Information for Publishers

1) How to become a Publisher Member
2) Publishing best practice and basic standards for inclusion
2a) Copyright, Licensing and Publishing Rights
3) Applying for your journal to be in DOAJ
4) If your application is accepted
5) If your application is rejected
6) Publishing disclaimer
7) How to get your journal content / article metadata indexed in DOAJ. Uploading content.
8) What to do if your XML upload fails
9) Troubleshooting your XML upload
10) My journal has changed title and ISSN(s)
11) How to correct an error in article metadata on DOAJ
12) How to make a complaint or appeal
13) Does "no Seal" mean we are not indexed in DOAJ?
14) FAQS



1) How to become a Publisher Member

DOAJ is a membership organisation that relies entirely on voluntary donations from the community to develop and grow. We urge you to become a Publisher Member.

  • It is a clear statement of intent about your commitment to quality, peer-reviewed open access.
  • Your contribution directly enables DOAJ to develop and improve so it consistently meets the demands of the open access community.
  • You may carry the DOAJ logo on your web site.

Being a Publisher Member does not guarantee that your journals will be included in the DOAJ. All applications are treated equally from both members and non-members.



2) Publishing best practice and basic standards for inclusion

Here are some publishing best practices. These are not ideas generated by DOAJ but are common publishing standards for online journals and digital posting. We have also consulted OASPA's Code of Conduct and we are co-authors to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Where stated, some of the items below are counted as basic requirements for inclusion in DOAJ.

Coverage:

Access:

  • The full text of ALL content must be available for free and be Open Access without delay (i.e. no embargo period). This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ.
  • A charge may exist for a print version of the journal.
  • Registration: as of August 2016, user registration is not acceptable and journals requiring users to register to read full text will not be accepted into DOAJ. Journals that require registration and that are in DOAJ will be contacted and informed of this policy change.

One URL per site. One dedicated page to the journal.

When a journal gets indexed it will have its own record in the Directory. To make our service comprehensible and user-friendly, the link to a journal from the Directory must go straight to a homepage for the journal and not to a collection of journals or any other service. Whether the URL is a dedicated domain or a sub-domain does not matter; but the journal must have an online space dedicated to it only. For example: www.thisisajournal.com or www.publishersite.com/journals/thisisajournal or www.mycollege.org/thisisajournal are all acceptable. www.largesearchengine.com that includes journal content is not accepted. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ.

All the necessary journal business information pages (by 'business information pages', we mean the journal's aims and scope, the editorial board, the instructions for authors, the description of the quality control system, the Open Access statement, the plagiarism policy, and the licensing terms) must be hosted on this same site and not be held centrally on another web site, or must be prominently linked to from the journal's homepage. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ. This applies particularly to multi-journal publishers who may prefer to hold generic information on a corporate website rather than locally on each journal site. Our insistence on this approach makes it easier for visitors to your sites to find specific journal information correctly. Do not assume that visitors to a journal will automatically understand that the journal belongs to a larger group of journals or to a specific publisher, or that important information is held elsewhere. Neither should it be taken for granted that users will search for the necessary information that they need to carry out a full assessment of your journal. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information pages are findable, easily accessible, up to date and relevant.

DOAJ also requests that a journal has its own dedicated website. No other service or product should be present under that URL. All the journal content that the publisher is including in the application must be in one place and not spread over various locations. This includes archive material. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ.

One unique URL per article. One HTML entry or PDF per article.

Your content should be available article by article, one URL for each article, and not one URL per issue. This enables direct linking to the articles from DOAJ and 3rd party databases that link to DOAJ, promoting findability and increasing usage of your content. When article metadata is uploaded to DOAJ, every article must have a unique URL otherwise the upload will not work.

ISSN number(s)

A journal must have at least one ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) registered at issn.org. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ. DOAJ will use the data registered at issn.org to verify the title, country and alternative titles that you enter in your application. They must match. If we find a discrepancy, we will change the application to match what is registered at issn.org. Applications for journals where the ISSN is not recognised, or has not yet been confirmed, will be automatically rejected without further notification.

In general, if the journal exists in print and online, it will have both an ISSN for the print version and an ISSN for the electronic version.

Archiving and Preservation

We strongly recommend that your content is preserved in a dedicated, digital archiving and preservation service, sometimes referred to as Long Term Preservation and Archiving (LTPA). You can find a list some of these services here. We prefer that journals belong to one of these services, although it is not a requirement for entry into DOAJ. We check all preservation statuses in the Keepers' Registry and at PubMed Central. If your journal is hosted on the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software and you have selected to be part of the PKP Private LOCKSS network, we must first see that content has actually been deposited by confirming its preservation status with the Keepers Registry.

Organisation of content
Please pay attention to the fact that having a clear structure when organizing your published material makes it easier for users to navigate between articles, for your content to be indexed in search engines and to be found online.

All articles must have a Publication Date. Also, DOAJ encourages the use of unique article identifiers, such as the DOI.

