Reblog: Top 10 publishers in DOAJ (by number of titles) 2014 to 2015

We’re a big fan of the work of the Sustaining Knowledge Commons team. The post below, published yesterday, takes a look at the change in the Top 10 list of publishers indexed in DOAJ from 2014 to 2015.

Source: Top 10 publishers in DOAJ (by number of titles) 2014 to 2015

In her post, Heather says: “The percentage of journals in DOAJ published by the top 10 publishers has increased slightly, from 14% to 16%.” I think there are 3 main reasons why:

1) We have seen a renewed interest in DOAJ from large publishers since we relaunched in 2013 and increased our visibility and transparency (expanded our communications and activities, launched the updated application form and started the Reapplications project).

2) We are now processing applications faster than ever before and part of that is due to the streamlining of the process for ‘bulk’ applications from multi-journal publishers, increasing our capacity but leaving us more time for the smaller publishers.

3) These publishers have launched more open access titles.

We are in regular discussion with 8 out of the 10 publishers listed in the blog, mostly as they update their information with us (Medknow to Wolters Kulwer Medknow) and submit their reapplications.

DOAJ adds two new members of staff to its team

On the back of my last blog post, I am delighted to announce two new members joining the DOAJ team: Judith Barnsby and Alejandra Manco Vega who both join us as Publication Specialists.

The employment of Judith and Alejandra is to a large extent a direct result of the substantial funding that has been facilitated by Austria’s FWF, BMWFW and several Austrian universities and research centres. This means that DOAJ has even more resource and this is specifically dedicated to reviewing reapplications. The benefits will be felt immediately: Alejandra will focus on Spanish and Portuguese reapplications, Judith on reapplications from multi-journal publishers.

Judith, based in the UK, comes to us armed with a great deal of publishing experience and is an expert in publishing technologies and standards, having previously been with HighWire, and is on the board for CLOCKSS. Alejandra, originally from Peru but now based in Sweden, comes with librarianship and language skills. They bring the total number of dedicated DOAJ Team members to seven, on top of the 100 or so volunteers who donate their time to us every week.

On behalf of the entire DOAJ Team, I welcome warmly Judith and Alejandra. We are delighted to have you with us!

Austria: a concerted and coordinated national effort to lead by example

It is Open Access Week 2015 and what better way to mark than by publishing some extremely good news!

DOAJ is extremely grateful for the support that it now receives from Austria! These are truly outstanding commitments from Austrian universities and research centres, from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). This is the first time that DOAJ has received support from a Ministry and a research funder and it demonstrates, in a very concrete way, a determination to support Open Access that goes far beyond signing Open Access declarations and issuing open access policies that, far too often, are too soft. To be blunt: it is really good to see influential organisations putting their resources and power where their mouths are. DOAJ hopes that the Austrian example will inspire others to do the same! Read the FWF press release published today: see section ‘Successful fund raising campaign for the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) by Universities Austria (UNIKO) and by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)‘ in the middle of that page. The original announcement is here (in German).

The FWF and Austria have stepped up to the mark and are taking a leadership role in actually paving the way for the entire Open Agenda. It is encouraging to see Austria taking a very distinct role, and at a national level, in supporting sustainability for freely available infrastructure services for open access.

DOAJ knows that research funders, universities (open access publication funds), libraries and researchers look to it to identify good open access journals. DOAJ works hard to continuously provide more and better services to meet these needs and serve stakeholders. DOAJ has a lot to do with the re-evaluation of ~9000 journals to ensure that they comply with its tighter criteria for inclusion. The outstanding support from Austria enables DOAJ to recruit more staff with publishing experience to build up the team of professionals already working to ensure the quality and reliability of DOAJ.

The other fight

As well as DOAJ’s fight against questionable publishing practices, journals and publishers, the other fight is against the traditional desire to  read research or publish research in ‘prestigious’ journals.

