We’re looking for experienced freelancers or consultants to consult our user community. The feedback will help us improve how we update information and enhance our platform and services. Your job will include working with us to define the survey’s scope, reaching out to users worldwide, collecting and analysing the feedback, and presenting a detailed report with recommendations.


As our current strategy outlines, we’re dedicated to ensuring DOAJ is sustainable, resilient, and responsive to the community’s needs. We want to ensure that the information we collect and share about journals meets the needs of our users and that we focus our efforts appropriately.

A growing body of metadata

The last thorough review and public consultation of the metadata we hold was during the rewrite of our extended criteria in 2013. That resulted in us collecting substantially more metadata per journal. 

Since then, the open access market has matured, and our index has grown in number and diversity. (Today, we index more than 20,300 journals.) More journals, more metadata, and more links displayed per journal inevitably require more resources to check and update every entry. To ensure that we index only quality journals, we manually check everything, which is resource-intensive. 

Project Specification

We are seeking feedback from our users across every stakeholder group about the metadata we collect and display.

We have recent evidence that each of our stakeholder groups has different requirements for our service. Part of the work will be to manage community expectations regarding what we can do within our day-to-day budget restrictions.

The high-level aims of the project are to:

  • Determine how far the contents of the index and its metadata meet the needs of our global stakeholders
  • Understand and prioritise any possible changes to our criteria and the metadata we display so we can use DOAJ resources more effectively
  • Identify an appropriate balance between the needs of the community and the financial and resource constraints at DOAJ.


We have many different groups interested in our work, like libraries, researchers, publishers, and others who use our data. We want to hear from a wide range of perspectives, especially from smaller publishers that don’t charge publication fees and are the majority in our index. It’s important to include voices from stakeholders in different parts of the world, not just in the global north.

The following key deliverables are required:

  • A communications and implementation plan for the consultation
  • An online survey to gather the views and perspectives of our global and diverse stakeholder groups
  • A report that:
    • Analyses of survey’s outcomes
    • Notes any divergent perspectives or unintended consequences of any changes
    • Provides actionable recommendations on modifications to evaluation criteria and metadata collection


  • Date this RFP is published: 17th January 2024
  • Your proposal must be submitted to Dominic Mitchell (see below) by 12:00 (UTC) on Monday 29th January 2024.
  • Supplier interviews will be held at the start of February
  • We will award the contract by mid-February
  • Communication, implementation plan and survey to be developed and approved by mid-March*
  • Draft report and recommendations in May*
  • Final report by June at the latest*

* to be determined with you


This project’s maximum budget is £10,000 (excluding VAT). 

Evaluation Criteria

We will evaluate proposals based on a combination of the following:

  • Your proposed approach to the consultation process should explain how you will address the diversity of our stakeholder groups. (30%)
  • The relevant experience of the proposed team when undertaking similar consultations, including data collection and analysis and the ability to generate actionable insights from a diverse range of inputs  (25%)
    • For example, previous experience with discovery chains, working with large datasets and working on projects with multiple deliverables and across various timezones.
  • Your proposed approach to working practice, communication and project management, including how you would approach the challenges of working globally (15%)
  • Overall cost and budget breakdown (30%)

Your proposal

Your proposal should include the following:

  • Describe how you would meet the requirements of the project specification, including your approach
  • Evidence of your relevant experience and expertise, including details of recently completed projects and work with DOAJ’s stakeholder groups
  • Explain how you would manage the project effectively, including ensuring good communication with DOAJ.
  • A total price and a detailed budget breakdown
  • An outline of how you will deliver the consultation within the timeframe of the project
  • Email it to Dominic Mitchell, email address below.


If you have any questions, please email them to Dominic Mitchell, Operations Manager: dominic@doaj.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *