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One can manually browse through scholarly publishers' websites and see the number of journals they publish, such as:

  • Elsevier: ca. 4.330 journals
  • SAGE: ca. 1.200 journals
  • Inderscience: ca. 430 journals
  • Cambridge University Press: ca. 380 journals
  • Emerald: ca. 350 journals
  • Hindawi: ca. 230 journals
  • MDPI: ca. 200 journals

However, a manual search risks leaving out certain publishers, is prone to mistakes, and is quite time-consuming.

I would thus like to know: Is there already a comprehensive list of large academic journal publishers ordered by the number of journals they publish?

EDIT: I am not intending to crowdsource a full list here; such an approach would be flawed as well. The background for my question is that I would need precise data about academic journal publishers for a specific analysis, and before I go on to design a time-consuming data-collection method, I wanted to ask this question here.

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  • Precision is probably unnecessary. The top-three will likely be high above the rest. One that's missing from your list is Springer. – user2768 Dec 11 '20 at 9:20
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    I am not sure, how useful such a list would be. My spam folder is full of "publishing houses" claiming to publish 300+ journals. And in the times of online publishing, this might indeed be a true statement, as publishing a journal only requires coming up with a name and scamming some unsuspecting junior scientist into submitting their thrice rejected, flawed manuscript as the centre-piece of some special issue. No one would consider these places large publishers. On the other hand there are big places like the AAAS which publishes Science, but only 5 other journals in total. – mlk Dec 11 '20 at 10:15
  • Your university library can probably tell you what publishers they make payments to for journals. Spinger says it publishes "more than 2900 journals". springer.com/gp – GEdgar Dec 11 '20 at 13:28
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There are a large number of predatory publishers who publish 300+ journals of no real value. So there is no way to include all publishers.

However, if you would be satisfied with scopus indexed journals, then you can download the excel file, sort it based on publisher and filter it. Thus, you will get a list of publishers with the number of journals. Of course, the list will be confined to scopus indexed journals (around 40000 journals by 4000 publishers).

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  • Thanks. After having done a bit of research, I guess that your suggestion is possibly the best available approach. There are limitations, of course: First, Scopus is selective (thought not as much as, say, Web of Science). Secondly, Scopus' excel list seems to have problems with unharmonized publisher names (see the discussion at github.com/greenelab/scihub-manuscript/issues/24). Anyway, I am unaware of a better approach - but I would still wait a bit and see whether other people have other suggestions before I 'accept' your answer. – anpami Dec 12 '20 at 16:23
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As I could not find a satisfactory answer, I tried an alternative approach. This is what I came up with:

Top 50 Academic Publishers sorted by Journal Count

You can also browse through the results at https://ooir.org/journals/.

The methodical approach was, first, to obtain all publishers names that had supposedly at least 50 journals according to either DOAJ, Publons, Scopus or Sherpa Romeo. Secondly, I webscraped the journal portfolio of each respective publisher. Finally, I ordered the publisher by journal count.

More details in this pre-print (where the table is taken from) or on GitHub.

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