From Twitter:
First bird: “for urban geog – this looks like a good place to start http://bit.ly/1LWIKVB
Second bird: “cheers… Didn’t return a single journal I recognised though – none of the prestigious/high impact ones”

How can you tackle this? Wanting recognition for what you have done, or wanting to read the works of others from a prestigious (read: reputable) source isn’t strange. It is human nature. Thankfully we have built in filters to recognise and zoom in on quality. However, the thought that publishing in an open access journal doesn’t and can’t carry any prestige is a misconception. And there are other forces at play too…

In an independent capacity, Lars recently gave a presentation for a NISO virtual seminar where he issued his rallying call on what he thinks should be done. Have a look and let me know what you think. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

(You can follow DOAJ on Twitter here.)

Think. Check. Submit. Helping researchers to make informed publication choices.

Think Check Submit Logo
A new cross-industry campaign launches today – Think. Check. Submit. The campaign will provide information for researchers, through an online hub at www.thinkchecksubmit.org, about the criteria they should look for when selecting where to publish their research.

The volume of research output continues to grow, and recent years have seen an increase in new publishing services and outlets. In March of this year, the CrossRef database alone included over 71 million DOIs, of which 55 million refer to journal articles from a total of over 36,000 journals. (And that is just the tip of the iceberg: thousands of journals in DOAJ use no DOI system at all.) At the same time, we read of stories of malpractice, or questionable publishing, but little in the way of guidance exists when it comes to choosing a journal to publish in.

Think. Check. Submit. is a new campaign coordinated by representatives of organisations from across the industry: ALPSP, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), INASP, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), ISSN, LIBER, OASPA, UKSG and individual publishers. The campaign will help researchers understand their options, and key criteria they can check before making an informed decision about where to submit. Lars Bjørnshauge, DOAJ’s Managing Director, said “I am very proud that DOAJ is one of the founding organisations behind this broad campaign! It ties together nicely everything that DOAJ has been doing, particularly in recent years as we have increased our efforts helping authors and publishers alike commit to a better standard of publishing practice.”

It is envisaged that researchers will benefit from more information on what to consider when choosing where to publish, but the campaign will be directed particularly towards early-career academics and is aimed to be accessible to those whose first language is not English, or who may not be aware of, or have access to, the full breadth of scholarly literature.

Two articles in BMC Medicine point to the negative impact that some journals can have. One gives an individual academic’s point of view of the volume of unsolicited email invitations to publish, many of which are “unclear as to whether the manuscripts published by these journals add value to either the journals or the submitting authors.”[1]  The other investigates the scale and distribution of deceptive open access publishing both geographically and across scientific fields.[2]

“There is a global problem with information inequality and integrity”, said OASPA’s President Paul Peters, “not all publishing bodies operate to the required standards for producing quality literature. Researchers need resources to effectively evaluate these factors. Think. Check. Submit. will help researchers to carefully assess their options in order to make an informed choice before submitting their papers”.

The number of active academic journals grows by around 3.5 per cent each year[3] – in 2014 this equated to almost 1,000 new titles. In terms of regulation, DOAJ implemented new criteria for open access titles in March 2014.  Since then it has processed 6,000 applications, of which 2,700 have been rejected, 1,800 are in process, 1,500 have been accepted. In the same period 700 journals have been removed from DOAJ.

The ISSN network, coordinated by the ISSN International Centre, identifies and provides a bibliographic description to more than 60,000 new print and online serials per year. Every journal must have a registered ISSN before they can apply to be indexed in DOAJ and yet an ISSN number in itself is not intended to certify the quality of a serial. As a step toward certifying quality, the International ISSN Centre has established partnerships with scholarly organizations to promote quality open access resources with its new Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources – ROAD – which offers a freely accessible description of 12,000 + OA resources including journals, conference proceedings, academic repositories, monographic series and scholarly blogs.

We are delighted to announce the launch of this campaign and would welcome your questions or feedback. Please leave comments here or visit www.thinkchecksubmit.org for further information.

References
[1] You are invited to submit – David Moher and Anubhav Srivastava
BMC Medicine 2015, DOI:10.1186/s12916-015-0423-3
Published 4 August 2015: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/13/180

[2] “Predatory” Open Access – A longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics
Cenyu Shen and Bo Christer Björk
BMC Medicine 2015, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0469-2
Published 01 October 2015: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0469-2

[3] Taken from The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly journal publishing, Fourth edition
http://www.stm-assoc.org/2015_02_20_STM_Report_2015.pdf