DOAJ: handmaiden to despots? or, OA, we need to talk

As any movement grows and flourishes, decisions made will turn out to have unforeseen consequences. Achieving the goals of the movement requires critical reflection and occasional changes in policy and procedure.The purpose of this post is to point out that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) appears to be inadvertently acting as a handmaiden to at least one despotic government, facilitating dissemination of works subject to censorship and rejecting open access journals that would be suitable venues for critics of the despotic government. There is no blame and no immediately obvious remedy, but solving a problem begins with acknowledging that a problem exists and inviting discussion of how to avoid and solve the problem. OA friends, please consider this such an invitation.

As I posted recently, SpringerOpen is currently publishing 13 journals that are sponsored by the Government of Egypt, a government that has been criticized for numerous major violations of the human rights and academic freedoms of scholars (by “major” I mean consequences up to and including murder). These journals are listed in DOAJ.

In contrast, a number of journals that welcome global authors that would be suitable venues for critics of the Egyptian government (a number of the Global Communication Journals network journals and the International Journal of Communication) are no longer listed in DOAJ, in spite of the facts that these journals are fully open access and meet the quality criteria for DOAJ, as discussed here.

It seems very unlikely that anyone in the OA movement deliberately decided on a strategy of facilitating the inclusion of works sponsored by a despotic government and suppressing venues suitable for critique of despotic governments. But in effect this is what is happening. I do not know if this scenario is unique. There are reasons to think that it is not. As reported in previous posts on this blog, large commercial companies partnering with various sponsors is not unusual. A large company with dedicated staff and a number of open access journals is in a better position to ensure that their journals are included in DOAJ than a small one-off not-for-profit journal.

There is no blame and no instant remedy, but to achieve the vision of the global sharing of the knowledge of humankind, solutions must be found. The first steps in solving a problem are acknowledging that a problem exists and inviting discussion and brainstorm on potential solutions. OA friends, please consider this an invitation.

Links to posts referred to:

https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2019/08/07/springeropen-egypt-and-academic-freedom/

https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2019/08/13/no-fee-inclusive-journals-and-disappointment-with-doaj/

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2019). DOAJ: Handmaiden to despots? or, OA, we need to talk. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2019/08/14/doaj-handmaiden-to-despots-or-oa-we-need-to-talk/

No-fee inclusive journals, and disappointment with DOAJ

by Heather Morrison

Abstract

This post highlights two living models for inclusive, no-fee journals. One is a global network of not-for-profit journals that are diverse in language and content (the Global Media Journal network). The other is an English language journal with content that is global in scope (the International Journal of Communication, IJOC). These two examples were selected because the journals are fully open access, inclusive, have no publication charges, and are the journals that I would recommend irrespective of OA and fee status. They are in my discipline and I am acquainted with some of the members of their highly qualified editorial boards and have discussed with them their involvement in these journals. I am disappointed to find that most of these journals are no longer listed in DOAJ. If journals like these are not included in DOAJ, in my field, another list is needed. Recommended actions for sustainability of not-for-profit no-fee inclusive journals like these: re-direct financial support from the large for-profit commercial publishers to provide support for these journals (library journal hosting, a common practice in North America, can be part of the solution); reach out to understand their needs, recognizing that a small not-for-profit no-fee journal has no funds to send staff to OASPA or lobby on their behalf; include in listings like DOAJ for maximum dissemination of their works; and find examples of journals like these and make them a priority in open access education.

PDF version: Morrison_No_fee_inclusive_journals_2019_08_13

Details

This post is inspired by the useful information provided by an anonymous Egyptian scholar.

Two points raised are that publication charges in international journals are a barrier for scholars in a country like Egypt, where scholars must pay out of pocket. Even the 50% waiver provided by a publisher like SpringerOpen for authors from a low to middle income country like Egypt still leaves a very substantial cost for the author. Aside from cost, another barrier is that international journals often do not welcome authors from outside the developed world. This post features examples of two no-fee, inclusive approaches to journal publishing.

These and similar journals can provide an immediate solution for some scholars. A major limitation is that a tendency to welcome authors from around the world may vary depending on discipline, sub-discipline, region and among particular communities of scholars. In the field of communication, many scholars and journals welcome submissions from authors around the world. My own research is global in scope, so it is not surprising that this is reflected in the journals published by scholars in my communities.

