Guest post: Being a volunteer at DOAJ

Interview with Xiaotian Chen, Electronic Services Librarian / Associate Professor at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, USA and Editor at DOAJ.

Chen 2019 (2)

When did you start volunteering for DOAJ?

I started as the editor of DOAJ’s Chinese Group in 2014, working with a couple of associate editors. In January 2018, I became the editor of the newly created Southeast Asia Group with eight to ten associate editors.

What does your work as an editor entail?

The Southeast Asia Group primarily evaluates journal applications from Japan, Korea, and then other Southeast Asian countries. As Editor, I manage the associate editors and the applications assigned to them on top of processing my own applications. I follow up with associates and help them when they have questions.

What is most interesting about being an editor at DOAJ?

Professional development is probably the biggest accomplishment for me as a DOAJ volunteer. During the past five years with DOAJ, I have learned a lot about Open Access even though I had published two Open Access articles before I joined DOAJ.

Could you tell us some examples of areas where you improved your expertise?

I learned about Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Without being at DOAJ, I probably either would not know about, or would not pay much attention to, this alternative to the traditional “All Rights Reserved” practice.

I learned that some OA journals allow authors to retain copyright. Having signed quite a
few copyright transfer forms myself, I thought that all journals would require all authors do this.

I learned more about questionable publishing practices, or, the practices by the so-called “predatory” journals, although we do not use that term at DOAJ.

Have you learned anything about Open Access in South East Asia specifically?

Korea and China are similar in culture and yet in China, only a very tiny percentage of journals are published in English. However, a considerable number of Korean journals have switched from Korean to English and others are new OA journals which have started in English. That is a sharp contrast between China and Korea I did not know of before.

Japan seems less interested in OA than Korea. Since Japan is a leader in economy,
technology, research, and pretty much everything in East Asia, one would think Japan would publish more OA journals than other Asian countries. Surprisingly, my group at DOAJ processes way more applications from Korea than from Japan.

Everything I have learned through DOAJ has helped me in doing both my library work and my own research. Also, when DOAJ showed up as a resource in my library’s OpenURL link resolver, I didn’t need to do research on what it was and didn’t hesitate to activate it for my library users.

Overall, I find volunteering at DOAJ very rewarding. For me personally, it is
a window of opportunity that opens grand views and creates many possibilities.

Survey reveals need for good guidance about trustworthy places to publish research

19 December 2018 – A survey carried out by the Think. Check. Submit. initiative has revealed a strong demand from both researchers and librarians for guidance about where to publish and an appreciation of the services that the initiative offers. However, it also revealed a need for further educational resources and wider reach for the initiative.

Think Check Submit Logo

Launched in 2015, Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. Central to the initiative is a checklist based on best practices in scholarly communication. The widely used checklist is available in nearly 40 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese.

The survey was carried out by Think. Check. Submit. in September 2018 as a benchmark to guide future work and was completed by 410 respondents from all parts of the world. In-depth analysis of the findings is still ongoing but preliminary analysis points to some clear trends:

  • Think. Check. Submit. is welcomed and seen to be fulfilling an important role. 14% said it was “essential” and 42% said it was “very useful”, while less than 7% of respondents said the initiative was “not very useful” or “not useful at all”. More than 75% would definitely recommend Think. Check. Submit. to a colleague.
  • The decision on where to publish is complex and dubious publications can take advantage of that. The top reason given by respondents for selecting a journal to publish in was relevance to their field, followed by inclusion in indexes/impact factor; belief that the journal was trustworthy came third and was the top choice for just over 20% of respondents.
  • There is still work to be done in building awareness of how Think. Check. Submit. can help researchers address this challenge; 34% of respondents had not heard of the initiative before completing the survey.
  • The responses to the survey revealed a sense of community ownership about the initiative, in particular the willingness of many survey respondents to provide more detailed insight and help with development of the initiative, for example by providing translations.

Building on the survey findings, in conjunction with the wider Think. Check. Submit. community, in 2019 the committee will focus on extending the reach of the initiative and further developing educational resources to assist researchers and librarians worldwide.

Contact
Alastair Horne
pressfuturist@gmail.com

About Think. Check. Submit. (thinkchecksubmit.org)
Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications. The campaign has been produced with the support of a coalition from across scholarly communications in response to discussions about deceptive publishing.

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!

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)

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.

Indonesian Universities Consortium

adrilogo

Following the enrollment of ADRI, Indonesia, we are very pleased to announce that we have a consortium of Indonesian universities in the making.

Next week DOAJ will conduct a three days workshop in Bali, Indonesia to recruit Ambassadors in Indonesia. Indonesia comes in second  as users of the DOAJ, and we expect hundreds of journals to be listed in DOAJ in the future.

 

 

NEW DOAJ PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

DOAJ is often asked for materials to help librarians and open access advocates to spread the word about open access and DOAJ.

We would like to announce that you can now access, share, and use our new promotional materials.

We have produced two flyers and a poster for you to use as you need:

Flyer 1 -This A5 flyer provides general information about DOAJ:

  • Why DOAJ matters
  • Ways DOAJ makes an impact
  • Why journals want to be in DOAJ
  • Our latest figures: how many journals, countries and API hits

Flyer 2 -This A5 flyer gives a summary of our Ambassador programme:

  • What is the DOAJ Ambassador’s programme?
  • What are the regions covered?
  • Highlights and outcomes of the programme

Poster – The A2 poster is a mixture of general info and the Ambassador programme.

