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

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.

Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, version 3

The 3rd version of the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing is published today.

Introduction

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) are scholarly organizations that have seen an increase in the number, and broad range in the quality, of membership applications. Our organizations have collaborated to identify principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications and to clarify that these principles form the basis of the criteria by which suitability for membership is assessed by COPE, DOAJ and OASPA, and part of the criteria on which membership applications are evaluated by WAME. Each organization also has their own, additional criteria which are used when evaluating applications. The organizations will not share lists of publishers or journals that failed to demonstrate that they met the criteria for transparency and best practice. Backgrounds on each organization are at the bottom of this post.

This is the third version of a work in progress (published 15 January 2018); the first version was made available by OASPA in December 2013 and published on the DOAJ web site in January 2014. We encourage its wide dissemination and continue to welcome feedback on the general principles and the specific criteria.

Principles of Transparency

  1. Website: A journal’s website, including the text that it contains, shall demonstrate that care has been taken to ensure high ethical and professional standards. It must not contain information that might mislead readers or authors, including any attempt to mimic another journal/publisher’s site.
    An ‘Aims & Scope’ statement should be included on the website and the readership clearly defined. There should be a statement on what a journal will consider for publication including authorship criteria (e.g., not considering multiple submissions, redundant publications) to be included. ISSNs should be clearly displayed (separate for print and electronic).
  2. Name of journal: The Journal name shall be unique and not be one that is easily confused with another journal or that might mislead potential authors and readers about the Journal’s origin or association with other journals. 
  3. Peer review process: Journal content must be clearly marked as whether peer reviewed or not. Peer review is defined as obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers expert in the field who are not part of the journal’s editorial staff. This process, as well as any policies related to the journal’s peer review procedures, shall be clearly described on the journal website, including the method of peer review used. Journal websites should not guarantee manuscript acceptance or very short peer review times. 
  4. Ownership and management: Information about the ownership and/or management of a journal shall be clearly indicated on the journal’s website. Publishers shall not use organizational or journal names that would mislead potential authors and editors about the nature of the journal’s owner. 
  5. Governing body: Journals shall have editorial boards or other governing bodies whose members are recognized experts in the subject areas included within the journal’s scope. The full names and affiliations of the journal’s editorial board or other governing body shall be provided on the journal’s website. 
  6. Editorial team/contact information: Journals shall provide the full names and affiliations of the journal’s editors on the journal website as well as contact information for the editorial office, including a full address. 
  7. Copyright and Licensing: The policy for copyright shall be clearly stated in the author guidelines and the copyright holder named on all published articles.  Likewise, licensing information shall be clearly described in guidelines on the website, and licensing terms shall be indicated on all published articles, both HTML and PDFs.  If authors are allowed to publish under a Creative Commons license then any specific license requirements shall be noted.  Any policies on posting of final accepted versions or published articles on third party repositories shall be clearly stated. 
  8. Author fees: Any fees or charges that are required for manuscript processing and/or publishing materials in the journal shall be clearly stated in a place that is easy for potential authors to find prior to submitting their manuscripts for review or explained to authors before they begin preparing their manuscript for submission.  If no such fees are charged that should also be clearly stated. 
  9. Process for identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct: Publishers and editors shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. In no case shall a journal or its editors encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. In the event that a journal’s publisher or editors are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in their journal, the publisher or editor shall follow COPE’s guidelines (or equivalent) in dealing with allegations. 
  10. Publication Ethics: A journal shall also have policies on publishing ethics. These should be clearly visible on its website, and should refer to: i) Journal policies on authorship and contributorship; ii) How the journal will handle complaints and appeals; iii) Journal policies on conflicts of interest / competing interests; iv) Journal policies on data sharing and reproducibility; v) Journal’s policy on ethical oversight; vi) Journal’s policy on intellectual property; and vii) Journal’s options for post-publication discussions and corrections. 
  11. Publishing schedule: The periodicity at which a journal publishes shall be clearly indicated. 
  12. Access: The way(s) in which the journal and individual articles are available to readers and whether there are associated subscription or pay per view fees shall be stated. 
  13. Archiving: A journal’s plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to the journal content (for example, access to main articles via CLOCKSS or PubMed Central) in the event a journal is no longer published shall be clearly indicated. 
  14. Revenue sources: Business models or revenue sources (e.g., author fees, subscriptions, advertising, reprints, institutional support, and organizational support) shall be clearly stated or otherwise evident on the journal’s website. Publishing fees or waiver status should not influence editorial decision making. 
  15. Advertising: Journals shall state their advertising policy if relevant, including what types of adverts will be considered, who makes decisions regarding accepting adverts and whether they are linked to content or reader behaviour (online only) or are displayed at random. Advertisements should not be related in any way to editorial decision making and shall be kept separate from the published content. 
  16. Direct marketing: Any direct marketing activities, including solicitation of manuscripts that are conducted on behalf of the journal, shall be appropriate, well targeted, and unobtrusive.  Information provided about the publisher or journal is expected to be truthful and not misleading for readers or authors.

