At DOAJ, we insist that the ISSN for your journal is fully registered and confirmed at the time you submit an application to us. DOAJ does not allow provisional ISSNs. Applications which contain provisional ISSNs are rejected without review.
According to the ISSN International Centre in Paris, a provisional ISSN is assigned to a journal by the local national ISSN centre. An application for an ISSN can be submitted up to three months before the journal is launched.
The national ISSN centre is then responsible for sending the details of the new ISSN to the International Centre. The International Centre then registers the ISSN in their database as which point the ISSN has the status registered but not yet confirmed, that is to say, “provisional”.
A provisional ISSN becomes fully confirmed when the publisher informs their national ISSN centre that the resource has published two issues that contain at least five articles. (Each national centre has the right to adapt this and add restrictions to this requirement.)* The national centre then sends additional information to the International Centre to complete the basic record. Only then, will the record appear in the ISSN Portal as confirmed.
It is important that, before you submit your application to DOAJ, you check the ISSN Portal, and make sure that the ISSN(s) for your journal(s) is confirmed and that the title(s) match what you have on your site and in your application form.
*Corrected to add detail – thanks to Ammad Zafar for contacting us.