Global Media Journals Network https://globalmediajournal.wordpress.com/

The Global Media site describes the network as follows: “Founded by Dr. Yahya R. Kamalipour, in 2002, the Global Media Journals network includes the following independent open-access peer-reviewed editions. Published in many languages, each edition is hosted by a major university and has its own managing editor and advisory board”.  I first met Dr. Kamalipour at a 2014 Global Communication Association conference in Ottawa, Canada, hosted by scholars at St. Paul University, with which the University of Ottawa has a long-standing relationship. I was very favorably impressed with Dr. Kamalipour, the Global Media Journals network, the conference, and the Global Communication Association (also founded by Dr. Kamalipour). I have discussed the journals with some of the editors, respected scholars including scholars associated with my own University.

GMJ Editions Status Hosts/Sponsors
Global Media Journal: Arabian Edition Active Amity University Dubai
Global Media Journal: Canadian Active University of Ottawa
Global Media Journal: Chinese Active Tsinghua University
Global Media Journal: German Active Freie University Berlin/Germany and the University of Erfurt/Germany
Global Media Journal: Indian Active University of Calcutta
Global Media Journal: Malaysian Active University Putra Malaysia
Global Media Journal: Mexican Active Texas A & M International University and Tecnologico de Monterrey at Monterrey
Global Media Journal: Persian Active University of Tehran
Global Media Journal: Russian Active Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University
Global Media Journal: Turkish

 

Active Yeditepe University

 

Global Media Journal: Australian Active Western Sydney University

From: https://globalmediajournal.wordpress.com/

Browsing through the URLs on this list, I found that 7 of the 11 journals exhibit publishing activity in 2019, and an additional 3 in 2018. Only one, the Malaysian journal, may be inactive, having last published in 2016. The URLs for the Malaysian and Persian versions do not work, but the journals can be found here: Malaysian:  http://gmj-me.upm.edu.my/? and Persian: https://gmj.ut.ac.ir/

As of August 12, 2019, only 3 of the 11 journals are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. In previous years, it appears that all were listed.

International Journal of Communication https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/index.

The International Journal of Communication (IJOC) was founded by scholars at the University of Southern California – Annenberg, and USC-Annenberg hosts the journal. There is no fee for publication. How is this possible? In North America, it is common for academic libraries to provide journal hosting services for journals faculty are involved with. It makes sense for universities to provide this kind of technical support for services needed by faculty members, just as universities provide facilities for advanced computing, word processing, statistical analysis, bibliographic management and pedagogical tools, to name a few examples. The infrastructure (hardware, software, staffing) requirements are very similar. To learn more about this North American approach, I recommend starting with the website of the Library Publishing Coalition: https://librarypublishing.org/

Although IJOC is published exclusively in English, a quick glance at the Table of Contents for the most recent issue (Volume 13, 2019) illustrates global diversity in topics. Articles covering U.S. based issues are intermingled with articles focused on China, South Korea, the EU, Africa, Afghan Media, and Chile. There is a special section on East Asia, and one on Extreme Speech in different countries that directly addresses questions of growing social exclusion in the broader society of which academic exclusion is just one example.

As of today, IJOC is no longer listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Recommended actions for sustainability of these inclusive not-for-profit examples of open access:

  • Re-direct economic support (library budgets) from large for-profit commercial publishers to support journals like this. This can be accomplished at significant cost savings to libraries – see my 2013 First Monday article for an explanation: https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4370/3685
  • Library journal hosting can be part of the solution, but journals need some financial support for academic and support staff time and incidentals; the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program provides one model of this type of support, and in addition provides a model for journal-level peer-review, ensuring academic quality: http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/programs-programmes/scholarly_journals-revues_savantes-eng.aspx
  • Reach out to journals like these to understand their needs; recognize that a small not-for-profit no-fee journal does not have funding to send staff to conferences like OASPA or to lobby (unlike large commercial publishers).
  • Include the journals in major lists and indexing services such as DOAJ to increase dissemination for the journals and their authors.
  • To encourage not-for-profit inclusive journals like these ones, find examples like these and make them a priority in open access education.

Comments are welcome. Exceptions to the commenting policy requiring attribution can be made if public commenting is a risk to the author.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2019). No-fee inclusive journals, and disappointment with DOAJ. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons August 13, 2019. https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2019/08/13/no-fee-inclusive-journals-and-disappointment-with-doaj/

 

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.

