Un partenariat entre Érudit et DOAJ : vers une meilleure visibilité et une plus grande découvrabilité pour les revues savantes francophones et bilingues

erudit-logotype-rougeDOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) et Érudit ont conclu un partenariat dans le cadre d’un projet qui vise à inciter et à aider les revues avec comité de pairs, diffusées en libre accès sur la plateforme erudit.org, en vue de leur indexation dans DOAJ.

DOAJ est une référence internationale pour les revues évaluées par les pairs et diffusées en libre accès. Actuellement, plus de 14 450 revues, en provenance de 131 pays et publiées en 75 langues, sont référencées dans sa base de données. Il contribue ainsi au rayonnement d’une recherche diversifiée, tant sur le plan régional que du point de vue linguistique. En tant que signataire de l’Initiative d’Helsinki, DOAJ déploie des efforts considérables pour indexer davantage de revues publiant dans des langues autres que l’anglais, de manière à souligner l’importance de la recherche menée dans toutes les langues.

« Dès sa création en 2003, DOAJ visait une portée internationale, d’un point de vue géographique, linguistique et disciplinaire. En permettant le moissonnage gratuit de nos données, y compris près de 5 millions d’éléments de métadonnées d’articles, nous offrons une visibilité mondiale même aux plus petites revues. Les données que nous rendons disponibles sont recueillies par de nombreux organismes et par les principaux moteurs de recherche et outils de découverte à travers le monde », explique Lars Bjørnshauge, le fondateur et directeur général de DOAJ.

 Afin d’attirer davantage de revues publiées dans des langues autres que l’anglais, DOAJ a choisi le français, qui, en tant que langue officielle dans 29 pays à travers le monde, représentait le candidat idéal pour lancer ce projet collaboratif. Érudit est une plateforme canadienne non commerciale qui rassemble plus de 220 revues francophones et bilingues, et dont 97% des contenus diffusés sont disponibles en libre accès. Les revues diffusées sur la plateforme sont des petites ou moyennes structures éditoriales et sont publiées par des presses universitaires, des sociétés savantes ou d’autres institutions de recherche. Chaque année, la plateforme Érudit attire 3 millions d’utilisateurs provenant de 85 pays. « Ce partenariat avec DOAJ est une très belle opportunité d’accroître la visibilité, la découvrabilité et l’impact des revues en libre accès que nous diffusons. C’est également un bon moyen pour souligner la qualité de ces revues. Nous sommes ravis de contribuer ainsi au développement du libre accès et de soutenir un système non commercial de communication savante », s’est réjouie Tanja Niemann, la directrice générale d’Érudit.

 DOAJ et Érudit travailleront de concert pour accompagner les revues francophones et bilingues dans leur potentielle inclusion dans DOAJ en leur communiquant les critères et les directives d’inclusion et en organisant des ateliers d’accompagnement. Le projet donnera lieu à une production importante de documents de formation et de soutien en français, ce qui sera également utile pour attirer davantage de revues savantes de la francophonie internationale. Le projet pilote sera ouvert à environ 50 revues et se déroulera de mars 2020 à décembre 2021. Lars Bjørnshauge ajoute : « Nous sommes ravis de conclure ce partenariat. En travaillant étroitement avec des organismes comme Érudit sur des projets comme celui-ci, nous constatons un taux d’acceptation de 95% parmi les demandes que nous recevons, en comparaison avec les 50% habituels qui proviennent de candidatures spontanées. Il est avantageux pour DOAJ de travailler avec Érudit et de profiter d’un contact direct avec les éditeurs des revues diffusées sur la plateforme. »

 Pour plus d’informations, veuillez communiquer avec:

Dominic Mitchell – Gestionnaire des opérations, DOAJ – dom@doaj.org
Gwendal Henry – Chargé de communication, Érudit – gwendal.henry@erudit.org

A partnership between Érudit and DOAJ: towards greater visibility and discoverability for open access French-language and bilingual scientific journals

PRESS RELEASE

erudit-logotype-rougeDOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) and Érudit have entered into a partnership for a project aimed at encouraging and helping peer-reviewed open access (OA) journals disseminated on the erudit.org platform to be indexed in DOAJ.

DOAJ has set an international standard for peer-reviewed open access (OA) journals. Today, the index includes 14,450 journals from over 131 countries, publishing in 75 languages, demonstrating a regional and linguistic diversity of research. As a signatory of the Helsinki Initiative, DOAJ is working hard to ensure the indexation of more non-English-language journals as a way to emphasise the importance of research in all languages.

