Directory of Open Access Journals removes thousands of journals from its database

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), a leading open access journals’ index, has decided to tighten the standards for journals’ acceptance, in order to rule out dubious and inactive publishers.

Functioning on a voluntary basis, DOAJ is a community-curated list of peer-reviewed open access journals. In the past few years, the number of journals indexed at DOAJ grew almost exponentially, (see graph) from the initial 300 journals listed in 2003, to around 11,000 journals in the beginning of 2016.

Escaping predators

However, this growing trend flipped in the last six months, after the removal of around one-third of DOAJ’s indexed journals. The DOAJ started a ‘quality-check’ process in 2014, after facing harsh criticism for listing several predatory publishers– collecting article processing fees (APCs) while offering low quality journals, mostly without undergoing (rigorous) peer review processes.

Every publisher listed at the DOAJ was asked to resubmit their journals’ applications, which were then evaluated on the basis of more strict criteria. Lars Bjørnshauge, DOAJ’s managing director, explained to the Nature journal that publishers who failed to either resubmit or to provide reliable information about their mission, location and operation were excluded from the open access directory. The list of the excluded journals can now be found at the DOAJ’s website.

Open access on the rise

According to DOAJ, the number of open access journals is on the rise; every week, around 80 open access publishers apply for indexation. Yet, a large amount of those publishers fails to meet DOAJ’s quality criteria; only in the last two years, around 5,400 applications were rejected, mainly due to the lack of information regarding licensing rights, publication permission and editorial transparency.

Lars Bjørnshauge recognizes that the major challenge in the current open access landscape is no longer finding new open access publishers, but rather to keep the existing ones under a strict quality control. After excluding 3000 dubious open access journals from its index, DOAJ now plans to hire brand ambassadors to promote good publishing practices and assess new journals’ applications. Nature

Thanks for reading this article. Please comment on it and also do not forget to share it.

Related Post

covid-19, coronavirus, open access
5 Must-Reads to Understand How Open Access Can Shape Research on Covid-19

COVID-19 could kill the for-profit science publishing model. That would be a good thing. by Michael Hilrzik LA Times, March 3, 2020 “Of all the ways the current coronavirus crisis has upended commonplace routines — such as disrupting global supply chains and forcing workers to stay at home — one of the most positive is […]

Read more
november 2019, open access, must reads
Weekly Open Access Must-Reads (11-15 November 2019)

A selection of this week’s news, opinions and feature articles about open access, academia and the publishing industry.  1. Room for everyone’s talent Erkennen en waarderen in de wetenschap gaan drastisch veranderen (in Dutch) By Sicco de Knecht in Science Guide Date: 13 November 2019 Read it here in English or here in Dutch   […]

Read more
International OA week 2018: Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge

Open access has increasingly become the new norm. Countries and research funders are embracing open access. Many set targets to reach 100% open access before 2020. However, issues related to equitable sharing, diversity and inclusion is not fully addressed, according to a statement by SPARC. Open access should serve the need of all scholarly communities […]

Read more

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.