Thursday, June 13, 2013

New selection criteria for DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals ( is delighted to announce new selection criteria and *hereby announces that these new criteria are open for public comment until July 15th*.

The DOAJ-team has developed the criteria and our Advisory Board has provided input and comments.

With the growth in the number of research funders, institutional open access policies and mandates, all stakeholders involved – researchers (as authors and readers), research managers, staff managing publication funds, librarians, universities and research funders - need a trusted and reliable information resource that identifies good quality open access journals and filters out disreputable publishers. Equally, the former have a vested interest in not being associated with the latter.

We have tried to construct objective criteria that can facilitate compliance verification easily. In order to be listed in the DOAJ, a journal must meet the following criteria:
  • Journal will be asked to provide basic information (title, ISSN, etc.), contact information, and information about journal policies
  • Journal is registered with SHERPA/RoMEO
  • Journal has an editorial board with clearly identifiable members (including affiliation information)
  • Journal publishes a minimum of five articles per year (does not apply for new journals)
  • Allows use and reuse at least at the following levels (as specified in the Open Access Spectrum,
    • Full text, metadata, and citations of articles can be crawled and accessed with permission (Machine Readability Level 4)
    • Provides free readership rights to all articles immediately upon publication (Reader Rights Level 1)
    • Reuse is subject to certain restrictions; no remixing (Reuse Rights Level 3)
    • Allow authors to retain copyright in their article with no restrictions (Copyrights Level 1)
    • Author can post the final, peer-reviewed manuscript version (postprint) to any repository or website (Author Posting Rights Level 2)
You may review the complete list of criteria 

Future submissions for inclusion in to DOAJ must include the complete set of information provided by the publisher. This information will be publicly available in the Directory. The journals currently listed in the DOAJ will have to go through a re-evaluation process based on the new criteria. This work will take place over the next 12 months or so.

*DOAJ Seal of Approval*
At the same time we are launching the DOAJ Seal of Approval for Open Access Journals (in short: the DOAJ Seal) to encourage a high practice standard. These journals will be identified with the DOAJ Seal logo.

In addition to the more general criteria, above, required for inclusion in the DOAJ, the following criteria must be met for a journal to receive the DOAJ Seal:
  • Provides machine readable copyright information to help search engines identify open works
  • Provides DOIs at the article level
  • Provides metadata to DOAJ at the article level
  • Has a digital archiving/preservation arrangement in place
  • Allows use and reuse at least at the following levels (as specified in the Open Access Spectrum,
    • Allows a community standard API or other protocol to crawl or access full text, metadata, citations, and data (including supplementary data) for articles (Open Access Spectrum: Machine Readability Level 2)
    • Ensures generous reuse and remixing rights (Open Access Spectrum: Reuse Rights Level 1)
    • Allows authors to post any version of their article to any repository or website (Open Access Spectrum: Author Posting Rights Level 1)
We are confident that the new criteria will positively contribute to the transparency of open access. Since open access journals are a relatively new phenomenon, and one that is continuously changing, we will probably have to revise the criteria to keep them current and up to date.

To avoid any misunderstanding, we are restating DOAJ's scope here:

  • The DOAJ has the ambition to continue to be the white list of open access journals that are global in scope in terms of geography, scientific discipline and language.
  • In scope: Journals that provide immediate access to scholarly articles without reader payment, including back-files from those journals made freely available after transitioning to open access.

Not in scope:

  • Single articles from subscription based journals made freely available under an open access option (hybrid articles).
  • Articles from subscription based journals made freely available after an embargo period (so-called delayed open access – not a term in our dictionary).

Your comments on the new criteria are much appreciated and will contribute toward their implementation. Comments must be received before 6pm CEST on Monday 15th July 2013 and should be sent to the DOAJ Community Manager Dominic Mitchell (

Kind regards

Lars Bjørnshauge Managing Director, DOAJ

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