Walt Crawford’s Gold Open Access Journals 2011 – 2015

Walt Crawford has released his data and book Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015. For explanations on the different versions and links to download, go to Crawford’s website http://waltcrawford.name/goaj.html

Selected key findings:

  • Of the 10,324 fully open access journals listed in DOAJ studied by Crawford as of December 31, 2015, 71% do not charge article processing fees. This is an important contribution to our understanding as previous information from DOAJ only went up to 2013.
  • These 10,324 journals collectively published 566,922 articles in 2015 alone. This data was derived from counting the articles on each journal’s website, and is another major contribution of this work. This count is more accurate than relying on DOAJ metadata for article count which reflects the limitations of not all journals being able to supplement metadata and not all journals supplying metadata are able to supply correct metadata for year of publication.
  • 44% of the articles published in 2015 were published by no-fee journals.


This selection of key findings reflects the summary data most pertinent to the SKC OA APC project; I encourage readers to go to the book and download the data for answers to other questions that may more relevant for you.

Kudos and thanks to Walt Crawford for doing this work and freely sharing both the data and the book and to SPARC  for supporting this work. Disclosure: Crawford provided us with an early version of his spreadsheet which we are incorporating into our own longitudinal study. One illustration of the value of this is that having the ability to identify free-to-publish journals as of 2015 will enable comparisons of free and APC journals using our longitudinal data and the DOAJ metadata once our 2016 spreadsheet is complete (likely this fall). Also although there are important difference between our data, there are enough similarities that we will be able to use a considerable amount of Crawford’s data in lieu of doing the work ourselves, for example in the case of fairly stable publishers with straightforward APCs in USD. This behind-the-scenes collaboration is one of the reasons our team has been able to forge ahead with individual publisher case studies this year and even include selected open/hybrid comparisons. If anyone is looking for examples of the benefits of collaboration and open sharing, you might consider adding this one to your list.

Society for Scholarly Publishing AGM Presentation 2016

The slides from my presentation at the Society for Scholarly Publishing AGM June 3, 2016 in Vancouver are available here:  SSP presentation 2016 06 03 hgm

Please see the references slides at the ends for citations and links to further information. Comments and questions are welcome, here or via email to Heather dot Morrison at uottawa dot ca. If you would like to comment on the blog but prefer anonymity please contact me via e-mail


Taylor & Francis 2016

With over 2,500 journals, Taylor & Francis, is one of the largest academic publishers in the world. For this reason, we are interested in the Open Access (OA) models they are using, as well as how they deal with copyright.

Taylor & Francis Journals

Taylor & Francis journals currently fall under three categories: Open (Fully OA), Open Select (Hybrid OA) and Subscription (Not OA). Fully Open or Pure open access journals means that all of the articles in these journals are OA. For these journals, an article publishing charge (APC) is often applicable. Their Open Select option is a hybrid option meaning that an author can publish in a subscription journal and pay a charge, usually an APC or an article page processing charge (APPC) to make their article freely available online upon publication.  The final category, Subscription, allows for Green Open Access, which is the archiving of an article on a website or in a repository. This is allowed for the accepted version of an article, which has been through peer review and has been accepted, but isn’t the final published article. This option is offered after an embargo period. The chart below shows the breakdown of the number of journals for each of these categories.  The Open Select option accounts for most of the journals at 91%, while 93 (4%) journals are fully OA.


Of the fully open journals, 17/93 (18%) do not charge APCs.  Additionally, APCs could not be found for 5 journals.  The APCs of the journals that were found to charge them range from $200-$2000 in US dollars (USD) with the average being $922 and the mode being $1200. Some journals in this category have a different APC based on the length of the article and the type of creative commons license being used, these prices were not factored in to the average listed above.

An interesting model is being used by one group of fully OA journals by Cogent OA. Cogent journals, which account for 15/93 of the fully OA journals from Taylor & Francis operate a ‘pay what you want’ model.  This means that authors are allowed to choose how much they contribute towards OA publishing based on their financial circumstances. Authors have the opportunity to state how much they want to contribute, if accepted for publication, during the submission process.  In order to guarantee the integrity of peer review, the APC process is managed by the Cogent OA publishing team and not by journal editors or reviewers. Cogent OA states, “We believe strongly in the benefits of open access to scientific research and scholarship, and our APC policy is intended to help remove any barriers to its take-up around the world – leading to greater research impact for all.”

