India leads in Gold Open Access Publishing – fake or genuine?

This is a guest post by Leena Shah, DOAJ Ambassador, India.

CroppedImage_LeenaIt is interesting to note that since the introduction of new criteria for DOAJ listing in March 2014, we have received the highest number of new applications from Open Access journal publishers in India, followed by those in Indonesia, USA, Brazil and Iran. From around 1600 new applications received from India since March 2014 only 4% were accepted, with 78% of the applications rejected for various reasons and approximately 18% still in process.

Looking at the high volume of new applications from OA publishers wanting to be listed in DOAJ, it would seem that the Gold OA publishing model is well accepted and understood in India. But three quarters of the DOAJ applications from India in the last three years have been rejected – often for being questionable, duplicate applications or for not being a journal at all! Two things emerge from this – firstly that there may be many genuine, small-time publishers who lack knowledge of best practices in journal publishing, and secondly the increasing number of unscrupulous publishers in this region exploiting the gold OA model, claiming to be legitimate journals in order to pocket the Article Processing Charge (APC) from the author but providing little or no editorial services in return. With the new criteria for listing in DOAJ implemented in 2014, OA journal publishers are required to furnish APC information, and out of the 74 new applications that have been accepted from India since then and are currently listed in DOAJ, 52 journals do not charge any APC. A complete list of OA journals published in India and currently in DOAJ that do not charge APC is available here.

India also emerges as one of the top three countries behind USA and Indonesia for generating traffic to the DOAJ website (usage statistics based on number of user sessions). With this being the case, why are researchers still publishing in fake journals?

Many articles have been published about the rise of research fraud in the last few years, with researchers and academicians from major academic institutions in India and national institutes publishing in fake/substandard journals for career advancement. Recently this led to a small but important development in scholarly communication. To nudge researchers towards publishing in peer-reviewed and credible journals, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced in January 2017 an approved list of journals for the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and the direct recruitment of teachers and academic staff.  This is a dynamic list of 38,653 legitimate journals across disciplines. This list is to be viewed as an evolving document which will need major revisions to make it comprehensive and available in a format that is easier to analyse and interpret. In March 2017, DOAJ submitted a request to UGC to include Open Access journals that are listed in DOAJ in the approved list.

In other developments across the region, Open Access India, an online community of practice with volunteer members, launched in 2011 to advocate Open Access, Open Data and Open Education in India, submitted a proposal in February 2017 to the Ministry of Human Resource Department (HRD) and Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, for a National Open Access Policy to mandate Open Access for all public funded research in the country. In February 2017, an Open Access India community initiative, AgriXiv hosted by the Open Science Framework, was launched to provide free, open access archives for preprints related to agriculture and allied sciences.

Other noteworthy OA resources in India include Listing of Open Access Databases (LOADB)  a portal launched in October 2015, which offers a classified and categorized listing of Open Access databases. This was developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Unit for Research and Development of Information Products (URDIP).

Shodhganga is a national digital repository maintained by INFLIBNET Centre that facilitates Open Access to Indian theses and dissertations submitted to Indian universities. At present 307 universities in India have signed a MoU with INFLIBNET Centre.

Finally, some of the national research institutes such as:

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science & technology (DST) have adopted an Open Access mandate. According to the mandate, researchers funded by these organisations are required to submit the final accepted version (without publisher formatting) of the paper to their institutional repository after verifying the archiving policy of the journal publisher. This Green OA model has its challenges in implementation and building awareness of OA, but for a large country like India where scientific output is high there is room for both Green as well as Gold OA.

References

Arunachalam, S., & Muthu, M. (2011). Open Access to Scholarly Literature in India—A Status Report (with Emphasis on Scientific Literature). Centre for Internet and Society.

Seethapathy, G. S., Kumar, J. S., & Hareesha, A. S. (2016). India’s scientific publication in predatory journals: need for regulating quality of Indian science and education. CURRENT SCIENCE, 111(11), 1759.

Pushkar (2016, June 21). The UGC deserves applause for trying to do something about research fraud. The Wire. Retrieved from https://thewire.in/44343/the-ugc-deserves-applause-for-rrying-to-do-something-about-research-fraud/

 

Three DOAJ journals win free indexing in ScienceOpen!

We recently partnered with ScienceOpen to help them to offer free indexing to Open Access journals with no APC, as part of our mission to enhance open scholarship. 

Last month, we recommended 10 journals to ScienceOpen so they could take part in the free indexing competition.

In the latest round of the free indexing competition, we are pleased to announce three new journals from across Europe that will be integrated into and promoted on SienceOpen platform. These are:

  • Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, from Croatia
    • Published by the University of Split, this journal publishes articles from the Social Sciences, including topics in industries, land use, labour, and industrial management.
  • Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, from Spain
    • Published by the Universidad de La Laguna, this journal publishes articles in Spanish, Castilian, and English in the fields of Language and Literature, Linguistics, Communication, and the Mass Media.
  • Studia z Filologii Polskiej i Słowiańskiej, from Poland
    • Published by the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, this journal publishes articles from the field of Linguistics in Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and English.

