Learn about DOAJ and Open Access Best Practices

We are very glad to announce the launch of a series of educational videos. This first playlist is an introductory course created by the DOAJ Team itself to assist publishers, librarians, researchers and authors understand those standards and what an entry in DOAJ means.

Our goal is to continue developing our YouTube channel in order to create a comprehensive educational programme. Stay tuned and let us know your preferred topics!

The Long-Term Preservation of Open Access Journals

The long term preservation of open access journals is one of the 7 criteria for the DOAJ Seal because DOAJ believes that it is an extremely important business process which a publisher of academic content should commit to. This couldn’t be more applicable than in the Global South where financial support and rigorous standards around journal publishing aren’t always available and, sadly, journals tend to just disappear from the Internet without warning. This is a huge problem for the academic footprint of the Global South, not to mention the hundreds of authors whose published papers just aren’t online any more and cannot be retrieved or ever cited.

When DOAJ established its criteria for the Seal in 2014, we were conscious that anything with a cost associated with it effectively put up a barrier to those low income or financially unstable journals to getting the Seal. DOAJ is committed to smooth that path as much as possible. In 2013, DOAJ announced a working agreement with CLOCKSS, one of the archives included on our application form, to seek out funding for a joint project which would get as many of DOAJ’s long-tail of single journals archived and preserved as possible. Unfortunately, those plans didn’t come to fruition and since then, the archiving and digital preservation landscape has changed somewhat.

What remains to be done is clear however: we must help ALL journals get into an archiving and digital preservation program and therefore I am delighted to welcome this guest post by Craig Van Dyck, the Executive Director of the CLOCKSS Archive.

Thanks for reading.

Dom, DOAJ Operations Manager


Users of scholarly content rely upon long-term access to that content. Scholarly research is long-lived, and users need to be able to re-access content repeatedly.

One concern about digital scholarly journals is that they could disappear from the web, which would undermine scholars’ ability to access the materials that they need.

In response to this concern, several Preservation services are available. These services work somewhat differently, but they all aim to ensure the long-term availability of scholarly content on behalf of end-users. Prominent services are CLOCKSS and Portico in the US, Scholars Portal and the Public Knowledge Project Preservation Network (PKP PN) in Canada, and CINES in Europe. Publishers are welcome to participate in any or all of these services. And some national libraries also have archival collections.

In today’s environment, it is considered best-practice for a scholarly publisher to include its content in a preservation service. To receive the DOAJ Seal, journals must be included in a preservation system.

In this post, we will focus on CLOCKSS, with some reference to PKP PN, because those two services both use the LOCKSS technology, which is arguably at the high-end of the spectrum of preservation solutions.

LOCKSS Technology

LOCKSS stands for Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe. The technology was invented at the Stanford University Library about 20 years ago. It relies upon multiple copies of the digital content being hosted at geographically distributed nodes. The software (which is open source) includes a unique polling-and-repair mechanism. The multiple nodes are constantly exchanging information about the content that they hold. If one node reports a difference vs. the other nodes, that one node is out-voted by the other nodes, and the variant node’s piece of content is replaced by the correct content from one of the other nodes. In this way, the archive is “dark”, meaning that end-users do not access the content, but the technology ensures that the data is in good repair.

The CLOCKSS Archive

  • The C in CLOCKSS stands for Controlled. This is because CLOCKSS uses twelve servers located at blue-chip libraries around the world, all with first-rate infrastructure and security. CLOCKSS is a free-standing 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, using the LOCKSS technology and working with the LOCKSS technical and operational teams at Stanford, to preserve scholarly content for the long-term. CLOCKSS is certified as a Trusted Digital Repository. In its Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification report by the Council for Research Libraries, CLOCKSS received the only perfect score for technology.
  • CLOCKSS includes many Open Access publishers. For example, 24 publishers using the open source OJS publishing system are preserved in CLOCKSS. In total, CLOCKSS is preserving over 20,000 journal titles, with over 30 million journal articles and 75,000 books, growing rapidly each year.
  • One unique aspect of CLOCKSS is that when content is “triggered” for access, CLOCKSS makes the content freely available to all, under a Creative Commons license, which is a sign of the commitment to the concept of Open Access. A “trigger” occurs if a journal has disappeared, or will soon disappear, from the web. To date CLOCKSS has triggered 53 journals.
  • CLOCKSS can access publishers’ journals in two different ways: by harvesting the content from the publishing platform; or by the publisher providing the content to CLOCKSS by FTP.
  • Another unique aspect of CLOCKSS is the governance structure. The Board of Directors is comprised half by libraries and half by publishers. The scholarly community itself is thus responsible for the policies and practices of CLOCKSS.
  • Publishers sign an Agreement with CLOCKSS, which governs rights and responsibilities. There is a small annual cost for participating in CLOCKSS. CLOCKSS is financially sustainable, which is an important element for a long-term preservation archive. 350 libraries around the world, as well as 250 publishers, contribute to CLOCKSS’s sustainability.

