Silver Sponsor PLOS answers our questions on Open Access Publishing and DOAJ

Louise Page,  Chief Innovation Officer at PLOS answers our questions

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Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for a few years now. Why is it important for PLOS to support DOAJ?

As a leading Open Access publisher we strongly support DOAJ and its mission to increase the visibility, accessibility and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, Open Access research. Our two organizations were launched in the same year and PLOS has always valued the importance of having an independent organization provide validation of a journal’s probity to help ensure that researchers find a suitable, vetted Open Access home for their work.

What benefits does being indexed in DOAJ bring to your journals?

There are a number of benefits that PLOS derives from being indexed in DOAJ. The first is simple: visibility. Authors who are unaware of us can find PLOS listed in the directory, which shows our commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed Open Access content. In addition, authors can rest assured that only legitimate journals are listed, which is a check against predatory journals.  Also, many university libraries use DOAJ as the pathway to provide content, including PLOS, to their scholars.

 

What is PLOS doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

PLOS recently launched preprints. Our collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s bioRxiv will give PLOS authors a choice about whether to make their work  visible before peer review, after initial screening and basic ethical and technical checks. even earlier. We hope that authors – and reviewers – will benefit from community comments alongside the traditional peer review process. PLOS and CSHL are also planning to develop badges, to serve as an indicator that certain services have been completed.

In addition, one of PLOS’ goals for 2018 is to implement a robust transparent review service. We are currently consulting with our communities to better understand how best to responsibly move forward. Also, PLOS is formalizing its collaboration with protocols.io to better enhance reproducibility.  Reviewers and editors gaining access to the protocols during peer review enables methodological details to be shared and integrated into the research cycle, from bench to publication and back.

What are your views on the future of Open Access publishing?

We see increasing adoption of Open Access policies and practices by funders, institutions, publishers and researchers, which will foster an ethical and intellectual environment conducive to responsible Open Science. We also hope to see innovations that promote reproducibility, credit and accountability, as these priorities support establishment of an Open Science culture, with open data, early sharing of work and clear contributor recognition. We see the benefit of Open Access content in relation to future advances in machine-readable formats and text and data mining—and the potential for Open Access to propel Open Science forward into new and exciting territory.

What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

From a publisher perspective, PLOS and others can help showcase and reward rigorous study design, not just results. We can also strenuously push the industry to make publishing replications and negative results an act that deserves credit and recognition. The industry can also increase the range of article level metrics available to deemphasize the Journal Impact Factor. In addition, supporting and facilitating FAIR sharing of all research outputs (especially data), promoting open source and embracing interoperable, open standards and digital identifiers

Open Access publishers can also do a better job at understanding the real-world concerns of researchers in the Global South and how Open Access can be a positive influence in their careers. Non-paywalled content enables them to gain access to the literature, but the APC business model is seen as a detriment to publishing. We need to explore a middle ground that is beneficial to everyone.

Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations?

Open Access publishing still has a long way to go before anyone can proclaim ‘job done’ with regard to the BOAI initiative in 2002. That said, Open Access publishing, despite all the challenges both behind and ahead of us, is surpassing expectations. Think of how far scholarly publishing has come since the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Despite all the early naysayers and strong opposition from subscription publishers, authors now have more choices than ever in which to find the best fit for their research. Open Access helped bring about multi-disciplinary journals, which helps support authors who collaborate across the sciences. Open Access publishers have implemented policies, practices and introduced innovations that were unthinkable in the 90s. In addition, more private funders and governments require the research they fund be published in Open Access journals. Why? Simply put: it’s working. Collectively we are on the right path.

At the same time there is a growing concern that crucial research communication functions and data management will be controlled by a small number of commercial players. The consolidation of vital tools and services may lead to unaffordable costs, limited access to research metrics, and a proliferation of big deal licenses. We are very interested in exploring how the Open Access community can enable new markets and provide new services to a diverse community that encompasses early career researchers to seasoned scientists working in a global arena. Exciting recent initiatives centered around Open Science, such as open data, open methods and open notebooks allow for improved transparency and reproducibility, leading to more reliable science. The landscape has changed dramatically since 2002 and the new players and initiatives will certainly have an impact on the ultimate metric by which the success of Open Access is measured.

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.

The SCOSS initiative: DOAJ receives first funding, from the University of Alberta Libraries.

As reported in November, a coalition has been formed called SCOSS which is running a pilot project aimed at generating a sustaining model of funding for DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO.

scoss-1The iniative sets out to attract funding from around the world and it is with great delight that DOAJ can announce it has now received its first funding via this model.

 

ua-lib-colourThe University of Alberta Libraries group was the first to respond to the call for funding and by doing so has made a clear commitment, not only to the sustainability and development of DOAJ, but to the sustainability and success of open access. Denise Koufogiannakis, Associate University Librarian at University of Alberta, said:

“The University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) is committed to building open infrastructure for scholarly communication and is pleased to support DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO via the SCOSS funding initiative. Both these services are essential to the success of UAL’s open access initiatives, including our digital repository and our journal hosting and publishing service. They are a vital part of enabling UAL to provide quality open scholarship services that reflect the University of Alberta’s commitment to ‘uplift the whole people’. ”

DOAJ is hopeful that the commitment of UAL is the first of many such actions and is looking forward to hearing from the many other institutions that have been approached under this new model.

 

 

Total financial support from libraries and library consortia in 2017, broken down by country.