These join other recent successful applicants to the competition, and help to increase the visibility of important Open Access research.

If you run a free to publish Open Access journal, participate in the competition today and get indexed on ScienceOpen for free! See the guidelines for indexing here.

 

Nordic Research Organizations support DOAJ!

We are very happy to welcome a number of Nordic research organizations as members of DOAJ.

These organizations maintain the Nordic list of authorized research publication channels. Several have open access policies and mandates in place and would like to pave the way for (new) open access journals to be visible in the directory.

“In three Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland and Norway — national lists of authorized research publication channels are used for indicators in the national performance-based research funding systems. Each country has significant running costs in maintaining and updating the bibliographic data in their databases. Sweden, Iceland and Faroe Islands do not have such a funding system but are planning to use similar lists.

The Nordic countries are therefore cooperating on a common registry of research publications channels. Although there are some policy differences between each country in how the lists are compiled and used – for example, the number of levels used in each country differs – collaboration on the underlying bibliographic data is both possible and desirable without the need to harmonize policy at all levels.”

The objectives of the Nordic collaboration on publication channels are:

  • to reduce and share the burden of maintaining bibliographic data concerning publications channels,
  • to improve and refine the data quality contained in each national database and provide for greater comparability,
  • to facilitate and improve analysis of research output at national level and comparatively between Nordic countries.

The following stakeholders are cooperating in this project:

Denmark

FI – Styrelsen för Forskning og Innovation, Uddanelses- og Forskningsministeriet (The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry for Education and Research)

Finland

TSV – Tieteellisten Seurain Valtuuskunta (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies)

OKM – Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö (Ministry of Education and Culture)

CSC – Tieteen tietotekniikan keskus (IT Center for Science)

Norway

NSD – Norsk senter for forskningsdata (Norwegian Centre for Research Data)

UHR – Universitets- og Høgskolerådet (The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions), Det nasjonale publiseringsutvalget (The National Publication Committee)

Sweden

VR – Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)

KB – Kungliga biblioteket (The National Library)

Iceland

RANNIS – Rannsóknamiðstöð Íslands (The Icelandic Centre for Research)

Faroe Island

Nordic level – NordForsk

Read more about the Nordic cooperation on research publications: https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/Forside?request_locale=en

The Hungarian Library Consortium EISZ supports DOAJ!

We are extremely happy to welcome the Hungarian Library Consortium, EISZ as a member of DOAJ. 60 of the IESZ members are supporting DOAJ.
 
EISZ is the national library consortium of Hungary, operated in the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. EISZ coordinates the national license subscriptions of electronic journals, databases with full text as well as bibliographic contents and e-book collections. The mission is to provide high level services for the Hungarian research community through an effective and transparent collaboration with the universities, special and public libraries, governmental and healthcare institutions. 
Katalin Urban from EISZ says: “It is our main goal to support open access and for this reason we decided to support the Directory of Open Access Journals”.

ScienceOpen and DOAJ combine efforts to make scholarly publishing more visible

Guidelines for free indexing applicants

Publishing can be a big, expensive business, or it can be done on a small scale by research communities themselves – by researchers for researchers.

ScienceOpen offers free indexing for up to 10 journals per month and the best candidate receives a free journal collection page for 1 year. At DOAJ we are joining this initiative by recommending a maximum of 10 journals per month to ScienceOpen so they can be freely indexed in their database.

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In order to qualify for their free indexing offer your journal must meet the following requirements, all of which contribute to enhancing the visibility and discoverability of your content.

  • Be indexed in DOAJ and without publication charges

The Directory of Open Access Journals lists over 9000 open access scholarly journals meeting certain quality standards. Listing in DOAJ is a requirement for the ScienceOpen free indexing program to assure good quality articles from an editorial standpoint. Furthermore, having a DOAJ IDs also ease the indexing procedure significantly. With your articles registered in DOAJ, the only thing you have to do is to check there are no APCs or other publication charges and to send ScienceOpen a list of the DOAJ ID-s for each article record and your content will be indexed in no time. 

  • Go for more and add your DOIs too

Registering your DOIs in CrossRef is an easy way to put your articles on the map of scientific communication in the digital world. Assigning DOIs to your articles and integrating them to the common system of scholarly reference linking makes your content:

  • Trackable and easily identifiable
  • Easy to find, cite, and link
  • Easy to assess and follow up measures of re-use
  • Interconnected with other records of scholarly communication

All these features enhance discoverability of and drive more traffic to your articles, and these are key issues in the current state of academic publishing. If you would like to learn more about becoming a member of Crossref, we would be happy to point you in the right direction. Your content is too valuable to publish it into a vacuum.

The trackability of DOIs also allows ScienceOpen to monitor Altmetric scores of your articles both in collection and article levels.

