Why Anonymize? « Walt at Random
"The project plan for Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 calls for me to make an anonymized version of the master spreadsheet freely available—and as soon as the project was approved, I made an anonymized version of the 2014 spreadsheet available. Two people raised the question 'Why anonymized?'—why don’t I just post the spreadsheet including all data, instead of removing journal names, publishers and URLs and adding a simple numeric key to make rows unique? The short answer is that doing so would shift the focus of the project from patterns and the overall state of gold OA to specifics, and lead to arguments as to whether the data was any good. Maybe that’s all the answer that’s needed. Although I counted very little use of the 2014 spreadsheet in January and February 2016, it’s been used more than 900 times in the first half of March 2016—but I have received no more queries as to why it’s anonymized. For any analysis of patterns, of course, journal names don’t matter. But maybe a slightly longer answer is useful ..."