news items. But this is by no means
> > the full contents of the magazine, I should think.

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Received on Sat Dec 21 2002 - 13:21:20 GMT

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