[Applications are now closed.]

DOAJ is looking for a freelance PR Officer (or Associate) to start immediately. The PR Officer role is a part-time role, working remotely, for up to 15 hours per week. It is a mid-level position.

Why are we looking for a PR Officer?

  1. You could say we have an image problem. DOAJ is the world’s only free, independent, community-curated, online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. Our uniqueness makes us stand out from the crowd. Our name is our brand and many people recognise it and associate it with quality, open access content and reliability. However, DOAJ is also 17 years old and, to some, has a reputation based on myths and untruths that urgently needs to be corrected.
  1. DOAJ aims to be the website for researchers to refer to when looking for peer-reviewed, open access content. We are also known as an advocate for openness. We want to make sure our name becomes synonymous with these points and that the messages which we publish reflect them.  Within organisations around the world, we want to get the attention of those responsible for managing content discovery and electronic resources and show them why they should use DOAJ and why they should encourage others to use it too.
  1. DOAJ is a non-profit organisation which relies on voluntary financial support. By improving our image, by proving our value, by demonstrating that we are of use, then we can increase the number of supporters on who we rely. We need to ensure their support and to convince them that our continuing survival is vital for the successful transition of scholarly publishing to an entirely open access model.

The main duties

The main duties of the PR Officer are:

  1. Develop and implement a communications strategy which
    • demonstrates the value of DOAJ in the scholarly publishing ecosystem
    • shows the importance of DOAJ in the discovery chain, and
    • conveys the truth behind the myths
  2. Create communication plans tailored to each of DOAJ’s stakeholder groups that:
    • shows how DOAJ is valuable to them
    • how DOAJ is vital to open access and scholarly publishing
    • convinces them to support us financially.
  3. Create press releases and other online content.
  4. Ensure our audience knows that DOAJ is sensitive to the differences in scholarly publishing ecosystems around the world:
    • one message, one approach isn’t enough.
  5. Continue to develop and grow the DOAJ brand and be a brand ambassador.
  6. Improve and maintain DOAJ’s presence and reach across different communication channels, globally, online and at industry events:
    • via a social media strategy.
    • in blogs, newsletters
    • panels, presentations, seminars etc
  7. Internal communications:
    • to help manage organisational developments and change
  8. Create strategic partnerships that
    • reinforce or complement DOAJ’s mission
    • help us fulfill our strategy
  9. Deal with enquiries from supporters, the press, and other organisations.
  10. Reporting and analysis

The qualities and skills we are looking for

  • You must have at least three years’ experience in public relations
  • You must be an excellent communicator at all levels and in all mediums.
  • You must have some experience and knowledge of how scholarly communications work outside of North America, Europe and Australasia.
    • We’re particularly interested in speaking with you if you have worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, or Asia
  • You must have experience and knowledge of scholarly communications
    • We’re particularly interested in speaking with you if you have worked with academic libraries or research funders.
  • You must have leadership qualities:
    • We have a good idea of what we want to achieve but we need your help to get us there.
    • You need to be an all-rounder; you can think strategically and implement tactically. 
  • You need to be analytical and identify our strengths and weaknesses by uncovering:
    • the history of DOAJ, scholarly publishing, open access and 
    • how we work and who we work with
  • You are a self-starter and you can use your initiative to identify new opportunities and grow your ideas into reality.
  • You are independent but, because we all work remotely, you aren’t afraid to check in regularly and ask questions. 

What else is required of you

In order to carry out your duties effectively, you must:

  • Have some form of further education OR have at least 3 years’ work experience in PR.
  • Be fluent in spoken and written English. (Fluency in more languages is a bonus.)
  • (Under normal circumstances) be able to travel to meetings and industry events, including two DOAJ Team meetings a year, usually held in Europe.
  • Able to work with Google products (Apps for Business, Google Analytics), Slack, Mailchimp, and SurveyMonkey.
  • Be available for meetings/contact with the DOAJ team at some point during the hours of 9 am and 5 pm UTC, Monday to Friday. (Apart from that, you are expected to manage your own schedule.)
  • Have a stable and reliable internet connection.
  • Be used to having online meetings using Google Meet, Zoom, Skype etc.


DOAJ is an adopting organisation of the C4DISC Joint Statement of Principles and strives to improve diversity and inclusion in scholarly communications. It is extremely important to DOAJ that these principles are reflected in our organisational structure and that they are acted upon in our day-to-day operations.

Hourly rate

The hourly rate for this role will be calculated based on your experience and geographic location.  

Start date

We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible but we will wait for the right person. 


If you have questions about the role described here, about working for DOAJ or about the application process, please send an email to Dom Mitchell, dom@doaj.org.

How to apply

To apply, send a covering letter and a copy of your CV to Dom Mitchell, dom@doaj.org, by 15th September 2020.

(A PDF version of this post is available.)

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