The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) released its DOAJ Journal Application Form and specified a deadline for currently indexed journals in a March 19, 2014 press release. A draft application form had been released in September 2013 and was the subject of an October 2013 post on this blog. Recommendations for compliance are discussed in that post. Here I highlight changes to the application and Seal of Approval criteria and the deadline now set for currently indexed journals to comply.
Changes in the application form and Seal of Approval criteria
Changes in the new form include a requirement that journals publish at least five articles per year to be indexed in DOAJ. A few key changes were also made to the Seal of Approval criteria.
The number of criteria required to be awarded the DOAJ Seal of Approval was reduced from seven to six. The DOAJ omitted the Seal requirement that the journal allow authors “to retain the copyright of the work without restriction,” although this continues to be part of the inclusion criteria (see #50-52 in the new application form).
Also, journals will not be required to “use DOIs as permanent article identifiers” to receive the Seal, as stated in an earlier version of the draft form now replaced by a newer version. The Seal of Approval criteria now only state that journals must “provide permanent identifiers in the papers published,” including DOIs (digital object identifiers), Handles, ARK, EzID, or some other type of article identifier. This is good news for the majority of open access law journals published in the United States that do not use DOIs. Use of article-level identifiers of some kind continues to be part of the inclusion criteria (see #26 in the new application form).
There are a few other tweaks to the Seal of Approval criteria, including the addition of the CC-BY-NC license as a permissible license.
Deadline for currently indexed journals
There are currently 33 U.S. law journals indexed in the DOAJ. To continue this listing, by the end of 2014 journals need to provide the information requested in the new application, which contains as many as 52 fields. Some of the fields request a URL pointing to the journal’s policies and procedures, substantiating that the criteria for inclusion have been met. Law librarians can support open access journals published by their law schools by alerting them to the new information required and helping them develop and/or implement the required policies, procedures, and practices.
New search interface
The DOAJ also has a new search interface. For a list of open access law journals currently indexed in the DOAJ, search by subject “law” and then drill down to “journal” in “Journals vs. Articles,” and then to Subject “Law,” and then select the desired Journal Country.