Preferably articles will be gathered in volumes and issues, with a start and end page number. Some publishers have moved away from this traditional volume/issue/page structure for their content. A publication year is still required.

Articles should be arranged in to Tables of Contents and there should be Search/Browse features to allow users to search and browse for articles.

Homepage quality, commercials and ads
A journal's homepage should be clear, concise and easy to navigate. It must contain visible links to the journal information pages. It must 'demonstrate that care has been taken to ensure high ethical and professional standards.' (From the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.) It must contain clear navigation with links to a Current Issue, the Archive or Past Issues, Search, Browse, the About page, the Editorial Board and Contact Us. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ.

If the journal web site carries advertising, ensure that the ads are not in any way offensive, irrelevant and that they don't include information that could decrease the credibility of the journal. Blinking and/or moving objects will distract a reader and will make your web site difficult to use and inaccessible to users who access the Internet using non-traditional methods . These types of ads are strongly discouraged.

Impact Factors
DOAJ does not believe in the value of impact factors, does not condone their use on journal web sites, does not recognise partial impact factors, and advocates any official, alternative measure of use, such as article level metrics.

There is only one official, universally recognised impact factor that is generated by Thomson Reuters; it is a proprietary measure run by a profit-making organisation. This runs against the ethics and principles of open access and DOAJ is impact-factor agnostic. DOAJ does not collect metadata on impact factors. Displaying impact factors on a home page is strongly discouraged and DOAJ perceives this as an attempt to lure authors in a dishonest way.

Editor(s) and editorial boards
A journal must have an editor and an editorial board . (Only for Arts and Humanities journals will we accept a form of editorial review using only two editors and no editorial board.) DOAJ believes that displaying clear and up-to-date information about the journal's editors and editorial board increases the trustworthiness and credibility of the journal. A site user must be able to find and contact the editor or members of the editorial board if they need to. A link to the Editorial Board must be displayed prominently on the journal's home page. The following information must be made available on the Editorial Board page: the name, affiliation and email address of the editor(s); the names of the editorial board members. The page must be up-to-date. These are basic requirements for entry into DOAJ.

Quality control and author guidelines
It is very important to show that open access journals have the same, rigorous quality control systems in place as traditional printed or subscription-based journals. All articles must go through a quality control system (editorial or peer review) before publication and the exact type of review must be stated clearly on the web site. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ.

Having detailed and comprehensive guidelines for authors (Instructions for Authors) is a good way of helping potential contributors. A link to these guidelines must be clearly presented on the journal's homepage. This is a basic requirement for entry into DOAJ.

We recommend that author guidelines include the following information:

  • A detailed style guide;
  • A description of the quality control processes;
  • Information about copyright (please note the importance of informing authors about whether the journal will be the copyright holder after publication of an article or if the copyright remains with the author(s). We strongly believe that authors should be informed about your copyright/licensing conditions before they submit their work);
  • the plagiarism policy;
  • description of how to submit an article;
  • a contact email address.

Charges, Article processing charges
Every journal must display clearly on its web site information about any charges for an author to process or publish a paper. This includes article processing charges (APCs), submission charges, page charges, colour charges or any instance where money is required to complete the publication process. If a journal does not levy any charges then this too must be clearly stated. These are basic requirements for entry into DOAJ.

Open Access statement
The journal's Open Access policy must be clearly stated on the journal's web site (not the publisher's own site). It should also be linked to from the home page. The full text of the articles of the journal should be freely available without embargo.These are basic requirements for entry into DOAJ.

Here is an example of an Open Access statement, fitting our criteria, that could be published on your website:

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

DOAJ will accept a short open access statement—even as short as ‘This journal is open access.’—but ONLY in combination with a Creative Commons licensing statement, or equivalent licensing statement, on the same page and, preferably, in the same paragraph. If the licensing statement is not on the same page as the open access statement then the extended open access statement complying with BOAI definition will be required.

2a) Copyright, Licensing, Publishing Rights

Licensing your material with a CC license: An optimum way of showing exactly how a journal is Open Access is by licensing the content with a Creative Commons (CC) license. DOAJ considers the application of a CC license, or its equivalent, as best practice. Such licensing is very beneficial for authors since it shows, for example, if there are any limits in creating derivative works. Read more about applying licenses and copyright on our Copyright and Licensing Help page.

In all instances the journal web site must state clearly and precisely the terms of use and reuse that readers and authors have when they submit an article or use the published content, particularly if you are not using a Creative Commons license. This is a way of showing that you are sharing your published material to support a greater global exchange of knowledge. It is also a way of protecting your material from illegal use (for example if you are stating that you prohibit reproduction or commercial use of your articles).

