SILVER SPONSOR DANISH AGENCY FOR SCIENCE AND HIGHER EDUCATION ANSWERS OUR QUESTIONS ON OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING AND DOAJ

Lotte Faurbæk and Hanne-Louise Kirkegaard from the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education (Styrelsen for Forskning og Uddannelse) answer our questions.

-Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education to support DOAJ?

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We regard DOAJ as an authoritative data source on Open Access Journals. We use DOAJ in the Danish Research Indicator to verify the data quality of the journals in our database, which consists of over 300,000 journals (both Opens Access and toll). Additionally, whenever we get a suggestion to accept a new journal to our list of publication channels that should generate points in the indicator, we check the status in DOAJ, to make sure it lives up to the criteria for acceptance. DOAJ is also an important part of the project called “Nordic lists”, which is a project supported by NordForsk, where the Nordic countries with research indicators collaborate to enhance the data quality of their national lists of publication channels.

-What is the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

In 2014, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science adopted a national strategy for Open Access to research articles from publicly funded institutions. The strategy The strategy has an ambitious goal, stating that already in 2022, 100% of the articles should be freely available via the Internet. Though, the Danish Open Access Indicator showed that only 36 percent of scientific publications produced at Danish universities were Open Access in April 2018. So, we are far from reaching the ambitious target, and a revision of the strategy – including scaling down the Open Access targets – is under way.

-What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

I think it is an irreversible trend. Though, the transition towards 100 pct. Open Access will happen at a slower pace than aimed for in the EU. In the EU Council Conclusions on Open Science the OA target is 100 pct. OA in 2020. Full OA will probably not happen at the speed desired due to a lot of reasons. Some of the reasons are: different Open Access approaches in EU member states and third countries – green, hybrid, green etc. -, the current lack of merit of OA compliance, the reluctance among publishers towards green Open Access, including big publishers imposing extraordinary long embargoes on scientific articles – 24 months or more.

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

·         The rationale behind Open Science/Open Access must be communicated better to the public, and OA should be a political priority – both at national and institutional level.

·         National and institutional policies on Open Access must be adopted, implemented, monitored and enforced.

·         Change of culture among researchers towards openness is needed and could be supported by a change of the current merit system

·         Research funders must mandate and monitor OA

·         Universities must unite and collectively negotiate economically sustainable subscription deals – including OA – with the publishers (bargaining power).

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

I think we are under way, but not as fast as one could hope. More needs to be done, as we said in the previous question.

Russian scientific journals in the era of open access to knowledge: problems of adaptation

Our DOAJ Ambassador Dr. Natalia Gennadievna Popova has recently published a paper (in Russian) “Russian scientific journals in the era of open access to knowledge: problems of adaptation” or Российский научный журнал в эпоху открытого доступа к знаниям: проблемы адаптации. We are sharing this work with the wider DOAJ community, as we know that there is still lots to do in Russia in the open access arena (as our Ambassadors’ programme has shown) and this is covered in the paper.

Here is the paper’s abstract in English:

The advancement of open access to scientific knowledge has become a determining strategy in the sphere of scientific communication. Open access implies, along with a free access to full-text information online, the creation of a legal basis for the results of research to be used fairly by all interested bodies. The Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ, as well as other similar institutions, carries the mission of providing and guaranteeing the quality of open access. Russian journals are increasingly become part of this project, which is considered to be a positive trend. Currently, about 163 Russian titles are listed in DOAJ. However, some journals face difficulties in bringing their publication standards in compliance with the DOAJ quality criteria, which has become a reason for suspending 15 Russian titles from this esteemed international database. This article investigates the process of open access advancement in Russia, in particular, the implementation of international quality standards in the sphere of Russian scientific periodicals. Main DOAJ acceptance criteria are analyzed, as well as those problems that Russian titles experience adapting to them.

Read the full-text (in Russian).

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft signs up as a sustainable funder

dfgDOAJ is extremely pleased to welcome Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to the growing list of organisations who have committed funds, via SCOSS, to support DOAJ on its way to a sustainable form of funding and future. DFG has demonstrated a commitment to open access for years and as such, we are very proud to receive their support.
Angela Holzer said of the commitment that DFG “considers the sustainability of vital infrastructures for open access crucial for the future. DOAJ has proven to be a very valuable tool not only for researchers and libraries, but also for funders and infrastructure providers. We welcome a transparent and sustainable development of DOAJ in the public interest”.
About DFG
The DFG is the self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany. It serves all branches of science and the humanities. In organisational terms, the DFG is an association under private law. Its membership consists of German research universities, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the Academies of Science and the Humanities. (http://www.dfg.de/en/dfg_profile/mission/index.html)
About SCOSS
The formation of the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) represents a community-led effort to help maintain, and ultimately secure, vital infrastructure. This recognition of the cruciality of such infrastructure, and of securing it, is what led to the formation of SCOSS. Groundwork for the coalition was laid by the Knowledge Exchange, which presented many of the foundational ideas for it in its 2016 report Putting Down Roots, Securing the Future of Open Access Policies.

