Welcome to the fifth day of the DOAJ blog!

Many people wonder how the selection of journals for DOAJ is done. To inform you about how we are working we are dedicating this blog post to our selection criteria. These criteria are established to increase credibility and trusthworthiness in Open Access journals. Since OA publishing is relatively new we believe that all of us must work with these questions, since there is quite a difference between publishing an academic journal and publishing a trustworthy academic journal.

Our definitions and selection criteria

Access: All content shall be freely available in full text. Free user registration online is acceptable. The journal shall apply Open Access without delay (e.g. no embargo period).

Open Access Journal: We define Open Access journals as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. From the BOAI definition of "Open Access" we take the right of users to "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles" as mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory.

Quality Control: The journal must exercise peer-review or editorial quality control to be included.

Research Journal: Journals that report primary results of research or overviews of research results to a scholarly community.

Periodical: A serial appearing or intended to appear indefinitely at regular intervals, generally more frequently than annually, each issue of which is numbered or dated consecutively and normally contains separate articles, stories, or other writings.

Registered ISSN: The journal should have an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number, for information please visit this site).

Coverage

  • Subject: all scientific and scholarly subjects are covered
  • Types of resource: scientific and scholarly periodicals that publish research or review papers in full text.
  • Acceptable sources: academic, governmental, commercial, non-profit private sources are all acceptable.
  • Level: the target group for included journals should be primarily researchers.
  • Content: a substantive part of the journal should consist of research papers. All content should be available in full text.
  • All languages

We also believe that one could expect a serious journal to present its editorial board, to mention which quality control system articles go through before published and have detailed author or submission guidelines. To increase the awareness of Open Access we try to convince publishers to mention this on the journal’s web site. About two months ago we added a text called guidelines for publishers to our FAQ, to make it easier for editors and publishers to interpret which information we believe is valuable to readers and potential authors, and to increase the awareness of user friendly design is being an important element in online publishing. You can find the guidelines here.

RIHA Journal has taken the task in earnest to inform authors about how to compose an article. The journal is devoted to the field of arts and architecture. In the first discipline copyright is an important question, since the publishing of copyright protected photography and art works can be crucial for authors. That is why RIHA in its submission guidelines are thoroughly describing the actions that must be taken to handle copyright without infringing the law. To ease the work for authors the journal also has a section with further material where among other things image databases are listed.

When authors are using articles from Open Access journals it should be easy for them to cite them. Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis : Gymnica from the Czech Republic has organized the basic information about the publication and its content in an exemplary way. In the "about section" all necessary information is presented with clear headlines and the archive is easily browsed (since the volumes are marked with year, the articles are displayed with genre and page numbers are clearly marked in the table of contents). Like many other of our journals Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis : Gymnica uses Open Journals System, a free open software source which we strongly recommend to publishers that are launching new Open Access journals. The benefits of the tool are that it is both easy to use when building a web site and easy to navigate once found online!

When it comes to presenting the editorial board we recommend that a journal presents its members with as relevant information as possible. The journals from BioMed Central are good examples of how to manage the task. In for example Chinese Medicine each person in the editorial board is presented with affiliation within the journal. When clicking on each person’s name you can find institutional affiliation, address, phone number, email address and one can search for articles published by the scholar in PubMed. This is a really good way of showing users that the editorial board consists of well-reputed members with competence to control the quality of the journal’s submissions!

Have you got any questions or comments on our selection criteria? Please do not hesitate to use the comment field or to contact us directly.

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