Just published : change and growth in open access journal publishing and charging trends 2011 – 2021

Morrison, H., Borges, L., Zhao, X., Kakou, T. L., & Shanbhoug, A. N. (2022). Change and growth in open access journal publishing and charging trends 2011–2021. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 1– 13. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24717

OA version is available through the University of Ottawa institutional repository here: https://ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/44191

Housekeeping: effective Nov. 7, 2022, SKC posts are no longer available via Twitter.

Sustaining the Knowledge Commons: final report

This post concludes the 7-year Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) research program for which I gratefully acknowledge generous support from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through an Insight Development Grant (2014 – 2016), and Insight Grant (2016 – 2021). I also gratefully acknowledge the hard work, team spirit and initiative of the many members of the SKC team over the years – their names are listed on the About the Team page; bios reflect statuses the last time they participated in the project. Following are my key recommendations for funders (including libraries & policy-makers), takeways for future APC researchers, select portions of my final report to SSHRC, and my final thoughts and next directions.

Key recommendations for funders (including libraries & policy-makers):

  • Recommendation #1: Support small scholar-led publishers (e.g. journals and books published by or at universities and scholarly associations) to transition to open access because this sector can thrive with modest support (best economic choice) and is the sector in the best position to prioritize the values of academia over profit and achieve global equity in inclusion of scholars around the world in a global knowledge commons.
  • Recommendation #2: Support existing and emerging open access scholarly publishers reliant on open access article process charges (APCs) with caution and back-up built into policy. There are 2 main reasons for caution: there are already a large number of journals and publishers that are “no longer in DOAJ”, many of which are still publishing. While current APC publishers such as the Public Library of Science have earned top reputations for publishing quality scholarship, it is clear that the APC model has also opened a door to a for-profit sector with less than clear commitment to scholarly quality. The second reason for caution is evidence of price rises beyond inflation among commercial and professional not-for-profit APC based publishers. It is not clear that the economics of this model are sustainable. To put a back-up plan into policy, require that researchers deposit work in an open access repository. Meeting OA policy through open access publishing alone makes works available open access today with no guarantee for the future.
  • Recommendation #3: Look beyond traditional print-based formats such as journals and books. The open research SKC blog, featuring immediate release of the results of over 200 small research projects to inform decision-making in real time, and the OA APC dataverse, are illustrations of what we can do. Innovation should be a priority, not an afterthought.
  • Recommendation #4: Make global equity and inclusion a top priority in setting policy, including deciding which initiatives to support financially. The key question is: will this policy or initiative tend to facilitate a global knowledge commons that gives voice to all qualified researchers around the world, or will it further entrench existing interests?

Takeaways for future APC researchers:

  • The Sustaining the Knowledge Commons blog features a rich set of small research projects, many on individual APC-charging publishers, that are not available anywhere else. The blog will remain as is for some time and will be archived with the assistance of the University of Ottawa Library before it is decommissioned.
  • The most complete dataset in the OA APC dataverse is OA Main 2019. This is a unique contribution as journals once included (journal or publisher was once included in DOAJ) are retained from year to year. Data including APC amounts for several years derived from a number of sources is available for close to 20 thousand journals. This dataset is for serious researchers as it takes some time to read the documentation and understand the datapoints; misinterpretation would be easy given that the data is derived from multiple sources.
  • The dataset in the OA APC dataverse that includes journals for which we have data for the longest period of time is the 2011 – 2021 dataset. Most of the 2011 dataset in included in OA Main 2019, however in preparing analysis we found that some journals were missing as they had been removed from DOAJ prior to our first sampling (2014).
  • The published open data in the OA APC dataverse reflects a small portion of the data that we have collected and analyzed over the years. The reason for not publishing all of the data as open data is the complexity and extra work required to create publishable documentation. If you are looking for historical APC data for research purposes, don’t hesitate to ask what I (Heather Morrison) might have. No guarantees that what you need will match what I have.