 

Silver Sponsor National Library of Sweden Answers our Questions on Open Access Publishing and DOAJ

Beate Eellend, Open Access Coordinator at Kungliga Biblioteket (National Library of Sweden), and contributor to the OpenAccess.se blog, answers our questions.

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– Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for the National Library of Sweden to support DOAJ?

The National Library of Sweden (NLS) has been supporting DOAJ from the very beginning, partly financing the launch of DOAJ at Lund University in 2003. For NLS it is important to support DOAJ as an independent part of the scholarly communication infrastructure. NLS promotes open sources with international standards and rich quality metadata which DOAJ stands for. NLS relies on DOAJ’s assessment on quality Open Access journals and uses DOAJ as a data source for verifying and enriching metadata on Open Access publications from the Swedish universities.

 

– What is the National Library of Sweden doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

NLS is developing the national research publication database Swepub in regards to needs of bibliometrical analysis. One of the needs is to be able to collect data on Open Access publications from the Swedish universities. For this NLS uses DOAJ to verify and enrich Open Access status.

Since 2006 The National Library of Sweden has worked with advancing open access to scholarly output. At the beginning of 2017 the National Library received an appropriation directive from the Swedish Government to act as a national coordinating body in the work towards a transition to open access to scholarly publications. NLS coordinates five studies concerning different aspects of the transition to an open access publishing landscape:

  1. The current merit and resource allocation system versus incentives for open access;
  2. Funding for a transition from a subscription-based to an open access publishing system;
  3. Open access to scholarly monographs;
  4. Financial and technical support for converting peer-reviewed and scholarly journals from toll access to open access;
  5. Monitoring of compliance with open access policies and mandates.

All groups have stakeholder representation from Swedish funding agencies, HEIs, researchers and the National Library of Sweden. The goal of the studies is to formulate recommendations for national solutions to fulfil the goal of the Swedish Government; that the transition to open access to scholarly publications, research data and artistic works should be fully implemented in 2026 at the latest

– What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

It is our firm belief that open access will strengthen the scholarly system as well as society at large. A broad collaboration between stakeholders is needed in order to achieve the goal of open access. Also, we aim to strengthen the control of the total costs of publishing while preserving the quality control system. This is no easy task, conflicting interests complicates the transition to a sustainable open access publishing system.  

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

As long as there are little or no incentives or rewards for researchers practicing open access and open science, the prestige economy will continue to hinder the development. Scholarly community leaders have an important role to show the way forward.

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

None of the above. We are in the middle of a very complex societal transition where digitization strongly affects both research and higher education. This transition is still ongoing and has never been tried before – we are living in a trial and error era.

 

Silver Sponsor PLOS answers our questions on Open Access Publishing and DOAJ

Louise Page,  Chief Innovation Officer at PLOS answers our questions

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Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for a few years now. Why is it important for PLOS to support DOAJ?

As a leading Open Access publisher we strongly support DOAJ and its mission to increase the visibility, accessibility and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, Open Access research. Our two organizations were launched in the same year and PLOS has always valued the importance of having an independent organization provide validation of a journal’s probity to help ensure that researchers find a suitable, vetted Open Access home for their work.

What benefits does being indexed in DOAJ bring to your journals?

There are a number of benefits that PLOS derives from being indexed in DOAJ. The first is simple: visibility. Authors who are unaware of us can find PLOS listed in the directory, which shows our commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed Open Access content. In addition, authors can rest assured that only legitimate journals are listed, which is a check against predatory journals.  Also, many university libraries use DOAJ as the pathway to provide content, including PLOS, to their scholars.

 

What is PLOS doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

PLOS recently launched preprints. Our collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s bioRxiv will give PLOS authors a choice about whether to make their work  visible before peer review, after initial screening and basic ethical and technical checks. even earlier. We hope that authors – and reviewers – will benefit from community comments alongside the traditional peer review process. PLOS and CSHL are also planning to develop badges, to serve as an indicator that certain services have been completed.