Cite as: Morrison, H. (2018). Dropped from DOAJ – don’t rush to judge quality. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2018/10/05/dropped-from-doaj-dont-rush-to-judge-quality/

Taylor and Francis article publishing charge finder

This afternoon I am attempting to capture data for Taylor and Francis fully open access journals for the longitudinal open access article processing charges study. A year ago (February 7, 2017) we were able to screen scrape pricing details for all Taylor and Francis fully open access open select journals, in multiple currencies. Today, to find the price one has to go to the <<Taylor and Francis article publishing charge finder>>, where it is necessary to: “Select a journal, type of article, and country to find the open access article publishing charge (APC) list price. “. The types of article listed are Letter to the Editor, original article, or review article. Information on the country selection states: “This should be the country of residence of the person or organization who will pay the APC. Why can’t I find my country? This service is not available to residents of certain countries.” Based on a little bit of research, it appears that the pricing for different countries is given in different currencies. For example, pricing for Acta Biomaterialia Odontologica Scandinavica is 650 USD for authors from Denmark or Mexico but 500 GBP for authors from the United Kingdon.

Comment

This service may be intended to help authors and payers of APCs to quickly ascertain their own cost of publication, and if so seems a useful purpose. However, from the perspective of studying APC pricing, this complicates the process and makes pricing less transparent. For example, in order to know the pricing for all countries, it would be necessary to conduct a search by title, article type, and country, for every country listed. Payers may be less likely to query the price differential resulting from currency fluctuations. For example, as of today the GBP equivalent of 650 USD is 467 GBP, so UK payers of 500 GBP are paying a price that is in effect 7% higher. The impact of currency fluctuations is one of the drawbacks of internationalization of payment for scholarly publishing, whether through subscriptions or APCs. For stability, models that rely on local work and costs such as library / university hosting services or sponsorship of local journals are recommended.

DOAJ: this may help to illustrate one of the reasons why I do not recommend that we ask of DOAJ to list APC amounts. A specific APC for a Taylor & Francis fully open access journal will only be correct for a particular article type and in a specific group of countries. DOAJ’s primary purpose is as a directory, a vetted list of fully open access, peer-reviewed journals, that helps everyone to find open access journals and articles and point others to them. This is important to the health and growth of OA and in opinion it’s enough.

Your comments and clarifications are welcome. Please use the comment function.

 

Morrison, H. (2018). Taylor and Francis article publishing charge finder. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2018/02/08/taylor-and-francis-article-publishing-charge-finder/

 

 

 

 

DOAJ APC information as of Jan 31, 2018

DOAJ 2018 APCs: an overview

by Heather Morrison

Abstract

The purposes of this small study are to determine the extent to which the longitudinal open access article processing charges (OA APC) project can rely on DOAJ APC data rather than individual journal lookup, to capture some highlights of DOAJ APC data as of January 31, 2018, and compare these with our 2014 survey of DOAJ journals charging APCs. Selected findings: 71% of the 11,001 journals listed in DOAJ do not charge APCs [emphasis added to avoid adding to conflation of OA with APC]. For most journals, a URL as to where this information can be found is provided, indicating that DOAJ staff have verified that there are no publication charges. 28% do charge APCs, and the remainder have no information on APCs. The average price converted to USD is nearly identical in 2014 and 2018, however the reader is advised to read the details and limitations, as this must be interpreted with caution. Of the 3,131 journals with APCs, 37 different currencies are listed. A few currencies dominate, particularly USD at nearly half of the journals. A breakdown of average prices and range of prices by currency are presented. The most remarkable finding is the range; on average the highest APC for a given currency is close to 4,000 times higher than the lowest APC. This tends to support our 2014 conclusion of a volatile APC market. In conclusion, DOAJ metadata is very useful for the OA APC study, and in particular can be considered a reliable source for journals with no publication charges.

Method

On January 31, 2018 the DOAJ metadata set was downloaded from https://doaj.org/faq#metadata, saved in .csv format, opened in Open Office in Unicode to retain non-English characters, and saved as .ods and .xls. The excel file is used for data processing, and the other formats are retained as backups. APC amounts were converted to USD using the XE currency converter web service * as of January 31, 2018, the date of data collection.

Results

As of January 31, 2018, the DOAJ metadata file included 11,001 journals. DOAJ now includes some ceased journals, for example the Hindawi ISRN series which has been collapsed into a single journal, a good practice because content in these journals is still valuable and should not be removed from the primary journal directory in the area of open access. However, there is no indication in the metadata regarding ceased journals; although the vast majority are still active, the actual number of active journals listed in DOAJ does not appear to be possible to discern.

