The DOAJ Team is expanding!

I am very happy to announce that the DOAJ Team has expanded. We welcome to the team Ilaria Flava, based in Rome, Italy, and Clara Armengou, based in Barcelona, Spain.

Ilaria joins us as Managing Editor and will assist with the monitoring of our editorial groups, the processing of applications and communicating final decisions to publishers. Having already volunteered for DOAJ as Associate Editor, Ilaria is familiar with our modus operandi. She assumes responsibility for 7 international teams of volunteers and by adding Ilaria to our team of managing editors, we will increase our throughput.

Clara joins us as Community Manager and will be covering my absence for the next year. Clara, who was open access officer at Cambridge University Press among other things, is currently working as Science Communication Officer at University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Clara brings with her a vast amount of experience and by adding her to the team, we will continue to serve our online communities and, most importantly, all the publishers who are indexed in DOAJ. Clara will continue to raise awareness of DOAJ and the important issues surrounding open access, as well as support our Ambassadors’ activities across the global south.

You can read more about Ilaria and Clara on our About page.

DOAJ is International!

Adding Clara and Ilaria to our team means that DOAJ now operates from 15 different countries…

Algeria
Burkina Faso
China
Denmark
Egypt
Ethiopia
India
Italy
Mexico
Russia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
The Netherlands
United Kingdom

… and between us we can speak over 25 languages. Open access knows no barriers and DOAJ strives to represent that as much as possible! How do you feel that we are doing?

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.

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

50 major public research organisations in Europe adopt four new common principles on Open Access Publisher Services

In a press release published yesterday, 50 Science Europe members agreed on 4 new common principles expected for publisher members when providing payments/subsidies for Open Access venues. The first principle states that journals must be listed in DOAJ, Web of Science, Scopus or PubMed.

The new principles adopted by Science Europe aim at setting minimum standards for Open Access publishing services provided by scholarly publishers. These general – and at the same time very practical – principles will help ensure scholarly and technical quality and cost effectiveness of Open Access-related services in all fields, from sciences to social sciences and the humanities. As scholarly publishing makes its transition to an Open Access system, and as service providers change their business models, the outcome of the transition will depend on the added value and quality of the services provided.

Of course, this is fantastic news for DOAJ. It underlines our position at the heart of Open Access publishing and it recognises officially the work we have been doing over the past two years to raise the quality bar for open access journals and publishing.

Lars, DOAJ’s Managing Director, said: “The New Science Europe Principles on Open Access Publisher Services confirm that DOAJ really is on the right track with its new requirements for being listed. We are aware that this is a huge undertaking, and we are only able to do this because of our brilliant team, the more than 150 volunteers that are working a few hours a week to evaluate the journals and, of course, the support we receive from library consortia, university libraries from more than 50 countries and our sponsors.”

Indeed, DOAJ has already opened the process for journals to reapply to remain indexed and will soon be re-evaluating the 9700 that must reapply. We require funds to continue this great work so do consider becoming a DOAJ member, sponsor or give us a donation.