“From its launch in 2003, DOAJ has always had the ambition of being truly interdisciplinary and global in terms of geography, language, and scope. With all the DOAJ data being harvestable for free, including approximately 5 million pieces of article metadata, we give even the smaller journals global visibility. The data is picked up by organisations, leading search engines and discovery services all over the world, and we facilitate that by making it available in multiple ways,” says Lars Bjørnshauge, DOAJ Managing Director and Founder.

French, an official language in 29 countries around the world, was selected by DOAJ the ideal linguistic candidate to launch a collaborative project to attract more non-English-language journals. As a Canadian and non-commercial platform, Érudit brings together 220+ French-language and bilingual journals, with 97% of the content available in open access. The journals disseminated on the Érudit platform are small or medium-sized editorial structures, published by university presses, scholarly societies or other research organizations. The Érudit platform attracts 3 million visitors from 85 countries every year.

“This partnership with the DOAJ is a good way to recognize the quality of open access journals disseminated on Érudit and to increase their visibility, discoverability, and impact. We’re glad to contribute to the development of OA and to support a non-commercial system of scholarly communication by this partnership,” said Tanja Niemann, Érudit Executive Director.

 DOAJ and Érudit will work together to facilitate the application process for French-language journals by communicating DOAJ criteria, translating instructions, and organising workshops. An important by-product of the project will be more DOAJ training and support materials in French, which will be useful in attracting more French-language journals from other parts of the world. The Pilot project will focus on fifty journals and run from March 2020 to December 2021.

Lars Bjørnshauge adds: “We are delighted to enter this partnership. By working directly with groups like Érudit on projects like this one, we see a 95% success rate among the applications that are eventually submitted, compared to the usual 50% from unsolicited applications. It’s a great thing for DOAJ to work with Érudit and to be in direct contact with the journal editors and publishers on the Érudit platform.”

 

For further information, contact:

Dominic Mitchell – DOAJ Operations Manager – dom@doaj.org
Gwendal Henry – Érudit Communication Officer – gwendal.henry@erudit.org

Possible delay, due to COVID-19, to publishers’ ISSN requests via national ISSN centres

An important note from this month’s ISSN newsletter. I would urge publishers to sign up to the newsletter if you haven’t already done so.

DOAJ is taking the information below into account when reviewing applications. In particular, we know that applications from Argentina, Colombia, United Kingdom, Luxemburg, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, Slovakia might be affected. Applications from this country which contain ISSNs which are not confirmed or registered will be placed on hold instead of being rejected.

Note to publishers requesting ISSN assignments from the ISSN Network
Due to the COVID-19 global outbreak and health and social measures imposed by several national authorities, ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions may encounter technical and operational issues. This particular situation may have an impact on the timely management of publishers’ ISSN requests and ISSN assignments. Unfortunately, the ISSN International Centre cannot currently replace impacted ISSN National Centres and manage all ISSN requests and assignments. If ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions are temporarily closed due to this crisis, the ISSN International Centre invites publishers to be patient and renew their requests regularly. We thank you for your understanding.

FinELib, the consortium for Finnish universities, will fund DOAJ for a 3-year period based on the SCOSS model

PRESS RELEASE

FinELib logoFinELib, the Finnish consortium for universities, research institutions and universities of applied sciences, has agreed to provide funding to DOAJ over a 3-year period.

The consortium has promised funds to DOAJ in recognition of the valuable contribution that DOAJ makes to open access and scholarly publishing. The move follows hot on the heels of Finland publishing its policy on open science and open research earlier this year, a move which was welcomed by Finland’s academia.

The amount of funding promised to DOAJ by FinELib is €31,500 per year for three years. This is at the level of “sustainable” funding and allows DOAJ to retain its focus on its goals for the current strategic period, one of which is to attract more non-English language journals into the Directory, especially within social sciences and humanities.

Arja Tuuliniemi, Head of FinELib, said: “DOAJ is a valuable open access service for Finnish research institutions. We are pleased that FinELib can take part in providing sustainable funding for DOAJ.”

In fact, the funding comes after the successful implementation of a joint project between DOAJ and TSV, Federation of Finnish Societies, to train journal representatives on the DOAJ criteria and help them submit a complete and proper application to DOAJ. The goal of the project is to increase the number of Finnish journals in DOAJ.

