Extended downtime – Wed 21st March 2018

DOAJ will be offline for approximately 8.5 hours from 12.50-21.10 UTC, or 12.50 to 21.10 GMT on Wednesday 21st March 2018.
DOAJ will experience an extended period of downtime on Wednesday 21st March 2018 while our hosting service, Digital Ocean, installs some important security fixes:
On January 4, 2018, multiple vulnerabilities in the design of modern CPUs were disclosed. Taking advantage of certain processor performance optimizations, these vulnerabilities—named Meltdown and Spectre—make it possible for attackers to coerce applications into revealing the contents of system and application memory when manipulated correctly. These attacks work because the normal privileges checking behavior within the processor is subverted through the interaction of features like speculative execution, branch prediction, out-of-order execution, and caching.*

 *https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-protect-your-server-against-the-meltdown-and-spectre-vulnerabilities

As well as updates and patches being applied by Digital Ocean to protect our machines, DOAJ’s technical partners, Cottage Labs, will also use the downtime to perform some other, non-related essential maintenance actions.
We apologise in advance for the short notice but we have only just received notification from Digital Ocean that they will work on our machines this week.
If you have any questions, then please leave a comment here or contact us feedback@doaj.org.

 

Copyright and Licensing – Part 3

In 2016, we published 2 blog posts on copyright and licensing: Part1 and Part 2In these posts we explained and illustrated that copyright and licensing are two different things linked by the fact that licenses can only be granted by copyright holders. Here is Part 3, a guest post by our Editor-in-Chief, Tom Olijhoek.

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In this post I want to discuss the practice by some open access publishers of not using Creative Commons licenses but using their own constructions for publisher specific licenses. A reason for this may be, for example, that the government of the country of the publisher does not recognise the (American company derived) Creative Commons licensing.

DOAJ accepts journals that do not use CC licensing ONLY if the specifics of the publisher licenses match the conditions of Creative Commons licenses. That is to say that licenses need to be compliant with the BOAI conditions of Open Access and need to allow for immediate access to all materials, with implicit permission to download , share, distribute and use the material for lawful purposes.

To better explain what DOAJ will and will not accept, I want to highlight some real life examples.

Example 1:  Copyright transfer agreement in conflict with open access

Let’s have a look at a case where the publishers use a copyright transfer agreement conflicting with the conditions of the Creative Commons License applied to the same work.

Publisher [x] has a copyright transfer agreement (CTA) saying:

The Author(s) agree that all copies of the Work made under any of the above rights shall prominently include the following copyright notice: “© XXXX [year] X. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modifications of the content of this paper are prohibited.”

This is in clear conflict with the conditions of BOAI Open Access and also with the use of the CC BY-NC license used by the very same journal.

After discussions with the publisher, two passages in the CTA now read:

[x] shall make the final, published version of the article freely available on the [x] Publishing platform without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of the article, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the Author(s). This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access
Copyright Notice The Author(s) agree that all copies of the Work made under any of the above rights shall prominently include the following copyright notice© XXXX [year] [x] Users may use, reuse, and build upon the article, or use the article for text or data mining, so long as such uses are for non-commercial purposes and appropriate attribution is maintained. All other rights are reserved.

I also want elaborate on the point that publishers often demand a copyright transfer agreement with a range of arguments like:

[x] needs copyright for an article because, as publisher, [x] is in the best position to defend the article legally. In addition, transfer of copyright assures [x] that the work in question is entirely the author’s own. Once again, the purpose of transfer of copyright is not to prevent the author from reuse of his or her own work, as long as this doesn’t involve republication in a competing journal or other competing resource.

DOAJ holds the policy that leaving the copyright with the author is best practice. The publisher will only need publishing rights. For this reason journals of publishers who leave the copyright with the author are eligible for the DOAJ Seal.

Example 2: Copyright statement in conflict with open access:

© Copyrights of all the papers published in Journal of XXX are with its publisher, [x] [Country]. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in the journal, and that users can use and reuse material in the journal as long as attribution is given when appropriate or necessary. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Example 3: License in conflict with open access:

You may read, download, print, copy, search, link to the full text, or use them for any lawful purpose not otherwise prohibited here. You may not modify, create derivative works from, participate in the transfer or sale of, post on the World Wide Web, or in any way exploit the Site or any portion thereof for any public or commercial use without the express written permission of [x]

Example 4: License  in conflict with open access:

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, requires credit to the article author as copyright holder. Permission does not need to be obtained for downloading, printing, or linking to [Repository] content. Individuals have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in the Journal XXX and to use them for any other lawful purpose…

/// same document:
Libraries interested in printing a paper from Journal of XXX for their permanent collection should contact the journal editors responsible for posting the paper. The requesting library can then gain copyright clearance from the paper’s author(s). People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.

