Journals > Peer-Reviewed Journals > Open-Access Journals < Open Access

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Mon Dec 8 06:16:42 EST 2003

The exchange, below, about the apparent discrepancy in the estimates
of the current number of open access journals is resolved as follows:

Bowker's Ulrichsweb indexes
about 250,000 serials. Of those 250,000 serials about 10% (24,000) are
peer-reviewed journals. Of those 24,000 about 2.5% (600) are indexed by
The Directory of Open Access Journals which indexes
only peer-reviewed journals.

Other indices and harvesters such as
may index more free online full-text journals than
but the open-access movement is focussed on *peer-reviewed* journals only,
as defined in
and only peer-reviewed journals are indexed by

And let us also not forget that apart from the 2.5% of yearly
articles from the 24,000 peer-reviewed journals that are openly
accessible because they are published in the 600 open-access ("gold")
journals to date, at least three times as many yearly articles
(7.5%) from the 24,000 peer-reviewed journals are openly
accessible because they are self-archived by their authors:
This current total of 10% open access can immediately be increased
to at least 55% by self-archiving all the articles in the 55%
of peer-reviewed journals that are already "green" (or "blue" or "gold"):

> Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2003 08:50:29 +0000 (GMT)
> From: Subbiah Arunachalam <subbiah_a at>
> To: sathya <sathya at>
> From: sathya <sathya at>
>     J-Gate [] indexes open access
>     literature extensively. We index articles from 1,600 journals
>     available free online, and we are the only site doing this in the
>     world. (There are many sites who just put an html page of these
>     journals, but no one does indexing). In the coming years, we plan
>     to harvest e-print sites and index them too on our site.
> From: Subbiah Arunachalam <subbiah_a at>
>     [ The Directory of Open Access Journals ]
>     lists [only] 600.
> From: sathya <sathya at>
>     It is possible that [ is] peer-reviewed journals
>     available free online. This could be 600. I can't separately count
>     peer-reviewed journals in my database.

[The following is from the AmSci Forum's Archive/]

"Re: Need for systematic scientometric analyses of open-access data"

    "It seems that (apart from a few well known titles) [of] the 14% free
    access biological periodicals listed by the Electronic Journal Library
    ...some are newsletters, some look like catalogues..."

"Request for journal/article/field statistics from Ulrichs and ISI"

    "The total number of refereed (peer-reviewed) journals
    Ulrich's indexes currently (24,116 active was latest figure)"
    [This is about 10% of the total of about 250,000 serials
     indexed by Ulrichs]

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist Open Access Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Post discussion to: september98-forum at

Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.

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