This is a myth.
There is a common misunderstanding that for a journal to have its application accepted and be indexed in DOAJ it must meet all the criteria for the DOAJ Seal. There is an assumption, born out of that misunderstanding, that journals in DOAJ without the Seal are of inferior quality. This is also a myth.
What ‘Indexed in DOAJ’ means
Being indexed in DOAJ means that a journal application has passed our editorial review. Editorial review consists of an investigation by the DOAJ Editorial team and our volunteers who have researched whether or not the journal and its publisher do what they claim to do on the journal site and in their application to us. The investigation consists of checking all of the 50+ answers in an application to make sure that the information on the website is easy to find, clearly and accurately presented and matches the application. The editorial board is scrutinised and sometimes members of the board are contacted and their institutional connections verified, their work on the board is confirmed and which other boards that member sits on.
Being indexed in DOAJ means that the journal adheres to high levels of quality in its publishing services and services to authors and users, including: peer review, licensing terms, a strong open access statement, a fully functional editorial board and more. Being indexed in DOAJ means that the journal is a trusted open access journal and, in fact, many do meet one or more of the Seal criteria.
What the DOAJ Seal means
The DOAJ Seal is a stamp of quality. Journals that are awarded the Seal have verified that they correctly fulfil all seven criteria that DOAJ has chosen specifically as indicators of a clear commitment to open access best practices, of high levels of commitment to publishing standards and best practices, and that the open access model they adhere to is the most open.
The Seal has been allocated to just over 10% of the journals accepted into DOAJ since 2014. In some cases, the Seal has been withdrawn because the journal can no longer fulfil all seven criteria.
Journals cannot apply for the DOAJ Seal. The Seal is awarded after careful assessment of the journal website. If you think that your journal qualifies for the Seal, you should contact us to have it assessed.
It is important to remember that, whether they have the Seal or not, all journals in the DOAJ have met our criteria for inclusion as trusted, quality, open access journals.