Analyzing the DOAJ – Delta Think

“The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is increasingly being used as a benchmark to determine whether a journal is fully OA, most notably as part of both the original and recently revised Plan S guidelines. This month we take a look at the DOAJ and consider how it compares to other sources for evaluating fully OA status.

The draft Plan S Implementation guidelines suggested that a listing in the DOAJ is mandatory if a journal is to be considered fully OA. This led to commentators raising concerns that many DOAJ Journals do not meet other Plan S criteria, and are therefore not compliant.

In an open letter on its blog, the DOAJ team addressed concerns about its coverage, journal quality, promotion of APC-charging journals, and Plan S compliance. The DOAJ is not (at the time of writing) a formal partner of Plan S. The team do not claim it offers exhaustive coverage and remain neutral to whether journals charge APCs. In 2014 it tightened its acceptance criteria and made all of its 10,000+ indexed journals reapply to remain indexed, which led to a shrinkage in its coverage. The team is now taking active steps to ensure that lost ground in arts & social sciences coverage (in particular) is made up and they have ambitions to keep it updated at least annually.

Whatever its shortcomings, the DOAJ is used as a benchmark by academic studies as it’s a convenient data set to analyze. ImpactStory uses a journal’s presence in the DOAJ as a key indicator of its fully OA (gold) status,* which means that products which consume ImpactStory data (such as Web of Science and Dimensions) do so as well. Following its recent consultation exercise, the latest implementation guidelines from cOAlition S restate the DOAJ as being the de facto index of compliant fully OA journals. cOAlition S also hints at further work to be done, stating that it “will work with the…DOAJ…and other potential partners to establish mechanisms for identifying and signalling whether journals…fulfil [its] requirements.” …

The DOAJ is now being used as an ipso facto source which feeds a number of services and is a core part in OA compliance policies (even allowing for caveats). However, if the DOAJ is being used as a sole indicator of journals’ fully OA status, then their coverage will be incomplete.

Much of this discrepancy may be due to omitted journals not meeting the DOAJ inclusion criteria. It ultimately remains the responsibility of publishers to make sure that their (eligible) DOAJ data are up to date. If publishers fail to do this, then their journals may not appear – or not appear correctly – in some widely-used discovery services….”

What are mirror journals, and can they offer a new world of open access?

To meet the evolving needs of our community and expand our open access publishing options, Elsevier is piloting the concept of open access “mirror journals.” These journals are fully gold open access but share the same editorial board, aims and scope and peer review policies as their existing “parent” journals – and the same level of visibility and discoverability. They provide an additional option for open access publishing in the Elsevier portfolio.

They will have the same title as their parent journal, distinguished by the letter X after their name. The new titles will have their own ISSN numbers and citation metrics….

We introduced the concept of OA mirror journals in 2018, launching a pilot program of more than 40 mirror journals across a range of subject areas in life, health and physical sciences….

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) has accepted the first OA mirror journals, and Elsevier will continue to start DOAJ approval processes with all other OA mirror journals. Clarivate has accepted the first mirror journal for ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index) coverage, and other applications are in the pipeline. We have been gratified to see that citations have already started to flow in to the OA mirror journals, demonstrating their immediate impact with the research community….

For further information, we have created this FAQ. …”

DOAJ reaches its funding target within 18 months of starting its fund-raising programme – SPARC Europe

“We are delighted to announce that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has reached its funding target to cover its operational costs as outlined in its SCOSS application. Eight consortia and 175 institutions/organisations from 18 different countries have committed support to DOAJ. “We’d like to thank our supporters. That this many organisations have gotten behind this initiative and promised this amount of funding shows how important sustaining open access infrastructure is,” said Lars Bjørnshauge, DOAJ Managing Director….”

DOAJ reaches its funding target within 18 months of starting its fund-raising programme – SPARC Europe

“We are delighted to announce that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has reached its funding target to cover its operational costs as outlined in its SCOSS application. Eight consortia and 175 institutions/organisations from 18 different countries have committed support to DOAJ. “We’d like to thank our supporters. That this many organisations have gotten behind this initiative and promised this amount of funding shows how important sustaining open access infrastructure is,” said Lars Bjørnshauge, DOAJ Managing Director….”

DOAJ’s open letter to SSHA communities about Plan S – News Service

“The recently published Royal Historical Society (RHS) working paper on Plan Scontains some errors about the role that DOAJ might play in Plan S certification. These misunderstandings are commonplace and we, the DOAJ Management Team, have seen them before in other responses to Plan S. They are disappointing but they are not surprising….