It may be evident from the statements above that the use of non-Creative Commons licenses and the use of copyright transfer agreements make the evaluation of open access  journals on acceptable copyright and licensing conditions difficult and time consuming. At the same time the different conditions created by publishers in these cases make it very confusing for authors and users to know their rights.  I realise that the issue of copyright and licensing ranks among one of the most difficult issues of open access publishing. Therefore I strongly recommend that publishers make use of the excellent Creative Commons licensing schemes and also leave copyright for published works with the authors. Again, these conditions are the key requirements for obtaining the DOAJ Seal of Excellence in open access publishing.

I sincerely hope that the number of DOAJ Seal journals in DOAJ will continue to rise!

Tom Olijhoek
Editor-in-Chief

(Copyright and licensing information specific to completing an application is also available.)

Open Access in the Francophone Global South: Between Collective Empowerment and Neocolonialism

This is a guest post by Florence Piron from Université Laval, Québec, Canada.

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An anthropologist and ethicist, Florence Piron is a professor in the Department of Information and Communication at Université Laval where she teaches courses on ethics and democracy. She is the founding President of the Association for Science and Common Good and its open access publishing house. She is interested in the links between science, society and culture, both as a researcher and advocate for a science that is more open, inclusive, socially responsible and focused on the common good. She’s doing research on open science, and cognitive justice with universities in Africa and Haiti.

 

Two major issues are often lacking within the general conversation about open access, whether in blogs, discussion lists or papers. Indeed, their invisibility is in itself a symptom of the problem that I want to briefly expose here.

The first issue is the difference between openness and accessibility. Depending on where a person lives or what their resources are, they may forget that there exists such a difference, whereas it is obvious to others. A door may be open, but if a person does not have the ability to walk or find the path that leads to it, if many obstacles prevent them from moving forward, they will not be able to go through it: what then is the value or the meaning of the door’s openness? In other words, are articles and books in open access always accessible  and, if not, what does openness really mean? This question demands that more precise social and political analyses of accessibility be added to the usual discussions of publishers, copyright or policies.

The second issue concerns what lies behind the door, in other words what kind of knowledge is so precious that the opening of the door to get it justifies all kinds of fighting and arguing and huge amounts of money? This fundamental epistemological debate seems to me very seldom dealt with within the general conversation about open access. Should all types of knowledge be covered by the open access movement? Or only the “science” that lies within the boundaries of the Web of Science, Google Scholar and Scopus databases, that is to say the “centre” of the science world-system? Should knowledge produced outside these boundaries, for instance non-English non-indexed knowledge produced in universities from the periphery of the science world-system, be left out of the fight for open access because it is not “properly scientific”?  Should the invisibility of knowledge coming from minorities or the Global South continue to be seen as not a problem?

A detour to the Global South, particularly Haiti and Francophone Sub-Saharan African universities where I have been doing research for several years through the SOHA project (Piron et al. 2016, 2017), can open eyes and ears. In the North, open access is equivalent to effective access because a researcher or a student always has a computer, web access, electricity and a basic digital literacy that enable them to have immediate access to everything that is open. But this is not the case in the Francophone Global South, where our SOHA project has identified and documented several huge cognitive injustices. In this part of the world, not only is Internet access far from being generalized and remains very expensive, but students often touch a computer for the first time when entering university, lecturers rarely know how to use the web in their teaching and sometimes mistrust it, electricity can be cut for several hours a day, the quality of the connection is usually very low and connectivity is often not the priority of university leaders. Most important of all is the fact that digitalization of African theses and journals is very rare, which contributes to their invisibility. We have also met African academics who still hope to compensate for their meagre salary by selling books and are thus opposed to open access in general. Let’s add that very few of these countries have a research and innovation policy able to fund research, libraries and equipment, so that they usually depend on “partners” from the North who have their own research agenda, a neocolonial situation in itself (Mvé-Ondo 2005). That many people manage to do brilliant research there, without leaving to the North, is a feat in itself! Believing that “open access” is the grand solution to problems of research in the Global South is therefore a huge mistake, mirroring the general ignorance of the centre about the periphery. Open access is a necessary, but not at all sufficient, condition.

