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RE: How many (peer reveiwed) journals are there?

Joe was careful to make clear that his question was not to do 
with the business model of journals, so it is unfortunate that 
Phil could not resist the dig at OA publishers.  Having looked at 
the first 20 titles listed by BMC I can't see one that hasn't 
published papers this year.  Some have only published a few 
papers, some have published many.  Maybe I've just missed the 
'scores' of titles that publish no papers, but frankly I'm not 
going to check them all.  I'll just wait for Phil to produce some 
evidence to back-up his claim.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Phil Davis
Sent: 05 November 2008 22:25
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: How many (peer reveiwed) journals are there?

I'm sorry to be coy, but I don't understand how this question is 
meaningful.  Journals are defined (mostly) by the community they 
serve. While we like to think of journals as collections of 
articles, "article" also requires some definition.  And while we 
consider peer-review to be a universal standard of rigor, it is 
based on *whose* peers you are talking about.  A journal can 
still be a journal even though it publishes so infrequently, one 
would question whether calling it a journal is even appropriate. 
Look at scores of BioMedCentral or Bentham Science journals that 
seem to maintain their presence in spite of attracting no 

To the question of "what is a journal anyway?" we should add 
"what is the sound of one hand clapping?" and ponder this for 
some time.

--Phil Davis

Joseph J. Esposito wrote:
> In a conversation with a client recently, I made the offhand
> remark about "the 24,000 peer-reviewed journals."  She said, Not
> so fast!  That number is suspect; the actual number is both
> bigger and smaller.  The number is smaller, in her view, because
> only a subset of journals have a careful peer review process; and
> it is larger in that the number of journals continues to grow,
> but the review process is often sketchy at best.  (As far as I
> know, none of this has anything to do with whether a journal is
> open access or toll access.)
> Clearly there are matters of definition at issue here:  What must
> peer review consist of in order for it to earn the use of the
> name? And while we are at it, what is a journal anyway?
> I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has some thoughts on
> this topic.
> How many journals are there?
> Joe Esposito