Frequently Asked Questions

About

Account

Contribute

Developers

Features and Functionality

Membership

Metadata

Open Access

Publishers

Please see our Information for Publishers page.



What is DOAJ?

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research journals, periodicals and their articles' metadata. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access academic journals that use an appropriate quality control system (see below for definitions) and is not limited to particular languages or subject areas. The Directory aims to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access academic journals—regardless of size and country of origin—thereby promoting their visibility, usage and impact.

Back to top

Who works for DOAJ?

The DOAJ Team is on our About page.

Back to top

Who owns DOAJ?

DOAJ is entirely independent and is managed, not owned, by Infrastructure Services for Open Access. DOAJ is not connected to, owned by, or influenced by any other organisation or business. DOAJ does receive sponsorship monies from its sponsor, many of whom are large publishers, but 100% of those monies goes towards the running and technical development of DOAJ.

Back to top

How do we define 'Open Access Journal', 'Quality Control', 'Research Journal' and 'Periodical'?

Open Access Journal:
We define open access journals as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. From the BOAI definition[1] of 'open access' we take the right of users to "read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles" as mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory.
[1] http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read

Quality Control:

The journal must exercise peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors.

Research Journal:

Journals that report primary results of research or overviews of research results to a scholarly community.

Periodical:

A serial appearing or intended to appear indefinitely at regular intervals, generally more frequently than annually, each issue of which is numbered or dated consecutively and normally contains separate articles, stories, or other writings.

Back to top

How are journals classified / categorised?

All journals in DOAJ are classified according to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system. The classification is made by our editorial team as a journal is accepted for indexing in the database. If a publisher chooses to upload article metadata to us, a journal's articles inherit the same classification. Once a journal has been accepted the classification appears in the 'Subject' facet of search.

Subjects appear in search results for journals and are structured as follows:

  • where subjects are separated by a full stop (.), the subjects are part of the same category level at LCC and in DOAJ. For example: 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion' is one category.
  • where subjects are separated by a colon (:), the second subject is a sub-category of the first. For example: 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Philosophy (General)' shows that 'Philosophy (General)' is a sub-category of 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion' and this journal has been categorised as General Philosophy.
  • where subjects are separated by a pipe (|), the second category has no relation to the first. For example: 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Philosophy (General) | Social Sciences: Social sciences (General)' means that this journal has been categorised both as General Philosophy AND General Social Sciences.

You can browse articles and journals by subject classification in our subject browser.

Back to top

What are keywords and how are they generated?

Keywords are selected by the publisher at the time of applying for the journal to be in DOAJ or at the time of uploading article metadata to us. They are not the same as 'Subject' which is a classification made by the DOAJ Team (see above). Keywords are more arbitrary because there is no control measure.

Back to top

Is there a list of journals added to and removed from DOAJ?

Yes, it is currently a Google Spreadsheet, updated manually by our editorial team and goes back to the beginning of January 2014.

Back to top

What is the DOAJ Seal of Approval for Open Access Journals (the DOAJ Seal)?

The DOAJ Seal is a mark of certification for open access journals, awarded by DOAJ to journals that achieve a high level of openness, adhere to Best Practice and high publishing standards. To receive the Seal, the journal must comply with the following 7 conditions:

  • use DOIs as permanent identifiers;
  • provides DOAJ with article metadata;
  • deposits content with a long term digital preservation or archiving program;
  • 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.
Back to top

Which journals have the DOAJ Seal?

Here is a list of journals that have the Seal.

Back to top

What does the orange circle symbol next to some journals mean?

These are journals that have been awarded the DOAJ Seal.

Back to top

What does the green tick symbol next to some journals mean?

The green tick ("The Tick") is displayed against all journals that were accepted into DOAJ after March 2014 when DOAJ launched its new criteria for journals to be accepted into DOAJ. The new criteria require a higher level of compliance to best practices and publishing standards. Journals that do not have The Tick are in the process of reapplying under the new criteria.

Back to top

How do I sign up for news alerts from DOAJ?

We don't have a newsletter or email alerts but you can follow our developments in 4 places:

We are also on LinkedIn and Google+.

Back to top

How do I log in to my account? How do I get an account?

Only publishers and volunteers need accounts. Everyone else is free to use DOAJ without logging in.

If you are a volunteer and cannot access your account, contact your managing editor.

Back to top

How can I contribute to DOAJ?

There are 4 ways that you can contribute to DOAJ.

