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New features, new technologies, new partners, new advances

2014 has had a promising start. After relaunching the new DOAJ site in December 2013, IS4OA has signed a further 2 development agreements with its new technology partner, Cottage Labs. While our first priority is to reinstate many of the features that were used daily by DOAJ publishers and users alike, we have also had the chance to layout development priorities for DOAJ to make sure it remains useful and at the heart of quality of open access publishing. For example, the clear need for better quality markers in open access publishing led IS4OA, with the help of DOAJ’s advisory board, to implement a hugely extended Application form and seek out a network of voluntary editors to help process applications.

IS4OA is now well positioned, through its partnership with Cottage Labs, to develop DOAJ features that the community is asking for: an API, OpenURL, the ability to collect metadata from PubMed.

We will be posting more details as the year progresses but most of the DOAJ updates can be found on their Twitter account: @doajplus

DOAJ announces new team

Today, DOAJ announced on its web site that it has a new team, responsible for taking DOAJ forward from January 2013, under the leadership of Lars Bjørnshauge:

Lars Bjørnshauge – Managing Director
Lars was Director of Libraries at Lund University from 2001 to 2011 and founded the DOAJ in 2003. He became Managing Editor of DOAJ in January 2013. He has vast experience in: change management; the re-engineering of academic libraries; the development of information services for research & higher education. He has been a strong advocat of open access and for providing services to the open access movement (open access to research publications). He is co-founder of OpenDOAR and the Directory of Open Access Books. Since 2011, he is the Director of SPARC Europe.

Rikard Brage – Editor
Rikard has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Cultural Sciences and a specialization in publishing.

Sonja Brage – Editor
Sonja Brage is a former Information Librarian from Lund University Library. She has a B.A. in English, Bulgarian and Russian from Lund University. She is now reviewing journals, primarily in the Slavonic languages and in Italian.

Lotte Jørgensen – Managing Editor
Lotte has during the last 19 years worked as librarian, information consultant, project coordinator and consortia administrator. The positions has been held at The Technical University of Denmark, Swets, Lund University Libraries and The Danish Agency for Culture. Lotte was the DOAJ project coordinator 2004-2008.The common denominator through all positions has been academic journals and scientific publishing.

Dominic (Dom) Mitchell – Community Manager
Dom has worked extensively with the publisher and librarian communities both as a publisher, with the BMJ Publishing Group (UK), and at HighWire Press – Stanford University (USA) where he was an account and project manager. Dom is responsible for collaboration with DOAJ’s publishers.

Salam Baker Shanawa – IT Development Manager
Salam, Director of SemperTool, was in charge of the development and maintenance of DOAJ from 2004-2011. Salam has a vast knowledge of academic libraries and a long experience in creating and integrating digital library products and systems. SemperTool offers a range of reliable and cost-effective software solutions for digital libraries, and serves more than 100 universities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. SemperTool is also developing and maintaining the Directory of Open Access Books.

Future plans for the development of the DOAJ

doaj logoAs communicated in a previous post, Lund University has facilitated a handover of the responsibility for operating and developing DOAJ to Infrastructure Services for Open Access C.I.C. (IS4OA).

IS4OA is founded by Dr. Alma Swan (convener of EOS , co-founder and co-owner of Key Perspectives Ltd and Director SPARC Europe ) and Dr. Caroline Sutton (co-founder of Co-Action Publishing and president of OASPA ).

Below we will briefly outline the current plans for improvement and development of the DOAJ.

Governance and engaging with the community

First, we want to engage the community in the governance, development and operations of the DOAJ. Our company, IS4OA, is set up as a not-for-profit charitable company limited by guarantee under UK law. Governance of the DOAJ will be through an Advisory Board comprised of key individuals from the open access community. The Advisory Board will provide advice and feedback on the development of the DOAJ. We will as well invite the broader community to contribute input on priorities and directions.

