This is a myth.
A common misconception is that DOAJ is owned by publishers. In reality, DOAJ is 100% independent and the majority (82%) of its funding is from public organisations.
All of the funding received by DOAJ is given voluntarily and the majority comes from public organisations, such as libraries, library consortia, research funders and universities. In fact, in 2019 only 18% of the money donated by DOAJ Supporters came from small publishers or sponsorships from traditional publishers.
DOAJ has long enjoyed an excellent relationship with libraries. DOAJ was born out of libraries’ need to identify peer-reviewed, open access publications. DOAJ is 100% independent which allows us to keep our focus on the quality services we provide to our stakeholders, ensuring that we have the needs of libraries at heart. The majority of our supporters are loyal libraries from all over the world: we have an 95% renewal rate!
DOAJ became an independent service in 2013 and its Founder, Lars Bjørnshauge, along with two directors of IS4OA at the time, ensured that DOAJ was protected from being bought or sold. DOAJ’s parent company, Infrastructure Services for Open Access (IS4OA), is established in the United Kingdom as a Community Interest Company.
Of course, publishers have played and continue to play an important role in the success of DOAJ and we acknowledge that unreservedly. Without publishers, DOAJ wouldn’t have journal and article metadata, or the sponsorships which we receive.