A statement regarding the JCT tender for Plan S

In the recent tender document published by cOAlition S for the development of a Journal Checker Tool (JCT), it is stated very clearly that DOAJ is the preferred source of data for the gold open access journal compliance route. DOAJ already collects and publishes the 3 pieces of metadata which must be included in the first iteration of the JCT. 

DOAJ has decided that it will not officially partner with any provider bidding for the tender and neither will it submit a joint bid with a provider. Instead, the DOAJ team is focusing on the changes needed to the platform so that it is ready for future iterations of the JCT. Providers submitting a tender to cOAlition S should be aware that these changes have costs and these will need to be covered. 

DOAJ will gladly work with all parties submitting a tender and provide them with a breakdown of those costs, as is stated as required on page 6 of the tender document.

2019 in review and what’s coming in 2020

It’s a new year and a new decade. This year, DOAJ turns 17 and much like a teenager, we have seen a major growth spurt over the last 4 years, peaking at a total of 14.25 million unique users at the end of 2019. 2020 will see further transformation into a maturer, more rounded service.

A chart showing the growth of DOAJ from 2015 to 2019 in millions of unique users

Usage of DOAJ, 2015 to 2019 (Source: Google Analytics)

2019

2019 was another busy year, focussed on preparing DOAJ for adulthood. We added muscle to the bones by increasing our capacity in the platform and in our editorial team and thereby increasing our throughput. Never before has DOAJ been such a lean operation on such a large scale.

Much of the process to get to where we are today was written about in September, in a guest post by Richard Jones from Cottage Labs, so I’m just focussing on the last quarter here.

Since October 2019, we updated the DOAJ search interface–a program called Edges–and upgraded to Python 3. We extended our automated testing scripts and fixed a variety of bugs or discrepancies which they subsequently uncovered.

I am pleased to say that these pieces of work have been so successful that in 2019 we had 99.999% uptime, a huge improvement on previous years.

On the front end, we added more translations of the COPE/DOAJ/OASPA/WAME co-authored Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing which is now available in 20 different languages. We cleaned up our articles database by removing many old, malformed or duplicated entries.

We also improved our crawler which is pointed at Europe PMC’s API and added 13,200 PLoS articles which were missing from the database.

The start of the redesign project saw us focussing our efforts on design research:

  • getting in touch with users
  • doing exhaustive inventories of our content and information architecture
  • understanding DOAJ’s offers and services on a deeper level
  • setting realistic goals and metrics for the website’s design
  • benchmarking / looking at how other open access orgs and not-for-profits present themselves
  • finding visual inspiration from external sources / moodboarding
  • setting ourselves up for a more modular design mindset to facilitate development of new services on DOAJ.org

We also inaugurated our Advisory Board and Council.

2020

During the first quarter of 2020, the following pieces of work will be released live to the site:

  • Some additional language codes will be added to our XSD file.
  • A Spam reCAPTCHA module is being added to the feedback form.
  • The form for publishers to manually provide article metadata to us is getting an overhaul.
  • The addition of Crossref XML compatibility so publishers can send us Crossref XML if they wish.
  • A reconstructed, redesigned application form with improved functionality and usability.

Away from the platform, we are extending our partner program, after what is proving to be a successful pilot project with our friends at TSV in Finland.  More projects like this will result in an increase in the number of journals indexed in DOAJ, the goal of the work we wrote about when we reached our first SCOSS funding target in May 2019.

The aim of these projects is to:

  • Maintain the recency and relevancy of the database by targetting specific journals which are not yet indexed in DOAJ
  • Recruit back into DOAJ as many of the 2850 journals as possible which we removed during the Reapplication Project,
  • Increase our coverage of journals from the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Increase our coverage of non-English language journals.
  • Increase our coverage of journals from specific subject areas.

DOAJ will also continue its work with its partner program Think.Check.Submit which is developing it tools and resources.

If you have any questions about any of this work, do please leave a comment!

I wish all our readers a happy and healthy 2020.

We’re paving the way for greater things to come.

As hinted in a post yesterday, DOAJ is getting a nip and a tuck today, to make way for larger projects later this year:

A completely new search front-end. It looks very similar to the old one, but with some major improvements under-the-hood (more powerful, more responsive, more accessible), and gives us the capability to build better, cooler interfaces in the future.

At 3pm BST today, we will start an upgrade to two elements of the site: Bootstrap and Edges. Bootstrap is ‘an open source toolkit for developing with HTML, CSS, and JS’ and is what we use to display the site. Edges is Cottage Lab’s own open source library for presenting the search and navigation capabilities to the user.

What’s changing?

Users will see that much of the orange colour in search results and navigation is replaced with grey. This colour may be temporary until a full redesign is carried out.

Some standardisation has been applied to the treatment of navigation and sorting features, like buttons, dropdowns, etc

The site will be much more responsive on smaller screens.

The fonts will be cleaner and easier to read, on large and smaller screens.

Some accessibility changes, one step on our way to becoming compliant with world recognised accessibility standards.

Why are you making these changes?

We’re paving the way for a much larger redesign project which is coming down the pipe. The project will take in a UX assessment, a rebrand, a site redesign, and much more. These two upgrades are necessary to accommodate the outputs of that project.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, leave a comment here.

 

RESOLVED: DOAJ IN READ-ONLY MODE 30th January

UPDATE:
Our maintenance work completed successfully yesterday and read only mode for DOAJ has been disabled. All functions are working as normal.

The DOAJ will be in read-only mode from 20:00 to 22:00 CET on Wednesday 30th January. This will affect usual functionality of DOAJ in four main areas.

There may also be a brief interruption for all users while we make DNS changes during this time.

  1. Publishers will not be able to upload any article metadata to us during that time.
  2. Publishers will not be able to submit update requests to us.
  3. No-one will be able to submit new applications to us.
  4. The API will only allow search and retrieval. Updates, creates, and deletes will not work.

There may also be a brief interruption for all users while we make DNS changes during this time.

We will update you when our operations are back to normal or if this read-only period needs to be extended.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

RESOLVED: DOAJ in read-only mode 18th-20th December

Our maintenance work completed successfully yesterday and read only mode for DOAJ has been disabled. All functions are working as normal.


From 8pm (UK/UTC) on 18th December until 8pm on 20th December (UK/UTC) DOAJ will be in read-only mode for essential maintenance. This will affect usual functionality of the DOAJ site in four main areas:

  1. Publishers will not be able to upload any article metadata to us during that time.
  2. Publishers will not be able to submit update requests to us.
  3. No-one will be able to submit new applications to us.
  4. The API will only allow search and retrieval. Updates, creates, and deletes will not work.

The read-only mode period will enable us to do some essential system and stability upgrades.

I will repost this post on 21st December, once all operations are back to normal, or if the read-only mode period needs to be extended for any reason.

If you have any questions or concerns, leave a comment here or send me email.