An interesting new Nov 2011 journal article…

Sian Evans, Hilary Thompson, and Alex Watkins. “Discovering Open Access Art History: A Comparative Study of the Indexing of Open Access Art Journals” (PDF full-text link).

The researchers found 30 art history titles listed in the DOAJ directory. They then looked for the presence of these in Art Full Text, ARTbibliographies Modern, Art & Architecture Complete, and Bibliography of the History of Art / International Bibliography of Art. They found that only 6 of the 30 DOAJ titles were being indexed by these commercial databases. But half the time the actual full-text article was still inaccessible…

“50% of the time [in the commercial databases] there was no indication that the article could be read for free, nor was the full text provided”

By contrast, Google Scholar indexed 15 of the 30 DOAJ art history titles, and provided handy click-through links to full-text articles, albeit at the price of jumbling them in among results from a host of paywalled results drawn from commercial databases, Google Books, and the like.

Of course, JURN indexes all 30 — and the JURN Directory currently links to more than 60 titles in the art history category. Plus journals in museology and heritage conservation, and also the wider collection of history journals.

It was also interesting to read in the article that…

“No study regarding the indexing of open access journals has yet been conducted in the arts”.

Is there really not a single librarian, or even an OA advocate, in the entire world who is or has been interested in such matters?

Sadly, the authors find that…

“the vast majority of open access art scholarship remains undiscoverable for specialists in the field.”

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