  • Contact us if you have first hand evidence that a journal in DOAJ might be carrying out questionable practices, is of low quality, or may even be fake. All information shared with DOAJ is done so in the strictest confidence, is anonymous and is never published.
  • Become a member. All monies received through membership go directly to the development and running of DOAJ.
  • Become a volunteer Associate Editor and help us review the hundreds of new applications that we receive every month.
  • Contact us if you find a broken link on our site, or if you think that the information we have for a journal is outdated or incomplete. This feedback is so important for us and we are always grateful for the community being our eyes and ears.
Back to top

Can I volunteer for DOAJ?

Thank you for considering becoming a volunteer!

If you are associated with scholarly communication, academic publishing or libraries, or simply have a keen interest in open access, we are always keen to hear from you. We use volunteers to review the new applications that get sent to us every week. Read more about volunteering here.

Back to top

How do I become an Associate Editor

Thank you for considering becoming an Associate Editor!

You must fulfill the right criteria and complete an application form. We are always looking for volunteers, particularly those who can speak two or more languages, one of which must be English. After receiving your application, a Managing Editor will be in touch to let you know whether your application has been successful or not.

Back to top

I have found a broken link. Who should I contact?

Thanks for taking the trouble to report the broken link to us. Please send an email to feedback[at]doaj[.]org.

Back to top

I have found a questionable journal in DOAJ. Why? What should I do?

DOAJ prides itself on being a directory of quality open access journals. We have strict criteria for entry but they haven't always been so rigorous. In March 2014, we launched an extended and detailed application form that raises the bar for entry into DOAJ. At the time of writing (June 2015), 99% of all the journals that were already in DOAJ have yet to reapply using the new form. This means that a portion of the journals in DOAJ, some of which have been in since 2003, may not meet the high standards of the DOAJ of 2015. All journals must reapply by the end of December 2015.

If you find a journal that you believe to be questionable, please send an email to feedback[at]doaj[.]org with the details and we will be very happy to investigate. All information shared with DOAJ is done so in the strictest confidence, is anonymous and is never published.

Back to top

How can I suggest a journal for indexing?

If you publish the journal or are the editor for the journal, fill in an application. Otherwise, contact the journal and ask them to submit an application.

Back to top

The journal I am looking for isn't in DOAJ. Why? What should I do?

It may be that the journal hasn't applied or that its application is still pending. It may be that the journal was removed from DOAJ. Contact us to see if the journal has a pending application.

Back to top

Does DOAJ have an API?

We will be launching a full API suite later in 2015. A beta version of our search API is available now. Have a play with it and let us know what you think. We would welcome feedback.

Follow us on our news channels to find out more about our full API offering, that will include a CRUD API and widgets.

Back to top

Do you have any restrictions on the reuse of your site code and software?

The code used to generate the DOAJ web site is open source, as are the various pieces of software used for the different features. The site or "work" is licensed under a CC-BY-SA license and those license terms apply.

Back to top



Under the hood

Under the hood, DOAJ is built in JSON and is hosted on open source software in GitHub.

Back to top



How do I search in DOAJ and what information about a journal or article can I find?

You can use the quick search box on our home page or start with the Advanced Search.

You may refine your search results by using the facets in the panel on the left, or by sorting and filtering using the tools at the top of the search results.

You can choose to search on any of the following fields:

  • All fields
  • Title
  • Keywords
  • Subject
  • Identifier (DOI, ISSN)
  • Abstract
  • Author
  • Year
  • Country
  • Language
  • Publisher
  • Journal title
  • Alternative title

If you write more than one word in your search query it will be treated as a phrase. To search on full article titles, use " " around the title, e.g. "Is social, cultural and recreational participation a luxury for people living in poverty? An analysis of policy intentions and measures"

The search results in DOAJ contain the following fields:

Journal Title
The title of the journal. If there is a green tick next to it then the journal was accepted using the new criteria.

ISSN(s)
Either the ISSN for the print version of the journal OR the ISSN for the electronic version of the journal OR BOTH.

URL
The URL of the journal's home page.

Peer review
The type of peer review used by the journal.

Subject
The Library of Congress Classification that has been assigned to the journal by DOAJ.

Date added to DOAJ

Journal license
The type of license that the publisher assigns to the journal. This may be a Creative Commons license, or an equivalent. Some publishers have different types of licenses for different articles. We list the most restrictive license only.

The Tick
Only displays when the journal qualifies.