Our intention is to develop the DOAJ into a significantly improved service by introducing more functionality and extending the coverage of journals around the world. Included in this will be the task of working more closely with publishers to improve the quality of the information we can deliver about the journals listed.

The new organisation has engaged Lars Bjørnshauge to manage DOAJ. Lars founded the DOAJ during his service as Director of Libraries at Lund University. Agreements regarding hosting, technical operation and development as well as staff recruitment are in progress.

Reengineering the editorial work by crowd sourcing

We intend to change the way the editorial process operates. So far, editorial work (reviewing and approving journals) has been centralised; that is, all editorial tasks have been performed by staff located and employed at Lund University. In recent years, a de-centralised model for DOAJ has also been introduced involving agreements with regional/national collaborators (consortia, etc.) where one or more staff carry out the initial reviewing of journals from that country or in that language. This arrangement is already in operation for journals published in France, Turkey and Greece.

This model will be extended to further countries and regions. By means of the concept of the “DOAJ associate librarian” the editorial work (inclusion and filtering) and translation of the DOAJ-website into additional languages will essentially be based on a community model (crowd sourced). In this way, the workload at the central hub will decrease and will develop more in the direction of management of the community.

Improved criteria for inclusion in the DOAJ

In communication with the community we will develop improved criteria for inclusion in the DOAJ, for instance by aligning criteria with OASPA’s code of conduct and the Open Access Spectrum.

We will indeed address the issue of publishers not living up to reasonable standards both in terms of content and of business behavior.

Improvement and development plan

We have followed debates closely and will carry out further community and user consultations to determine what enhancements and improvements should be made to the DOAJ so that it better serves the needs of the whole community (funders, sponsors, supporters, publishers, authors and other users).
Already the information we have gathered has been used to outline an improvement plan. We will engage more systematically with the community as we move forward in order to solicit input to future improvements.

Improvements will be in the following areas:

  • The quality of the records for each journal entry (by working with and assisting publishers);
  • Metadata improvements (journal level and article level);
  • The search interface, harvesting functionality and system;
  • Robust long-term archiving solution;
  • Alt-metrics;
  • A new platform, the transition to which starts in January 2013.

We hope you will welcome this new development and will continue to support DOAJ in 2013 and beyond. We look forward to working with you all in delivering a service committed to continual improvement over the years to come.

You can follow the developments at and on Twitter: @DOAJplus

For further information contact us

New agreement regarding management of the DOAJ

PRESS RELEASE Mutual communication from Lund University Libraries and IS4OA to the public

doaj logolund university logoLund University Libraries and Infrastructure Services for Open Access C.I.C. (IS4OA – a UK-registered CommunityInterest Company) jointly announce important changes regarding the future operations and development of the DOAJ.

The DOAJ was initiated at Lund University, Library Head Office in May 2003. Initially the service was based on project grants but over the years the major share of support was generated from income from the membership programme. Having launched with a list of 300 journals, the DOAJ is now the leading source of Open Access journals, and this month lists more than 8300 journals in all subject areas, published in more than 100 countries in over 50 languages.

In response to the growth that the service has experienced in combination with increased demands for further developments,  Lund University concluded during 2012 that a new community-based solution for operating and developing the DOAJ had become timely. Following a series of discussions, the University concluded an agreement with Infrastructure Services for Open Access, C.I.C. (IS4OA) according to which the newly formed organisation will manage the trademark as well as assume operations and development of the Directory of Open Access Journals. Further plans will be announced shortly.

IS4OA was founded by Dr. Alma Swan (convener of EOS, co-founder and co-owner of Key Perspectives Ltd. and Director SPARC Europe ) and Dr. Caroline Sutton (co-founder Co-Action Publishing  and President of OASPA ).

Both parties are confident that this transition will ensure that the scholarly community of the future will continue to benefit from a resource that has proven very important for the ongoing changes in the scholarly communication system.

Jette Guldborg Petersen, Director of Libraries, Lund University
Caroline Sutton, Director, IS4OA

For further information contact us

Follow developments at or follow us on Twitter @doajplus