With the recent flurry of press about the Directory of Open Access Journals’ new eligibility requirements, many journal editors are wondering where their journal stands and what they should do about it. We’ve done a little sleuthing and are happy to report that your journal is almost certainly in good shape for the upcoming changes.
DOAJ’s new application is designed to keep out predatory publishers who take advantage of authors by charging exorbitant article-processing charges; you, too, should benefit from DOAJ’s move to distance it from the predatory publishers that give open access publishing a bad name. As editors and publishers of library-led journals that don’t function on an author-pays model, you should be put at ease. DOAJ isn’t trying to kick you out; in fact, it wants to list as many legitimate open access journals as possible.
Although the application form has swelled to an intimidating 52 questions, this isn’t a test that your journal needs to ace in order to be included in DOAJ. Something well below 100% “yes” answers will get you in DOAJ. Many of the questions are used by DOAJ not as inclusion criteria but instead to group journals by categories within their site and otherwise gather information on journals.
Hopefully, that news alone prevents you from treating the application like a to-do list and trying to get all those boxes checked before your next issue comes out. Although the application brings up a lot of ideas that your journal might want to look into, such as a standardized plagiarism policy and clear copyright and licensing information, these things take thought and time to implement. There’s no rush!
A DOAJ representative has informed us that the open access journal aggregator will be reassessing all its existing stable of journals in 2015. When DOAJ is ready, one of its staff members will be contacting journals’ editors/publishers directly to invite the journal to reapply to the DOAJ database—so you don’t need to worry about getting caught off guard.
Finally, we will be actively tracking survey responses and application success rates in order to be able to help you submit an accurate application that is most likely to win approval. The DOAJ Editorial Team works with applicants throughout the process to help ensure that their applications are accepted. And, even if rejected, applicants can apply as many times as they like. So rest easy—and know that we’re always happy to answer any questions that come up at firstname.lastname@example.org.