Dropped from DOAJ – don’t rush to judge quality

A few years ago the Directory of Open Access Journals underwent a major weeding process. Many journals and entire publishers were removed from the directory. Does this mean that they are low quality? Based on this year’s collection of data from the Asian Network for Scientific Information (ANSInet), my advice is not to be too quick to judge. According to the ANSI website, this publisher is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. Both organizations list ANSInet as a member. Looking at the list of ANSInet journals, I noticed that at least one is not that active; DOAJ will de-list journals that are not active regardless of the quality of publishing. As an aside, I wish DOAJ would stop doing this; there are good journals that publish less frequently and deserve to be listed. For example, there is a tradition of journal publishing associated with conferences, and some conferences are held every other year.

4 thoughts on “Dropped from DOAJ – don’t rush to judge quality

  1. Also, all journals were required to re-apply to DOAJ in order to be listed and some simply did not. We have no way of knowing the “quality” of these. (I say “quality” because the concept is too vague to have meaning.)

    • Good point. The DOAJ application process is daunting; very few questions have anything to do with peer review, and it is not clear what DOAJ is doing (if anything) to verify peer review.

  2. Agreed: white lists can have the same flaws as black lists: a focus on external qualities rather than content quality … and the reapplication process is tough for small / standalone journals. The lists exist as a shortcut for authors and evaluators who don’t have time to read for quality. That said, DOAJ does a great service and is greatly appreciated.

  3. Thanks Monica. I too see DOAJ as a greatly appreciated service, although I see the primary function as a means of connecting people to the content rather than as a service for authors or evaluators. For example, libraries can take the metadata to add all of the DOAJ journals to their e-journal lists and discovery services. For this reason I would like to see an expansion of DOAJ, to continue to provide access after journals have ceased, to include journals that publish less frequently and journals with embargo periods. Either that, or other services to connect people with this content.

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