The second issue may be more complex to grasp, since it is of a socio-epistemological nature. Let’s just recall here the postcolonial and feminist scholarship that has shown that “science” is in fact a situated (fascinating) knowledge anchored in European male white history which became hegemonic during Modernity and its colonial project. This knowledge carries a specific epistemology based on the hope of producing a decontextualized (“universal”), neutral (value-free, culture-free, gender-free), explicative, predictive type of knowledge which I call “positivist” in short. Such a knowledge, defined as a normative ideal, obviously considers any mention of cultural/political context as irrelevant or even anti-science, anti-truth. Let’s do it anyway. If open access only concerns the hegemonic positivist science that is produced and showcased in journals obeying the norms and rules created in the North, it would contribute to maintaining other epistemologies or knowledges not quite following the said rules in their state of invisibility and inaccessibility, whether in the North or in the (Francophone) Global South. Yet these knowledges are indispensable to overcome the challenges in these countries, each country needing local relevant nuanced knowledge that could help its action, that “speaks” to local social actors.

In summary, if open access reinforces the visibility and usability of papers, theses and books from the North (even if only because they have a digital life), knowledge from the (Francophone) Global South, mainly constituted by un-digitized theses and research reports (Piron et al. 2017), will remain invisible and little used, unless published in journals from the North. This is why, if open access is only interpreted as facilitating access to “science” without any analysis of material conditions of access and without any conscience of the necessity of maintaining a “knowledge diversity” within an ecology of knowledges (Santos 2007), it could become just another tool of neocolonialism.

Conversely, open access can become a formidable tool of collective empowerment for the Global South – and of improvement of world science –  if its leaders and proponents make a sincere commitment to creating and maintaining within “science” a real openness to the plurality of epistemologies, of knowledges (in the plural form) and of normative frameworks. My African and Haitian colleagues and I have been working on numerous concrete projects in this regard, notably a pan-African open repository. We are convinced that DOAJ could also play a major role not only in showcasing African and Haitian journals without necessarily imposing on them a rigid normative positivist framework, but also in helping journals from the North become more open to epistemologies, languages and ideas from the Global South.

Let me conclude with a sad paradox: many critics of hegemonic science, whether from a decolonial, feminist or constructivist standpoint, do not care whether their own work is available in open access or not, and therefore accessible or not to the people suffering from cognitive injustices… The road is long!

References Continue reading

New Sponsorship Model from 2018

From January 2018, DOAJ has introduced a tiered system of sponsorship – a structure which is tried and tested and that, we believe, will meet our current sponsors’ expectations and hopefully raise our appeal to new sponsors. To make sure that the model remains realistic, we have tiered pricing for both commercial and non-commercial entities.

Read the report on our main achievements in 2017, as well as developments for the year ahead.

All sponsors are able to use our new logos below on their web sites and promotional materials etc. The logos are coloured according to the level of sponsorship. A new logo will be issued each year.

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If your organisation would like to sponsor us, or if you have any questions about your current sponsorship, our work, or what sponsorship money goes towards, please contact  our Managing Director and Founder, Lars Bjørnshauge, directly: lars@doaj.org.

DOAJ launches the DOAJ Best Practice Guide

DOAJ has launched the DOAJ Best Practice Guide.

The Guide is a web resource that provides selection criteria, resources and tools for the identification of reputable open access journals to support researchers, publishers and librarians in their search of best practice and transparency standards. It is also an attempt to collect discussions about open access to publications and its development. It is developed by, and updated regularly by, the DOAJ team based on existing and new information.

The Guide complements the work of the DOAJ Ambassadors as well as academics, librarians and publishers worldwide. Based on the information provided on the For Publishers page on the DOAJ website and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, the Guide aims to do the following:

  • Highlight issues surrounding questionable publishing practices;
  • Provide a checklist of criteria to help identify questionable publishers based on guidelines for editors working with applications to DOAJ;
  • Identify other tools that assist in making informed decisions on where to submit articles for publication. based on the ThinkCheckSubmit initiative;
  • Contain case studies and examples gathered by DOAJ over 13 years of operation.
Initial work with the Best Practice Guide was funded by IDRC  as part of the Ambassadors’ programme. If you know of other resources that should be included in the Guide, then do please contact us or leave a comment here.

New DOAJ Ambassadors in the Republic of Korea

Following our training sessions last month in Seoul we are very pleased to announce that we have appointed three new Ambassadors and an honorary Ambassador in Korea. We have also created a group of seven voluntary associate editors who will help DOAJ with applications coming from Southeast Asia. From 1st December 2017, the Ambassadors will start working on promoting DOAJ’s practices and standards, and Best Practices in Open Access publishing.

