Instead of American Quarterly, the Journal of Women’s History

After I decided to included articles from one journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press in my examination of which articles that could have the publisher’s version PDF deposited in an institutional repository have been, I was planning at first on American Quarterly. However, since I’m trying to focus especially on the specific discipline of history here, I wanted to double-check the proportion of authors there who are historians, and in American Quarterly, it looks as though that might not be more than half.

There might be no perfect journals for this with that press, but Journal of Women’s History seems to much more often have historians as authors. Think I’ll switch to that.

Journals currently of interest

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m interested in exploring historians’ views of open access, Gold and Green, and exploring therefore their behavior with the Green OA options they currently have, principally institutional repositories, and it seems likely to me that the best-case scenario for IR deposit are articles for which the publisher’s PDF is allowed, which seem so far to be in about 70 journals from about six different university presses.

To allow for a good range of journals, embargoes, and subject matter while sticking generally with history topics, I’ve changed somewhat and expanded the journals I’m looking at, dropping one of my initial three and adding another seven. The nine I’m now looking in for relevant articles are:

  • American Quarterly Journal of Women’s History from Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Pacific Historical Review from University of California Press
  • Public Historian from University of California Press
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History from MIT Press
  • New England Quarterly from MIT Press
  • Journal of World History from University of Hawaii Press
  • Journal of Modern History from University of Chicago Press
  • Journal of the Early Republic from University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Early American Studies from University of Pennsylvania Press

From those nine, I’m trying to gather up the title, issue, and author for most research articles and long essays for a couple of years and note also the authors’ institutions. (I’m not interested right now in book reviews or in editorials, letters, editors’ notes, or other items of under five pages.) I’m starting with articles published in 2013, since none of these journals have an embargo of longer than 12 months, so 2013 is the earliest full year unaffected by an embargo for all of these. I’ll probably also look at 2011 and 2012.

Once I know which articles I’m looking for and with which institutions their authors are affiliated, I can look at what proportion of authors who could deposit the version of record in their IR have chosen to do.

At the moment, I’m tracking all this information in a Google spreadsheet.

Who knows whether I’ll finish all of this or whether it’s actually worthwhile, but right now it at least seems like it could be pretty interesting.

Standard behavior for links

An ongoing discussion in my place of work, as in many, is whether links from our website should open in a new tab/window or in the same one. Michael Schofield made a fairly compelling case for the latter in a January blog post. In that post, though, he said,

Design conventions are useful….The conventions set by the sites that users spend the most time on–Facebook, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and so on–are conventions users expect to be adopted everywhere.

Since he’s arguing for using the conventions set by such sites, it seems worth asking whether such dominant sites do share a standard behavior, influencing users’ expectations consistently.

The sites listed in the article he links to include ESPN, Craigslist, Tumblr, eBay, Amazon, AOL, Microsoft (apparently including Bing, Hotmail, and MSN), Yahoo, Google, and Facebook.

I understand the question here to be about links to external sites. Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist, as shopping sites, have a ton of internal links, but external links are harder to find. So let’s look at the others.

The quick and simple testing I’ve done indicates that there’s a real divide. Facebook, ESPN, Tumblr, and MSN all seem to open external links in new tabs. AOL, Bing, Yahoo, and Google all seem to open them in the same tab.

I decided to look a little further at some other prominent sites. Twitter, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and Slate all seem to open external links in new tabs, while Wikipedia, Reddit, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Scientific American all open external links in the same tab.

AOL, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Reddit is a significant set of some major and influential sites. But Facebook, ESPN, MSN, Tumblr, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and Huffington Post are also count for something here.

The other arguments Schofield makes are pretty persuasive. He’s probably right that links should generally open in the same tab. It just doesn’t seem like there’s standard behavior across those major sites to consistently set user expectations in this regard.


I actually had a previous WordPress blog at this domain (though with a different hosting provider) before I discovered the hard way that I didn’t actually know how to restore the database for a WordPress blog from backup (which is extra-embarrassing for a librarian, of course).

One silver lining is there weren’t many posts there to be lost in the first place; another is that it made for a decent occasion to switch domain registrar and hosting provider.

All my best stuff is in the future, anyway.