FinELib, the consortium for Finnish universities, will fund DOAJ for a 3-year period based on the SCOSS model

PRESS RELEASE

FinELib logoFinELib, the Finnish consortium for universities, research institutions and universities of applied sciences, has agreed to provide funding to DOAJ over a 3-year period.

The consortium has promised funds to DOAJ in recognition of the valuable contribution that DOAJ makes to open access and scholarly publishing. The move follows hot on the heels of Finland publishing its policy on open science and open research earlier this year, a move which was welcomed by Finland’s academia.

The amount of funding promised to DOAJ by FinELib is €31,500 per year for three years. This is at the level of “sustainable” funding and allows DOAJ to retain its focus on its goals for the current strategic period, one of which is to attract more non-English language journals into the Directory, especially within social sciences and humanities.

Arja Tuuliniemi, Head of FinELib, said: “DOAJ is a valuable open access service for Finnish research institutions. We are pleased that FinELib can take part in providing sustainable funding for DOAJ.”

In fact, the funding comes after the successful implementation of a joint project between DOAJ and TSV, Federation of Finnish Societies, to train journal representatives on the DOAJ criteria and help them submit a complete and proper application to DOAJ. The goal of the project is to increase the number of Finnish journals in DOAJ.

Lars Bjørnshauge, Managing Director and Founder of DOAJ, said: “We are very pleased that FinELib has facilitated that 15 of the member institutions have signed up for significant support over a three year period. The support will help us continue developing DOAJ with special focus on non-English language journals.“

The funding comes at the end of what has turned out to be a very successful SCOSS funding drive for DOAJ. The period ran from 2018 to 2020. The effect that sustainable funding has had on DOAJ can be seen in various blog posts.

For more information on funding DOAJ, contact Lars Bjørnshauge: lars@doaj.org.

A PDF version of this press release is here.

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.

DOAJ reaches its SCOSS funding target within 18 months and sets its sights on new work

(Repost from the SCOSS website.)

We are delighted to announce that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has reached its funding target to cover its operational costs as were outlined in its SCOSS application. Eight consortia and 175 institutions/organisations from 18 different countries have committed support to DOAJ. “We’d like to thank our supporters. That this many organisations stand behind this initiative and promised this amount of funding shows how important sustaining open access infrastructure is,” said Lars Bjørnshauge, DOAJ Managing Director.

There are organisations that have already made the decision to help fund DOAJ, but are still deliberating over the details of their financial commitment. Though the funding goal has now been met, these organisations may still commit financial support. Furthermore, the SCOSS Board has allowed DOAJ to present a new work package, both to these organisations and any additional organisations that come forward in 2019. The package describes additional activities that DOAJ would like to pursue with the extra funding, should it be granted.

The Board has supported the second work package on the conditions that DOAJ reports on progress made in a progress report on the activities delineated in the SCOSS application form, and that DOAJ describes the new work package in detail and includes a budget for the amount of funding needed. For details see the financial overview and the new work package.

SCOSS endorses this plan through the end of 2019.

All University of California campuses commit to DOAJ

Ten institutions from the University of California – all ten campuses – commit €90,000 to DOAJ, the largest US consortium to support DOAJ via the SCOSS initiative so far.

DOAJ is very pleased for the support received from the University of California towards a sustainable funding model promoted by SCOSS.

Swiss consortium pledges 216,000 Eur to DOAJ and SHERPA/RoMEO

We are delighted to announce that the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, comprising sixteen libraries and the Swiss National Science Foundation, is the third national consortium to commit to the SCOSS initiative.

swissuniversities, the Rectors’ Conference of Swiss Higher Education Institutions, contributes approximately 50% of the total costs in the framework of the Swiss National Strategy for Open Access.

Thank you very much for your support!

DOAJ’s New Governance Model

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18th December 2018 DOAJ will implement a new governance model in 2019 which will see DOAJ financers having a role in the organisation’s Board and Council. All organisations funding DOAJ with €1500 or more will be eligible for nomination.

In January 2019 DOAJ will inaugurate a new governance model providing the structure and transparency that it needs to meet its strategic goals, and ensure the organisation is fit-for-purpose for at least the next 5 years.

Today, DOAJ is run by the DOAJ Team with help provided as and when we need it—and always willingly—by our Advisory Board. Over the last 5 years, DOAJ has grown in size and importance and has come to a point where the existing model is no longer fit for purpose. DOAJ needs to be more formally structured and transparent if it is to meet the needs of the academic community, as well as its funders and sponsors.

DOAJ's governance model

The model for DOAJ’s governance was first drafted in October 2017 and has been reviewed and updated after input from the current Advisory Board. When the SCOSS model for funding DOAJ and other services was announced at the end of 2017, we decided that it is only fitting that the donors get some input into how DOAJ is run. We are proposing an Advisory Board of a maximum of 9 seats, and a Council with a maximum of 15 seats. Their role is to provide expert advice to the DOAJ Team and help us meet our strategic goals. We are also establishing an editorial subcommittee to assist us with questions around editorial process and content quality.

An organisational chart, showing how the Board, Council and Subcommittee interact with each other and with the DOAJ Team will be published shortly.

All organisations and publishers donating €1500 or more to DOAJ every year are eligible for nominations and will be invited to submit candidates for election to the new Advisory Board and the Council. Specific invitations will be sent out early in the New Year.

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.

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.