Joseph Esposito has usefully snagged a peek inside a very expensive commercial market report titled Global Social Science & Humanities Publishing 2013-2014.
Social/Humanities publishing is found to be perhaps 25% of the size of Science/Technology/Medicine, at around $5bn. That actually strikes me as something of an achievement, when you consider that we have far smaller research funding inputs and a smaller technical/training infrastructure to call on. But perhaps the $5bn figure is given a strong boost by teacher training textbooks, social work manuals and the like?
Joseph highlights the report’s finding of a highly fragmented market. This market fragmentation is one of the reasons I’m sceptical about the success of a ‘one metadata to rule them all’ solution to OA indexing and discovery. It seems that DOAJ-listed OA journal titles can’t even find their way in full-text into the largest of commercial databases (such as EBSCO Complete) at higher levels than just over 20%. When last heard of the Web of Science / Scopus seemed to be barely scraping 1,000 OA arts and humanities titles indexed. One art history study found that Google Scholar could index only half the DOAJ’s OA art history titles. A dastardly conspiracy to keep OA titles out of these big indexes seems unlikely. So I suspect it’s largely due to many OA editors in the arts and humanities not giving a fig about providing the means to automatically index their content. Their widespread lack of something as basic as RSS feeds seems to confirm that. Persuading them to even glance at a new bit of metadata, let alone tag all their back-issue content with it, thus seems rather a long shot. Nor are librarians like to be of much use, after the fact of publication, since they seem to have mostly failed to apply even their own metadata standards to open content.