Please promote Open Access and DOAJ! Thank you.

India leads in Gold Open Access Publishing – fake or genuine?

This is a guest post by Leena Shah, DOAJ Ambassador, India.

CroppedImage_LeenaIt is interesting to note that since the introduction of new criteria for DOAJ listing in March 2014, we have received the highest number of new applications from Open Access journal publishers in India, followed by those in Indonesia, USA, Brazil and Iran. From around 1600 new applications received from India since March 2014 only 4% were accepted, with 78% of the applications rejected for various reasons and approximately 18% still in process.

Looking at the high volume of new applications from OA publishers wanting to be listed in DOAJ, it would seem that the Gold OA publishing model is well accepted and understood in India. But three quarters of the DOAJ applications from India in the last three years have been rejected – often for being questionable, duplicate applications or for not being a journal at all! Two things emerge from this – firstly that there may be many genuine, small-time publishers who lack knowledge of best practices in journal publishing, and secondly the increasing number of unscrupulous publishers in this region exploiting the gold OA model, claiming to be legitimate journals in order to pocket the Article Processing Charge (APC) from the author but providing little or no editorial services in return. With the new criteria for listing in DOAJ implemented in 2014, OA journal publishers are required to furnish APC information, and out of the 74 new applications that have been accepted from India since then and are currently listed in DOAJ, 52 journals do not charge any APC. A complete list of OA journals published in India and currently in DOAJ that do not charge APC is available here.

India also emerges as one of the top three countries behind USA and Indonesia for generating traffic to the DOAJ website (usage statistics based on number of user sessions). With this being the case, why are researchers still publishing in fake journals?

Many articles have been published about the rise of research fraud in the last few years, with researchers and academicians from major academic institutions in India and national institutes publishing in fake/substandard journals for career advancement. Recently this led to a small but important development in scholarly communication. To nudge researchers towards publishing in peer-reviewed and credible journals, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced in January 2017 an approved list of journals for the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) and the direct recruitment of teachers and academic staff.  This is a dynamic list of 38,653 legitimate journals across disciplines. This list is to be viewed as an evolving document which will need major revisions to make it comprehensive and available in a format that is easier to analyse and interpret. In March 2017, DOAJ submitted a request to UGC to include Open Access journals that are listed in DOAJ in the approved list.

In other developments across the region, Open Access India, an online community of practice with volunteer members, launched in 2011 to advocate Open Access, Open Data and Open Education in India, submitted a proposal in February 2017 to the Ministry of Human Resource Department (HRD) and Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, for a National Open Access Policy to mandate Open Access for all public funded research in the country. In February 2017, an Open Access India community initiative, AgriXiv hosted by the Open Science Framework, was launched to provide free, open access archives for preprints related to agriculture and allied sciences.

Other noteworthy OA resources in India include Listing of Open Access Databases (LOADB)  a portal launched in October 2015, which offers a classified and categorized listing of Open Access databases. This was developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Unit for Research and Development of Information Products (URDIP).

Shodhganga is a national digital repository maintained by INFLIBNET Centre that facilitates Open Access to Indian theses and dissertations submitted to Indian universities. At present 307 universities in India have signed a MoU with INFLIBNET Centre.

Finally, some of the national research institutes such as:

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science & technology (DST) have adopted an Open Access mandate. According to the mandate, researchers funded by these organisations are required to submit the final accepted version (without publisher formatting) of the paper to their institutional repository after verifying the archiving policy of the journal publisher. This Green OA model has its challenges in implementation and building awareness of OA, but for a large country like India where scientific output is high there is room for both Green as well as Gold OA.

References

Arunachalam, S., & Muthu, M. (2011). Open Access to Scholarly Literature in India—A Status Report (with Emphasis on Scientific Literature). Centre for Internet and Society.

Seethapathy, G. S., Kumar, J. S., & Hareesha, A. S. (2016). India’s scientific publication in predatory journals: need for regulating quality of Indian science and education. CURRENT SCIENCE, 111(11), 1759.

Pushkar (2016, June 21). The UGC deserves applause for trying to do something about research fraud. The Wire. Retrieved from https://thewire.in/44343/the-ugc-deserves-applause-for-rrying-to-do-something-about-research-fraud/

 

How to submit a complete and quality application. A Webinar on the DOAJ.

This invitation is for Scholarly Journal Editors/Publishers/Librarians/Other, in the southern and eastern African regions, to attend a webinar on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
About DOAJ
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – launched in 2003 at Lund University, Sweden – is a centrally, publicly and internationally available community-curated list of high quality open access journal titles across all disciplines. It aims to be the starting point for all information searches for quality, peer-reviewed open access material.
About the webinar
The webinar will try to address the requirements a high quality, scholarly journal should adhere to, as well as the process involved to be acknowledged through being recorded in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
Date: Friday, 12 August 2016
Time: 09:00-10:00 SA Time (UCT + 02:00) (Time Zone Converter)
Venue: Virtual via your Chrome/Firefox Internet Browser. More details to follow once you have registered for the webinar.
Requirements: Stable Internet, most recent version of Chrome/Firefox Internet Browser, Sound
Costs: None
Please register by 10 August 2016, by completing the following online form: https://goo.gl/forms/TWcqh9KZHsjTDoZi1
We are looking very much forward to you joining us for this webinar, in trying to address quality in scholarly journal publishing in the southern African region.