Monday, July 06, 2009

The dramatic growth of PLoS One: soon-to-be world's largest journal

Update January 2011: in 2010, PLoS ONE published 6,749 articles, and the data strongly suggest that PLoS ONE is indeed now the world's largest journal. For details, see my January 2011 update.

Sometime in 2009, the open access PLoS One will likely become the world's third-largest scholarly journal, and by 2010, quite possibly the largest, by far. PLoS One appears to already be the largest scholarly journal outside the areas of physics and chemistry.


On PLoS One:

"In 2007, the journal published 1,231 articles; in 2008 it published 2,722 articles. At current rates of growth, the journal is on track to publish over 4,300 articles in 2009 and assuming this growth continues at the same rate, in 2010 PLoS ONE could be publishing around 1% of all the articles listed in PubMed for that year (PubMed lists 803,00 published articles for 2008)". [i.e. 8,000 journals]. Peter Binfield, PLoS One: background, future development, and article-level metrics, ELPUB 2009.

On the world's largest journals

Dana Roth, American Scientist Open Access Forum:

PLOS One at 4800 [Heather's note - my copying error, should be 4,300] articles in 2009 will clearly be one of the largest journals, only PHYS REV B (5782) and APPL PHYS LETT (5449) published more articles in 2008.

Other journals in the 'largest' category, with their 2008 article counts, are:

J APPL PHYS (4168)
J BIOL CHEM (3761)
J AM CHEM SOC (3242)
J PHYS CHEM C (2888)
PHYS REV D (2863)

One of the world's other really large journals, the American Physical Society's Physical Review D, is on the list of journals considered 100% convertible to open access through SCOAP3 (see note below). This means that within the coming year, two of the world's largest journals may well be open access journals. The list of the world's largest journals is heavily dominated by physics, a community that has long made almost all their work open access through arXiv, and is now actively working to move a subset of their journals wholescale to open access through SCOAP3. Is it possible that in the near future the majority of the world's very large journals will be open access?

Physical Review D and SCOAP3

Five journals are considered 100% convertible to SCOAP3: Springer’s European Physical Journal C, SISSA/IOP’s Journal of High Energy Physics, Elsevier’s Nuclear Physics B and Physics Letters B and APS’ Physical Review D. From: SCOAP3 FAQ - SPARC.

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

PubMedCentral Canada Partnership announced

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Research Council - Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine have announced a partnership to develop PubMedCentral Canada.

Excerpt from the press release:

PMC Canada builds on the successful PubMed Central (PMC) archive developed by the US National Library of Medicine and will join UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) as a member of the broader PMC International network. This network enables national versions of PMC to share content, and will make much of PubMed Central and UKPMC content accessible through PMC Canada. The network uses software developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the division of NLM that created and administers PMC.

CIHR is contributing the funding, and NRC-CISTI the technology infrastructure.

Thanks to Peter Suber at the Open Access Tracking Project.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Corrected URL: Open Access chapter of Scholarly Communication for Librarians

Just noticed that I posted the wrong URL for the Open Access chapter of my new book Scholarly Communication for Librarians (Chandos Publishing, Oxford 2009). Here is the correct URL:

This chapter is an overview of open access, covering definitions in depth, major types (archives and journals) and examples of major initiatives.

Many thanks to open access colleagues who reviewed this chapter for me.

If you're interested in purchasing a copy of the book, ordering information is available here.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Beyond PDF. XML is better.

Many of the discussions on scholarly communication focus on version, with the assumption being that the best or authoritative version is the publisher's PDF. But is this really the best version for the future? There are arguments that XML is both more usable and more suited to preservation. An author's final manuscript in PubMedCentral, for example, in XML, is more searchable, generally more accessible for the print disabled, and in better shape for preserving into the future, than any PDF version.

Three great quotes on PDF, from a presentation by Alma Swan (thanks to Peter Suber and Charles Bailey on the Open Access Tracking Project):

John Wilbanks (on screen scraping): "Scraping is the right word, because having to work with PDF is really scraping the bottom of the barrel"

Clifford Lynch: "PDF is evil".

Peter Murray-Rust: "Getting to XML from PDF is like starting with the burger and trying to get back to the cow".

Comment: do we need to start writing and publishing in XML in the first place? At the very least, it seems to me that we should be asking ourselves this kind of question - and definitely questioning claims that the current best version is a publisher's PDF. There are moves in the publishing / word processing industry to facilitate this move, for example by Charlesworth Group, Nature Publishing Group, the Public Knowledge Project (Open Journal Systems / Open Conference Systems) and Microsoft, that I know of. Something to watch for, applaud and support.