In addition, one of PLOS’ goals for 2018 is to implement a robust transparent review service. We are currently consulting with our communities to better understand how best to responsibly move forward. Also, PLOS is formalizing its collaboration with protocols.io to better enhance reproducibility.  Reviewers and editors gaining access to the protocols during peer review enables methodological details to be shared and integrated into the research cycle, from bench to publication and back.

What are your views on the future of Open Access publishing?

We see increasing adoption of Open Access policies and practices by funders, institutions, publishers and researchers, which will foster an ethical and intellectual environment conducive to responsible Open Science. We also hope to see innovations that promote reproducibility, credit and accountability, as these priorities support establishment of an Open Science culture, with open data, early sharing of work and clear contributor recognition. We see the benefit of Open Access content in relation to future advances in machine-readable formats and text and data mining—and the potential for Open Access to propel Open Science forward into new and exciting territory.

What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

From a publisher perspective, PLOS and others can help showcase and reward rigorous study design, not just results. We can also strenuously push the industry to make publishing replications and negative results an act that deserves credit and recognition. The industry can also increase the range of article level metrics available to deemphasize the Journal Impact Factor. In addition, supporting and facilitating FAIR sharing of all research outputs (especially data), promoting open source and embracing interoperable, open standards and digital identifiers

Open Access publishers can also do a better job at understanding the real-world concerns of researchers in the Global South and how Open Access can be a positive influence in their careers. Non-paywalled content enables them to gain access to the literature, but the APC business model is seen as a detriment to publishing. We need to explore a middle ground that is beneficial to everyone.

Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

Open Access publishing still has a long way to go before anyone can proclaim ‘job done’ with regard to the BOAI initiative in 2002. That said, Open Access publishing, despite all the challenges both behind and ahead of us, is surpassing expectations. Think of how far scholarly publishing has come since the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Despite all the early naysayers and strong opposition from subscription publishers, authors now have more choices than ever in which to find the best fit for their research. Open Access helped bring about multi-disciplinary journals, which helps support authors who collaborate across the sciences. Open Access publishers have implemented policies, practices and introduced innovations that were unthinkable in the 90s. In addition, more private funders and governments require the research they fund be published in Open Access journals. Why? Simply put: it’s working. Collectively we are on the right path.

At the same time there is a growing concern that crucial research communication functions and data management will be controlled by a small number of commercial players. The consolidation of vital tools and services may lead to unaffordable costs, limited access to research metrics, and a proliferation of big deal licenses. We are very interested in exploring how the Open Access community can enable new markets and provide new services to a diverse community that encompasses early career researchers to seasoned scientists working in a global arena. Exciting recent initiatives centered around Open Science, such as open data, open methods and open notebooks allow for improved transparency and reproducibility, leading to more reliable science. The landscape has changed dramatically since 2002 and the new players and initiatives will certainly have an impact on the ultimate metric by which the success of Open Access is measured.

New Privacy Information Notice

In accordance with the guidelines laid out by the GDPR, DOAJ has published a privacy information notice:

https://doaj.org/privacy

Please take a few moments to review the Policy. It includes information on:

  1. the information we collect from you and how we use it;
  2. why we need to collect personal data;
  3. how we store personal data;
  4. how we process it;
  5. for how long we store that data and when we delete data;
  6. who we share data with;
  7. how to delete your account and request that your personal data is deleted;
  8. how to submit a subject access request (SAR) to us;
  9. how to withdraw consent;
  10. how to complain.

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment here or contact me.

Dom Mitchell, DOAJ Operations Manager

Use DOAJ as a search engine!

Did you know about the search engine functionality in Chrome and other browsers?

To get DOAJ search results while on any web page, you can set your browser’s search box to interface the DOAJ search engine and land on DOAJ’s search results page.
This trick removes the need to first navigate to DOAJ from a web page, and then do the search or navigation.

Here some instructions on how to configure Chrome’s address bar to search DOAJ:

  1. Click the Chrome menu.
  2. Select: Preferences on Mac and Linux, or Settings on Windows or Chrome OS.
  3. Under Search, select Manage Search Engines.
  4. Under Other Search Engines, add DOAJ by entering a name and keyword. I used “DOAJ”
    • You will use the keyword to select DOAJ as the search engine from the address bar.
  5. Enter https://doaj.org/search?source={"query": {"query_string": {"query": "%s", "default_operator": "AND"}}}&ref=homepage-box as the URL. Click “Add”
  6. DOAJ search can now be accessed by entering keyword search term in the address bar, replacing “search term” with your query.