According to Ulrich’s data 1, Spain is in tenth position in scholarly journal production, with 2.5% of the titles worldwide. The United States alone accounts for 21%, and nearly one third of journals are published by countries with fewer contributions than Spain.
However, when talking about Open Access journals, the output is quite different: according to both Ulrich’s and DOAJ2, Spain is currently country number four in the world with 5.5%, after Brazil, UK and USA. Yet, what is the level of adoption of OA in Spanish journals?
According to Ulrich’s, 34% of active scholarly journals published in Spain are OA, but this proportion is higher when consulting Dulcinea3, the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate source for Spanish journals. A current search shows that 76% of the journals are freely available online, 10.2% operate under an embargo, and only 1.5% are hybrid. The remaining 12.3% of journals are restricted to subscribers.
Nevertheless, free access does not necessarily imply Open Access. Thus, that 76% should be correlated with re-use rights in order to get the exact amount of OA journals.
A recent study5 has revealed that most of the Spanish journals indexed in Web of Science or Scopus are Open Access (56.9%). The extent of OA adoption varied by subject area; it represented 68% of the Social Sciences and Humanities titles, and 55% of Science, Technology and Medicine journals. It also depended on the publisher type; OA models were adopted by 81% of the journals published by universities and research centers, 71% of the titles published by associations and societies, and only 30% of journals belonging to commercial publishers. APC-funded OA journals, both full OA and hybrid, were very few.
Open Access in Spain is driven by the online presses of academic institutions, based mostly in OJS platforms at both individual and collective level. The Spanish Center for Advanced Studies (CSIC), Complutense University of Madrid, University of Barcelona and Catalan Open Access Journals (RACO) are good examples of that.
There are 507 Spanish journals indexed in DOAJ6, while the current total number of Spanish free-access journals is 1,3547 . This fact suggests that only about one third (37.4%) of the free-access Spanish journals appear in DOAJ as OA titles. Opposedly, 196 of the 253 Spanish OA journals indexed either in Wos or Scopus are included in DOAJ as well, showing a much higher rate for this specific group (77.5%). Thus, there is a lot of work to do in order to index Spanish OA journals in DOAJ, especially those not being covered in WoS or Scopus.
Jon Tennant, from Science Open, chats with Prof Belhamel about his thoughts regarding open access, his role at DOAJ, and the state of scholarly communication in North Africa.
“I am very proud to join DOAJ team. It’s exciting and motivating to be a part of this not-for-profit organisation. DOAJ gives me the opportunity to work in a pleasant multicultural environment and to meet very nice friends from different parts of the world. Every member of the team collaborates and this synergy carries us further and faster than I could have imagined.”
Please read the full interview here.
This is a guest post by Kamel Belhamel, DOAJ Ambassador, North Africa
The importance of Open Access (OA) was recently recognised by Algerian scientists, libraries and publishers. Until recently, Algerian researchers preferred to publish their papers in European journals with an impact factor, in order to achieve certain personal goals (e.g. better career opportunities and advancement, CV fortification, etc.), however the Western system of scholarly publishing often stigmatizes developing country research as local rather than international.
One of the most important OA journal promoters in Algeria at this time is DGRSDT (National Council of Scientific Research and Technology of Algeria). Since 2015, the DGRSDT has organised workshops and supports Algerian editors in the implementation of open science. Many of those editors don’t have the experience of ensuring the quality and the transparency of the editorial process. Out of 359 Algerian scientific journals listed by the DGRSDT, only 7 are indexed in the DOAJ (or 1.95 %). Most of the scientific journals, supported via institutional memberships, don’t have a website and are only published on paper. So there is a need to develop a method for determining the quality of these journals and to help Algerian scientific journals to become more visible on the internet, thereby making them accessible and discoverable for the international community.
In response to the important need of access to scholarly content by the Algerian research community, the DGRSDT has started a project with the goal of collecting and publishing all information about Algerian editors and their scientific journals, thereby ensuring that research publications and research data will be publicly available on the internet. This project seeks to achieve, a) development of training programmes with editors, b) promotion of the exchange of ideas and experience among Algerian editors, c) establish global collaborative efforts by co-operating with international editors and organizations in the advancement of open access. Furthermore, following a recent meeting with myself, the DGRSDT has published a recommendation that all Algerian journals become familiar with the DOAJ criteria and apply for indexing in DOAJ. This is an important step toward the visibility of Algerian journals at an international level.
Since printed journals are costly and have very low visibility, one of the initiatives that is especially interesting is the launch a portal of Algerian scientific journals by the Research Centre on Scientific and Technical Information (CERIST). This portal, named Webreview, is open to anyone wishing to publish journal content online, either open or closed access, allows the development of scientific research in Algeria and will increase its visibility. Although DGRSDT is aware of the importance of OA repositories, they are still too small and there remains something to be done at both institutional and national level.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has already decided that PhD students can defend their theses by publishing their papers in Algerian OA journals indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, DOAJ, etc. This positive initiative will surely increase the number of Algerian OA journals and will generate considerable added value to science.