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Top 10 Countries in terms of financial support received from libraries and library consortia in 2017

As we near the end of the year, it’s time to review our finances and start the annual process of sending out invoices for the coming year. Part of that work is to establish out how much support we received from our wonderful library and library consortia members in 2017. Attached here is a PDF detailing the total support, broken down by country:

Funding per country for 2017 (updated 3 Jan 2018) [PDF]

28 countries in total donated to DOAJ in 2017. The Top 5 countries (total GBP) are USA, Austria, United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden but if you consider the amount donated in relation to the size of the country, then Luxembourg, Austria and Norway are way ahead of the others.

We are extremely grateful to all of our members, many of them repeat supporters, who strongly and openly commit to open access by supporting DOAJ throughout 2017. Without them, DOAJ wouldn’t be able to continue the great work it is doing and wouldn’t be at the centre of open access like it is today.

International coalition to help sustain DOAJ and its further development in the coming years

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SCOSS (The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services) today announced that major organizations have recommended to their member institutions to support DOAJ with funding that will enable DOAJ to move towards a new crowdfunding effort and away from its incremental annual contribution system. Under the new model organisations will work towards sustaining DOAJ for the coming 3 years, giving it more stability for the mid-term. This will enable DOAJ to develop a fully comprehensive, longer term development plan for its systems and services.

For a decade the funding of DOAJ has been based on contributions from individual libraries, library consortia and research funders from many countries around the globe. We are extremely grateful for their continuous support and we are looking forward to welcoming many of them as contributors under the SCOSS initiative.

These contributions have allowed DOAJ to develop step by step and thus become one the most important freely available resources for Open Access.

As an initial step, DOAJ will introduce a governance structure that will allow for more active influence from the community on strategic directions for DOAJ.

The new SCOSS funding drive will enable DOAJ to:

  1. Engage in strategic longer term development of the services and systems behind our operations.
  2. Provide adequate resource to cover the large number of applications coming in to DOAJ (currently 500+ per month).
  3. Actively curate its list thereby keeping the index more up to date and relevant.
  4. Enable publishers to update their own journal information, keeping records relevant.
  5. Continue efforts to assess and include journals from the Global South to make DOAJ even more comprehensive on a global scale.
  6. Continue our advocacy work directed at influencing decision makers to support a transition to open access for local language journals.
  7. Implement functionality that will allow DOAJ to actively harvest article-level metadata from the 10,000 journals that are currently indexed. Currently more than 70% of the journals are providing (parts of) their article-level metadata (aproximately 2,700,000 records) and are exposing these via the OAI-PMH service and our API.
  8. Enhance the DOAJ metadata via collaboration and integration with relevant organizations, enriching the metadata records with DOIs, integrated article-level metrics (ALMs), ORCID IDs etc.
  9. Stabilise and build out the platform that underpins the DOAJ and its database to ensure that it remains fit-for-purpose and operational at least until 2020.

Please contact Managing Director Lars Bjørnshauge – lars@doaj.org – for more information or visit the SCOSS web site for the complete details.

A Funding Opportunity for APC-free Open Access Journals and Platforms

This is a guest post by Pablo de Castro, Coordinator for the OpenAIRE FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot.

OpenAIREplus_logoThe FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot, as launched by the EC and OpenAIRE in May 2015, was mainly designed as a tool to fund Open Access publishing fees for publications arising from completed FP7 (7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development) projects. This is its main area of activity and this work is starting to bear fruit, with over 300 funded Open Access publications after a year of operation.

However, most of the journals in the DOAJ charge no APCs to their authors. Moreover, lacking a proper business model, funding opportunities for these journals are scarce beyond governmental and/or institutional funding and specific calls such as the Canadian SSHRC’s.

This is why this pilot has extended its funding scope to also cover APC-free OA journals and platforms through an alternative funding mechanism released on May 3rd. This funding mechanism will allow journals to collect support for the implementation of technical improvements on their publishing workflows. Its features and requirements will be thoroughly discussed at an OpenAIRE webinar on May 12th.

This initiative will specifically offer an opportunity to establish closer links between OpenAIRE and APC-free OA journals and publishers. While fully Open Access publishers like Ubiquity Press and Copernicus are OpenAIRE-compliant, OpenAIRE’s main focus has traditionally been—and will remain—on OA repositories and repository networks. Through this initiative, this will now be extended out to OA journals, allowing a deeper technical harmonization to take place in the APC-free OA publishing landscape.

One of the key technical improvements to be funded will be having the journal’s outputs regularly indexed at article level  in DOAJ. 69% of the OA journals currently listed in DOAJ are indexed at article level, which means there’s room for improvement. OpenAIRE is eager to promote this article-level indexing in DOAJ as a standard that will result in more visibility for the global OA content production.

Another strongly recommended enhancement is the systematic inclusion of the funding and project information in the article-level metadata within the publishing platform. While this is already a requirement for OpenAIRE-compliant repositories (at least for EC-funded projects, i.e. FP7 and Horizon 2020), it is only very rarely happening in APC-free Open Access journals at the time, even when it’s a key aspect of the way the contextual information around a publication is collected and shared. This collection of funding and project information will in fact be key for identifying eligibility for this alternative funding mechanism.

We are very much looking forward then to collecting interesting funding proposals from APC-free Open Access journals and platforms in the next two months. Make sure to register for the May 12th webinar if interested in this funding opportunity!

Knowledge Exchange report on Open Access dependencies

Knowledge Exchange have today released a report highlighting the dependency on key non-commercial services in OA and the importance of ensuring their sustainability if the OA policies developed by institutions and research funders are to be successfully implemented.

DOAJ and SHERPA are named in the report as the two most important services in the OA community that require support from funders in order to operate sustainably in the long term.

Further information is available at Review of Open Access Policy Dependencies and the full report is available at http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6269/10/final-KE-Report-V5.1-20JAN2016.pdf.