News update Press release Progress report Reapplications Uncategorized

DOAJ to remove approximately 3300 journals

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 ( today before 11am BST, 12pm CEST. A copy of that spreadsheet is also available here.

20 comments on “DOAJ to remove approximately 3300 journals

  1. Pingback: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Announces Plan to Remove 3300 Titles From Database | LJ INFOdocket

  2. This will increase the accuracy for sure. Good move

  3. Good decision by DOAJ !! I appreciate.

  4. Pingback: DOAJ removes 3,300 | News from

  5. Pingback: DOAJ to remove thousands of journals - Open Access

  6. If we, as mere users, notice an error in your spreadsheet how can we best send corrections? For instance, you list Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology as about to be dropped with the reason that, “Web site URL no longer works”. However, when I visit the URL you have for that title in the directory it does still work. Of course it’d be preferable for the publisher to respond to your call, but…

    • Hi Paul

      We welcome the feedback. Actually that journal is in DOAJ currently so I have removed that entry from the list. Well spotted and thanks for taking the trouble to get in touch.


  7. I think this is a very good initiative in order to restore a general sense of a seal of quality of contents indexed in DOAJ. But among the ones who haven’t responded, could there be journals that have been terminated but were of good quality when they were published?

    • Hi Stefan

      The journals removed from DOAJ during the batch removal were done so for one reason only: they failed to submit a reapplication to us within the given timeframe. For this exercise we haven’t made any other analysis (for example, about quality) other than whether they responded or not. So yes, this list probably does contain journals that no longer publish.

      WRT journals that have ceased publishing, we are changing our policy. Up until this year, we removed journals that had ceased publishing. We are changing that to coincide with new functionality on the site that will show continuations between journals. If a journal has kept its archives online, has a permanent and stable URL and has metadata in DOAJ, we will no longer remove that journal but will mark it as ceased publishing. We will be doing deeper analysis of the list of journals removed during the batch removal to identify which ones had article metadata in DOAJ.

      Thanks for the question!

      Dom Mitchell

  8. Carlos Sergio Flores King

    Excelente esto ayudara a que tengan revistas de gran calidad

  9. Excelente por que esto ayudara a tener revistas con un contenido de buena calidad

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