Excerpts from the SSHRC Insight Grant final report

Summary: The purpose of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons project was to conduct research to inform the process of transformation of the underlying economics of scholarly publishing from the demand (purchase / subscription) to the supply side (support for production) to achieve sustainable and globally equitable open access. The resource requirements for small scholar-led publishers project confirmed the modest financial needs of this sector, considered the best option to prioritize academic quality over profit. A longitudinal study of article processing charges (APCs) found that this model, working well in some sectors, nevertheless poses some challenges to academic quality as illustrated by a large number of APC-based journals and publishers in the category “no longer in the Directory of Open Access Journals”. The APC commercial and professional not-for-profit market is showing problematic signs of a tendency to increases prices beyond inflation, another reason to consider alternatives. One approach to analyzing open access policy and initiatives, based on Ostrom’s work Governing the Commons, was identified as useful to analyze policy and initiatives from the perspective of global equity (inclusion of all qualified scholars to contribute to our common knowledge). A key conclusion and recommendation is that the optimal way to achieve sustainable and equitable high quality academic publishing for traditional publication forms such as journals and books, prioritizing academic values over profit, is to transition economic support to prioritize small scholar-led publication, and in particularly the university sector. The open research approach employed in this project illustrates the benefits of going beyond traditional forms optimized for print. Major findings have been consistently quickly published on the course blog, supporting decision-makers engaged in the process of transition, and open data shared via the dataverse.

Outcomes: Sustaining the knowledge commons (SKC) has provided independent third-party evidence to support the growing non-commercial, scholar-led sector of scholarly publishing. SKC research demonstrates the desirability of supporting this sector from an economic point of view as overall less costly, more equitable, and in a good position to prioritize academic quality over profit. The internet has created an environment in which universities and scholarly societies can, with reasonable ease and modest support, create, sustain and globally disseminate their own publications. For example, in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) as of December 2021, the country with the highest number of open access journals is Indonesia, with 1,896 titles, followed by, in order, the UK (1,885 titles), Brazil (1,636), the U.S. (969), Spain (882), Poland (785), and Iran (662). DOAJ is a far more diverse collection of titles, linguistically and culturally, than is found in typical library packages in countries like Canada. This evidence is useful to policy-makers such as research funders and services that support scholarly publishing such as libraries and library consortia.

Audiences: The primary audiences that can benefit from the research conducted by the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons project are the organizations ultimately responsible for funding the production and dissemination of scholarly works – universities and other research organizations, their libraries and library consortia, research funding agencies, scholarly societies, and individual academic researchers who support scholarly publication through their labour and research funding. Academics, students, and the general public benefit indirectly through open access to scholarly works; for example, when health care practitioners have access to the results of medical research, we all benefit from improved evidence-based practice.

Research products: https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/ and https://dataverse.scholarsportal.info/dataverse/oaapc are, respectively, a research blog and open dataverse that demonstrate the open research approach employed in the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons project. These are the most comprehensive resources for outputs from this project. The blog features over 200 original research posts, of which most are brief original research pieces written by research assistants and associates under the supervision of the Principle Investigator. Only a small fraction of this output would be found in traditional research formats such as journal articles and books.

The dataverse: The https://dataverse.scholarsportal.info/dataverse/oaapc dataverse features open data and documentation from the longitudinal open access APC study that exemplifies the open data approach. The datasets are the most complete source of historical information for many journals and publishers that are no longer active, open access, and/or listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, and will make it possible for future researchers to conduct robust longitudinal studies in future. OA Main 2019 final is the most complete dataset (close to 20,000 journals, up to 280 data points / journal, range 2011 – 2019). The most recent dataset is 2011_2021_APCs_open_data.