The DOAJ Management Team recently decided that it is time to do a bit of “myth-busting“. Therefore we are publishing this open letter, partly as a response to the RHS paper, mostly as a way of addressing the misunderstandings that have been circulated on social media, but also as a call to SSHA communities to collaborate with us….

We felt it was important to respond to this particular statement because it illustrates that there is a great need to support social science, humanities and arts (SSHA) communities. DOAJ is keen to work more closely with SSHA communities and the organisations and bodies working with them to enable them to become fully familiar with the driving forces behind open access, in a way that the STEMM communities already are….

In 2015, DOAJ tightened its acceptance criteria and made all the 10 000+ indexed journals reapply to remain indexed. Many SSHA journals failed to submit a re-application to us, or didn’t meet enough of the criteria to remain indexed. It is not enough to expect these journals to simply come to us and apply. We must go to them and help them understand why being indexed in DOAJ is a good thing, but we cannot do it alone. With this post, we are putting out an open call to representative groups in the social sciences, humanities and arts to collaborate with us and help us to identify journals that are fit for purpose, and which should be indexed in DOAJ….

The RHS paper describes an understandable concern that Plan S disadvantages SSHA journals, many of which do not charge APCs. We were pleased to read this comment as this echoes exactly the concern which DOAJ presented to cOAlition S during the feedback period. The current draft of the Plan S requirements glosses over any journals, SSHA or otherwise, that do not charge APCs and these are the journals that DOAJ is trying to protect and promote….

Many commentators of Plan S have mentioned either that many journals in DOAJ are not Plan S compliant or that it is hard to identify Plan S compliant journals currently indexed in DOAJ. If cOAlition S confirms that DOAJ is a partner in Plan S implementation then the DOAJ Management Team will adapt DOAJ, both the website and the editorial processes, to allow journals to apply for Plan S compliance.

  • We will add a separate stream for those journals seeking Plan S compliance.
  • Being indexed in DOAJ will not equal Plan S compliance.
  • We will make it possible for journals to be indexed appropriately in DOAJ: Plan S compliant or DOAJ compliant or compliance for both.
  • We understand that many of the journals which eventually achieve Plan S compliance probably aren’t in DOAJ today.
  • We do expect that many of the journals in DOAJ today may not even want to apply for Plan S compliance.
  • We will work hard to make sure that Plan S compliant journals are quickly and easily identifiable by users….”

All University of California campuses commit to DOAJ – News Service

Ten institutions from the University of California – all nine campuses – commit €90,000 to DOAJ, the largest US consortium to support DOAJ via the SCOSS initiative so far.

DOAJ is very pleased for the support received from the University of California towards a sustainable funding model promoted by SCOSS….”

All University of California campuses commit to DOAJ – News Service

Ten institutions from the University of California – all nine campuses – commit €90,000 to DOAJ, the largest US consortium to support DOAJ via the SCOSS initiative so far.

DOAJ is very pleased for the support received from the University of California towards a sustainable funding model promoted by SCOSS….”

Swiss consortium pledges 216,000 Eur to DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO – News Service

“We are delighted to announce that the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, comprising sixteen libraries and the Swiss National Science Foundation, is the third national consortium to commit to the SCOSS initiative.

swissuniversities, the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Higher Education Institutions, contributes approximately 50% of the total costs in the framework of the Swiss National Strategy for Open Access….”

Swiss consortium pledges 216,000 Eur to DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO – News Service

“We are delighted to announce that the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, comprising sixteen libraries and the Swiss National Science Foundation, is the third national consortium to commit to the SCOSS initiative.

swissuniversities, the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Higher Education Institutions, contributes approximately 50% of the total costs in the framework of the Swiss National Strategy for Open Access….”

Bibliography journals and the world of Open Access: a discussion starting from DOAJ | Salarelli | Bibliothecae.it

Abstract:  Open access journals are playing an increasingly important role in scientific publishing. However, it is hard to find the right way in the huge amount of OA titles available on the net. In this respect DOAJ, a directory based on stringent qualitative selection criteria, represents a fundamental resource for authors, publishers and librarians. This article examines the characteristics of LIS journals listed in DOAJ, highlighting in particular their origin (born- digital or digitized) and the main topics they cover.