Gold open access (OA) journals appear to be proliferating, generating a virtual tidal wave of new titles. This is the upshot of a small research project I recently completed. Additional information and comment will be appreciated.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists just over 8,000 gold OA journals, with more than 1,000 having been added in just the last 12 months, and more than 1,000 in the year before that. Moreover, DOAJ search results for some major publishers list far fewer journals than the publishers themselves list. DOAJ admits they have a huge backlog of unlisted journals. This is probably due to the flood of new gold OA journals.
Note however that most gold OA journals are quite small. So even though there are many of them, the number of articles they publish collectively appears to be a relatively small fraction of all the articles published in their respective fields. How this is changing over time is not presently known, as good data are hard to find in this rapidly evolving situation. But it certainly looks like an emerging new market for scientific communication, giving researchers many new outlets and choices.
The field consists of a relatively few very large publishers, plus a great many publishers of just one or a few journals. The latter are often scholarly societies or universities. Large publishers may have from 100-400 journals each. Some of the large and medium-sized publishers are listed below. It’s clear from their home pages that these journals a looking for search outlets. Many list the sources that index them. It is a selling point for them, since they are selling to authors.
Note too that a significant fraction of the journals listed by DOAJ are not in the areas of science, technology, and medicine (STM). Many are in the humanities, education, and business, to name a few. Perhaps 4,000 are in the STM domains, and here many are in medicine, the social sciences, and agriculture. There appear to be on the order of 2,000 journals in the physical, mathematical, and computational sciences.
An incomplete list of major and intermediate gold OA publishers follows, in no particular order except biggies first. Of some interest is the fact that many are in developing countries.
- Hindawi Publishing Corporation (Egypt). Hindawi says it is a rapidly growing academic publisher with more than 300 Open Access journals covering a wide range of academic disciplines. See also the International Scholarly Research Network below, with about 125 additional journals. ISRN says it is a division of Hindawi but its journals are not included in Hindawi’s list of 300+ titles. Together Hindawi therefore seems to have over 400 journals.
- Scientific Research Publishing (USA). SCIRP says it currently has more than 200 open access journals in the areas of science, technology and medicine.
- Bentham Science Publishers (Netherlands). Bentham Open says they publish over 230 plus peer-reviewed open access journals, covering all major disciplines of science, technology, medicine and social sciences.
- BioMed Central (UK). BioMed Central says they publish 243 peer-reviewed open access journals. All appear to be biology or medical related, with some chemistry. It was acquired by Springer in 2008.
- International Scholarly Research Network (Egypt). ISRN publishes about125 OA journals, many in medicine but also in math and the physical sciences. ISRN says it is a division of Hindawi but its journals are not included in Hindawi’s list of 300+ titles.
- Academic Journals (Nigeria). They list over 100 journals.
- Springer Open (Germany). They list about 100 journals. Springer is a major subscription publisher as well.
- Bioinfo Publications (India). They say they have more than 300 OA journals.
- Scientific and Academic Publishing (USA). They list over 200 journals, many in technology.
- Versita Open (Poland). They say they have over 200 journals, many of which are published for scholarly societies and universities.
- The Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (Switzerland). MDPI says they publish over 70 journals.
- Copernicus Publications (Germany). Copernicus lists 29 OA journals, mostly related to earth science.
- SCIENCEDOMAIN International (India). SDI lists 26 journals.
- World Academic Publishing (Hong Kong). They list 27 journals.
- Asian Network for Scientific Information (Pakistan). They list 36 journals.
- Science Publications (USA). They list 28 journals.
- EDP Sciences (France). They list 17 open access journals, along with many subscription journals.
- Canadian Center of Science and Education (Canada). They list 45 OA journals.