Public Knowledge Project Preservation Network (PKP PN)

  • The Public Knowledge Project is a multi-university initiative developing (free) open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing. PKP is based at Simon Fraser University in Canada, which is where the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software was originally developed.
  • The PKP Preservation Network is an additional capability that enables easy long-term preservation of journals using OJS version 2.4.8 or higher. PKP PN uses the LOCKSS preservation software.
  • There are currently 800 journals preserving their content in PKP PN.
  • There are no fees for participating in the PKP PN. A journal manager must agree to Terms of Use.

Conclusion

It is strongly recommended that scholarly journals and books should be preserved for the long-term in a preservation system. Content that is not preserved is at-risk of being lost. And publishers who do not contribute their content to a preservation system are at-risk of not being considered a serious publisher. The value of long-term preservation is well worth a small cost.

Craig Van Dyck
Executive Director, CLOCKSS Archive
cvandyck@clockss.org

News: OASPA to require DOAJ listing for single-journal publishers

OASPA_Logo.jpgDOAJ and OASPA have worked together for many years now, with our Founder and Managing Director, Lars Bjørnshauge, serving as an OASPA board member for the past 5 years.

Publisher applications to OASPA have been rapidly increasing, in particular from those publishing just one journal. Given the many similarities in the indexing criteria between DOAJ and OASPA, we have agreed that all single-journal publishers that apply to OASPA will now be referred to DOAJ if the journal is not already listed in the DOAJ database.

Both organisations feel that this change is in the best interests of single-journal applicants because indexing by DOAJ is the most effective way for these journals to increase their visibility, and this is often their stated reason for applying to join OASPA.

Once a journal is indexed by DOAJ, applicants that still wish to join OASPA should get back in touch with them. However, publishers should note that OASPA have some specific requirements that differ from ours, particularly with respect to
licensing. Approval by DOAJ will not automatically mean acceptance by OASPA.

Following the implementation of this new policy and other membership criteria introduced last year, OASPA will be working with any of their existing members who don’t now meet their criteria to encourage improvements and apply to have their journals listed in DOAJ.

For more information, please see the announcement by OASPA.

 

 

Russian scientific journals in the era of open access to knowledge: problems of adaptation

Our DOAJ Ambassador Dr. Natalia Gennadievna Popova has recently published a paper (in Russian) “Russian scientific journals in the era of open access to knowledge: problems of adaptation” or Российский научный журнал в эпоху открытого доступа к знаниям: проблемы адаптации. We are sharing this work with the wider DOAJ community, as we know that there is still lots to do in Russia in the open access arena (as our Ambassadors’ programme has shown) and this is covered in the paper.

Here is the paper’s abstract in English:

The advancement of open access to scientific knowledge has become a determining strategy in the sphere of scientific communication. Open access implies, along with a free access to full-text information online, the creation of a legal basis for the results of research to be used fairly by all interested bodies. The Directory of Open Access Journals, DOAJ, as well as other similar institutions, carries the mission of providing and guaranteeing the quality of open access. Russian journals are increasingly become part of this project, which is considered to be a positive trend. Currently, about 163 Russian titles are listed in DOAJ. However, some journals face difficulties in bringing their publication standards in compliance with the DOAJ quality criteria, which has become a reason for suspending 15 Russian titles from this esteemed international database. This article investigates the process of open access advancement in Russia, in particular, the implementation of international quality standards in the sphere of Russian scientific periodicals. Main DOAJ acceptance criteria are analyzed, as well as those problems that Russian titles experience adapting to them.

Read the full-text (in Russian).