The APCs for the hybrid model were quite a bit higher than the ones for fully OA journals.  2142/2284 (94%) of these journals charge an APC of $2,950 USD (£1,788,  €2,150). The rest of the journals in this category either charge a lower APC or charge an APPC instead.

Taylor & Francis: Copyright Statements

When publishing with a Taylor & Francis subscription journal,  they ask the author to assign copyright to them. Alternatively, any author can also opt to retain their own copyright and sign a licence to publish. If the author chooses to assign copyright to Taylor & Francis, the author is asked to sign a publishing agreement.

In the case of open access journals it appears that Taylor & Francis is using the same author nominal copyright approach we first noticed when looking at Elsevier this year. Following is the text from the T&F Author Services page. An exclusive license to publish is in effect a transfer of virtually all rights under copyright, with the copyright in the name of the author, hence “author nominal copyright”.

Open access Creative Commons licenses

We ask you to sign a publishing agreement to establish the originality and provenance of your article and to give us the exclusive right to publish [emphasis added] the Version of Record of your article; you (the author) retain copyright. This agreement incorporates the Creative Commons license of your choice, which will dictate what others can do with your article once it has been published.

Copyright statements tend to vary from journal to journal for Taylor & Francis’ OA journals.  For example,  Acta Biomaterialia Odontologica‘s Instructions for Authors document states, “The copyright will remain with the Authors for articles published under this Open Access model, and once a paper has been accepted for publication, Informa will ask authors for a license to publish.”

Similarly Acta Oto-Laryngologica Case Reports states, “All contributing authors are asked to grant Taylor & Francis the right to publish her or his article as the final, definitive, and citable Version of Scholarly Record. Authors are required to sign an Open Access Article Publishing Agreement to facilitate this. Articles published in Acta Oto-Laryngologica Case Reports are published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence which permits others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. Authors do however have the choice of opting for the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial Licence should they so choose. Reuse conditions will be subject to the license type chosen by the author.”

The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology requires authors to assign the right to publish their texts both electronically and in any other format they see fit, along with the right to store manuscripts in an electronic archive to the journal, Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology. They go on to state, “Once published, authors may disseminate their papers (final, accepted and peer-reviewed PDF version) in whatever way they wish, within the terms set out in the Creative Commons Licence 4.0. The IPJP has adopted the CC BY-NC-ND licensing agreement. Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Accordingly, authors may post a copy of the PDF of their published article to their institutional repository or to any departmental or personal website, etc., subject to acknowledging its publication in the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology.”

In contrast to these above statements Journal of Drug Assessment states, “Articles are published with the understanding that their copyright be assigned to the Publisher once they are accepted. If any material used is subject to third-party copyright, copyright clearance is the sole responsibility of the authors and must be supplied in writing to the Publisher. Corresponding authors will be sent a copyright form to sign upon acknowledgment of their paper.”

These copyright statements are a small sample of how OA journals published by Taylor & Francis handle copyright.  As they all differ, it is important for authors to understand their options and submit to journals accordingly.  It may be assumed that authors retain their copyright when publishing in OA journals, but this is not always the case.


Frais de publication/APC: un regard sur les revues en français de Walt Crawford dans DOAJ

Nous commençons une étude des revues en libre accès en français dans DOAJ. Après quelques vérifications des URL, nous avons remarqué que parmi elles, figurent quelques revues dans d’autres langues que le français.


L’étude que nous présentons dans ce rapport a trait à 79 revues sensées être en accès libre uniquement en français dans Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Aucune autre langue n’est indiquée en complément pour ces 79 revues. Nous avons trouvé cependant que 73 revues sont vraiment en français. 4 sont dans d’autres langues. On y trouve également une confusion d’URL et une autre possède un lien qui ne fonctionne pas. De ces 73 revues en français, en nous avons recensé 1 (1%) qui a un frais de publication (article publishing charge (APC)). Les 72 restantes qui représentent 99% sont sans frais de publication.