For example, your site might state that: 'users can use, reuse and build upon the material published in the journal but only for non-commercial purposes'. Use, reuse and build upon refer specifically to the common definitions of open access, given for example in Wikipedia. 'Use' is downloading or reading and not much more; 're-use' is making more use of the content, for example distributing, making copies, using in presentations; 'building upon' is a special form of re-use in which material is used to produce a new research work and, possibly, a new publication. Publishers may restrict the re-use of open access content (to Non-Commercial or to Share Alike as described in the corresponding Creative Commons license attributes: NC and SA) and may even prohibit building upon content by not allowing Derivatives (the altering, transformation, or building upon content, as described in the corresponding Creative Commons license attributes: ND) to be made.

Publishers who restrict the re-use of content in line with any of the Creative Commons licenses are all still eligible for indexing in DOAJ. However, DOAJ has a strong preference for the use of Creative Commons licenses, especially the least restrictive: the Creative Commons CC-BY license (Attribution). Under the terms of a CC BY license "you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made". "You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use" (from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Read our dedicated Copyright and Licensing Help page for more information.

For more information on embedded licensing information as referred to in Question 45 of the application form, please refer to the Copyright and Licensing Help page, this FAQ and our blog post on this matter.

If you are NOT using a Creative Commons license, you must fill in your application form specifying what other usage terms apply. This is Question 48 in the form, which is revealed if you have selected 'Other' in Question 47. 'Other' might be a contract, publishing agreement, publisher-specific license and these terms must be equivalent to the terms of the Creative Commons licenses that are listed in order to be accepted into DOAJ. When writing their own license, we strongly advise publishers to get legal advice before adopting a standard text or constructing their own. You must make sure that you use the correct legal language. (The information provided here does not constitute legal advice.)

Please note that "Fair Use" is different to Open Access and is interpreted differently in the United States, Europe and in various other countries in the world. Fair use often means allowing limited use for educational purposes without having to ask for permission. Fair use applies irrespective of Open Access and open access licensing conditions. A journal offering only Fair use will always be rejected.

Please take care to identify any possible contradictions between your Open Access policy and your copyright policy, or any incompatibilities between your copyright policy and Creative Commons licensing. Read more about this on our blog.

If licensing old material, please make sure that your journal holds the copyright for the published material. If you do not, you have to ask the original copyright holder for permission before licensing the articles. (More information can be found in the Creative Commons wiki.)

Plagiarism
It is recommended that publishers make use of one of the several plagiarism detection services that are available. Plagiarism is a big problem and plagiarised articles on a web site are often an indicator of a poor quality journal, or a journal that uses no quality control system. You should publish a plagiarism statement on your site, as well as the name of the piece of software that you use to detect plagiarism.

If a journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), this should be stated clearly on the web site.



3) Applying for your journal to be in DOAJ

For a journal to be included in DOAJ, it must go through the application process. The application form is very detailed and it will take time to complete. You are advised to collect all the necessary information, such as URLs, up front before you start filling in the form. You cannot save your progress in the form so you must submit the application in one session.

IMPORTANT NOTE
If the application form contains information that is inaccurate or clearly wrong, or if answers have been missed or skipped, then it will be automatically rejected. To give an example of one of the most commonly encountered errors: sometimes applications are submitted where every question that asks for a URL contains the same answer over and over, just pointing to the same page, the homepage. Our editorial teams will not spend time reviewing these applications and they will be automatically rejected.

Before you start

  1. Make sure that you have read the section above and that your web site fulfills those items marked in italics as basic requirements for entry into DOAJ.
  2. Read our disclaimer and make sure you fully understand its implications.
  3. Make sure that you have read and have fully understood Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Does your journal comply?
  4. Make sure you have downloaded and read through the 'application form as a spreadsheet' document as this will help you complete the application. Use this spreadsheet as a place to collect the information.

Filling in the application form

You must submit an application online. Do not email a spreadsheet.

The information that you provide in the application must match what is displayed on your web site. Doublecheck that the information you are submitting matches.

IMPORTANT NOTE
If the application form contains information that is inaccurate or clearly wrong, or if answers have been missed or skipped, then it will be automatically rejected. To give an example of one of the most commonly encountered errors: sometimes applications are submitted where every question that asks for a URL contains the same answer over and over, just pointing to the same page, the homepage. Our editorial teams will not spend time reviewing these applications and they will be automatically rejected.

The country that you use in your application must be the country of the publisher, where the publisher carries out the majority of the editorial processes, business functions and day-to-day activities. The country of an address registered via a registering agent (typically: the United States) is not allowed.

Alcune risorse sono disponibili anche in italiano | Some further resources are available in Italian. (These posts have been created by one of our Associate Editors, Andrea Marchitelli.)

Once you submit your application

Upon submission you will be shown a confirmation screen and you will be sent a confirmation email. Save this email as it will help us find your application later, should you have any questions about it. If you do not get a cofirmation email, please contact us.

