Université de Lorraine, the first French institution to provide sustainable funding based on SCOSS recommendations

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo-universite-de-lorraine1.png
We are very happy to be able to announce Université de Lorraine as the first French institution to join our growing list of institutions who have committed to provide sustainable funding to DOAJ for a period of three years as recommended by SCOSS.
Frédéric Villiéras, vice-provost for research at Université de Lorraine says: “We are delighted to strengthen our support to the DOAJ. This choice is in line with other financial supports towards open platforms that were decided earlier this year. We are fully committed to supporting open science infrastructures such as the DOAJ and we hope that other french research institutions and libraries will follow. “
Please, contact lars@doaj.org for further information.

El DOAJ, independencia y la importancia de la imparcialidad

El DOAJ recibe regularmente preguntas y, a veces, quejas de bibliotecas, consorcios de bibliotecas y otras instituciones académicas sobre el papel que desempeñan en el DOAJ las editoriales académicas tradicionales. Un error común es que el DOAJ es propiedad de estas organizaciones, o está totalmente subvencionado por ellas, y que el DOAJ sólo beneficia a estas organizaciones. Si usted mirara la página de inicio del DOAJ hace dos años, podríamos entender esta suposición: casi todos nuestros patrocinadores eran editoriales y estaban en nuestra página de inicio. Parecía que el DOAJ era propiedad de estas editoriales.

(Evitar esa idea errónea es también la razón por la cual el DOAJ es muy cuidadoso sobre con quién se asocia). Las organizaciones con las que nos asociamos deben compartir los mismos valores que el DOAJ, tener la misma visión y al menos tener la intención de proporcionar servicios a la comunidad. El DOAJ se enorgullece de asociarse con organizaciones como Redalyc, SciELO, ISSN y COPE.

La suposición de que el DOAJ es propiedad de las editoriales o está totalmente subvencionado por ellas es, por supuesto, incorrecta. Las editoriales desempeñan un importante papel financiero en el apoyo de los servicios que el DOAJ proporciona a todas las partes interesadas. Algunas editoriales nos donan un patrocinio anual; algunas de ellas son miembros de DOAJ como editorial. Estas contribuciones permiten al DOAJ proporcionar servicios continuos, y mejoras a estos servicios. En 2017, las contribuciones de las editoriales representaban el 40% de los ingresos, mientras que las contribuciones de las instituciones del sector público representaban el resto (60%). En 2018, los ingresos de las instituciones del sector público representarán el 70%. Todas las contribuciones al DOAJ son voluntarias; todos los servicios proporcionados por el DOAJ, incluyendo la evaluación de revistas, son gratuitos.

El DOAJ es útil para bibliotecarios, para editores, para investigadores, para estudiantes, para propietarios de revistas, para todos. Más del 50% de nuestro consejo asesor proviene de la comunidad de bibliotecas y consorcios. El DOAJ es global y no está atado a fronteras geográficas. Somos una organización virtual que emplea a personas de todo el mundo y que cuenta con nuestros propios embajadores que fomentan las mejores prácticas en sus territorios de origen. El DOAJ es 100% independiente. El DOAJ es 100% imparcial. La compañía holding del DOAJ, IS4OA C.I.C., está registrada de una manera que hace imposible que el DOAJ sea comprado, adquirido o vendido.

La imparcialidad juega un papel importante en el progreso que el DOAJ ha hecho en los últimos 5 años y el equipo del DOAJ trabaja duro para asegurar que la imparcialidad sea lo más importante en todo lo que hacemos. Esta es una de las razones por las que el DOAJ se adhiere y alienta a otros a adherirse a la transparencia y las buenas prácticas; mejores prácticas que se desarrollan, adoptan y reconocen a nivel internacional. También reconocemos que la aplicación de estas normas y el funcionamiento dentro de ellas puede ser un reto, por lo que tenemos que mantener cierta flexibilidad. Un buen ejemplo sería la concesión de licencias.

licensing

Ejemplo de información sobre licencias de una revista capturada en DOAJ.

A veces nos preguntan: ¿por qué el DOAJ acepta las licencias más restrictivas cuando la definción BOAI (definición a la que el DOAJ se adhiere como uno de sus principios) es muy clara sobre lo que significa “abierto”?

Cuando el DOAJ elaboró su formulario de solicitud ampliado en 2013, vimos muy claro que el DOAJ tenía que aceptar las 6 variaciones de las licencias CCBY, con sus distintos grados de apertura para asegurarnos que el mayor número posible de revistas pudieran solicitar el ingreso en el DOAJ. Al usuario típico del DOAJ se le deben presentar opciones y se le debe permitir tomar una decisión informada basada en la información que mostramos sobre las políticas de licencias y derechos de autor de una revista.

