Overview of Open Access journals resources

The ISSN register recently launched a new resource: ROAD, Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources. It is an attempt to describe various Open Access resources. Journals, of course. Besides the journals they describe serials, book series and conference proceedings, but also repositories. The latter was new to me that databases could get an ISSN as well. They have not come very far with their inventory of repositories. Currently they have only indexed 172 Open Access repositories. As can be expected the ROAD directory is far more comprehensive for Open Access journals, currently indexing 7194 Open Access journals and a mere 68 conference proceedings. Book series are not yet included but apparently they will follow in 2014.

The effort of the ISSN organisation to index Open Access repositories is in stark contrast with OpenDOAR which has registered 2582 Open Access repositories worldwide and the Registry of Open Access Repositories with 3585 repositories.

For a comparison of the various initiatives to build and maintain databases of Open Access journals the following databases deserve special mention:

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Probably the best know collection of Open Access journals. Currently a collection of 9804 free full text, peer reviewed Open Access Journals are described. More than 5636 journals are searchable at the article level on the standard bibliographic metadata of the articles.

Livre! is the a journal portal from Brazilian origin, it covers more than 5916 scientific journals, magazines, bulletins and newsletters but you can easily limit the selections to peer reviewed scientific journals.

Jan Szczepanski’s lists of OA-journals
Jan Szczepanski, a librarian at Göteborg University, has collected links and information on Open Access journals for years. His lists contain over 22,000 current OA-journals (end 2013). Het estimates that about 10% of the links in this anthology are dead, but the metadata provided make it possible to find the journal with web search engines or in the Internet archive.

The Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek EZB (Electronic Journals Library)
Covers some 44,000 OA journals. The collection is therefore one of the most comprehensive free journal collections. Just select only the “green” journals and you can browse or search through this impressive collection. The collection covers more than only peer reviewed scholarly journals. Unfortunately you can’t filter out peer reviewed yournals only. You can filter journals by some 41 subject areas.

Walt Crawford’s overview of early E-zines
In Cites & Insight 6(12) Walt Crawford provides an overview of early OA Journals “They weren’t generally called Open Access journals in 1995: If that term existed before 2001 or 2002, it certainly wasn’t the standard name for free online scholarship. But there were examples of free online scholarship, some dating back to 1987.”

I had some doubt whether to include Highwire Press as well. They do list journals from various publishers, but the majority are Toll Access journals, and most of those in Open Access, are delayed open access. Free content as they call it. So it doesn’t fit this collection.

Not a list of journals, but highly suspicious Open Access publishers, is Beall’s list. Most of the resources listed in this post include journals uncritically. Beall’s list is a useful resource to counter some of the Open Access positivism.

Some musings on the JCR

Last year some of our researchers asked me what had happened to the Impact Factor of the journal Water Science and Technology. In the 2005 edition it was still included in the JCR and showed an showed an increasing trend in Impact Factor. Not the top of all journals, but a good player. After correspondence with ISI (Thomson Reuters Scientific) we found out that it was indeed excluded from the JCR because it lacked the desired quality. Later I understood from one of the editors that perhaps too many conference papers caused this problem. The editors changed the editorial policies and complied with ISI to upgrade the standards. After these improvements the journal was set for inclusion in 2007 again.

Indeed the journal has appeared again in the latest edition of the JCR. A shinning IF of 1.240 which is higher than ever. For 2006 the IF has been calculated and presented in the 2007 edition as well. A wee bit low, but it is important that there is a continous set of data. But what really amazes me is the fact that when you search in de 2006 edition of the JCR you still don’t find this journal. In the 2005 edition it is there again. It strikes me as odd. Still hanging on the old idea of a paper edition.

Another pain point of me with the JCR is the strange division between the Science edition and the Social Science edition of the JCR.Today I had to check for a set of journals their impact factors. Each time you have to guess wether the journal would be included in the Science edition or the Social Science edition.

I can imagine there is a sales argument to sell either smaller set to smaller institutions. But when you subscribe to the complete set, I can’t see any reason whatsoever why we have to live with this barrier in the database. It seems a relic from times long time gone.

Elsevier’s topcited just launched

Where Thomson scientific has already for quite some years the free website ISIhighlycited, Elsevier has launched today (?) a competitive product called TopCited. Albeit not the same, it is clear that the competition is inspiring both companies to come up with new products in each other niches. The databases are effectively a lure to get reserchers interested in the products behind it. TopCited gives an overview of subject-specific top 20 cited articles in the past 3, 4 or 5 years of publication. The underlying database for the citation data is Scopus of course.
I just discovered it, some quick impressions:

  • A time frame of maximally 5 years is a bit brief. I would love to see a 10 year frame as well.
  • I suspect they have some difficulty of determining the research field of article published in multidisciplinary journals such as Nature and Science. They seem to be lacking from rankings, albeit a glimpsed a few. Too few according to my impression.

Later on I will look at this new site more carefully, and will attempt to make a comparison with the competitive Thomson databases.