Méthode et détails

Dans cette première étape, nous avons analysé les métadonnées du fichier DOAJ de février 2016 plus spécifiquement les données des revues ajoutées par Walt Crawford. 79 revues en français (issues de OA-APC-Main-2016.Version.1 français) ont été analysées. À l’issue de cette recherche, nous avons constaté qu’une revue qui se nomme Irish Medical Organization est en anglais. Trois autres revues en langue espagnole ont été recensées. Il s’agit de: Cauriensia : Revista Anual de Ciencias Ecleiásticas; de Rétor et de Çédille – Revista de Estudios Franceses. Cependant, Çédille – Revista de Estudios Franceses publie des articles en français. Par ailleurs, nous avons trouvé une autre revue en italien. Il s’agit de la revue Italienne d’Études Françaises. Seulement, lorsque nous avons vérifié le lien http://www.rief.it/, nous avons découvert que le site porte un autre nom d’une revue qui s’appelle DD ou DomaineDirect. Un autre cas similaire s’observe avec la revue : Recherches en Didactique des Langues et Cultures : les Cahiers de l’acedle. L’URL http://acedle.org/spip.php?rubrique40 que propose DOAJ ne permet d’accéder au site. Il est marqué : No found. Après vérification par le nom de la revue, nous avons trouvé le site. Toutefois, dans l’URL http://acedle.org/old/spip.php?rubrique40 du site le mot (/old/) est ajouté. Enfin, dans la revue Technologies de Laboratoire que nous avons consulté, nous n’avons pas réussi à accéder au site. Lorsque nous avons vérifié l’URL, la mention : Web Server’s Default Page, était affichée.

Dans cette même recherche, nous avons constaté que 17 revues (du numéro 64 à 80) n’ont pas de métadonnées de frais de publication. Par ailleurs, nous avons trouvé une seule revue qui a un frais de 100 € soit 50 € pour la soumission et un autre 50 € après l’acceptation, toutes les autres sont gratuites. Il s’agit de la revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie. La raison de cette exception n’est pas spécifiée.

Donc, le résultat de notre recherche par rapport à l’accès libre aux revues scientifiques en français ajouté par Walt Crawford dans DOAJ se résume à :

  • Revue avec frais de publication : 1 soit 1%
  • Revues sans frais de publication : 72 soit 99%

Note : nous précisons qu’il y a d’autres Revues en français en combinaison avec d’autres langages. Cette étude n’est qu’une première analyse des revues issue de DOAJ uniquement en français.

Ceci est la première poste en série «libre accès français».


AOSIS 2015-2016 Comparison

AOSIS is a smaller South African based open access publisher, with 26 journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).  As of May 2016, the AOSIS website lists 28 open access journals. We found 27 matching journal titles when comparing our 2015 and 2016 data gathered from the AOSIS website.

The AOSIS website lists a per-page cost or Article Page Processing Charge (APPC) while the DOAJ’s Article Processing Charge (APC) figure is per-article.  The APC amount listed on DOAJ is likely based on an estimate of the average number of pages for an article.

From the AOSIS website in 2015, 11 out of 27 journals were sponsored by various organizations, therefore they did not require APPCs to be paid by authors.  Two of these titles are no longer sponsored in 2016.  18 out of 27 titles require APPCs to be paid by authors.  Most of these APPCs have increased since 2015.  The APPCs are listed in South African Rand (ZAR). The current conversion rate between ZAR and the US dollar (USD) is 1 ZAR equals 0.064 USD.  The average APPC in 2016 is about 617 ZAR, which equates to about 40 USD. The average AOSIS APC in DOAJ is 6050 ZAR or 388 USD.

The journal with the lowest APPC in 2015 and 2016 is In die Skriflig.  This journal charged 429 ZAR in 2015 and has increased to 44o ZAR in 2016.  The journal with the highest APPC in 2015 and 2016 is African Vision and Eye Health, which was charging 1191 ZAR in 2015 and is now charging 1250 ZAR. In 2015, only 4 journals charged over 1000 ZAR for APPCs.  In 2016, 10 out of 27 charge over 1000 ZAR.

According to AOSIS’ Copyright policy page, “The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.” All individual journals titles were checked to see if there are any other specifications regarding copyright.  After clicking through each title, we found that all journals provided a link to the main About Scholarly Journals page, which states “Rest assured: you always retain copyright of your work.”


AOSIS. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2016, from http://www.aosis.co.za/

Directory of Open Access Journals. (Mn.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2016, from https://doaj.org/