Sin embargo, el DOAJ considera el uso de las licencias CC, en particular el uso de las licencias más abiertas, como una de las mejores prácticas y las promueve como uno de los criterios para el Sello DOAJ.

En 2017 el DOAJ fue el noveno en una lista mundial de plataformas que apoyan el uso de licencias Creative Commons. Creemos que esto es el resultado directo de nuestra preferencia por las licencias CC y la influencia del Sello DOAJ.

Para que una iniciativa como el DOAJ funcione, debe seguir siendo lo más relevante posible en todo el mundo. Debe seguir siendo imparcial e independiente.

 

DOAJ, Independence and the Importance of Impartiality

DOAJ receives regularly questions and, sometimes, complaints from libraries, library consortia and other academic institutions about the role which publishers—by “publishers” I mean the traditional publishing organisations in academic publishing—play in DOAJ. A common misconception is that DOAJ is owned by, or wholly subsidised by these organisations and that DOAJ is only of benefit to these organisations. If you looked at the DOAJ homepage two years ago, you’d be forgiven for making that assumption: nearly all of our sponsors were publishing organisations and they were all on our homepage. It looked like DOAJ was owned by publishers.

(Avoiding that misconception is also why DOAJ is very careful about who it goes into partnership with. The organisations we partner with must share the same values as DOAJ, have the same vision and at least be intent on providing services to the community. DOAJ is proud to call organisations like Redalyc, SciELO, ISSN and COPE partners.)

The assumption that DOAJ is owned by, or wholly subsidised by publishers is of course incorrect. Publishers play an important financial role in supporting the services which DOAJ provides to all stakeholders. Some publishers donate an annual sponsorship to us; some of them are publisher members. These contributions enable DOAJ to provide continuous services, and improvements to these services, for everyone but any direct influence on DOAJ stops there. In 2017 contributions from publishers accounted for 40% of the income, whereas contributions from public sector institutions accounted for the rest (60%). In 2018 income from public sector institutions will account for 70%. All contributions to DOAJ are made voluntarily; all services provided by DOAJ, including the evaluation of journals, are free.

DOAJ is for librarians, for publishers, for researchers, for students, for journal owners, for everyone. More than 50% of our advisory board is from the library and consortia community. DOAJ is global and isn’t tied down to geographic borders. We are a virtual organisation, employing people from all over the world and with our own Ambassadors encouraging best practice in their home territories. DOAJ is 100% independent. DOAJ is 100% impartial. DOAJ’s holding company, IS4OA C.I.C., is registered in a way that makes it impossible for DOAJ to be purchased, acquired or sold.

Impartiality plays a huge role in the progress that DOAJ has made over the last 5 years and the DOAJ Team works hard to ensure that impartiality is foremost in everything we do. This is one of the reasons that DOAJ adheres to, and encourages other to adhere to, transparency, best practice and standards; best practices and standards which are internationally grown, adopted and recognised. We also recognise that applying those standards and operating within them can be challenging so we have to retain a certain amount of flexibility. A good example here would be licensing.

licensing

Example of the licensing information captured by DOAJ about a journal’s policies.

People often ask: why does DOAJ accept some of the more closed licenses when the BOAI definition [that DOAJ follows as a principle] is clear about what open means? When DOAJ put together its extended application form in 2013, it was clear that DOAJ needed to allow 6 variations on the CC BY license, with varying degrees of openness, to ensure that as many titles as possible could apply to be indexed. The typical DOAJ user should be presented with options and they should be allowed to make an informed choice based on the information we display about a journal’s licensing and copyright policies. However, DOAJ considers the use of CC licenses, particularly use of the most open licenses, as Best Practice and we promote that as one of the criteria for the DOAJ Seal.

In 2017 DOAJ was 9th in a worldwide list of platforms supporting the use of Creative Commons licenses. We believe this to be a direct result of our  preference for CC licenses and the influence of the DOAJ Seal.

For an initiative like DOAJ to work, it must remain as relevant as possible around the world. It must remain impartial and it must remain independent.

Sponsorship model and pricing for 2019

Last year, we launched our new sponsorship model. This was after feedback from existing sponsors that we needed to be clearer about the benefits and costs of sponsorship.

For 2019, after feedback from users, we will no longer be displaying sponsors on our homepage. This will help our homepage to render better on smaller screens.

DOAJ sponsorship costs and benefits for 2019

DOAJ 2019 sponsorship costs and benefits

 

In 2019, a Gold sponsorship for commercial organisations is £15,000 and £7500 for non-commercial entities.  A Silver sponsorship is £10,000, and £5000 respectively; a Bronze is £5000 and £2500 respectively. If you would like to know what the money is spent on, you can read this publishers report from 2017 (2018’s is coming soon) or this post about our new mission statement which covers the areas on which we are focussing. Alternatively you can send me an email and I would be very happy to give you more information.