Final thoughts and new directions: finally, I would like to thank all of the readers of this blog and particularly those who took the time to comment, whether on the blog or on the listservs and other projects that I have participated in over the years, particularly the Global Open Access List, Scholcomm, the Radical Open Access list, and the Open Access Tracking Project, and everyone – all the authors, editors, publishers, research funders and activists – who have moved OA forward through its first generation. My perspective is that OA has now moved into a second generation that is quite different from the first and leadership is from the institutions and organizations that provide the support for scholarly publishing – universities & their libraries and library consortia, research funders and scholarly publishers, and is no longer reliant on individual activists like me. This is a good thing, an accomplishment in and of itself and one that bodes well for ongoing transition to full open access. On a personal note, while I remain available should my expertise (or datasets) be needed, it is my intention to shift my research to one or more areas more in need of attention, particularly in the area of information policy.

Cite as: Morrison, H. (2021). Sustaining the knowledge commons: final report. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons Dec. 22, 2021 https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2021/12/22/sustaining-the-knowledge-commons-final-report/

Housekeeping: SKC project status

The Sustaining the Knowledge Commons project was made possible through a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2014 – 2016) and a SSHRC Insight Grant (2016 – 2021). SSHRC has graciously granted a one-year extension for project completion due to COVID. Between now and spring 2022, the work of SKC will focus on completing projects already started, blog wrap-up, and a final report and summary. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the SKC team over the years, read, shared and/or commented on posts.

Global University Rankings book launch Monday Sept. 20 4 p.m. EST

The book launch video is now available.

Please join us for a launch of the book “Global University Rankings”. The session will be recorded and made available for later viewing. I briefly introduced the book and my chapter in it in this post: https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2021/08/03/irrational-rationality-critique-of-metrics-based-evaluation-of-researchers-and-universities/

Irrational rationality: critique of metrics-based evaluation of researchers and universities

According to one of the most consulted of the global university rankings services, the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University of Toronto is the top ranked university in Canada. It shouldn’t take more than a brief pause to reflect on this statement to see the fiction in what is presented as objective empirical information (pseudoscience). In the real world, it is mid-June, 2021. The empirical “facts” on which QS is based are still in progress, in a year of pandemic with considerable uncertainty. It is not possible to complete data on 2021 until the year is over. Meanwhile, QS is already reporting stats for 2022; perhaps they are psychic?

Scratching slightly at the surface, anyone with even a little bit of familiarity with the universities in Canada is probably aware that the University of Toronto is currently under a rare Censure against the University of Toronto due to a “serious breach of the principles of academic freedom” in a hiring decision. Censure is a “rarely invoked sanction in which academic staff in Canada and internationally are asked to not accept appointments, speaking engagements or distinctions or honours at the University of Toronto, until satisfactory changes are made”. I don’t know the details of the QS algorithms, but I think it’s fair to speculate that neither support for academic freedom or a university’s ability to attract top faculty for appointments, speeches, distinctions or honours is factored in, or if factored in, weighted appropriately.

Digging just a little bit deeper, someone with a modicum of understanding of the university system in Canada and Ontario in particular would know that the University of Toronto is one of Ontario’s 23 public universities, all of which have programs approved and regularly reviewed for quality by the same government, and funded under the same formulae and provide the same economic support for students. Degrees at a particular level are considered equivalent locally and courses are often transferable between institutions. When not under censure, the University of Toronto is indeed a high quality university; so is the University of Ottawa, where I work, Carleton (the other Ottawa-based university), and all the other Ontario universities. Specific programs frequently undergo additional accreditation. My department offers a Master’s of Information Studies program that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Both the Ontario government and ALA require actual data in their QA / accreditation process. This includes evidence of strategic planning, but not guesswork about future output.

If QS is this far off base in their assessment of universities in the largest province of a G7 country (the epitome of the Global North), how accurate is QS and other global university rankings in the Global South? According to Stack (2021) and the authors of the newly released book Global University Rankings and the Politics of Knowledge http://hdl.handle.net/2429/78483 global university rankings such as QS and THE and the push for the Global South to develop globally competitive “world class universities” are more about reproducing colonial relations, marketizing higher education and commercializing research than assuring high quality education. The attention paid to such rankings distracts universities and even countries from what matters locally. As Chou points out, the focus on rankings leads scholars in Taiwan to publish in English rather than Mandarin although Mandarin is the local language. A focus on publishing in international, English language journals creates a disincentive to conduct research of local importance almost everywhere.