Of the 11,001 journals, the response to the question: “Does the journal have article processing charges?” (Journal article processing charges is the column name in the metadata spreadsheet) is:

Number of journals % of total (rounded)
No 7,766 71%
Yes 3,131 28%
No information 104 1%
Total 11,001 100%

Of the 7, 766 journals indicating “no” to the APC question, 7,438 have a URL listed in the column “APC information URL”. According to DOAJ Operations Manager Dominic Mitchell (2018), when a URL is listed in this column, it means that DOAJ staff have verified the information. This means that when DOAJ metadata says “no” to the APC question and an “APC information URL” is listed, one can be quite confident that the journal does not have an APC, at least not at the time of checking. That’s 68% of the total journals listed in DOAJ that have been vetted and found not to have publication charges. For the purposes of the longitudinal study, these journals will be identified as “no publication charge” for 2018. A random sampling of these journals might be advisable in the future to view whether APC charging status has changed.

In response to the question, “Does the journal have article submission charges?” there were 212 “yes” responses, a bit less than 2% of the journals listed in DOAJ. All journals with submission charges also have APCs listed. Submission charge data are noted for the purpose of completeness; they are not considered in the following results and discussion, as there is no indication in DOAJ as to whether submission charges are deducted from the APC if an article is accepted for publication.

Currency

Of the 3,131 journals listed as having an APC, a total of 37 currencies are listed. USD accounts for nearly half of the total. USD, GBP, and EUR together account for about 80% of the total. Chart 1 below illustrates the frequency of currencies representing over 1% of the total APC-charging journals.

Chart 1: APC charging journals in DOAJ January 2018 by currency
Table 1 below lists APC averages, range, and range ratio by currency. The range ratio is included to illustrate the wide spread of APCs within currencies. No range is provided by currencies with just one journal. The average range ratio is 3,781; in other words, on average the highest APC for a given currency is close to 4,000 times higher than the lowest APC. The range in USD is $1 – $5,000. In EUR, it’s 10 – 3,300.

DOAJ APC-charging journals as of January 31, 2018
APC average, range and range ratio by currency
Currency # journals APC average Range – low Range – high Range ratio high / low
ARS – Argentine Peso 6 2,504 26 5,000 192
AUD – Australian Dollar 6 460 120 2,000 17
BRL – Brazilian Real 57 540 12 3,000 250
CAD – Canadian Dollar 3 327 30 750 25
CHF – Swiss Franc 116 710 156 2,080 13
CNY – Yuan Renminbi 22 1,583 100 4,900 49
COP – Colombian Peso 2 90,000 30,000 150,000 5
CZK – Czech Koruna 1 8,000
EGP – Egyptian Pound 4 1,288 750 2,000 3
EUR – Euro 465 581 10 3,300 330
GBP – Pound Sterling 467 1,272 100 3,150 32
IDR – Rupiah 219 568,842 50 5,000,000 100,000
INR – Indian Rupee 23 4,030 50 17,500 350
IQD – Iraqi Dinar 6 43,363 50 125,000 2,500
IRR – Iranian Rial 34 5,916,176 250 150,000 600
JPY – Yen 6 98,333 5,000 135,000 27
KRW – Won 8 221,500 42,000 300,000 7
KZT – Tenge 1 2,000
MDL – Moldovan Leu 5 250 250 250 1
MXN – Mexican Peso 4 2,070 150 5,600 37
MYR – Malaysian Ringgit 1 250
NGN – Naira 2 5,500 5,000 6,000 1
Currency # journals APC average Range – low Range – high Range ratio high / low
NOK – Norwegian Krone 5 9,800 4,000 14,000 4
PKR – Pakistan Rupee 3 1,667 1,000 3,000 3
PLN – Zloty 21 531 40 1,230 31
RON – New Romanian Leu 3 217 150 300 2
RSD – Serbian Dinar 1 15,000
RUB – Russian Ruble 16 6,359 300 19,000 63
SAR – Saudi Riyal 1 1,093
THB – Baht 1 243 120 450 4
TRY – Turkish Lira 4 2,500
TWD – New Taiwan Dollar 3  2,333 1,000 3,000 3
UAH – Hryvnia 33 542 40 2,000 50
USD – US Dollar 1,539 1,035 1 5,000 5,000
VEF – Bolivar 1 7,500
XAF – CFA Franc BEAC 1 100,000
ZAR – Rand 41 4,776 200 10,550 53
Total (journals); average (range ratio) 3,131 3,781

Table 1. APC average, range and range ratio by currency

Average APC in USD

The average APC in USD was $937; the median (mid-point) and mode (most common APC) were both $600.