If you are interested in becoming a 2019 Sponsor for one of the most important online resources in academic publishing, and in joining our existing group of fantastic sponsors, then please contact me directly: dom@doaj.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science (SCOSS) hits half-million Euro funding mark

Thanks to dozens of quick-acting universities and institutions in Australia, Europe & North America, a new effort to secure Open Science infrastructure is off to a strong start. More than 680 000 Euros have been pledged to support DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO already.

In a press release issued by SPARC Europe on 14th August 2018, Vannessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe, said:

“This being a new concept, we are very encouraged by the response of the community at this point. We’re taking this as an early indication that we will, in time, reach our full three-year funding goals for both the DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO, two truly vital services. But for this to happen, we will need to continue to see growth in support; far more institutions committing to funding.”

Lars Bjørnshauge, Managing Director and Founder of DOAJ, said: “We are very pleased to see that many of the long standing members of DOAJ have decided to increase their financial support, based on the fees recommended by SCOSS and for the next three years. We are looking forward to welcoming even more members and support shortly. We will do our very best to live up to the ever-changing expectations from the community.”

And “the ever-changing expectations from the community” are, in a nutshell, why SCOSS and sustainable funding models are so important to DOAJ, SHERPA/RoMEO and open access in general. Open access is still a relatively young publishing model and is growing rapidly. New markets are opening up to open access publishing, each of them bringing new challenges with them, and technology is creating new opportunities and functionality in publishing. DOAJ must remain at the forefront of these developments and that means having a stable financial foundation upon which work can continue.

If you’d like to know more about SCOSS please go to http://scoss.org/ and if you would like to make a financial contribution using the SCOSS model, or indeed, any amount at all, please contact Lars: lars@doaj.org.

 

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft signs up as a sustainable funder

dfgDOAJ is extremely pleased to welcome Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to the growing list of organisations who have committed funds, via SCOSS, to support DOAJ on its way to a sustainable form of funding and future. DFG has demonstrated a commitment to open access for years and as such, we are very proud to receive their support.
Angela Holzer said of the commitment that DFG “considers the sustainability of vital infrastructures for open access crucial for the future. DOAJ has proven to be a very valuable tool not only for researchers and libraries, but also for funders and infrastructure providers. We welcome a transparent and sustainable development of DOAJ in the public interest”.
About DFG
The DFG is the self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany. It serves all branches of science and the humanities. In organisational terms, the DFG is an association under private law. Its membership consists of German research universities, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the Academies of Science and the Humanities. (http://www.dfg.de/en/dfg_profile/mission/index.html)
About SCOSS
The formation of the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) represents a community-led effort to help maintain, and ultimately secure, vital infrastructure. This recognition of the cruciality of such infrastructure, and of securing it, is what led to the formation of SCOSS. Groundwork for the coalition was laid by the Knowledge Exchange, which presented many of the foundational ideas for it in its 2016 report Putting Down Roots, Securing the Future of Open Access Policies.

 

Publishers Report: 2017 in Summary

As a publisher who supports DOAJ, either as a member or as a sponsor, you are part of a growing global network of publishers who have unequivocally stated a firm commitment to support open access through DOAJ’s work. On behalf of the entire DOAJ Team and supporters of open access the world over, I would like to thank you for your continued support. Your contributions are always spent directly on improving DOAJ’s infrastructure; maintaining high levels of recency and accuracy of the DOAJ metadata; and increasing the awareness of issues surrounding open access. The team at DOAJ ensures that all of this happens in a way that keeps DOAJ relevant around the globe, and not just in the Global North.

This report briefly covers our main achievements in 2017, as well as developments for the year ahead. If you have any questions on its content, or would like to know more, then drop me an email: dom@doaj.org.

With very best wishes for the new year ahead,

Dom Mitchell
Operations Manager


What We Achieved in 2017

2017 saw the end of the Reapplications project and the extension of our Ambassador program. We made improvements to our workflow to reduce our turnaround times on new applications and we launched our education and outreach program. Finally, we carried out a series of small projects to internationalise DOAJ as much as possible.

The reapplication project and updates to journals

All publishers were asked to submit new applications for all of the journals which were already included in DOAJ. 6359 reapplications were sent to us. Of those, 4031 were accepted as meeting the high standards required to be indexed in the Directory. This also means that, for the first time since launch in 2003, more than 99% of all the journal information in DOAJ is less than two years old. For those journals which didn’t make the grade, DOAJ offered feedback on how to improve the journal’s practices and, unless otherwise stated, those journals may send in new applications 6 months after the last decision from us, provided that they can show that they have implemented the changes recommended to them.

Also, our predictions at the start of the project came true and we never heard from 2860 journals; they all failed to resubmit reapplications to us. After repeated reminders, these journals were removed from the Directory which meant that, in total, the reapplication project resulted in a 40% cull of titles from DOAJ.