My chapter in this work focuses on the intersection of critique on metrics-based evaluation of research and how this feeds into the university rankings system. The first part of the chapter Dysfunction in knowledge creation and moving beyond provides a brief history and context of bibliometrics and the development of traditional and new metrics-based approaches and major critique and advocacy efforts to change practice (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and the Leiden Manifesto). The unique contribution of this chapter is critique of the underlying belief behind both traditional and alternative metrics-based approaches to assessing research and researchers, that is, the assumption that impact is good and an indicator of quality research and therefore it makes sense to measure impact, with the only questions being whether particular technical measures of impact are accurate or not. For example, if impact is necessarily good, then the retracted study by Wakefield et al. that falsely correlated vaccination with autism is good research by any metric – many academic citations both before and after publication, citations in popular and social media and arguably a factor in the real-world impact of the anti-vaccination movement and the subsequent return of preventable illnesses like measles and a factor in the challenge of fighting COVID through vaccination. An alternative approach is suggested, using the traditional University of Ottawa’s collective agreement with APUO (union of full-time professors) as a means of evaluation that considers many different types of publications and considers quantity of publication in a way that gives evaluators the flexibility to take into account the kind of research and research output.


Morrison, H. (2021). What counts in research? Dysfunction in knowledge creation and moving beyond. http://ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/39088 In: Stack, M. (2021). Global University Rankings and the Politics of Knowledge, pp. 109 – 130. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/78483

Stack, M. (2021). Global University Rankings and the Politics of Knowledge. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/78483

Open access article processing charges 2011 – 2021

by: Heather Morrison, Luan Borges, Xuan Zhao, Tanoh Laurent Kakou & Amit Nataraj Shanbhoug


This study examines trends in open access article processing charges (APCs) from 2011 – 2021, building on a 2011 study by Solomon & Björk (2012). Two methods are employed, a modified replica and a status update of the 2011 journals. Data is drawn from multiple sources and datasets are available as open data (Morrison et al, 2021). Most journals do not charge APCs; this has not changed. The global average per-journal APC increased slightly, from 906 USD to 958 USD, while the per-article average increased from 904 USD to 1,626 USD, indicating that authors choose to publish in more expensive journals. Publisher size, type, impact metrics and subject affect charging tendencies, average APC and pricing trends. About half the journals from the 2011 sample are no longer listed in DOAJ in 2021, due to ceased publication or publisher de-listing. Conclusions include a caution about the potential of the APC model to increase costs beyond inflation, and a suggestion that support for the university sector, responsible for the majority of journals, nearly half the articles, with a tendency not to charge and very low average APCs, may be the most promising approach to achieve economically sustainable no-fee OA journal publishing.

A preprint of the full article is available here: https://ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/42327

The two base datasets and their documentation are available as open data:

Morrison, Heather et al., 2021, “2011 – 2021 OA APCs”, https://doi.org/10.5683/SP2/84PNSG, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1

Citation: cite the original URL rather than this blogpost URL (article); if citing data, use the citation above.

Morrison, H., Borges, L., Zhao, X., Kakou, T.L., Shanbhoug, A.M. (2021). Open access article processing charges 2020 – 2021. Preprint. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons. https://ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/42327