Based on all this, our suggestion for DOAJ members with DOIs registered to CrossRef is to submit a DOI list to enjoy the benefits of cross referencing. For publishes with medical profile: working with your PMC and PubMed IDs have the same benefits and are also a hassle-free ways of indexing.

 

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  • Go pro: maximize your context and readership by adding references

Having conventionalized and persistent identifiers like DOIs or DOAJ IDs are without doubt big steps forward in enhancing visibility and trackability of your content. However, it’s references which have the real potential to integrate and link your articles into ScienceOpen corpus of more than 28 million article records. For each reference, ScienceOpen creates a new article record that refers back to the seed article, so they are all driving traffic to your article in question. These are like paths leading the reader to the article and interconnect it with other nodes of the research network. In the end, it’s the web of references that creates a structured network from ScienceOpen’s dynamically expanding corpus. Embedding your articles into ScienceOpen’s citation and recommendation network through references adds a new dimension to research context and thus grants your content the privilege of better visibility and higher citation frequency.

And how does it work in practice? By using JATS Archive 1.0 and JATS Publishing 3.0 article XML files as data sources.This format has the serious advantage of containing easily extractable citation information, on the basis of which they pull out references, and interconnect them with the relevant nodes in our research network.

In sum, we either prefer to work with your DOIs, DOAJ/PubMed/PMC ID-s or with JATS Archive 1.0 article XMLs. The infographics below summarize and help you to find the best solution for indexing your articles.scieneopengraph (2).png

DOAJ EDITORS ON THE EFFECTS OF THE NEW DOAJ CRITERIA

This is a guest post by Andrea Marchitelli, Paola Galimberti and Andrea Bollini, who write about their experience of being DOAJ editors and their published paper: “Helping journals to improve their publishing standards: a data analysis of DOAJ new criteria effects”

After DOAJ implemented new criteria for inclusion of open access journals and invited all journals listed in the directory to reapply, a large number of journals was removed from the database, most for failing to submit an updated application within the deadline. DOAJ volunteers, Paola Galimberti as an  Editor and Andrea Marchitelli as an Associate Editor for Italy, wanted to investigate if their contribution, and the contribution by DOAJ volunteers all over the world, was effective in trying to improve the quality of journals indexed in the directory.

When the idea to write an article about the first results of the reapplication process became more clear, Paola and Andrea decided to involve Andrea Bollini, Chief Technology Innovation Officer at 4SCIENCE and Dominic Mitchell, DOAJ Community Manager, in the analysis of data.

Being active participants in the DOAJ community was really helpful when designing the article structure, because it made it possible to know, from an internal point of view, the steps of the reapplication process and all the checks needed to verify reapplications, where to look for the necessary data, and so on.

The starting point for this investigation was the scepticism about open access journals caused by Beall’s lists, by some retraction and misconduct cases that involved open access journals, and by some articles that suggested open access to be a way of publishing low quality journals under the pressure of the publish or perish system.

The main interest as editor and associate editor for a volunteer group deeply involved in this process was to examine the results of the implementation of the new criteria, and their capability to improve the quality of the directory and the reliability of the indexed information.

A dataset of 12,595 journals included in DOAJ since its very beginning in 2003 until May 15th 2016, was examined and compared to other sources. This operation had an immediate effect. The number of journals deleted from DOAJ during this period was 3,776; the majority of them (2,851 journals) were excluded because publishers failed to complete the reapplication on time; 490 had ceased publication or were otherwise inactive; 375 were excluded for ethical issues; 53 because they were no longer open access or the content was embargoed, the final 7 were removed for other reasons. The top five countries in terms of the percentage of journals removed were: Japan (74% of journals removed); Pakistan (60%); Canada (51%); United States (50%); and Mexico (49%).

Our study has shown that 158 of the removed journals were included in Beall’s lists; 1130 journals indexed in DOAJ were included in Scopus and/or JCR. Our analysis demonstrates that, thanks to the new acceptance criteria, and to the improved screening process performed by volunteer groups under the direction of the new criteria, there was a noticeable quality improvement of the journals indexed in DOAJ.

As members involved in this quality improvement process, the authors would consider the work made by DOAJ staff and volunteers in the different groups as a very effective result.

Full-text article: Marchitelli, Andrea, Paola Galimberti, Andrea Bollini, & Dominic Mitchell. “Helping journals to improve their publishing standards: a data analysis of DOAJ new criteria effects.” JLIS.it [Online], 8.1 (2017): 1-21. Web. 8 Feb. 2017. DOI: 10.4403/jlis.it-12052.

Continued support from Austria to DOAJ

We are happy to announce that Austria is continuing its strong support to DOAJ.

As we informed last year universities, research centers, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW) decided to support the work we do, generating more than € 30,000 to DOAJ.

We are extremely grateful for that, especially that the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy is among the contributors, in fact the first ministry supporting DOAJ.

Austria once again showing leadership in Open Access and Open Science!