We are increasing our work and visibility as Open Access implementation spreads in many regions in Asia.

The three new Korean Ambassadors are:

Hea Lim Rhee

Hea is a senior researcher at Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), and also the managing editor of KISTI’s

Journal of Information Science Thea-lim-rhee.jpgheory and Practice (JISTaPJISTaP), the first English journal on computer science in Korea. 

Hea received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in archives and records management. Conflict of Interest document

 

Hyun Jung Yi

Hyun Jung Yi holds a PhD in Library and Information Science from Chung-Ang University, Korea. She is a librarian at Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Korea. 20171114_134053

Currently, she also serves as a member of the Scholarly Committee at the Korean Medical Library Association and as a vice chair of the Committee of Information Management at the Korean Council of Science Editors. Her interests include observing trends in the scholarly publishing market, disseminating open access journals, and enhancing the publishing environment for researchers.

Conflict of Interest document

Youngim Jung

Youngim holds a PhD from Pusan National University in Computer Science and Engineering.

She is now a Senior Researcher at Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information developing and managing scholarly publishing systems for supporting domestic societies. Previously, she worked for KESLI, the national library consortium in South Korea and contributed herself to establish Korea DOI Center. Youngim Jung.jpg

She is a committee member of KCSE (Korean Council of Science Editors) and CASE (Council of Asian Science Editors). She has authored publications and communications in the field of Scientometrics, Library Systems and Natural Language Processing. Conflict of Interest document.

 

Sun Huh (honorary Ambassador)

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Sun is a medical doctor and holds a PhD from Seoul National University in parasitology. He has been a Professor of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Korea since 1988. He has worked voluntarily as a board member of Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (1996-2011), Korean Council of Science Editors (2011-present), and Council of Asian Science Editors (2014-present).

He has been an editor of Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions since 2005. His goal with DOAJ is to pursue the registration of all open access journals from Korea to DOAJ. Conflict of Interest document.

 

The new Ambassadors will work alongside the existing DOAJ Ambassadors from other territories and the DOAJ Team in Europe.

DOAJ and SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE SERVICES partner to achieve broader support for Open Access to scientific literature

The new agreement underpins the Directory of Open Access Journals in its work to reach new members and generate more support and shows the strong commitment of  Scientific Knowledge Services  to the Open Science movement.

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DOAJ announces the agreement with Scientific Knowledge Services (SKS) as its exclusive agent in a selection of countries from the EMEA region (details below). Scientific Knowledge Services will be responsible for facilitating financial support to DOAJ and in this way contribute to the work of DOAJ to assess and promote quality, peer reviewed Open Access journals.

This agreement focuses on generating new members and sponsors for DOAJ from the countries listed below, and includes planning, marketing, market research, supervision, training, maintenance of a customer database, record-keeping, and reporting to the DOAJ.

The selection of EMEA countries is listed below:

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine.

“We are pleased that SKS have partnered up with us”, says Lars Bjørnshauge, Founder and Managing Director of DOAJ. “We have great confidence in their solid knowledge, strong networks and good track record in the regions covered by this agreement,  as well as their ability to liaise efficiently with potential new members in these regions”.

Scientific Knowledge Services (SKS) is a Swiss company backed up by 20 years of experience in working with academic, public and research libraries, focusing on Open Science elements like Open Access (OA), Research Data Management (RDM) and Citizen Science, as well as licenses for online electronic resources. The Managing Director of SKS, Dr. Tiberius Ignat says: “We are strongly supporting Open Science and we believe that Open Access is a major component of modern research activities. We’ve been organising in Europe – for 3 years now – a series of workshops on Open Science with a great positive impact for local communities as well as international stakeholders. Our agreement with DOAJ came naturally in place. We also see this agreement as a recognition of our role in the Open Science landscape and it drives us to an even stronger commitment.”

 

About SKS

Scientific Knowledge Services (www.knowledge.services) is a Swiss registered company that has an extensive experience in working close with libraries and content providers to facilitate access to scientific knowledge. SKS has a well established practice in finding the right place where interests of libraries, universities, research organizations and content providers meet and in proposing winning solutions for all parties.

Scientific Knowledge Services routes its efforts in understanding each market, by connecting and dedicating time to local communities, assisting the content providers to better serve the specific information needs of each country and supporting the advancement of Open Science elements.

For business development inquiries:

Marika Markova, SKS

Executive Director

marika@scientificknowledgeservices.com

+420 607 462 982

For media inquiries:

Clara Armengou, DOAJ

Project and Communications Manager clara@doaj.org