Lars Bjørnshauge, Managing Director and Founder of DOAJ, said: “We are very pleased that FinELib has facilitated that 15 of the member institutions have signed up for significant support over a three year period. The support will help us continue developing DOAJ with special focus on non-English language journals.“

The funding comes at the end of what has turned out to be a very successful SCOSS funding drive for DOAJ. The period ran from 2018 to 2020. The effect that sustainable funding has had on DOAJ can be seen in various blog posts.

For more information on funding DOAJ, contact Lars Bjørnshauge: lars@doaj.org.

A PDF version of this press release is here.

Sign up to receive updates from us

DOAJ has never had a method to push updates to our users. We have always just posted information on this blog in the hope that it will find its audience. We are aware that some stakeholders miss important updates so we have launched an update service.

We will use the update service to inform you about:

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[This pst was UPDATED and CORRECTED on 25th May. DOAJ is not launching a newsletter service but a service which will push updates to people who have signed up.]

What’s in a “NAME”? A study of African and Arab journals in the DOAJ

This is a guest post by Souheil Houissa, editor of the North Africa & Middle East (NAME) group, and long-serving DOAJ volunteer. He wrote the article in February 2020 so the statistics are historical. (As of today, the group has processed 536 applications.) However, the general conclusions drawn throughout the article are still valid.


Journal applications are reaching the milestone of 500 titles assessed by the ‘North Africa & Middle East’ (NAME) editor group at DOAJ. This group took over from the former Arabic group in 2016, and I have been honoured to be the editor of this group.

The purpose of the NAME group is to assess as many applications as possible coming from both Arab countries and West Africa, as the regions of former groups had very few applications.

Thanks to the efforts of the 6 volunteering associate editors, we have so far accepted 290 journals and rejected a further 196 applications, for different reasons. The rest of the applications include some completed assessments, 14 are still in progress, and 4 applications were put on hold. In fact, these numbers are very little, a “peanut” comparing to the DOAJ 14267 journals, including 11290 searchable journals at the article level and about 4, 620717 articles altogether from 133 countries. 

Most applications are coming from other (mainly Muslim) countries: Indonesia; and Iran.

Of the 155 applications from Indonesia, our group has rejected 67 applications and accepted 88 titles of the total 1598 Indonesian journals included in the DOAJ.

In 2017, the total number of applications submitted to DOAJ reached its highest ever level for one year. Out of the 2488 journals added that year, nearly one quarter (602) of them came from Indonesia. Certainly, for that reason, the DOAJ managing editors decided, in September 2017, to involve the NAME group in reviewing the growing number of applications.

Of the Indonesian applications we have reviewed, 51 out of 91 have Arabic as the main full-text language. However, there were also 146 in English and 79 in Indonesian.

Indonesia is ranked the second country with 1598 DOAJ indexed journals, after the United Kingdom (1604), and before Brazil (1461). 

Iran took the 7th place in the DOAJ with 522 journals indexed. NAME editor group has accepted about 1/6th of them, that’s 86 journals after editing 131 applications. Iranian journals tend to use English (303 titles) as the main language more than the national language, Persian (239 titles). Some journals are bilingual and very few are in Arabic or French (2 journals each).

From the end of 2016, we helped with the evaluation of mainly those Iranian journals publishing in English; that’s 80 to only 6 in Persian. The highest number of accepted Iranian journals in the DOAJ was in 2018 with 128 journals.

Journal applications from the Arab states are coming from:

  • Iraq (61),
  • Algeria (25),
  • Egypt (22),
  • UA Emirates (21)
  • Morocco (9)
  • Jordan (5)
  • Saudi Arabia (4)
  • Yemen (4)

Some journals are based in the United States (19), bearing in mind that the country of the journal is linked to the address where the publisher is based.

Journals of Arab countries

Only 18 from the 22 Arab states are represented in the DOAJ; there are no applications from the Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, and Somalia.

Country Applications* Journals** DOAJ ***
1 Iraq 61 30 45
2 Algeria 25 5 24
3 Egypt 22 17 32
4 UA Emirates 21 12 10
5 Morocco 9 6 18
6 Jordan 5 3 4
7 Saudi Arabia 4 4 18
8 Syria 4
9 Yemen 4 4 6
10 Tunisia 3 2 5
11 Lebanon 2 1
12 Oman 2 2 7
13 Bahrain 1 1
14 Kuwait 1 1 1
15 Libya 1 1 3
16 Soudan 1
17 Palestine 1
18 Qatar 4
Total 166 87 180