DOAJ Seal
Only displays when the journal qualifies.

Article Processing Charges (APCs)
APCs with the amount and currency. Only displays if the journal charges APCs.

Back to top

How do I browse by subject?

You can either use our subject browser or do a more detailed, manual browse from the Advanced Search page and then filtering with the Subject facet.

Back to top

How do I browse issues or Tables of Contents?

You can only browse issues and tables of contents for those journals where publishers have uploaded article metadata to us. Click on the large blue, hyperlinked journal title in search results to access them. If you know the journal's ISSN, you can craft the URL for the ToCs yourself. The URL always starts https://doaj.org/toc/ and is then followed by the ISSN number with hyphen, for example: https://doaj.org/toc/2332-7308.

Back to top

Which journals in DOAJ have a CC-license?

Go to this search for journals and expand the 'Journal License' facet in the left hand panel. The number of journals per license is in brackets next to each license type.

Back to top

How is license information applied and displayed in DOAJ?

The current version of DOAJ allows publishers to supply license information at the JOURNAL level. Because some journals have different licenses from one article to another, we ask publishers to supply only the most restrictive license. We are working to give greater granularity to license information.

Back to top

What does the green tick symbol mean?

In March 2014, DOAJ started to implemented its new criteria for journals being accepted into the directory. All journals accepted after this date display a green tick symbol:
Tick icon: journal was accepted after March 2014 appears next to the journal title in search results; and on a journal's Table of Contents page.

Back to top

I'm in China and DOAJ doesn't work properly.

We have received reports that DOAJ does not work correctly for some of our users in China. We suspect that this is because DOAJ uses Google's Javascript hosting service and Google is blocked in some places in China. We are working to resolve this issue by eventually moving our Javascript service away from Google. We thank our Chinese colleagues for their patience while we resolve this. If you are having trouble using DOAJ from China, send email to feedback[at]doaj[.]org with the details of your query. We might be able to retrieve the information for you and send it to you in another format.

Back to top

Can I use DOAJ with Javascript disabled?

If you disable all Javascript, it will not be possible to search the DOAJ. If you can switch off certain components and allow others, then you can continue to use DOAJ. Search will not work with Javascript switched off completely because some of the code that is required is served by Google's Javascript library hosting so if disallowed, search will fail. Other Javascript components are 'Addthis' which is our share feature that allows people to share items from within our site. Disabling this will simply disable the feature. Another component is Bootstrap (http://getbootstrap.com/) which is the framework used to build the DOAJ website. This contains some Javascript for some of its features. Bootstrap was originally created by Twitter and made publicly available. We're not aware of any data collected by Twitter as part of its integration into the DOAJ site.

Back to top

Can I find information about which countries have journals included in DOAJ?

Yes, go to the Advanced Search page and select 'Journals' from the 'Journals vs. Articles' facet. Then expand the 'Country of publisher' facet to show all journals published by country. By default the list is sorted by country with the most journals at the top, in descending order.To see more than 10 countries in the facet, change the number at the top of the facet from '10' to a greater number.

Back to top

Why is the subject area that I'm looking for not covered?

This may be because we have not indexed any journals in that subject area yet. Applications for journals in under-represented areas, or areas that are not represented at all, are always welcome. Please submit an application.

Alternatively, it may be that the specific subject area you are looking for is not represented in the LCC list that we use. Try using a related search term instead.

Back to top

Is there an RSS/ATOM feed in DOAJ?

We have an ATOM feed. The feed contains information on journals added in the last 30 days and includes the latest 100 items.

Back to top

How can I or my institution/organisation become a member?

Please read our membership page and contact us if you have any questions. We are delighted that you want to become a DOAJ Member!

Back to top

How can I donate to or sponsor DOAJ?

We are delighted that you are considering a sponsorship or a donation. For a sponsorship, email Lars (lars[at]doaj[.]org). For a donation, please use our Donate button on our payments page.

Back to top

Who can become a DOAJ Member?

We accept membership requests from publishers, libraries, private individuals, industry related organisations, government organisations. DOAJ reserves the right to deny membership.

Back to top

Does DOAJ have an API?

We will be launching a full API suite later in 2015. A beta version of our search API is available now. Have a play with it and let us know what you think. We would welcome feedback.

Follow us on our news channels to find out more about our full API offering, that will include a CRUD API and widgets.

Back to top

How can I get journal metadata from DOAJ?