Some limitations of DOAJ metadata for research purposes

by: Xuan Zhao, Luan Borges, & Heather Morrison


The Directory of Open Access Journals http://doaj.org is an excellent service that fulfills many important functions, in particular facilitating access to a vetted collection of over 15,000 freely available peer-reviewed journals. The DOAJ search services and metadata download are very useful for researchers as well. The purpose of this post is to alert researchers to some of the limitations of the DOAJ metadata that researchers need to take into account to avoid drawing erroneous conclusions. First, when downloading DOAJ metadata, it is necessary to open the .csv file in Unicode in order to retain non-English characters. We open in Open Office for this reason, then save as an excel file. The nature of the metadata means that some data is inserted in the wrong column; clean-up, as discussed below, is necessary before data analysis. When journal editors or others working on their behalf enter metadata into DOAJ, research is not the primary purpose of this exercise; for this reason, in-depth assessment and corrections may be necessary before analysis. Below, we present publisher size analysis as an example of what researchers may encounter. Finally, because the main purpose of DOAJ is connecting readers with content, the metadata of interest to a particular research project may not be up to date. As demonstrated below, as of Jan. 5, 2021, only 30% of DOAJ journals have a “last update” date within the previous year (2020). We do not know whether the “last update” date reflects a full or partial metadata review. We illustrate the potential impact on research results with the example of the SKC longitudinal APC study. Of the 4,292 DOAJ journals that responded “yes” to the APC question, only 30% have a last update date of 2020 or 2021. Even with this 30% of journals, we have no way of knowing whether the APC status and/or amount per se was updated, or only other unrelated metadata. This means that if we compare 2019 prices obtained from publisher websites in 2019 with 2021 DOAJ APC metadata, we will almost certainly get incorrect results, for example falsely assuming that matching APC amounts means no change in the prices. DOAJ provides rich and useful metadata for the researcher and the research question “is this journal listed in DOAJ?” is of value in and of itself. For this reason, we intend to continue using DOAJ metadata in addition to data derived from other sources, particularly data derived directly from publisher websites. See below to a link to an open data version of the DOAJ metadata reflecting the corrections explained in this post.


Correcting for displaced observations

As previously mentioned, the first step to confidently use the DOAJ metadata for analysis and research is identifying and correcting data inserted in the wrong column, herein also called displaced observations. 

Below we can see an example of a displaced observation from the DOAJ metadata. Column BB has no assigned variable while containing some observations, apparently displaced one column to the right. 

Table 1 – An example of misplaced data from 2021 DOAJ metadata

Users may follow different steps to correct for displaced data. Here we explain in more detail how we have identified these displacements and corrected them.  

Before proceeding with any analysis, it is important to get familiarized with the DOAJ metadata first. We recommend users to read the DOAJ Guide to applying, available online, because the metadata reflects responses to questions asked in the application process. The DOAJ metadata, as of 5 Jan. 2021, possesses 53 variables ranging from Journal Title to Country to Most recent article added. It may be helpful to start correcting observations from variables with easily identifiable responses, such as « Country » or « Country of Publisher », or variables that allow only two types of answers (i.e Yes or No), such as Author holds copyright without restrictions and APC. It is recommended to create a pivot table to identify displaced observations, repeating this process until no observations are identified in a wrong column. 

When cleaning-up the DOAJ metadata, users will notice that in some cases only one observation was displaced; in other cases, an entire row was displaced beginning on a specific variable. In the example highlighted in yellow below, all observations beginning at variable Publisher were displaced one column to the right. 

Table 2 – Line 36 illustrates an example of an entire row with displaced observations

Data entry inconsistencies

When correcting for displaced observations, we have also identified some inconsistencies in the way observations are registered in the DOAJ metadata. The table below lists the main visible inconsistencies found for some variables. In the majority of instances, the inconsistencies will not impact DOAJ users looking up information for a particular journal. However, it is important to take into account these inconsistencies before proceeding to any automated statistical analysis. For example, DOAJ metadata as is can be used to identify the number of journals with persistent article identifiers, but automated counting of DOI v. ARK or other approaches would require some advance data manipulation.