Each journal application may be assessed by up to four different members of the DOAJ Team:

  1. Triage. Duplicate applications will be automatically rejected. Applications for journals where malware or spyware is detected will be automatically rejected. Applications that have no ISSN(s) or fake ISSN(s), or that contain ISSN(s) not registered at www.issn.org will be automatically rejected. Titles that differ from what is registered at issn.org will be changed to match issn.org. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that issn.org hold the most current and up-to-date version of your information. We will not notify you if your application has been rejected for any of these.
  2. Managing Editor: will review the application and assign it to an Editor Group. Post review, the Managing Editor will make the final decision on whether to accept or reject your application. A Managing Editor may decide to reject an application without further review, especially if the application that you have submitted is incomplete. You will be notified.
  3. Editor: will assign the application to an Associate Editor. Post review, the Editor will double check the Associate Editor's recommendations.
  4. Associate Editor: will carry out the review of your application and will email you to ask questions, if necessary. The Associate Editor will make a 'reject' or 'accept' recommendation.

DO NOT submit your application more than once. Duplicate applications are automatically rejected without notification.

Waiting for a decision

You will receive an automated email when your application is assigned to a member of the editorial team. You will receive a second automated email when that person starts working on it. Every application is reviewed manually and it takes time to ensure that we do this carefully and thoroughly. We carry out this process as quickly as possible but also to a very high standard. Currently, due to the extra workload incurred by the reapplication project and by the sheer number of applications we are receiving, it is taking up to 6 months to make a decision on an application or reapplication. We apologise in advance for the extended wait but please be assured that we are working as hard as we can with the resources that we have. We ask you to refrain for requesting status updates for applications that are under 6 months' old.

Reasons for rejection

One of the most common reasons for rejection is that we receive no response to our emails. We will automatically reject the application after 1 month. Please be sure to check your Spam folder frequently and be aware that the Associate Editor who is reviewing your application is a volunteer and will not be emailing you from a doaj.org email address.

Common reasons for rejection are:

  • no response from the applicant
  • incomplete or incorrect ISSN information
  • incomplete application
  • every URL in the application form is identical
  • duplicate application
  • journal does not adhere to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing
  • journal does not fulfil the basic requirements listed on this page
  • journal is not open access
  • journal does not publish original research


4) If your application is accepted

Upon acceptance into DOAJ, the journal is classified by subject and assigned an LCC code by the DOAJ team. An automatic confirmation email is sent to the Journal Contact (this may be different to the Applicant). A second email is sent that contains details on how to log in to your Publisher account. You will need these details to upload article metadata. The journal is then visible in DOAJ immediately. If you do not get your email, check your Spam folder before contacting us. Your journal may have been added to an existing account in which case no email is sent.



5) If your application is rejected

If your application is rejected, a member of the DOAJ team will let you know, along with the reason(s) for the rejection. A rejected journal may apply again for inclusion, usually after 6 months, unless otherwise stated, and once it has demonstrated clearly that it meets all of the requirements stated on this page. Applications submitted before the end of the stated period will be automatically rejected.



6) Publishing Disclaimer

The applicant is responsible for providing accurate information when submitting an application for consideration. If the information provided is not sufficient or is incomplete, the application will not be considered. In cases where the information provided is found to be untrue, either during reviewing or even after admission, we reserve the right to reject or remove the journal with immediate effect and to not accept new applications for a period of 1 year. In cases where a single publisher has submitted more than 5 applications with false information, we reserve the right to remove all of the publisher's journals listed in DOAJ and to not accept any more applications for a maximum period of 3 years, depending on the number of journals for which false information was provided and the eventual number of repeated incidents.

DOAJ's general disclaimer is available on our About page.



7) How to get your journal content / article metadata indexed in DOAJ. Uploading content.

It is the publisher's responsibility to upload article metadata to DOAJ. DOAJ does not actively collect article metadata for journals it indexes.

You must log in to your Publisher Area before you can begin to upload metadata to us. You may only upload metadata for those journals in your account. You should ensure that your journal record is up-to-date in DOAJ before you upload metadata to us. Discrepancies in the ISSN information will cause the upload to fail. If you need to update a journal record please contact us: feedback[at]doaj[.]org.

Every article you upload to DOAJ must have a unique URL. If you use the same URL for all articles, the upload will fail. Each article uploaded will overwrite the last so you will end up with only the last article you uploaded appearing online.

It is strongly recommended that a DOI is provided (where available) for each article.

Please note that we can only display one language for titles and abstracts. If your XML contains two or more languages, the first occurring language in the XML will be picked up and displayed.

There are three ways to get your metadata into DOAJ.

