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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

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