Alternative titleSome journals alternative titles may be registered as a number. Some examples are  “2300-6633” and “0”. 
KeywordsSome observations have some special characters as follows: 
6.         rheology, tribology, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics of structures, mechatronics. 
           water cycles, water environment, water treatment and reuse, water resource, water quality, hydrology
 •          natural sciences, •      environmental sciences, •      social sciences, agricultural sciences, veterinary medicine, medical sciences
Copyright information URLSome URLs lack a letter « h » at the beginning or the end. The example below illustrates this small error. There should be an “h” at the beginning and an  “l” at the end of the link. ttp://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/services/publishing/jiuc/authors.htm
Plagiarism information URLSome URLs lack a letter « h » at the beginning or the end. The example below illustrates this small error. There should be an « h » at the beginning and an  « l » at the end of the link.
URL for journal’s instructions for authorsSome URLs lack a letter « h » at the beginning or the end. The example below illustrates this small error. There should be an « h » at the beginning of the URL
Other submission fees information URLSome URLs have extra letters. The example below, for instance, has a letter « i » at the beginning of the URL
Some URLs lack a letter « h » at the beginning or the end. The example below illustrates this small error. There should be an « h » at the beginning of the URL
ttp://psr.ui.ac.id/index.php/journal/about/submissions#authorGuidelines ttps://www.karger.com/Journal/Guidelines/261897#sec62
Preservation ServicesPreservation services can be registered as a name or a website
Preservation Service: national libraryPreservation services – national library can be registered as a name or a website
Preservation information URLSome URLs lack a letter « h » at the beginning or the end. The example below, for instance, has a small error. There should be an « h » at the beginning of the URL
tps://periodicos.uff.br/revistagenero/about/editorialPolicies#focusAndScope ttp://ejournal.stkip-pgri-sumbar.ac.id/index.php/economica
Deposit policy directoryDeposit policy directory can be registered as a name or a website
Persistent article identifiersPersistent article identifiers can be registered as an acronym (UDC, DOI, ARK), but also as a website, such as dc.identifier.uri (DSpaceUnipr) or NBN http://www.depositolegale.it/national-bibliography-number/
Another example is the occurrences UDC and UDC (Universal decimal Classification), which are equivalents but were registered differently
URL for journal’s Open Access statementSome URLs lack a letter « h » at the beginning or at the end, or they have an extra h at the beginning of the URL. The example below has an extra letter « h » at the beginning of the URL. 
Table 3 – Visible inconsistencies identified in the DOAJ metadata

Publisher’s names duplicates investigation and clean-up

The purpose of this project is preparation to develop a rough picture of publisher size to compare with Solomon & Björk’s findings (2012). In order to better perform publisher size analysis, we have specifically investigated the publisher duplicates and corrected most of the obvious errors, such as small differences in punctuation and/or characters, extra spaces at the beginning and/or at the end, and minor differences in entering the publisher name when it is the same, etc. (Please see examples in Table 4 – Investigative Strategies – Publisher Names Duplicates).

The process of clean-up was divided into three stages. Firstly, we created a pivot table for the publisher column to identify the entries in rows which were slightly different but weren’t gathered. Secondly, when potential duplicates were found, we conducted an investigation to confirm duplicates and/or to decide which name to keep (in priority order: use the name with the most journal entries; correct name with obvious typo; use the first name listed). Please see the investigative strategies below:

Table 4 – Investigative Strategies – Publisher Names Duplicates

Thirdly, after identifying inconsistencies in publisher names, we created a table (please see Table 5 – Corrections GatheringPublisher Names Duplicates) to register all the corrections on the variable Publisher. About 500 inconsistencies were corrected. Thus, the number of publishers in the pivot table has decreased from 7218 entries (data resource: pivot table based on DOAJ metadata) to 6804 entries (data resource: pivot table based on the cleaned-up version of database).

Table 5 – Corrections GatheringPublisher Names Duplicates

As illustrated in the two tables above, there were different types of data inconsistencies. In order to respect metadata to the greatest extent, we acted prudently when making decisions. In some minor variation cases, we tried to click on the URLs to check publisher websites and to collect convincing evidence. However, we met some intricate complex challenges.

