Re: Request for journal/article/field statistics from Ulrichs and ISI

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 12:22:56 +0000

Relevant prior AmSci Threads:

    "Request for journal/article/field statistics from Ulrichs and ISI"

    "How many papers are there in the OAI-compliant archives?"

On Tue, 27 Jan 2004, Hal Varian wrote:

> We cite 37,609 journals (using Ulrich's 2001 data), with an average of 208
> pages per issue. See

Dear Hal:

Many thanks for the figures!

I believe that Ulrich's figure for the peer-reviewed subset of
scholarly journals is still much lower than that (24,000 when I
last asked Ulrichs). Your 200-page average may be a better predictor
than Gene Garfield's 100 (but only if we can assume that the
10,000 non-peer-reviewed journals have not skewed your sample toward
the higher end).

I tend to use the 24K/2.5M figures only to provide a kind of context
or frame of reference for the open-access (OA) movement: to give us a
reasonable approximation to the total size of the task, and hence the
size of the progress we have made to date. (You are interested rather
in the size of the journal subset relative to the entire written and
digital corpora on the planet!). Of course 40K journals and 8M articles
would make the total TA (toll-access) target even bigger and the OA
proportion of it provided to date even smaller (and so it may be!).

But it hardly changes the two facts that (I believe) are the most
pertinent and informative for the OA movement today: (1) that the OA share
is still minuscule compared to the TA total (hence nothing to be either
euphoric or even complacent about) and (2) that the OA self-archived
portion of that minuscule OA share is at least 3 times as big as the
OA-journal portion, and growing faster, yet readily capable of providing
immediate OA for far, far more articles than it is as yet providing today.

In other words, the following figure would have to be revised to make the
remaining white region even bigger!

Stevan Harnad

> Stevan Harnad [responding to a query] wrote:
> >
> > The estimate has since been updated to 24,000 peer-reviewed journals
> > publishing 2.5 million articles annually. But [one] should cite the
> > source I was using: Ulrich's for the figure of 24,000 peer-reviewed
> > journals
> > and Gene Garfield's thumbnail estimated average of about 100
> > yearly articles per journal (this varies by field and may be low).
> >
> >
> > I suggest you look at the growth rate of the number of peer-reviewed
> > journals across the years (Ulrichs) and check the ISI data to see
> > whether -- and if so, by how much -- the number of articles per year
> > per journal is growing.
> >
> > My own feeling is that the number of journals is probably near ceiling,
> > and that the number of articles may grow, but not that much, because
> > just about all articles eventually get published somewhere or other
> > already.

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
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Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Wed Jan 28 2004 - 12:22:56 GMT

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