*NAME group applications ** Journals accepted by NAME *** All journals in DOAJ

Table 1: Journals of Arab countries

As shown in Table 1, the NAME group has reviewed 166 journal applications and decided to include 87 of them, out of the 180 journals accepted in the DOAJ so far. The difference between the two numbers is justified by the change of the DOAJ editor groups at the end of 2017; many applications that were made in 2017 and before remained with the main database. For example, there are 24 journals in the DOAJ from Algeria, but we can find only 5 journals with the NAME group that have applied in July 2017 and later. (Public searching doesn’t include this distinction.) However, many titles were removed because they failed to reapply after 2014 or have not answered the changing requirements, and sometimes duplications may occur.

fig1

Fig.1: Journals of Arab countries

Journals of African countries

I have added South Africa to the list of African countries covered by NAME editor group to the table below to reflect an idea about the “gap” that exists between this country and the rest of the continent. (See also Ina Smith’s guest blog post: ‘Overview of the African open access landscape with a focus on scholarly publishing‘.)

This gap is also represented between Africa and the Arab countries on one hand, and the rest of the world (as shown in the DOAJ) on the other.  South Africa has 100 journals, whereas the rest of African countries together have only 29 accepted journals. Only four (4) of them were included by our group among 11 received applications.  

Country Applications* Journals** DOAJ ***
1 South Africa 100
Country Applications* Journals** DOAJ ***
2 Nigeria 3 1 8
3 Ghana 1 6
4 Kenya 5
5 Angola 2
6 Cameroun 1 1
7 DR Congo 1 1
8 Malawi 1 1
9 Mali 1 1 1
10 Ruanda 1 1 1
11 Uganda 1 1 1
12 Zimbabwe 1 1
13 Ethiopia 1
Total (without SA) 11 4 29

*NAME group applications ** Journals accepted by NAME *** All journals in DOAJ

Table 2: Journals of African countries

There are 525 journals in the African Journals On-Line (AJOL) database but only half of them are open access. 

fig2

Fig. 2: Journals of African countries

Some journals are also in the DOAJ, for example, two Tunisian journals are in AJOL. Arab North African countries have modest participation in AJOL as well.

On the other hand, many Sub-Saharan African countries are more represented in AJOL than in the DOAJ. For instance, Nigeria is the first with 222 journals (only 8 in the DOAJ) followed by 96 for South Africa, then Ethiopia (30), Kenya (29) and Ghana (27) that each has around 5 DOAJ titles. Except for South Africa which nearly has the same representation in both databases, the other African countries are modestly represented in the DOAJ.

Languages

English is the common language in the DOAJ in general and in the NAME group as well. It dominates the national languages such as Arabic, Persian, or Indonesian both for the applications and the Journals, but most journals are bilingual or multilingual. Besides English, Journals use Arabic and/or French for the Arab countries, and Persian or Indonesian with Arabic sometimes for the others.

English Arabic  Indonesian French Persian
NAME  Applications 468 119 79 34 11
NAME  Journals 264 56 48 11 6
DOAJ Journals 10.859 161 1307 985 239
Table 3: Languages of the Journals 

The table shows that almost half of the applications in every language was rejected. Journals in the NAME group represent only a small proportion of journals in English, Indonesian, Persian or French. The rest is assessed and accepted by other DOAJ specialised groups in those languages. On the other hand, Arabic, that is supposedly the national language of most countries covered by the group, represents only 34% (that is 56 journals out of 161 in Arabic). We may think that the remaining journals were treated in other groups, but in fact, many journals remain in the account of former DOAJ Arabic groups. NAME accepted 48 journals out of 1307 in Indonesian (nearly 4%), and only 11 from 985 journals in French (about 1,1%), and just 6 journals in Persian (2,5%). English is used in 264 journals of this group, and out of the 10.859 journals using English in all the DOAJ, they only represent about 2,4 %. Ranking the languages used in the DOAJ shows English in the first place, while Indonesian comes in the 4th rank, followed by French in the 5th whereas Persian takes the 11th level, and Arabic is placed the 13th. Spanish and Portuguese are the most used languages after English.

fig3

Fig. 3: Languages of the Journals

Figures show the same rank and proportions of those five full-text languages in both applications and accepted journals, but a few other oriental languages exist among the rejected applications. 

fig4

Fig. 4: Languages of  NAME Journals

Journal subjects

Journal subject classes are usually the same as the topics suggested as keywords in the applications:

  • 34 journals were classified in medicine,
  • 23 in education,
  • 16 in Islam and
  • 13 in science.