  • Manually enter the metadata, article by article, using the 'Enter Article Metadata' tab. This method is ideal for uploading the occasional article or for correcting an existing article. It will suit journals that do not publish many articles per month.
    Metadata uploaded this way is checked for errors and then published to the site immediately. You may only enter plain text. DO NOT enter HTML formatting, tables, images, style sheet (CSS) coding from Microsoft Word, or any other form of code. Anything other than plain text may cause an error and, at the very least, prevent your articles from being found in searches.
    To correct existing articles, the full text URL must remain the same otherwise the new version will not overwrite the old version.
  • Upload DOAJ XML to us via the 'Upload Article XML' tab. You can either upload the file manually by selecting it from a location on your computer OR you can enter the URL where the DOAJ site should go to look for the file. The location can be http or ftp.
    Before you upload the file to us, format it and validate it. (The xsd file for DOAJ is here.) These two steps identify most upload problems.
    You will see a message 'File uploaded and waiting to be processed. Check back here for updates.'. Processing takes place every 30 minutes. All XML files are checked for errors and, if a problem is found, an error message will be displayed, 'processing failed', in the 'History of uploads' section. If the upload has been successful, you will see a 'Successfully processed' message in the 'History of uploads' section. Articles are processed every half hour so come back to your account after 30 minutes. As soon as the XML has processed successfully, the articles are published to the site. The Table of Contents for a journal updates overnight.
  • Use the DOAJ API. This is highly automated and the least labour intensive. This option is only available for journal indexed in DOAJ. You will need an API key which you can get by contacting us. Sign up to our API groups or follow us on our news channels to find out more about our full API offering.

For help with creating DOAJ XML and details on XML tags, read the File Upload Info section on our Features pages.



8) Failed XML uploads

This section describes the possible error messages that you may see when you upload an article XML file to DOAJ. Depending on the message in the "Notes" column of your uploads table, some corrective actions may be available to you.

In cases where there is no action to be taken, or the suggested actions have not successfully resolved the issues, please contact us with the following details:

  • The time of the file upload
  • The exact error message as it appears in the "Notes" column
  • Your publisher account username
  • A copy of the file you had problems with

X articles imported (Y new, Z updated); N articles failed

Reason: From within the provided file, there were some successful article imports (X), but one or more failed article imports (N)

Resolution: Individual articles can fail for a number of reasons. See the section Reasons for individual article import failures below

All articles in file failed to import

Reason: From within the uploaded file, there were no successful article imports and one or more failed article imports

Resolution: Individual articles can fail for a number of reasons. See the section Reasons for individual article import failures below

Error occurred ingesting the records in the document

Reason: An unexpected software exception occurred - you may have found a bug!

Resolution: Please contact us immediately with the relevant details.

File system error when reading file

Reason: The file got corrupted and couldn't be read for some reason - you may have found a bug!

Resolution: Please contact us immediately with the relevant details.

The file at the URL was too large

Reason: A URL (either HTTP or FTP) you provided to the form field "Provide a URL where we can download the XML" led to a file which was larger than 250Mb

Resolution: Please provide a smaller file in either case. You can split the articles across two or more schema valid documents, and make them available to us separately.

The URL could not be accessed

Reason 1: The HTTP URL you provided could not be resolved to a resource on the web (e.g. your web server responded with a 404 Not Found)

Resolution 1: Check the following regarding the URL your provided to the form field "Provide a URL where we can download the XML":

  • That the URL is the correct URL
  • That there are no access restrictions on the URL. For example, authentication is required, or the URL is IP restricted to within your organisation.

Reason 2: The download from an HTTP URL you provided failed part way through for an unspecified reason

Resolution 2: Re-try the upload, as this may be an intermittent network issue.

If you are still unable to get the upload to work after a several attempts, please contact us with the relevant details.

Unable to parse file

Reason: The XML file you provided (either downloaded from a URL or uploaded via the web form) could not be read as an XML file

Resolution: Check that the file really is valid XML.

In some cases this will be easy - you may have uploaded/provided the wrong file, so double-check that it is the correct one. You'd get this error, for example, if you have uploaded a Word document or a PDF by mistake.

In other cases files can look very much like XML, but still be invalid. They should be run through an XML validator to ensure they have the correct structure and that there are no illegal characters.

Sometimes, special characters - especially those in scientific articles - are submitted in the wrong format. XML does not support many special characters as-is but those that it does can be found on Wikipedia.

You can use one of these validators to check your XML:

  • W3C Validator - paste the contents of the XML into the left-hand box on this page
  • W3Schools - paste the contents of the XML into one of the boxes on this page
  • xmlvalidation.com - paste the contents of the XML into one of the boxes on this page, or upload the file

Unable to parse XML file

See "Unable to parse file"

Unable to validate document with any available ingesters

Reason: No XML schema could be found which would read the provided XML document (in particular, the DOAJ standard schema)

Resolution: Check that the file conforms to the DOAJ schema, using a validator.

Often the problem arises because the XML is missing a required tag. If you try to upload XML to DOAJ that is missing a specific tag, such as <publicationDate> then the schema validation will fail. You can see exactly which tags are required here.

If you are trying to upload a file that was automatically generated by the OJS DOAJ plugin, then you should first contact OJS for help.