In the event that a member organization is found to have violated these best practices, or other specific requirements of the organization, OASPA/DOAJ/COPE/WAME shall in the first instance try to work with them in order to address any concerns that have been raised. In the event that the member organization is unable or unwilling to address these concerns, their membership in the organization may be suspended or terminated. All of the member organizations have procedures for dealing with concerns raised about member journals.

_________________________________________________________________________

About the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, https://publicationethics.org/)

COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and, in particular, how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct. It also provides a forum for its members to discuss individual cases. COPE does not investigate individual cases but encourages editors to ensure that cases are investigated by the appropriate authorities (usually a research institution or employer). All COPE members are expected to apply COPE principles of publication ethics outlined in the core practices.

About the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, https://doaj.org)

The mission of the DOAJ is to curate, maintain and develop a source of reliable information about open access scholarly journals on the web; to verify that entries on the list comply with reasonable standards; to increase the visibility, dissemination, discoverability and attraction of open access journals; to enable scholars, libraries, universities, research funders and other stakeholders to benefit from the information and services provided; to facilitate the integration of open access journals into library and aggregator services; to assist, where possible, publishers and their journals to meet reasonable digital publishing standards; and to thereby support the transition of the system of scholarly communication and publishing into a model that serves science, higher education, industry, innovation, societies and the people. Through this work, DOAJ will cooperate and collaborate with all interested parties working toward these objectives.

About the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA, https://oaspa.org/)

OASPA is a trade association that was established in 2008 in order to represent the interests of Open Access (OA) publishers globally across all disciplines. By encouraging collaboration in developing appropriate business models, tools and standards to support OA publishing, OASPA aims to help ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the benefit of its members and the scholarly communities they serve. This mission is carried out through exchanging information, setting standards, advancing models, advocacy, education, and the promotion of innovation.  

About the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME, http://www.wame.org)

WAME is a global nonprofit voluntary association of editors of peer-reviewed medical journals who seek to foster cooperation and communication among editors; improve editorial standards; promote professionalism in medical editing through education, self-criticism, and self-regulation; and encourage research on the principles and practice of medical editing. WAME develops policies and recommendations of best practices for medical journal editors and has a syllabus for editors that members are encouraged to follow.

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)

sun_20151210.jpg

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.

Open Access Publishing in China

This is a guest post by Xin Bi, DOAJ Ambassador, China.

29da926Following rapid development in the economy and huge investment in R&D, China is now widely recognised as one of the leading countries of the world in terms of the number of published journals and scientific articles. In 2015, there were over 10,000 journals in China, of which 4983 (49.76%) were in Science and Technology, according to the “Statistical Data of Chinese Science and Technology Papers 2015”.

 

Surprisingly, as of 4 June 2017, only 71 open access journals from China have been registered in DOAJ, which is about 0.75% of the total number of DOAJ indexed journals. If we take 10,000 as the estimated total number of journals in China at this moment, then this suggests only 0.71% of journals in China are open access. From these data people would think the open access movement in China is really lagging behind. Is this true? Does this actually means that Chinese scholars or publishers are not willing to share? The answer is no.

Though it is still in progress, my research on open access publishing in China now means that I have collated a list containing information on more than 1200 journals and I am checking many items of journal information against DOAJ criteria. The findings are quite exciting. I have not finished checking each journal, so I just provide my initial findings here.

Nearly no questionable journals found

In my list there are 1222 journals and the number is still increasing. As only state-owned organizations, such as universities, institutes, academic societies, government bodies and hospitals, are licensed to create a journal, among all the journals in my list, there are no questionable journals found. For any individual it is not possible to register a new journal in China. Some journals are registered overseas, with editorial offices in China, but as they only have one ISSN number and they could not be licensed with a CN series publication number from the Chinese authorities, these journals are not recognized in the academic system in China.

Open as free access

It is surprising to see that many Chinese journals are offering free reading and downloading of their current articles on their website. This could be something we call “free access” rather than true open access according to the BOAI definition and DOAJ practice. In my experience working as a DOAJ ambassador in China, making articles freely available in this way would be regarded as “open access” by many publishers and editors. There could possibly be 1,000 or so journals in my list that are applying this free access practice, as a best estimation at this moment. So we are actually quite open to sharing academic articles in China and editors and scholars are contributing to the open access movement.

Published in Chinese

Due to developments in technology, traditional print journals are now able to release their articles in both print and online format. But, although all the journals studied have a website, nearly all are in Chinese only, both for their website and articles and even abstracts. Making articles online for free access would definitely increase the impact of journals and that is one of the major motives for journal editors. So it is easily understandable that these journals were born in Chinese and their presence online is still in Chinese. However this makes the content only accessible for Chinese speakers in the world.