New Privacy Information Notice

In accordance with the guidelines laid out by the GDPR, DOAJ has published a privacy information notice:

https://doaj.org/privacy

Please take a few moments to review the Policy. It includes information on:

  1. the information we collect from you and how we use it;
  2. why we need to collect personal data;
  3. how we store personal data;
  4. how we process it;
  5. for how long we store that data and when we delete data;
  6. who we share data with;
  7. how to delete your account and request that your personal data is deleted;
  8. how to submit a subject access request (SAR) to us;
  9. how to withdraw consent;
  10. how to complain.

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment here or contact me.

Dom Mitchell, DOAJ Operations Manager

DOAJ does not endorse Academics Era conferences | Say Hello to Think Check Attend

It has come to our attention that a series of conferences hosted by Academics Era all show the DOAJ logo in the Indexed/Supported section of each conference page. There are literally hundreds of these conferences listed from the Academics Era homepage and each one has the DOAJ logo on it.

DOAJ DOES NOT SUPPORT OR ENDORSE ANY OF THESE CONFERENCES.

Please make sure that you, researchers, students and faculty at your institution think very carefully before sending money to these, or any conferences.

thinkcheckattend

This message is timely as it gives me the opportunity to introduce Think Check Attend.

Think Check Attend is an initiative that guides researchers and scholars when deciding whether to attend a conference or submit an abstract and present their research. The 3-step approach encourages academics to ‘Think’ about the problem posed by predatory or substandard conferences, ‘Check’ the conference against a set of criteria designed to highlight attributes of good and bad quality conferences, and ‘Attend’ only if the conference adheres to the criteria consistent with a legitimate conference.

The initiative is provided by Knowledge E and has been endorsed by Think Check Submit as a sister initiative.

If you are unsure about any conference, then do go to the Think Check Attend website and use their excellent resources.

DOAJ’s Mission (updated March 2018)

DOAJ has just updated its mission to take into account our new Education and Outreach program. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to highlight and explain the elements of the mission in detail.

DOAJ’s mission is to increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language. DOAJ will work with editors, publishers and journal owners to help them understand the value of best practice publishing and standards and apply those to their own operations. DOAJ is committed to being 100% independent and maintaining all of its services and metadata as free to use or reuse for everyone.

…to increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly research journals…

DOAJ’s aim has always been to increase the international reputation of open access publishing. Over the past couple of years, DOAJ has become a kite mark of quality, signifying that a journal a) meets the high criteria laid out in our application form and b) that a journal or publisher adheres to best practice as laid out in the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice. DOAJ encourages 100% open journals over hybrid journals, altmetrics over impact factors, any form of peer review to verify journal content quality, the use of permanent article identifiers and long-term digital preservation systems.

…research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language…

top10

Top 10 Countries in DOAJ

DOAJ realises that open access isn’t confined to the Global North and certainly not the English language. (A quick look at the top 10 countries with journals indexed in DOAJ will show you that.) Indeed, we see most advances in open access publishing coming from the Global South where open access is a default and is often mandated at government level. Open access isn’t limited to scientific, technical or medical journals (STM) but runs the entire gamut of scholarly publishing to include social sciences and humanities (SSH) titles too. DOAJ’s Education and Outreach program ensures that the DOAJ message remains globally relevant.

 

DOAJ will work with editors, publishers and journal owners to help them understand the value of best practice publishing and standards and apply those to their own operations.

DOAJ understands that standards and best practices can be daunting and that achieving those takes resource and can be hard to do alone. DOAJ wants to improve the overall quality, or perceived quality, of open access and believes that to do this, it must help journals and publishers to raise their game. Therefore DOAJ has a “helping hand” policy under which it will work with publishers, journal owners and editors to show them the value of best practice and standards and how to meet certain levels required to be accepted into DOAJ.

DOAJ is committed to being 100% independent…

DOAJ is owned by an independent C.I.C. (community interest company) called IS4OA. The statutes of the CIC ensure that DOAJ may not be sold. IS4OA was formed for the sole purpose of ensuring that DOAJ could continue as an independent entity after it moved away from Lund University in 2013. DOAJ is funded entirely by voluntary donations, either via membership or sponsorship and IS4OA is committed to keeping it that way.

…maintaining all of its services and metadata as free to use or reuse for everyone.

In the true spirit of open access—the BOAI definition of open access on which the DOAJ has built its criteria —the entire corpus of metadata in DOAJ will always be free to everyone. DOAJ will never charge for the provision of its metadata or for any of its services, be they online or in person. Other content on the site is licensed with a Creative Commons license and the codebase which DOAJ is built on is open source.

Dom Mitchell
Operations Manager