The DOAJ schema is on our site, here: http://doaj.org/static/doaj/doajArticles.xsd

To validate the provided XML against the schema, you can use one of these services:

  • W3C Validator - paste the contents of the XML into the left-hand box on this page, and the contents of the schema (XSD) into the right-hand box.
  • freeformatter.com - paste the contents of the XML into the top box, and the contents of the schema (XSD) into the bottom box. Or, instead, provide a URL to either of them (you can use the URL http://doaj.org/static/doaj/doajArticles.xsd for the DOAJ schema)

If both of these services regard the provided XML as schema valid, please contact us with the relevant details.

Reasons for individual article import failures

Reason: Article belongs to a journal that does not belong to your user account

You can only upload XML for the journals that are IN DOAJ and that appear in the list under 'Your Journals' in the publisher area. If you have more than one account and you would like to merge them, please contact us.

The Article's stated ISSNs must match to a journal that is owned by the user account from which you are providing the XML file. If the ISSNs do not match any journals or match a journal that is owned by a different account, the import of that article will fail.

Note that it is also possible that if an article has more than one ISSN (i.e. an E-ISSN and a P-ISSN), that those ISSNs could match more than one Journal (one ISSN matching one journal, the other ISSN matching another). If both matched journals are owned by your account, this will not stop the article from being imported, but if one of the matched journals is owned by a different account this will cause the import of the article to fail.

A journal may have two ISSNs: an ISSN for the print version and an ISSN for the electronic version. Sometimes the ISSNs of the journal have changed. If you need to have the ISSNs of your DOAJ record updated, please contact us and we will check that the ISSNs are registered at www.issn.org and will then update the record accordingly.

Resolution: Check that all the Article ISSNs in the file are correct

If you believe all the ISSNs for the articles are correct, please contact us with the relevant details.



9) Troubleshooting XML uploads

DOAJ is not staffed to help with XML queries. We have put together this list of resources and possible solutions that we have collected over the years. It is your responsibility to provide us with correctly formatted XML. HTML coding is NOT accepted: we only display plain text.

  • If only the last article that you uploaded is appearing on the site (both in search and on the ToC), then it is likely that you have not provided a unique full text URL for every article. Every article's full text URL MUST be unique.
  • Make sure that the ISSN details in the file you are trying to upload match exactly what we hold for the journal on DOAJ. Discrepancies may cause the upload to fail.
  • Make sure your XML file is formatted correctly. There is a sample file here and a more detailed example here. You can also check the validity of your file using an online XML validator and the format of your file using an online XML file formatter. Some browsers, such as Internet Explorer 11, have very good built-in XML display plugins that will also allow you to make sure that the file is structured properly.
  • Make sure that you have no HTML codes in your XML. XML files can only contain XML coding.
  • If you received a message that the file you tried to upload to DOAJ is not valid XML, this maybe because you have included non-XML codes in the file. If you are using OJS to host your journal and you export the DOAJ XML via the plugin, note the details of this particular problem:
    There are some fields (e.g. abstract) where it is possible to include HTML code in OJS. OJS uses a third party plugin, TinyMCE, as an HTML editor for those fields. If you paste text from Microsoft Word into the abstract field, the plugin also copies HTML and style sheet coding from the Word document into the abstract field. (You can check if this is happening by opening the field in the HTML view on OJS and you will see the additional code.)
    XML can only contain plain text and XML coding. We recommend that when you are creating your articles in OJS, you do NOT copy directly from Word. Instead, copy the abstract content into a plain text editor, such as Notepad, WordPad or TextPad, first. You can also use an XML formatter to strip out this code before you upload the XML to DOAJ.
  • If you get repeated messages that your file has failed, try to upload a handful of articles manually using the manual entry method. If this works successfully, then you know for certain that there is something problematic with your file rather than the upload process itself.
  • We have created a very basic template XML file with notes for you. Open it with a plain text editor. It explains how the file is formatted and shows you how each record in the file should be structured. Next to each field is a note telling you whether the field is compulsory or not.


  • 10) My journal has changed title and ISSN(s)

    If your journal has a new title then it will also have a new ISSN. This is called a continuation. Continuations occur when journals change title or merge with another journal(s). We have a special process for continuations that you must follow.

    First you must submit a new application for the new version of the journal, with its new title and new ISSN(s). DO NOT ask us to update the title and ISSN(s) of the current record in DOAJ. We cannot do this. We must preserve the old version of the journal alongside the new version.

    Once you have submitted the new application, email us to let us know. Include the title and ISSN(s) of both versions of the journal in your email so that we can join the two in our system and create a continuation.

    11) How do I correct an error in article metadata?

    If you need to correct an error, you must upload the metadata again. To make sure that your new upload overwrites the old one, at least one of two specific pieces of metadata in the new file must be the same as in the old file. The 2 specific pieces of metadata that we look for are, in priority order:

    1. DOI - if you assign DOIs to your articles then we will match on the DOI.
    2. Full Text URL - this is the URL that you give us for the full text of the article.

    If there is no DOI, the script will look for the Full Text URL.