Walt Crawford is prolific! As if his first tranche of mega-analysis wasn’t enough work for him, he has released an update to The Gold Open Access Landscape 2011-2014, which I wrote about previously, that includes an initial analysis of the journals that were removed from DOAJ at the shut-down of the Reapplication project.* He completed the update in May 2016: this post is long overdue.
Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015, sponsored by SPARC, ‘provides an empirical basis for evaluating Open Access sustainability models‘. The rest of the study is based entirely on DOAJ, refining and updating the previous work. To give you a taster of what was achieved, Walt visited the web site of every journal indexed in DOAJ, even doing a second pass at those sites who hadn’t posted any content the first time around. In the age of analysing large metadata sets programmatically, with computers, this is a huge feat and one that I admire greatly.
What did DOAJ learn from Walt’s analysis? We hadn’t realised quite how heavily Japan had been hit by the removal: 73% of the Japanese journals indexed in DOAJ were wiped from the Directory. We have since determined that most of those are on J-STAGE and have started a targeted campaign to get as many of those journals to submit new applications as possible. Singapore, Bangladesh and Nepal were also heavily hit. We also learned that journals published by universities and colleges suffered heavy losses. We are looking into this area with our DOAJ Ambassadors to see if we can find out why these losses were so great.
I can thoroughly recommend Walt’s work, not only for the obvious reason that he focusses so greatly on the [great!] DOAJ data but because, to my knowledge, no-one else is doing this type of analysis with such granularity.
As I write, I see that Walt has released an analysis of Open Access by Country 2011 to 2015, the 3rd part of his Gold Open Access Journals trilogy. As always, you can purchase the paperback or download the PDF for free.
Now, get reading!
*The final figure was 2851 journals removed and not 3300 as we had originally anticipated. The discrepancy was because we included, in the original count, journals that had already been removed from DOAJ and therefore had a reapplication pending but which would never be submitted.
UPDATE (11th May): the list of removed journals is here on the 3rd tab.
Today DOAJ will remove approximately 3300 journals for failure to submit a valid reapplication before the communicated deadline; a deadline which was extended twice to allow more time for reapplications. This batch removal is another step in DOAJ’s two year long project to increase the value and accuracy of the information provided in it.
Here are some details about the reapplication project from its launch in January 2015 to today:
- The reapplication process is a necessary step towards ensuring that all journals in DOAJ (of which there were about 10000) met the higher criteria for indexing that DOAJ launched in March 2014. The criteria were produced as a response to the maturing open access arena, the greater demands made on open access publishing by questionable journals and publishers, and to retain DOAJ’s relevancy and importance in open access publishing.
- Some journals have been in DOAJ since 2003 and have never refreshed their information with us.
- As of today over 5000 journals have already submitted their reapplication to us and we are busy assessing those. Many reapplications have been accepted back into DOAJ.
- The contact for every journal to be removed from DOAJ was emailed at least 4 times, informing them of our intention to remove their journals if they failed to submit a reapplication by the agreed deadline.
- We send email via Mailchimp and took all the necessary precautions to ensure that our emails didn’t end up in Spam, get trapped in institutional firewalls, or failed to deliver for other reasons. We used the Mailchimp authentication options to “verify” that our emails were from a genuine source.
- The first email, announcing the reapplication project and inviting people to reapply, was sent out in January 2015 and went to publishers with 11 or more journals in DOAJ. The second email went out to publishers with 10 or less journals in DOAJ in June 2015.
- Reminders were sent out regularly, once a month as well as announcing the deadline to our largest communities: via this blog, Twitter and Facebook.
- To ensure that our emails ended up with the correct contact, we spent a considerable amount of time tidying up our contacts database: we updated at least 1000 records.
Removed journals are welcome to submit a new application to DOAJ at any time. They will be placed in the queue along with other applications. We will add a third tab to our spreadsheet ‘DOAJ: journals added and removed‘ that will list all of the journals removed.
When a journal is removed from DOAJ, any article metadata will also become unavailable. This is standard functionality. We are confident that the majority of the journals removed have never supplied article metadata to us, or have done once but haven’t sent us anything for at least 2 years.
If you use DOAJ as a data source and would like to do your own analysis of the journals indexed, download our journals CSV (https://doaj.org/csv) today before 11am BST, 12pm CEST. A copy of that spreadsheet is also available here.
The extended deadline for journals to reapply for listing in DOAJ closes on Thursday 31 March 2016 at midnight UK time (GMT+1).
All journals that were accepted into DOAJ before March 2014 must reapply to remain indexed in the Directory. Journals that do not reapply will be removed from our list.
Don’t delay – please ensure that your reapplication is submitted in time. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any problems with your reapplication.