Some with embargo

Another common misunderstanding of open access in China is the accepted practice of imposing an embargo. As the majority of journals in China still operate under a subscription model for their print version, a period of embargo would certainly be beneficial for the journal, as the editorial office might still rely on the subscription fee of print journals to fund the publishing operation. I could not report an accurate percentage of embargoed free access journals but the feeling is that quite a large number of journals do have embargo policies in place.

Business model exploration

It was interesting to find that, though the number is very small among the 1200 journals in my list, some journals did cease to update their website with full text articles while keeping the site updated with news, announcements and even the table of contents or abstracts of the current issue. This may reflect the exploration of business models in recent years, as people embrace the open access idea but at the same time face financial challenges on sustainability. So some journals have changed back to a pure subscription model, using the website as a way to showcase the journal and increase awareness.

A very small number of journals are collaborating with commercial journal database vendors in China. While these journals provide extensive information online about the journal, for example, editorial boards, instructions to authors, current issue and archive article lists and even abstracts, access to the full text is directed to the commercial journal databases which then generally charge for the downloading of articles. Such commercial agreements would be likely to make a journal hesitate before converting to a free or open access model.

No open access statement and copyright statement

If there could be a clear statement of adherence to the BOAI definition of open access and adoption of Creative Common copyright licenses by Chinese journals, then we would be confident to say that we have quite a large number of open access journals in China, and to be able to increase the number of Chinese journals in DOAJ. However, this will require time and effort to communicate with editors to adopt best practices in academic open access publishing. As only state-owned bodies can be licensed to publish a journal, it generally means that the journals are managed by owners who are not publishers, the editorial office is often quite small and it is hard to make the move to a pure OA model. In fact, having  so many free access journals in China is already quite a big step.

New model of creating open access journals in English

Of the 71 Chinese journals already indexed in DOAJ, 25 of them are published by Elsevier and 7 by Springer. This reflects a new model in academic publishing in China where a university, research institute or hospital could create an English-language journal in partnership with a big brand publisher. With platform and technology support from the publisher as well as funding for the publishing operation, these newly established journals can apply standard open access practice from the very beginning, and usually the publisher rather than the editorial office will then apply for inclusion in DOAJ.

In general, the Chinese government is encouraging sharing, innovative, green and sustainable principles in both economic and social development. The open access publishing model is seen as the trend for the future by editors, scholars, librarians and publishers in China. Due to the different understanding of what is truly an open access journal, there is still work to do in the community in China to move forward to achieve our goals.

References

  1. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v528/n7582_supp_ni/full/528S170a.html
  2. http://www.nature.com/press_releases/nature-index-china-2015.html
  3. http://www.economist.com/news/china/21586845-flawed-system-judging-research-leading-academic-fraud-looks-good-paper

 

 

Are you publishing in a proper journal?

This is a guest post by Vrushali Dandawate, DOAJ Ambassador, India.

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All over the world researchers are spending their time in writing research papers, and everyone wants his or her work to be widely recognised. Most of the time researchers are in a hurry to  publish their research papers, so they may not pay attention to whether they are publishing in a proper journal. Unintentionally many researchers are submitting their research papers to questionable  journals (also known as predatory journals).

1. You may get spam emails or marketing materials from the editor inviting you to publish a paper in their journals.

2. These journals give you a guarantee to publish your paper within a very limited time period.

3. No proper information is given on journal peer review policy.

4. No affiliations are provided for editorial board members, and sometimes editors are listed without their knowledge or permission

5. These journals may not be dedicated to one discipline, but instead publish on a wide range of subjects within one journal.

What is the solution?

As a researcher, academician or librarian you must be able to identify questionable publications.

There are guidelines, tools and services available to help you to avoid publishing with questionable  journals, and to choose a proper journal for your paper.

1 Think Check Submit

This website helps researchers to identify appropriate journals in which to publish their research.

2 Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ is a curated index of open access peer reviewed journals that is used by institutions all over the world as a guide to trusted journals where you can safely publish your paper.

3  Open Access Journal Platforms

Developing country authors can also choose to publish their article in journals available in aggregation platforms such as African Journals Online (AJOL), SciELO and Redalyc. Journals are evaluated according to a number of criteria regarding their publishing practices before they can be included in AJOL.

4  AuthorAID

AuthorAID is working to increase the success rate of developing country researchers in achieving publication, and to increase the visibility and influence of research in the developing world. AuthorAID achieves these objectives through networking, resources, training and mentoring. Membership is free, and you can find a mentor through the AuthorAID database or by asking the AuthorAID discussion list about experiences of particular journals.

Find a mentor to publish your research

http://www.authoraid.info/en/mentoring/

References

http://www.redalyc.org/

http://scielo.org/php/index.php?lang=en

http://www.inasp.info/en/work/authoraid/

http://www.inasp.info/en/work/journals-online/

http://thinkchecksubmit.org/

https://doaj.org/