    Some examples

    Use case 1: a publisher wants to correct some article metadata because an author is missing. The publisher must re-upload the file. The article's DOI in the XML is the same as on the site so the site automatically overwrites the older version.
    Use case 2: a publisher wants to correct the URL for their full text articles because their site has moved. The publisher does not use DOIs. The publisher must upload a new version. No automatic overwriting will happen because no matching can occur so the publisher must contact us so we can remove the older version.
    Use case 3: one article in an issue contains a spelling mistake in one of the author names. The publisher can correct the entry manually, without contacting DOAJ, by logging into their account and clicking on the 'Enter Article Metadata' tab. Enter the new, correct metadata into the form and submit. Since the URL of the article is not changing, the correction will overwrite the old version.



    12) How to make a complaint or appeal

    If you would like to make a complaint, or would like to appeal against the decision to reject your application you should send an email to the DOAJ Managing Editors, (managing-editors[@]doaj[.]org) that contains the following information:

    - journal title
    - journal ISSN
    - reason for complaint or appeal

    For an appeal, you should attach a copy of the original rejection email that you received. Individual cases will be discussed every two weeks at a team meeting where the entire DOAJ Team are present. After the meeting, and within 3 weeks of you sending your email, a Managing Editor will email you with the result of your appeal. This will not be the same Managing Editor who handled your case originally.

    For a complaint, your case will be discussed at a meeting between the Managing Director, Editor-in-Chief and the Community Manager. They may consult the Advisory Board. Within 3 weeks of your email to Dominic, the Managing Director will inform you whether or not your complaint has been upheld.



    13) Does "no Seal" mean we are not indexed in DOAJ?

    No. Being awarded the Seal is completely separate to being accepted into DOAJ. The Seal is an extra mark of approval that is awarded to journals in DOAJ. Read our blog post for further details. Only journals that are indexed in DOAJ can be considered for the Seal.

    14) Publisher FAQs

    How do I log in to my account?

    Log in here.

    If your journal has been added to an existing publisher account then you should login using the details that you have already.

    If a new account has been created, an automated email is sent to the Journal Contact listed in Question 9 of the application form that was submitted to us. The email contains the username and instructions on how to choose a password. The link is valid for 14 days only.

    If you have problems logging in, or you cannot see your journal listed, or you would like to merge two publisher accounts, then please Contact us.

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    Forgotten password | How do I reset my password?

    If you have forgotten your password, you can reset your password here: https://doaj.org/account/forgot. You should enter your username (usually the journal's ISSN without the hyphen) OR the email address associated with the journal in our database.

    An automated email will be sent to the email address associated with the journal in our database. If you have requested that email but did not get it then:

    1. check your Spam folder
    2. it is possible that we have a different email address on record. Contact us for what to do next.
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    Forgotten username

    If you have forgotten your username:

    1. Try the journal ISSN without the hyphen, 8 digits
    2. Contact us and we will remind you of your username
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    Why can't I find my journal in DOAJ?

    It maybe that your journal has not applied to be in the DOAJ, in which case, please submit an Application. It may be that the journal's application is still pending or that the journal has been removed. If you believe that your journal has been wrongly removed then please contact us.

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    Why does DOAJ take so long?

    Every application is reviewed manually and by up to 4 people. It takes time to ensure that we do this carefully and thoroughly. We carry out this process as quickly as possible but also to a very high standard. Currently, due to the extra workload incurred by the reapplication project and by the sheer number of applications we are receiving, it is taking up to 6 months to make a decision on an application or reapplication. We apologise in advance for the extended wait but please be assured that we are working as hard as we can with the resources that we have. We ask you to refrain for requesting status updates for applications that are under 6 months' old.

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    How do I upload article metadata?

    Once a journal has been accepted into DOAJ, article metadata may be uploaded as XML or created manually. If the journal belongs to an existing DOAJ account, then you must log in to the existing account and then add metadata via the Publisher Area. For more information read 'Uploading Metadata'.

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    I have uploaded article metadata to DOAJ but it has not appeared on the site. Has something gone wrong?

    If you did not receive any error messages when you uploaded the metadata then it is likely that everything has worked OK. Remember that it may take up to 30 minutes for your articles to appear on the site and up to 12 hours for the tables of contents to show your latest uploads. You can check that the articles have uploaded correctly by doing a search on the full article title in inverted commas " " or by going to your journal's entry in DOAJ.

    If, after 24 hours, you still cannot find your article on the site, please Contact us.

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    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...or use them for any other lawful purpose" as mandatory for a journal to be included in the directory.
    [1] http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read

    Quality Control:

    A journal must have an editor and an editorial board. (Only for Arts and Humanities journals will we accept a form of editorial review using only two editors and no editorial board.)

    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 or volume of which is numbered or dated consecutively and normally contains separate articles, stories, or other writings.

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    What is Open Archives Initiative, OAI, OAI-PMH?

    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. Read the full Wikipedia entry.

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    What is OpenURL?

