It’s time to update your index and/or ask your discovery service provider to do so!
We have received several messages via our Feedback account from library catalogue administrators, their readers, and researchers asking why all of a sudden so many of the articles indexed from DOAJ are now missing? Within library catalogues, users are perhaps seeing a 404 message. On DOAJ itself, users are noticing that the article content included in DOAJ is much changed and reduced. Why is this?
Hopefully it is old news to you now that DOAJ has been undertaking its Reapplication project. Over the last 6 months, the DOAJ Team has made a final, huge push to process all the reapplications. This project is so very nearly complete: out of the 6359 reapplications submitted to us, only a handful are still to be re-checked. 2072 of the reapplications did not pass our new standards. This means that the range of journals in DOAJ has changed considerably; very quickly over a relatively short period of time.
Aggregators / Service Providers / Library Catalogue administrators: we strongly advise you to re-index / update / download again the DOAJ article metadata offering—via OAI-PMH, or our API—so that your catalogues have the most up-to-date version of our index. The DOAJ index changes weekly so it might be time to revisit how often you come to us for updates and increase that frequency. Learn more about how to interact with DOAJ.
If you are using the search or browse features at DOAJ, then be aware that some of the journals you are used to seeing in the Directory may no longer be there.
If you have any questions about the effect of the reapplication project on DOAJ, about indexing DOAJ via our API or OAI-PMH services, or even how to search and browse, then please leave a comment here or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At DOAJ we are used to working with big sets of data. We have over 10000 journal records, over 8000 reapplication records, over 5000 user accounts, and more than 2 million pieces of article metadata. Making a change to that data is no small feat and sometimes it requires a great deal of manual editing. We receive regular notification when teams of individuals have used that data to do a study on open access publishing globally or locally, or in presentations, at open access events or in policy papers. This makes us happy because we know that DOAJ is the foremost trusted listing of open access journals and, since all the data in it is re-usable according to the terms of our CC BY-SA license, we believe it should be used and re-used as much as possible! Until recently we had never heard of a single person taking it upon themselves to go through every record in DOAJ and then use that data to write a book about the landscape of gold open access publishing.
Never until Walt Crawford that is. You might recognise Walt’s name either from his blog ‘Walt at Random‘ or from his regular ‘ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media’: ‘Cites & Insights‘. Walt is a regular commentator on open access issues and his blog has been active since 2005. In September 2015, Walt published the PDF version of his book ‘The Gold OA Landscape 2011-2014‘ on Lulu and I think you should buy it! Why? Well for one, you benefit from DOAJ and DOAJ has directly benefited from the creation process of the book: we were able to update many journal records as a direct result of Walt’s work. We were able to undertake a clean-up project because of Walt’s research—the size of which we had never been able to do before from just one source. We were able to identify and remove over 200 journals from DOAJ which, over time, had changed from the quality, open access journals that they were when they were first accepted into the Directory.
Walt has published a very good post on his blog about why you should purchase his book so I’ll not reiterate those reasons here. However, if you have ever used DOAJ data in your work, or if you consult the DOAJ regularly, or if you believe that it is important that DOAJ remains central to open access publishing, or if you want to show support for the open access movement then I urge you to purchase a copy of Walt’s work.
We are always looking for volunteers to help us review the applications for journals wishing to be indexed in DOAJ. We have well over 100 people, from all over the world, helping us already. It’s a growing and exciting network to be part of and the work being done directly contributes to the quality of peer-review, open access publishing. Are you interested in joining us?
How much work is it?
We ask our volunteers to give us 4 or 5 hours of their time per week but you are left to manage your own schedule.
Who should volunteer?
Anyone who has knowledge and enthusiasm for academic journals, scholarly publishing, open access, electronic publishing, librarianship, digital preservation. We particularly welcome librarians, information studies professionals and students, PhD students, researchers and people affiliated with research institutions. The important thing is that you understand some of the mechanics, principles and politics behind open access and scholarly publishing.
We are always looking for people who have an excellent grasp of English as a first, second or third language.
If you can speak the following languages, with English, we would love to hear from you:
How do I apply?
There’s a bit more detail in the announcement I have just posted so you should read that first. If you have any questions, contact me here or email email@example.com
Our new network to support our crowdsourcing project has gone live which means that our volunteers of Editors and Associate Editors can now start work! This is an exciting and extremely important step for DOAJ.
Although there are no visible changes to the site itself, behind the scenes we have implemented a whole new piece of functionality to support a large number of people all working on the journals and new applications. Certainly, publishers will start to see the benefits as turnaround times from submission of application to decision decrease. Remember: as well as the ~100 new applications we receive every month, almost 99% of all the journals in DOAJ need to reapply to ensure they meet the new criteria!
We will start with three pilot teams: Chinese, English and Spanish. To help them find their way around the new system, we will create a series of training videos and some written documentation. Links to those documents will be emailed to each volunteer.
As ever, if you have any question or would like to know more, drop me a line.
DOAJ recently attended, and gave a plenary session at, the 35th conference for the International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries. The presentation gave conference delegates an update on progress with the new application form and details of the our network of volunteers: the DOAJ Associate Editors and Editors. I’d like to share a little more of that information with you.
Today ~99% of all the journals currently indexed in DOAJ will have to reapply to remain in the directory. This is necessary because the bar for inclusion has been considerably raised in response to the fast-paced development of open access over the last 11 years. The application form has been extended from 6 to 56 questions, with the the form focussing on 3 main areas:
- Technical quality (publishing practices)
Reassessing 9770 journals on 50 new points of information is a huge amount of work that needs to be done methodically, effectively and routinely. Crowdsourcing this work is an ideal solution.
We put out a call for volunteers in January 2014. We had an overwhelming response with volunteers offering their help and expertise from all over the world. (Applications are closed for now.) The majority of the volunteers come from the academic library community which is very useful for DOAJ since we want to have groups of volunteers based around language and specialty. We will organise our volunteers into a network of 1 editor looking after a group of associate editors, with each group reporting to the existing DOAJ Managing Editors.
This way of working is completely new to DOAJ and so we will start with a pilot scheme to ensure we do this right and correctly. We have set up 3 pilot groups: Chinese, Spanish and English. We will start the pilot later this month. Our technical partner, Cottage Labs, has built a journal review and approval structure to support the editors in their work.
If you applied to be a DOAJ Associate Editor and have not heard from us please be patient while run the pilot. And of course, thank you for volunteering!