The DOAJ service supports the OAI protocol for metadata harvesting (OAI-PMH). Thus, any OAI compatible service can obtain records from DOAJ. The OAI data is always up to date. OAI is well-established and easy to use. The base URL is: http://www.doaj.org/oai. You can add most OAI verbs and other commands directly on to that. Read a full description of this service here. Our current OAI offering is standardised around Dublin Core. We expanded the granularity of the metadata in mid-2015.

A beta version of our search API is available now.

You can also Download a list of journals in CSV (comma-separated) format which can then be imported into Excel or any equivalent analysis tool. The CSV file is updated every 30 minutes. To retrieve the data:

  1. Download the file to your computer
  2. Open or import the file into a document processing program like Excel or OpenOffice. Be careful to check the configuration options when you import the file.

Please be aware that much of the information in the CSV file is only present for journals with a green Tick next to them.

If you wish to crawl DOAJ, you may do so as long as you follow general guidelines for crawling good behaviour. If your crawler hits our servers too often, or your crawler starts to affect DOAJ's performance in any way, then your access will be restricted or even blocked.

Finally, you can connect up to our ATOM feed of new journals added which is updated every time new journals are added to the database. You can integrate the feed into your browser or straight into a web site.

If you have any questions about how to collect and use DOAJ's metadata, do not hesitate to send email: feedback[at]doaj[.]org.

Back to top

How do I get article level metadata from DOAJ?

Article level metadata can be harvested using the OAI protocol. Read a full description of this service here.

Back to top

Can I download all of the DOAJ metadata?

Yes. The simplest way is to download the CSV file but if you are an advanced user you can collect the JSON data.

Back to top

Does DOAJ support Open Archives Initiative, OAI, OAI-PMH?

Yes. OAI, Open Archives Initiative, supplies a common framework to web communities that allows them to gain access to content in a standard manner by means of metadata harvesting. Read the details of our OAI feature.



Can I link to DOAJ using OpenURL?

Yes. We reinstated our OpenURL service in April 2015.



Do you have any restrictions on the reuse of your metadata?

The data in DOAJ is licensed to you under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC BY-SA). The essence of this license is explained at the creative commons web site. (You may also be interested in the fine print.) The rights of the site-generated metadata in the Atom feed are listed in the feed.

Back to top


Are there other ways to find Open Access content?

Yes, read more about Self-Archiving and Open Archives in the Southampton Self-Archiving FAQ. You can also consult the Directory of Open Access Repositories and the Directory of Open Access Book.

Back to top

How can I find out whether a journal charges article processing fees (APCs)?

You can find this information in two ways:

  1. Go to the Advanced Search page, select 'Journals' from the 'Journals vs Articles' facet and expand the 'Article Processing Charges (APCs)' facet. By selecting 'No', you will retrieve a list of all the journals where the publisher has told us that they do not charge authors anything at all. WARNING: read this blog post about the APC data in DOAJ.
  2. APC information is displayed under each journal in search results and under the 'Publication Charges' section on a journal's home page. For example: https://doaj.org/toc/2193-6544
Back to top


What is DOAJ's policy on "predatory" publishers and journals?

DOAJ prefers to use the term 'questionable' instead of predatory. We do not believe in black lists and we do not discuss details of individual publishers or journals, with the public, whether they are in DOAJ or not. We will provide advice, when asked, on improvements a journal can make to meet our own high standards.

We believe that, when confronted with a possible questionable journal, it is our duty to review it as objectively as possible. That is why every single application is reviewed by 4 different individuals. Difficult cases are discussed at team meetings. In general, we communicate extensively with applicants to pin down the facts of their application and be certain of the all-important details. We operate under a disclaimer that allows us to remove journals from DOAJ without warning.

It is important to remember that questionable publishing practices are not restricted to open access publishing alone but, sadly, are seen throughout academic publishing.

If you believe that you have found a questionable journal in DOAJ, please contact us: feedback[at]doaj[.]org. All information shared with DOAJ is done so in the strictest confidence, is anonymous and is never published.

Back to top

Why do journals get removed from DOAJ?

Journals get removed for the following reasons:

  • the journal is no longer Open Access;
  • the journal is inactive (has not published in the last calender year);
  • the journal has not published enough articles this calendar year;
  • the journal has ceased publishing;
  • the journal's web site URL no longer works;
  • evidence of Editorial misconduct;
  • the publisher failed to submit a new application within the given time period for reapplications;
  • the journal does not adhere to Best practice.
Back to top