2022 was a year of transition for the scholarly communications community. We began the year in a liminal space, in between what was and what’s next. We’re still in that “in-between” but our destination is now in sight. 2024 will mark the end of many of cOAlition S’s alllowances for things like transformative journals and agreements, while 2026 will see full implementation of the new US policies for access to papers and data from federally funded research. Change can be difficult, but with it comes opportunity, and now that we have a clear vision of where we need to end up (the first US agency policy, from NASA, has already been released), plans can be put into motion. 2023 is sure to be a year of directed action, rather than waiting for direction.

That said, a last look at 2022 in The Scholarly Kitchen is warranted, before we move boldly into the future.

Wooden cubes changing calendar date from 2022 to 2023

We published 232 posts, and saw a significant drop in readership, which began around March of the year. Our daily posts were still read at the same rate as previous years, but our back content saw less daily usage. Some of this may stem from changes in search engine algorithms, and some from our older material becoming increasingly obsolete. This is a good thing, as it marks a clear sign of progress that fewer people seem to care about articles tracking Impact Factor changes for PLOS ONE. We passed the 17 million all-time views mark earlier this year, as well as surpassing 7 million all time visitors and 25,000 Twitter followers.

Slightly more than one quarter of our posts were by guest authors, about the same level as last year (and please do consider writing for us, the more viewpoints the better). We rotated off some of our long-term Chefs who had ceased to write regularly for us, though I hope all will continue to contribute in the future, and added one new regular author, Roy Kaufman.

Our top 10 countries for readership in 2022 were (in order), the United States ( 53%), the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, The Netherlands, Japan, China, and France (China joining the top 10 for the first time).

The Scholarly Kitchen’s most-read posts during 2022 were:

  1. Guest Post – MDPI’s Remarkable Growth
  2. Guest Post – Publishing Fast and Slow: A Review of Publishing Speed in the Last Decade
  3. Let the Metadata Wars Begin
  4. Transformative Agreements: A Primer
  5. Sci-Hub: How Does it Work?
  6. Understanding Experimental Controls
  7. Decoupling from Russia
  8. How Will Academia Handle the Zero Embargo?
  9. Elsevier’s ScienceDirect as Content Supercontinent? 
  10. The Beginning of the End of Publisher-Society Partner Contracts

If we limit the most-read list to posts that were written in 2022, our top posts for the year are as follows:

  1. Guest Post – Publishing Fast and Slow: A Review of Publishing Speed in the Last Decade
  2. Let the Metadata Wars Begin
  3. Decoupling from Russia
  4. How Will Academia Handle the Zero Embargo?
  5. Elsevier’s ScienceDirect as Content Supercontinent? 
  6. The Beginning of the End of Publisher-Society Partner Contracts
  7. A New OSTP Memo: Some Initial Observations and Questions
  8. Guest Post — Who Cares About Publication Integrity?
  9. A Reorganization at Elsevier
  10. The End of Journal Impact Factor Purgatory (and Numbers to the Thousandths)

As usual, it’s quite a mixed bag. A few now-perennial posts show up in the first list above (Sci-Hub and Experimental Controls) likely due to search engine traffic from people trying to put both to use. MDPI’s phenomenal rise through ruthless optimization and efficiency continues to capture interest (key to the top post of 2022 on publication speed as well). Coverage of the OSTP’s Nelson Memo was unsurprisingly widely read, as were posts about some significant shifts in the way major commercial publishers are realigning their businesses. And of course, it wouldn’t be a year-end list without at least one Impact Factor article.

What will top the 2023 charts? My guess is as good as yours, but I expect to see even more acceleration in industry consolidation and (hopefully) some bold open access business model experiments.

Happy New Year to all!

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


4 Thoughts on "The Year in Review: 2022 in The Scholarly Kitchen"

Thanks for this article David.
I hail from the twin island Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago.
Who knows, maybe in 2023, a Caribbean country would join the ranks re The Scholarly Kitchen readership.

I don’t know if this explains the readership drop, but I suddenly stopped receiving daily emails in July 2022 after more than 10 years, and eventually resubscribed once I noticed. Not sure if others experienced this. Thanks for the interesting post.

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