One of the inherent problems with the reapplications project, which we identified at the start, was that DOAJ relies heavily on journal representatives (publishers, journal owners, editors) to keep the information in the Directory up to date, including cotact details. Currently, a journal representative must contact the DOAJ Team with any updates to the journal information which are then verified and applied on behalf of the publisher. This means that, more often than not, journal information is never updated. To combat this, DOAJ reviews journal information regularly but to make this whole process easier, we will be launching a new system which will enable journal representatives to update information themselves. Submitted updates will be reviewed by the DOAJ Team before being published immediately to the site.

Extension of the Ambassador program, education and outreach

The Ambassador program, launched in 2016 and financed by the IDRC, was a huge success, so much so that we received further funding to extend the program into 2017. The DOAJ Ambassadors were able to continue their excellent work in their home territories. It also meant that, in those countries where we suffered a heavy loss of titles after the Reapplication Project, DOAJ was able to target efforts and encourage new applications from many of the local open access journals. This most recently happened in Korea, Japan and Indonesia and further countries are planned for 2018. We extended the Editor-in-Chief’s role to concentrate specifically on Education and Outreach and in 2018, we will be launching a series of training videos, specifically aimed at improving the quality of applications sent to us. More on that below.

Improved workflow and reduced turnaround times

Something that we hear a lot at DOAJ is that our turnaround times for processing new applications are too long. In 2017, this was certainly due to the number of reapplications which we had to process but, unfortunately, we have always had lengthy processing times. In the hope that this will encourage more applications from titles not yet in DOAJ, we took steps to correct this and reduce the time to first decision.

Never before has DOAJ been in a position where it has had so many people working for it and processing applications for us. We created a new role, Senior Managing Editor, whose is specifically tasked with monitoring throughput; we expanded our Triage role which, essentially, removes all of the rubbish applications from the queues, allowing the editorial team to focus on those applications which matter; we identified and pooled our most dedicated volunteers to give greater processing power; we have started a system whereby applications can be allocated directly to a reviewer rather than sitting in a holding pattern awaiting assignment; we re-focused our editorial team and allocated resource to those countries submitting the most applications to us; we introduced a reporting system which allows us to track applications and alerts us when the workflow slows for whatever reason.

All of these changes combined will see a greater throughput of new applications in 2018.

Internationalisation of DOAJ

Despite our aim to be as global as possible, much of what we write is in English, or is generated from our offices across Europe. DOAJ aims to be as global as possible and be as relevant as possible to all parts of the world. In 2017, we extended the range of our translated materials, hoping to encourage more interaction and participation from all around the world. We also invited guest blog posts from our Ambassadors, a series which focussed on how open access works and some of the issues facing open access in different parts of the world.

 

Coming Down The Pipe in 2018

Our three focus areas for 2018 are:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Scalability and stability
  3. Education and outreach

Sustainability

We have partnered with agents working in Europe who are approaching institutions on our behalf to secure more funding. DOAJ is also one of the beneficiaries of the SCOSS pilot which launched late 2017 with an aim to establishing a sustainable funding model for DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO. As our operations grow, we require more funding and so we need to fund DOAJ in a more sustainable way than the hand-to-mouth model we survive on currently.

Also, more attention is being paid, both by potential funders as well as the community, to what DOAJ is, how we are set up and how we operate. People are looking to us for more transparency and structure in our business model and our processes, and as a community-driven organisation, our supporters are expecting to have more of an influence in DOAJ’s direction. We will be formalising a new governance model in early 2018 to meet these demands.

Scalability and stability

With our technical partners, Cottage Labs, we are about to start a huge infrastructure project which will completely rebuild the underlying platform, making it more stable and easier to develop in the future. Traffic to DOAJ has more than doubled over the last 3 years and we must ensure that the platform remains fit for purpose for the next 5 years at least, particularly as traffic will increase even more as we add new metadata and new ways to connect to the site to harvest it.

Over the latter half of 2017, we saw spikes in usage from crawlers, usage through our API and had to throttle some of these to make sure that users on the site were able to use the site normally. We want to expand and stabilise the platform so that we can accommodate all traffic sources without any adverse effects.

Education and outreach

As mentioned above, DOAJ will be launching a series of training videos, to encourage better quality applications. We are currently putting together the first one which will be an introduction to DOAJ. We will then publish a series of videos, aimed at editors, publishers and researchers, to help simplify some of the more obscure aspects of open access publishing. One such area will be copyright retention versus [Creative Commons] licensing.

Our Editor-in-Chief will continue to target areas of the world from which we receive few or low quality applications. DOAJ will firm up its presence in the open access arena both as an educator and an influencer. We also hope to increase the number of Social Science and Humanities journals in DOAJ.