It’s soon upon us: the Ninth Open Access Week

It’s soon upon us! The ninth Open Access Week. This year, the theme is Open in Action, about taking ‘concrete steps to make … work more openly available and encourag[ing] others to do the same’. The theme corresponds nicely with our IDRC-funded Ambassador project where we have Ambassadors working around the world to promote the values of open access and the DOAJ.

On Facebook, over the coming days, I’ll be listing the details all the DOAJ-associated activities that are being held across the globe. I’ve started with a list of links to some of the DOAJ Team’s profiles on the Open Access Week web site. Here’s the post:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDirectoryofOpenAccessJournals%2Fposts%2F1295485780463658&width=500

Need a flyer or a poster?

What are you doing for open access week? Let us know. If you need any DOAJ promotional material for your event, we have an A5 flyer for printing out, an A4 information sheet (more suitable for a North American audience), and we have a flyer and a poster in French, and the same in Chinese. Don’t forget that we have a collection of presentations on Slideshare, too, which are a great resource for “clipping” (saving a slide), downloading etc. If you need something else, get in touch!

The Open Access Week web site itself also has a great Resources section, where you can download logos, handouts and posters.

Austria: a concerted and coordinated national effort to lead by example

It is Open Access Week 2015 and what better way to mark than by publishing some extremely good news!

DOAJ is extremely grateful for the support that it now receives from Austria! These are truly outstanding commitments from Austrian universities and research centres, from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). This is the first time that DOAJ has received support from a Ministry and a research funder and it demonstrates, in a very concrete way, a determination to support Open Access that goes far beyond signing Open Access declarations and issuing open access policies that, far too often, are too soft. To be blunt: it is really good to see influential organisations putting their resources and power where their mouths are. DOAJ hopes that the Austrian example will inspire others to do the same! Read the FWF press release published today: see section ‘Successful fund raising campaign for the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) by Universities Austria (UNIKO) and by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)‘ in the middle of that page. The original announcement is here (in German).

The FWF and Austria have stepped up to the mark and are taking a leadership role in actually paving the way for the entire Open Agenda. It is encouraging to see Austria taking a very distinct role, and at a national level, in supporting sustainability for freely available infrastructure services for open access.

DOAJ knows that research funders, universities (open access publication funds), libraries and researchers look to it to identify good open access journals. DOAJ works hard to continuously provide more and better services to meet these needs and serve stakeholders. DOAJ has a lot to do with the re-evaluation of ~9000 journals to ensure that they comply with its tighter criteria for inclusion. The outstanding support from Austria enables DOAJ to recruit more staff with publishing experience to build up the team of professionals already working to ensure the quality and reliability of DOAJ.

Open Access Week 2015 and the DOAJ Volunteer Loyalty Program

What are you doing for Open Access Week 2015 (OAW 2015)? Perhaps you are holding a workshop at your university or giving a presentation in your library? OAW 2015 is the EIGHTH OAW and DOAJ stand firmly behind it.

To honour this year’s OAW, DOAJ is launching a volunteer loyalty program. You may have read about our wonderful volunteers that give a few hours of their time every week to review new journal applications. Our volunteers do fantastic work and are a talented and dedicated bunch. We decided that we should honour the fantastic work that they do with a series of rewards.

We will be awarding a certificate of loyalty and achievement* to volunteers for every 50 applications reviewed and completed. The more applications a volunteer reviews, the more certificates they get. We’re designing the certificate just now but I’ll post an example here as soon as I have one. [UPDATE 15th October: here are the certificates plus the link to the volunteers page!]

Editor's certificate

Sample image of editor’s certificate awarded for a year’s service to DOAJ.

Associate Editor's certificate

Sample image of associate editor’s certificate awarded for 25 applications completed.

We will also be listing all our working volunteers on our site.

We’re exploring the option of awarding Mozilla Open Badges so that a DOAJ volunteer can officially declare their work for DOAJ. we will host an annual virtual volunteer meeting to bring our volunteers together and give them the opportunity to network, exchange ideas or ask questions. Watch this space!

*Credit to Felipe G. Nievinski, one of our volunteers, for the original idea. Thanks Felipe!

International open access week 2014: some useful hashtags

Whether you are studying, researching, teaching, publishing—or simply interested in the open web, open knowledge, open learning and open data—it won’t have escaped you that next week is International Open Access Week. All over the world, groups are pulling together some fantastic events: there are webinars, seminars and competitions, many of them freely open to anyone who can attend.

I will be doing my bit for the DOAJ, presenting at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden on why the DOAJ is such a useful tool for researchers who want to publish in quality, open access journals. It was recently estimated that there are at least 114 million scholarly papers on the web. With that much information available, consumers of scholarly information need as much help as they can get to find high quality, relevant material in as little time as possible. That figure also implies that there are a huge amount of journals out there, so finding the right journal to publish in can be difficult.

However, DOAJ is a useful tool within the open access movement in other ways too:

Open access publishing is not only about freeing up research for use by all but is also an extremely important medium for those smaller publishers who need to keep overheads to a minimum. DOAJ has a longtail of single-journal publishers and indeed those “publishers” are sometimes one man- or one woman-operations putting out a journal because they have a passion for the field that they work in. DOAJ’s aim is to raise the profile of all high quality, peer-reviewed, open access journals. We want to give equal visibility to the small alongside the large, the obscure alongside the popular, with equal footing and on a neutral platform.

Open access also allows developing nations to have access to life-saving research, and join in topical research debates, that otherwise would have been unavailable to them. DOAJ sees a consistently high amount of traffic from developing countries and providing an entrance to this content is just as vital as the exposure that we provide for the publishers.

If you’d like to find out more about some of the events for open access week, try searching in Twitter, Facebook or Google using these hashtags:

#openaccess
#AccesoAbierto
#openaccessweek
#OAWeek
#OAWeek2014
#OAWeek14
#OAWfr14
#OAWLyon