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.

Citation: if citing Crawford’s key findings, cite Crawford, ideally look up the original first, otherwise use a secondary citation.

If citing Morrison’s comments, cite as:

Morrison, H. (2016). Walt Crawford’s Gold Open Access Journals 2011 – 2015. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2016/06/20/walt-crawfords-gold-open-access-journals-2011-2015/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.