A presentation made to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Science & Engineering Laboratories on the current state of open access in the United States and how DOAJ is tackling issues of quality in open access publishing
The State of Open Access in USA | Ensuring Quality
1. The State of Open Access;
DALS /OSEL Information Session
28 April 2015
The State of Open Access
What is the DOAJ?
What is our aim?
Browsing and Searching
Volunteer for us
The State of OA
“After a decade of often fierce debate over whether the
public should have free access to the scientific papers
produced by their tax dollars, advocates for so-called
open access celebrated a notable victory last month:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a
plan to require its grantees to make their research
freely available. NSF's move meant that the federal
agencies that provide the bulk of the nation's basic
and applied research funding have now complied
with a 2013 White House order to make the peer-
reviewed papers they fund freely available within 12
months of publication.”
Science Magazine, April 10 http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6231/167.full
The story began...
In 1991, the world's first free scientific online archive is created:
In 1997, the NLM makes Medline freely available as PubMed:
Three cornerstones of open access:
− In 2002 the Budapest Open Access Initiative is signed by
'leaders of the open access initiative'.
− In Apr 2003, the Bethesda Statement on Open Access
Publishing is signed by representatives in North America.
− In Oct 2003, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to
Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities is created.
Of 1.1 million articles included in a study in 2014, 80% were
available in some open access format
Laakso, M. (2014). Green open access policies of scholarly journal publishers: a study of what,when, and where self-
archiving is allowed. Scientometrics. In press.http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11192-013-1205-3
In a study of Scopus, open access journals made up only
12% of all journals
David J. Solomon, Mikael Laakso, Bo-Christer Björk, Journal of Informetrics Volume 7, Issue 3, July 2013, Pages 642–650
In 1,370 journals that published 100,697 articles in 2010,
the average APC was 906 US Dollars (USD) calculated over
A study of open access journals using article processing charges. David J. Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk, Journal of the
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Volume 63, Issue 8, pages 1485–1495, August 2012
Follow the Dramatic Growth of Open Access series of
blog posts by Heather Morrison
In The USA
In April 2008, NIH's policy for 'mandated' open access
to publicly funded research came into effect.
In 2012, the NIH announced it would enforce its Public
Access Policy by blocking the renewal of grant funds to
authors who don't follow the policy
Petition requesting free access to research gathers
64000 signatures in 2012
time lucky: the White House (OSTP) announces an
open access policy in 2013
What does this mean
Funded research: may be mandated that a copy be
available in an open access repository such as
You can choose whether to publish in a wholly open
access journal or a journal that offers paid open access
options (Gold OA)
Many traditional publishers offer hybrid journals that
allow a mixture of open access and closed access
You can also make a copy of your paper available in a
[institutional] repository: self-archiving (Green OA).
What does this mean
for the researcher?
It's a minefield!
− Publishers cash in on Gold OA
− Dense, unclear licensing terms with conflicting
− Author services: depositing copies but which
− Complicated subscription models with different
Watch out! Gold OA model is abused: spam; scams;
fake journals, articles, editorial boards; no peer
review; poor quality
What is DOAJ?
A curated database listing high quality, peer-reviewed open
No hybrid journals
A whitelist not a blacklist
Journals from ALL disciplines & all languages
A hub for the collection & distribution of metadata to 3rd
Developed & hosted on standards-based, open-source
software by Cottage Labs
What is our aim?
To be the starting point for all searches for
open access journals or articles
To increase awareness around open access
To increase visibility and awareness of
quality open access journals
− Online: social media, online learning environments,
− Offline: in the labs, in the libraries, conferences,
What is our aim?
To increase our transparency through regular
DOAJ News Service
Uploaded by the publishers
Freely available to use, reuse, copy, distribute in
accordance with our Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA).
Available via the following methods:
− Downloadable CSV file
− Spidering/crawling (Major search engines; Google Scholar)
All major aggregators, library databases, journal databases.
DOAJ's new application form focusses on 3
− The delivery or technical quality
Publishers must provide answers to 55 compulsory
questions to be indexed
Applications are reviewed and assessed using a
It is impossible to measure the quality of a journal or its
DOAJ uses standards, best practices and industry-
recognised tools to build a picture
9500 journals in DOAJ will reapply to remain indexed
The DOAJ Seal shows exceptional best practice and
adherence to standards
We encourage the use of DOI, archiving and preservation,
Creative Commons licenses, ISSNs, non-restrictive
copyright, open access
Unfortunately journals disappear, links rot,
journals change publishers, formats become
The community (librarians, aggregators,
users) informs us when it finds broken links
or incorrect information.
Ensuring the quality of peer-review is
BUT interest groups are coming together to tackle
Communities are getting involved with open access
DOAJ uses a crowdsourcing model: we have over
155 volunteers reviewing journals and applications
We are always looking for volunteers, especially
multi-lingual ones: find out more and apply!
Open access: open to
all the Consortia, Universities, Libraries and Publishers,
and to our Sponsors for their support