    OpenURL is a standardized format of Uniform Resource Locator (URL) intended to enable Internet users to more easily find a copy of a resource that they are allowed to access. It is most heavily used by libraries to help connect their customers to journal content. DOAJ's OpenURL service is Version 1.0 which is compatible with the previous 0.1 version as well. Read the full Wikipedia entry.

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    Do you have a logo I can use to show that my journal is indexed in DOAJ?

    We have an 'Indexed in DOAJ' logo in .eps and .png formats. Please contact us to request it and a member of our team will check that your journal qualifies.

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    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:

    • provide permanent identifiers in the papers published;
    • 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 with a deposit policy registry;
    • allows the author to hold the copyright without restrictions.
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    Which journals have the DOAJ Seal?

    Here is a list of journals that have the Seal.

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

    These are journals that have been awarded the DOAJ Seal.

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    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.

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    Does DOAJ have an API?

    Yes! We launched a full API suite in 2015. Our API is here and you can join the DOAJ API community by signing up to our Google Groups:

    Sign up to the announcement group or follow us on our news channels to find out more about our full API offering, and release dates.

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    My journal has changed title and ISSN. What should I do?

    When a journal changes title and get a new ISSN, this is called a 'continuation'.

    If your journal has changed title then it must have a new ISSN. If you do not have a new ISSN then contact your local ISSN office. The ISSN must be confirmed and registered at issn.org before you can go further with us.

    Once you have the new ISSN then you must submit a new application to us with all of the details of the new journal, including the new title and new ISSN. After you have submitted the application, send an email to us at feedback[at]doaj[.]org and let us know that you have just submitted an application for a continuation. Include the OLD ISSN and title, and the NEW ISSN and title in your email. We will then join the two in the Directory for you.

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    How do I save my progress when filling out the application form?

    It isn't possible to save your Application just yet; it's a feature that we will add in the future. In the meantime, you could try these two tips to help you keep a record of your application(s):

    • Before you start, print out a version of the form to use as a draft. The form prints best in Google Chrome.
    • The application form requires a lot of information. Before you start filling it in, we recommend that you collect up front all the information you will require. We have created a spreadsheet version of the form for you to download and complete offline. For your convenience there are columns for more than one journal but you MUST complete ONE online application per journal.
    • If you haven't used the spreadsheet to collect your application's information, you can record your answers by taking screenshots of the completed form BEFORE you hit the Submit button.
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    Do case reports count as original articles?

    When applying for a journal to be included in DOAJ, you should include case reports in your article count if they include the retrospective analysis of more than 3 clinical cases. When more than three cases are involved, the article constitutes "research."

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    Do you accept journals that carry out editorial review only (instead of peer review)?

    DOAJ recognises that some journals may not publish in a field where peer review is the established form of quality assurance. Instead a system of editorial review—carried out by the editors or the editors and members of the editorial board only—is in place. This is particularly relevant to the Arts and Humanities. 'Editorial review' will only be accepted as an answer to Question 35 of the Application Form if the journal publishes in some such field. We do not accept journals that only have one editor with no editorial board.

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    We have no deposit restrictions on articles published in our journal. Why does the Application Form ask for information about deposit policies?

    Funders, libraries and authors can all access deposit policy directories to get an overview of publishing channels that are compliant with, for instance, funder policies. This is one of our areas where we are encouraging Best Practice. A good example of a deposit policy directory is www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/.

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    How do I get a Creative Commons license?

    (You may have an equivalent license in your country that is not a CC license. This is perfectly valid for DOAJ.)

    • Choose the most appropriate CC license from the Creative Commons web site—refer to the paragraph below.
    • We recommend that you apply the CC BY license which is the most user friendly allowing for, among other things, self-archiving and text- and data-mining.
    • If you have different licenses for different articles within the same journal, you may only display the most restrictive alongside your journal in DOAJ.

    How to choose the CC BY license:

    Go to the Creative Commons (CC) web site (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/) and copy the CC BY icon - you can also consult this: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Before_Licensing .

    Put the CC BY icon on the homepage of your journal(s) and on EVERY article. Read how. Best Practice recommends that the license metadata is machine readable that is to say: embedded in the HTML, XML or in the PDF metadata.

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    How do I know which CC license to choose?

    You can find information on the different types of licenses at the Creative Commons web site: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ and there is even a page to help you choose the correct license for your content: http://creativecommons.org/choose/.

    Both pages are available in 24 different languages.

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    How do I know if my license information is embedded in the metadata?

    When applying for a journal to be included in DOAJ, one of the questions asks whether or not you have machine-readable licensing information embedded in your article metadata. There are guidelines on the Creative Commons web site that tell you more about this. The information must be embedded in the HTML, the XML or the PDFs. Sometimes, it will be embedded in individual article components too, such as an MP3, an image or a video. The emphasis for DOAJ is not HOW the license is embedded but that there IS a machine-readable version of it. Here are a couple of examples:

    1. Displayed in the HTML on an article abstract page
    2. Displayed at the bottom of the abstract, as part of the abstract
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