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DOAJ announced new rules

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DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is a well-known organization with the aim to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals. Right now you can find 9642 journals and 1120611 articles on the website.

Recently DOAJ decided to change the way in which they choose journals and announced new selection criteria, which can be found on the official website. The list of these criteria is not long and is open to public comment until July 15th:

  1. Journal will be asked to provide basic information (title, ISSN, etc.), contact information, and information about journal policies
  2. Journal is registered with SHERPA/RoMEO
  3. Journal has an editorial board with clearly identifiable members (including affiliation information)
  4. Journal publishes a minimum of five articles per year (does not apply for new journals)
  5. Allows use and reuse at leastat the following levels (as specified in the Open Access Spectrum, http://www.plos.org/about/open-access/howopenisit/):
  • 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)

Do these new proposals indicate a new orientation for DOAJ? Above all, they denote an increased pressure on transparency and concern for credibility. DOAJ wants to avoid promoting potentially unreliable journals. The reliability of OA journals and publishers is an issue that is frequently discussed in the scientific community (see dr Jeffrey Beal’s infamous “predatory” list). This particular subject is extremely important because the Open Access publishing model is still in its infancy, and as a result, it is yet to prove that it can become a suitable alternative to the current scientific publishing model.

However, these new criteria do not change much when it comes to the use and reuse of articles available via DOAJ. So all that is left for DOAJ to do is to adjust the aforementioned solutions in order to reach an acceptable compromise for all parties involved.

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