One of the challenges was the language. Due to the massiveness and the wide-range of publishers (124 countries, 80 languages, DOAJ, 7 Feb. 2021) [https://doaj.org/], we were unable to identify all of the sources of information. Besides, when there were invalid URLs or unmatched information, it was difficult to seek out any precision. What’s more, among 7218 entries of publisher names, some of the potential duplicates weren’t gathered because of their different beginning words. For example, “Editora da Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Eduem)” vs. “Eduem – Editora da Universidade Estadual de Maringá” and “Academica Brâncuşi” vs. “Editura Academica Brâncuşi”. They were usually far apart and hard to be detected. More details can be found in the Table 6 below:

Different beginning words (examples)“Academica Brâncuşi” vs. “Editura Academica Brâncuşi”;
“Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi” vs. “Editura Universităţii ‘Alexandru Ioan Cuza’ Iaşi”;
“Editora da Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Eduem)” vs. “Eduem – Editora da Universidade Estadual de Maringá”
Table 6 – (1)

Unmatched publisher names (examples):

Original publisher namesPossible correct namesURLs
Canadian Society for the Study of Education.The Canadian Association for Curriculum Studieshttps://jcacs.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jcacs/index
Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan KesehatanURL directs to a new web link:
whose publisher name is:
Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Biomedis dan Teknologi Dasar Kesehatan
Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health ServicesKowsarmedicalhttp://journals.sbmu.ac.ir/jme
Table 6 – (2)

Invalid URLs (examples):

Original publisher namesOriginal URLs (invalid)
Alborz University of Medical Sciences
(URLs wrongly directs to a website whose contents are meaningless; when we searched the journal title, we were directed to this website : https://enterpathog.abzums.ac.ir/)
http://enterpathog.com/?page=home ; https://jehe.abzums.ac.ir/index.php?slc_lang=en&sid=1
Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS)http://revistas.ins.gov.py/index.php/rspp/
Instituto Superior de Ciências de Educação do Huambohttp://revista.isced-hbo.ed.ao/rop/index.php/ROP/index
Table 6 – (3)

Given the barriers and challenges mentioned above, we can draw a conclusion to the limitations of publisher names clean-up project. Precision is not possible in this project because the question “who is the publisher” is complex. Instead of making any definitive claims about publisher size, we are primarily interested in whether the long tail effect (a few big publishers, a few more middle-sized, most very small) reported by Solomon & Björk (2012) can still be observed in DOAJ in 2021.

DOAJ metadata update analysis

The following analysis was conducted to determine whether DOAJ metadata on article processing charges (APCs) – charging status and amount – would be sufficient for SKC’s longitudinal study on APC trends over time. The answer is clearly no. The metadata for the vast majority of journals in DOAJ (overall and APC charging) has not been updated for more than a year, and it is unknown whether the most recent update would have included an update to APC or other metadata. We will continue to use DOAJ metadata as it is rich and the question “is this journal listed in DOAJ” is of value in and of itself, however for price comparisons we cannot rely on this data as it would likely result in erroneous conclusions.

DOAJ journals by year of last update.

This chart illustrates the percentage of DOAJ journals last update by year. Detailed figures are in the table below. Note that just under half the journals were last updated 2 or more years ago (2018 or earlier).

DOAJ last update as of Jan. 5, 2021
Year# journals last updated % journals last updated
Table 7

DOAJ APC charging journals by year of last update

The chart above illustrates the percentage of journals that answered “yes” to the DOAJ question about charging APCs by year of last update. The table below provides the detailed figures. Note that only 30% of DOAJ journals that charge APCs were updated in the past year (2020 or 2021). It is also unknown whether in these cases the last update was a thorough review of the metadata, or might have been an update of non-APC data.

DOAJ last update APC journals only Jan. 5, 2021
Year of last udpate# of journals last updated% journals last updated
Table 8

A version of the Jan. 5, 2021 DOAJ metadata file reflecting the corrections explained below is available as open data here:

Directory of Open Access Journals; Zhao, Xuan; Borges, Luan; Morrison, Heather, 2021, “DOAJ_metadata_2021_01_05_with_SKC_clean_up”, https://doi.org/10.5683/SP2/G5LEXG, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V1


The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) online: https://doaj.org/

Solomon, D. J., & Björk, B. (2012). A study of open access journals using article processing charges. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology63(8), 1485–1495. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.22673

Cite as: Zhao, X., Borges, L., & Morrison, H. (2021). Some limitations of DOAJ metadata for research purposes. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons. https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2021/02/10/some-limitations-of-doaj-metadata-for-research-purposes/

Dramatic Growth of Open Access September 30, 2020

Cross-posted from The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

While many aspects of our lives and activities have slowed down during the COVID pandemic, this has not been the case with open access! The OA initiatives tracked through this series continue to show  strong growth on an annual and quarterly basis. Important milestones are being reached, and others will be coming soon.


