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DOAJ takes steps to keep predatory publishers at bay

Sneha Kulkarni | Aug 11, 2014 | 17,249 views

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), a website that lists open access journals, has announced that all the journals listed in their directory will need to reapply to ensure that they meet the newer and stricter criteria, Nature reported.

DOAJ, which was started in 2003 and now comprises over 10,000 journals, has been criticized for poor quality control. According to Walt Crawford, a retired library systems analyst in Livermore, California, the DOAJ currently includes around 900 titles that Jeffrey Beall, the librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, has included in a blacklist of potential predatory journals.

The managing director of the DOAJ, Lars Bjørnshauge, has taken steps to weed out potential predatory journals by asking all the listed journals to provide detailed information about the journal, their editorial process, digital archiving policy, and content licensing. The journals that pass the reapplication process will be given a 'seal' of best practice. Journals that wish to reapply will go through a two-layered check: associate editors will check the information submitted in reapplications with the publishers, and then a second round of check will be performed by managing editors.  

This reapplication process will likely make the DOAJ a useful tool for funders, researchers, and librarians since it will become one of the largest ‘whitelists’ of acceptable open-access journals. The chief strategy officer at open-access publishers Hindawi, Paul Peters, says “Scholarly researchers need a way to determine whether a given journal is adhering to best practice, and I believe that the DOAJ can provide a trusted and scalable mechanism for doing so.” However, it remains to be seen whether the DOAJ would be able to keep predatory publishers out of its index and become the trusted directory of open access journals.

Know more about emerging trends in bogus metrics and the future of open access and how fraud publishers are misusing the open access model to dupe authors in these video interviews with Jeffrey Beall.

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