Global eJournals Library

World's Gone Open...But the library remains closed!

The phenomenal growth of Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Android, Wikipedia and many others now huge corporations has been fuelled by open access content generated by users and published online with no more than few clicks here and there. The result is that in the last 10 years more information has been published in open access than the total amount of knowledge published in human history in the preceding 5000 years! Before the rise of the web, an almighty publishing house would decide what goes on publishing and what doesn't ruling out along the way million of wanna be authors. Today, if you want to publish a book, simply upload it to Amazon, and that is it. The outcome is that already one third of best sellers in Amazon are accounted for by previously unknown individual writers.

Journals Publishing is not the exception...It is going open in leaps and bounds!

Open access journals began to be published a couple of decades ago. It was driven by a rising discomfort amongst numerous scholars and librarians with the ever increasing prices of subscription periodicals as well as some developing countries who found in open access their fastest shortcut to expose their academic research works following rejection by leading publishers. Ever since, open access journals have just kept growing to such an extent that close to one third of journal articles are published in open access. On the down side, open access journals have grown exponentially without a central ruling body which resulted in many publishers following their own formats and making it hard to glean accurate stats concerning its universe. Nevertheless, based on our decade of work with open access journals these are some figures that outline how big they have become. Like you will see, they have become too big to continue to be missing from the library catalog.

  • There are over 10,000,000 open access journals articles scattered throughout the web.
  • There are over 20,000 open access journals out there in all languages.
  • More than 130 countries are publishing in open access journals.
  • US and UK lead the way by far...
  • In 2012 the US Congress decided that all tax-payer funded research will be rendered open access after one year of publication.
  • The UK government have followed similar steps...
  • The largest journals by number of articles is in open access. It is PloS.
  • One of the top 20 most used research resources in the world is the Directory of Open Access Journals. 
  • The impact factor of open access journals in developed countries is practically the same as in closed access journals.
  • It is forecasted that over the next two decades open access journal publishing will overtake subscription models.

Why most libraries remain closed while the world's gone open?

Most of the information found in libraries today come from a few number of global publishers and aggregators who used to be the main source of print works in the pre-internet age. These large publishers and aggregators traditionally supplied libraries with every content and database they needed and over time built trust and robust reputation. Such content was copyrighted and of closed access in nature. In the pre-internet era authors had little choice other than partnering with publishers. So, this approach made a lot of sense in those days for libraries. But now the situation has changed altogether, and there is far more information available in open access online than what a library can afford to buy with its limited budget. But as there is more information out there for free, there is a lot of that information that is noise, irrelevant and unreliable. Librarians want to provide quality information and given the uncertainty of the web, the safest choice is to adhere to the traditional closed access and validated information from existing publishers. 

The issue is that while it is true that there is a lot of noise on the web, there is a lot of quality information in the more than one trillion pages available on the world wide web. But the average end user is simply unable to find that type of information through Google alone. The job of the librarian of the future is to make visible what is worth it but that Google makes invisible. This is precisely the case with open access journals. There are thousands out there for free and many librarians take for granted that they are visible. They are not, they remain buried amongst millions of results from Google. The average researchers is only aware of few of them that have built a reputation, but remains unaware of many others that are outstanding but that because of poor marketing stay unheard of. The Global eJournal Library is a discovery tool that attempts to make visible the head and the tail of all open access journal articles ever published in english in the last 100 years. While there are other resources on the web that make their best effort to do the same, the Global eJournal Library is the only one that employs over a hundred people who visit each and every one of these hidden open access journals websites, evaluates them and collects their data. This has enabled them to reach and unearth open access journals articles better than anybody else.