I just stumbled upon the article “Evaluating E-Contents Beyond Impact Factor – A Pilot Study Selected Open Access Journals In Library And Information Science” by Bhaskar Mukherjee (Journal of Electronic Publishing, vol. 10, no. 2, Spring 2007). It contains a detailed analysis of five Open Archive Journals in Library and Information Science, namely Ariadne, D-Lib Magazine, First Monday, Information Research, and Information Technology and Disabilities.
A more comprehensive list of OA journals in the LIS field can be found in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). It currently lists 89 journals. Not all of them are highly relevant and lively so how do you compare? The traditional journal impact factor is oviously rubbish and most journals are not covered anyway. In a perfect world you could easily harvest all articles via OAI-PMH, extract all references via their identifiers and create a citation network of the Open Access world of library science – maybe you should also include some repositories like E-LIS. But maybe you can measure the impact in other ways. Why not including blogs? Instead of laboriously writing a full research paper for JASIST to “evaluate the suitability of weblogs for determining the impact of journals” (ad-hoc title) I quickly used Google Blogsearch to count some links from weblog entries to some journal pages:
- First Monday
- D-Lib Magazine
- Information Research
- Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship
- Code4Lib Journal
- Journal of Library and Information Technology
I clearly admit that my method is insufficient: you first have to evaluate Google Blogsearch, check URL patterns, divide the number by age or by number of articles etc. Fortunately my blog is not peer-reviewed. But you can comment!
A note on German OA LIS journals: It’s a shame that while German librarians basically read German library journals only two of them are truly Open Access: Beside the more specialized GMS Medizin-Bibliothek-Information there is LIBREAS (with blog count 71). Its current CfP is on a special issue about Open Access and the humanities!
P.S: Why do so many LIS journals use insane and ugly URLs instead of clean and stable ones like http://JOURNALNAME.TDL/ISSUE/ARTICLE? This is like printing a journal on toilet paper! Apache rewrite, virtual hosts, and reverse proxies are there for a good reason.
P.P.S: The IFLA had a Section on Library and Information Science Journals 2002-2005.
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