The DOAJ Seal is now live. Although DOAJ has been indicating which journals get the Seal since March 2014, the Seal is now displayed alongside those journals that qualify. Look for this symbol:

DOAJ_Seal_logo_mediumWe’ve also added a DOAJ Seal facet to the search so you can see all the Seal journals together.

Journals that adhere to an exceptionally high level of publishing standards and best practice are awarded the Seal as recognition of those efforts. The Seal is awarded to a journal that fulfills a set of criteria related to accessibility, openness, discoverability, reuse and author rights. It acts as a signal to readers and authors that the journal has generous use and reuse terms, author rights and adheres to the highest level of ‘openness’. The Seal has nothing to do with the scholarly quality of the material published in the journal.

To qualify for the Seal the journal must:

  • have an archival and preservation arrangement in place with an external party such as CLOCKSS, LOCKSS, Portico;
  • provide permanent identifiers in the published content such as DOIs;
  • provide article level metadata to DOAJ;
  • embed machine-readable CC licensing information in article level metadata;
  • allow reuse and remixing of content in accordance with a CC BY, CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC license;
  • have a deposit policy registered in a deposit policy directory such as SHERPA/RoMEO;
  • allow the author to hold the copyright without restriction.

To date, 88 journals have qualified for the Seal and we hope to see that number increase steadily.

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  1. How can I differentiate between a Sealed DOAJ vs. an OA journal? If the journal has NO seal DOAJ, what’s the implication like?

    1. All journals in DOAJ have been reviewed for quality. Those journals with the green Tick next to them have been reviewed under our new criteria and have been accepted after March 2014. Those which have achieved the Seal have the Seal logo next to them. A journal with no Seal means simply that the journal has reached the usual high standard to be indexed in DOAJ but doesn’t meet all of the 7 Seal criteria. Does that help? (Dom)

  2. I think it should be clarified that the “Seal” seems to pertain mainly to adhering to following certain excellent procedural rules pertaining to digital posting. These are excellent aspirations. At the same time, everyone must be aware that it is extremely difficult to asses a journal’s “quality.” What exactly does that mean? Academics have been debating this for hundreds of years. One can also debate the notion of digital preservation. To be honest, it is impossible to promise that content will be preserved “for all time.” There is no 100% guarantee of permanence, either in printed or digital formats. One can only do one’s best. These quibbles aside, the “Directory”‘s aspirations are excellent and should be supported.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Indeed, you are absolutely correct on all counts: the Seal does pertain to a journal’s digital posting and not the academic merit of the content published in it; that quality is very hard to define or measure and that isn’t something that DOAJ aspires to do but we prefer to use signposts for authors or librarians looking for journals to submit research to; and indeed, digital preservation does not guarantee that content will be around forever but open access publishing sees more journals disappearing without a trace than traditional publishing so hopefully DOAJ can encourage publishers to preserve their content without simply taking a site offline.

      Best, Dom

  3. As a site that is frequented by pedants of the highest order, you may like to know that the word ‘as’ is missing from the following sentence above: “provide permanent identifiers in the published content such DOIs;”
    If you choose to remove this comment from public display, I will quite understand.
    Best regards,