The results for NAME journals broken down by keywords have the same order. In DOAJ, social sciences took the second place in subject classes (604 titles), after medicine (786), and before both education (556) and education (general) (552). 

Journal Licensing 

The DOAJ requires that journals allow reuse and remixing of content in accordance with a Creative Commons license or other types of license with similar conditions. 

License CC BY CC BY-NC CC BY-SA CC BY- NC-SA CC BY-NC-ND CC BY-ND
Journals 113 61 45 36 22 1
Table 4: Licenses of the Journals

The CC BY license is the least restrictive, it allows distribution, remixing, adaptation, even commercially, and provided that the work is clearly attributed to the original author and source. This offers a maximum diffusion and use of licensed Journals. CC BY is the most used license in the NAME group journals:

  1. CC BY – 41%
  2. CC BY-NC – 22%
  3. CC BY-SA – 16%
  4. CC BY-NC-SA  – 13%
  5. CC BY-NC-ND – 8%

If we look at all the journal licenses in the DOAJ, we notice the dominating use of CC BY license and the low use of CC BY-ND, but the order is almost reversed for the rest. Some 385 journals are using their publishers’ own licenses. 

Many journal applications were rejected by our group editors because of ignorance or misuse of licenses. There is a lack of awareness about Creative Commons licenses. Some journals mention more than one license on their website because they misunderstand the difference, and many others confuse the licenses withholding copyright and retaining publishing rights without restrictions by authors (Questions 52 and 54).

Journals per year

fig5

Fig. 5: Number of Journals/ Year

The earliest date of an application received by the NAME group is 19/5/2015 but a bulk transfer of applications started in November 2016. My own records as  DOAJ Editor show that the earliest application I assessed was from April 2014 and the “last updated” date is not found for about 12 journals.

Generally, DOAJ has been accepting journals gradually in the first decade from 2003 to 2012. DOAJ decided in 2013 to expand its criteria. In 2014 the number of journals in the database went down because all journals were made to reapply under the new criteria. Some journals were removed after they failed to reapply in time or did not meet the new requirements.

In 2016 and 2017, the number of journals increased dramatically as many journals were accepted after reapplication and many others joined after awareness campaigns were organised. Furthermore, twelve DOAJ ambassadors were appointed in different regions of the world.  From 2018 on, journals have been added steadily at a reasonable rate and many regions and languages are reaching interesting levels in the DOAJ database.    

APCs, the DOAJ Seal, and Peer review   

After the update about Article Processing Charges (APC) in April 2016, journals were urged to provide the information about it. Around one quarter of the total journals in DOAJ ask for an APC and the same percentage is reflected in the NAME journals (70 journals). 

The DOAJ Seal is a qualification given to journals having best practices to answer requirements “related to accessibility, openness, discoverability, reuse and author rights. Only two journals in the NAME group have been accredited with the DOAJ Seal: PSU research review (2018, UK) and Arab journal of nutrition and exercise (2018, UAE). This is very little compared to the total journals in DOAJ: 1381 journals have the Seal; 13157 journals do not.

When it comes to editorial review/peer review, DOAJ checks if journals have editorial boards and which type of review is done. The database shows:

  • Double-blind peer review (7382);
  • Blind peer review (4015);
  • Peer review (2593);
  • Editorial review (136); and
  • Open peer review (132).

On the other hand, the numbers for the types of peer review of journals from the NAME group are:

  • Double-blind peer review (119);
  • Peer review (65);
  • Blind peer review (43);
  • Editorial review (1).

In both cases, journals tend to favour the use of double-blind peer review, but they differ in other choices.

Conclusion

As we have no access to other groups’ details on their applications and rejections and because features of applications and accepted journals are not the same, comparisons and analysis could not be exhaustively made. However, we have managed to come out with certain conclusions that may help editors and managers to bring necessary changes to the process to assure best practices in terms of applications, assessments and use of the DOAJ database, especially concerning Arab and African journals.

Although many Arab journals are online, participation in the DOAJ is very little, and African journals tend to adhere to other databases. Rejection of applications from Arab countries is quite high and that is due to a reluctance towards OA, ignorance of the main features of Gold OA, and lack of appliance to principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications. Efforts need to be made to encourage publishing in Arabic and national languages, to assist publishers to meet requirements of peer-reviewing, publication ethics, copyright and licensing.

Raising awareness of Open Access is still needed among academia, journal publishers, and decision-makers in Africa and the Middle-East.