The Directory of Open Access Journals now lists over 15,000 fully open access, peer reviewed journals, having added 379 journals (> 4 per day) in the past quarter, and now provides searching for over 5 million articles at the article level.

A PubMed search for “cancer” limited to literature from the past 5 years now links to full-text for over 50% of the articles.

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine now cross-searches over 8,000 repositories and will soon surpass the milestone of a quarter billion documents.

Anyone worried about running out of cultural materials during the pandemic will be relieved to note that the Internet Archive has exceeded a milestone of 6 million movies in addition to over 27 million texts (plus audio, concerts, TV, collections, webpages, and software).

Analysis of quarterly and annual growth for 39 indicators from 10 services reflecting open access publishing and archiving (Internet Archive, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, Directory of Open Access Books, bioRxiv, PubMedCentral, PubMed, SCOAP3, Directory of Open Access Journals, RePEC and arXiv) demonstrates ongoing robust growth beyond the baseline growth of scholarly journals and articles of 3 – 3.5 per year. Growth rates for these indicators ranged from 4% – 100% (doubling). 26 indicators had a growth rate of over 10%, 15 had a growth rate of over 20%, and 6 had a growth rate of over 40%. The full list can be found in this table.

Thank you to everyone in the open access movement for continuing the hard work that makes this growth possible.

The open data edition is available here:   

Morrison, Heather, 2020, “Dramatic Growth of Open Access Sept. 30, 2020”, https://doi.org/10.5683/SP2/AVBOW6, Scholars Portal Dataverse, V2 

This post is part of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access Series.  

Cite as: Morrison, H. (2020). Dramatic Growth of Open Access September 30, 2020. The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics https://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com/2020/10/dramatic-growth-of-open-access.html

Bienvenue à C.A.S.A.D.: Centre d’Accès aux Savoirs d’Afrique et de sa Diaspora

Notre Tanoh Laurent Kakou a créé un blog pour son propre projet de recherche en libre accès, C.A.S.A.D.: Centre d’Accès aux Savoirs d’Afrique et de sa Diaspora.

Quelques articles seront familiers aux lecteurs de Soutenir les savoirs communs, le travail de l’équipe; d’autres sont nouveau recherche fait par Tanoh. La vidéo Qu’est-ce que la revue Afroscopie?, un entretien avec Benoit Awazi, est éclairante pour quiconque s’intéresse à la recherche en Afrique francophone.

Merci et félicitations à notre Tanoh Laurent Kakou, candidat au doctorat en communication (et diplômé d’ÉSIS), qui a réussi son examen de synthèse cet été! Meilleurs voeux à Tanoh et sa recherche.


Welcome to C.A.S.A.D.: Centre d’Accès aux Savoirs d’Afrique et de sa Diaspora

Our Tanoh Laurent Kakou has created a blog for his own research project in open access, C.A.S.A.D.: Centre d’Accès aux Savoirs d’Afrique et de sa Diaspora.

Some articles will be familiar to readers of Sustaining the knowledge commons, as the work of the team; others are new research projects by Tanoh. The video Qu’est-ce que la revue Afroscopie?, an interview with Benoit Awazi, is enlightening for anyone who is interested in research in francophone Africa.

Thank you and congratulations to our Tanoh Laurent Kakou, a doctoral candidate in communication (and graduate of ÉSIS) on passing his comprehensive exam this summer! Best wishes to Tanoh and his research.