One of the most substantial efforts to create a high-quality resource for open access scholarship is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). To be indexed by the DOAJ a journal must “use an appropriate quality control system,” “use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access,” and allow users to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles.” Appropriate quality control is defined as exercising “peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors.”
Journals that adopt the best practices recommended by DOAJ receive a DOAJ seal of approval. To receive a seal of approval a journal must:
use DOIs as permanent identifiers; provides DOAJ with article metadata; deposits content with a long term digital preservation or archiving program; [see yesterday’s post on institutional repositories] embeds machine-readable CC licensing information in articles; allows generous reuse and mixing of content, in accordance with a CC BY, CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC license; has a deposit policy registered wíth a deposit policy registry; allows the author to hold the copyright without restrictions.
In response to concerns about journal quality the DOAJ initiated a re-review process in March of 2014. Journals with a green tick next to their name have met the DOAJ’s more stringent criteria for compliance to best practices and publishing standards.
While the DOAJ started as a simple list of open access journals available, it has become an important gate-keeper, and plays a significant role in distinguishing high-quality open access scholarship from open access publisher who do not adhere to the best practice standards set by the open access community.