In comparison with our 2014 survey of journals listed in DOAJ with APCs (Morrison et al, 2015):

  • the percentage of journals listed in DOAJ that charge APCs is nearly identical (26% in 2014, 28% in 2018)
  • the average (mean) APC in USD is nearly identical $964 in 2014 versus $937 in 2018 (see limitations)
  • the mode (most common) APC was reported as $0 in 2014 and is $600 USD in 2018 (see limitations)

The wide range of APC within most currencies lends support to the conclusion of our 2014 APC survey (Morrison et al, 2015) that the APC market at the current time is volatile. This makes prediction of future trends, necessary for budgeting purposes for those support this model, difficult.

Limitations

2014 data is drawn from publisher websites rather than DOAJ. The finding of a mode of $0 in 2014 was based on inclusion of APC-based publishers who are planning to charge APCs, but had not yet begun to do so. In 2018, it is not clear how or if this model would be captured by DOAJ metadata. For this reason, the significance of the difference in mode and the near identical APC amounts in USD should be interpreted with caution.

DOAJ metadata on APCs reflects a necessary simplification of complex data. DOAJ has 2 fields for publication costs, APC and submission fees, and one currency listing. However there are a wide variety of publication fee models in use, including per-page rather than per-article costs. Many journals still publish in print and have print-based publication costs such as extra charges for images and/or colour. Multiple prices including pricing in different currencies is common, as is different pricing based on such factors as type or length of article, discounts for developing countries, for society or institutional members; the wide variety of models was covered in some detail in Morrison et al. (2015). It is not clear how often DOAJ metadata on APC amounts is updated, and there could be differences between journals and publishers with respect to the frequency of updates. For this reason collecting data from journal and publisher websites will continue to be necessary for the OA APC project.

* in previous years Bank of Canada rates were used, however currently currency conversion options for previous years seem to be limited.

References

Mitchell, D. (2018). Personal e-mail. February 2, 2018

Morrison, H.; Salhab, J.; Calvé-Genest, A.; Horava, T. (2015). Open Access Article Processing Charges: DOAJ Survey May 2014. Publications 3, 1-16.

Biographical information and acknowledgements

Heather Morrison is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies http://arts.uottawa.ca/sis/ and Principal Investigator of the Sustaining the Knowledge Commons (SKC) sustainingknowledgecommons.org research program sponsored by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) via an Insight Grant (2016 – 2021). Heather is an open access advocate, and the purpose of the SKC project is to facilitate the economics of transition of scholarly publishing to support a sustainable global open access knowledge commons. Thanks to the SKC and DOAJ teams who do most of the work that makes this research possible.

To download a PDF version:

DOAJ 2018 overview blogpost

Cite as: Morrison, H. (2018). DOAJ APC information as of Jan 31, 2018. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2018/02/06/doaj-apc-information-as-of-jan-31-2018/

 

SAGE Publications 2016 & 2017 Data Analysis (including Libertas Academica)

Update December 18, 2017: CLOCKSS has announced that 21 former Libertas Academica Journals have been triggered for OA through CLOCKSS as they are no longer published by Sage. The titles are:

· Advances in Tumor Virology
· Cell & Tissue Transplantation & Therapy
· Cell Communication Insights
· Clinical Medicine Insights: Geriatrics
· Clinical Medicine Reviews in Cardiology
· Clinical Medicine Reviews in Oncology
· Clinical Medicine Reviews in Patient Care
· Clinical Medicine Reviews in Therapeutics
· Clinical Medicine Reviews in Vascular Health
· Clinical Medicine Reviews in Women’s Health
· Gene Expression to Genetical Genomics
· Glycobiology Insights
· Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly
· Human Parasitic Diseases
· Journal of Genomes and Exomes
· Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemias
· Organic Chemistry Insights
· Primary Prevention Insights
· Reproductive Biology Insights
· Retrovirology: Research and Treatment
· Translational Oncogenomics

(thanks to the Society for Scholarly Publishing listserv)

Abstract: SAGE, which defines itself as the “world’s largest independent academic publisher” on its website, bought Libertas Academica in 2016, which is one step in moving to the open access space. SAGE publishes more than 1000 journals and offer the possibility of hybrid gold open access publishing for almost all of them. 165 journal published by SAGE are in fully open access.

In 2016, around 86% of fully open access journals have an APC. The APC average is 1084 USD.

In 2017, around 84% of fully open access journals have an APC, but only 16% of those have an APC in DOAJ. Of the APCs available in DOAJ, around 33% varies from the APCs found in SAGE. Less than 2% of fully open access journals have an APPC.

Only 2 journals published by SAGE do not have publications fees.

SAGE Journals

The APC average for fully open is 1011 USD (excluding the journals from Libertas Academica). For SAGE Choice hybrid option, SAGE website says the APCs is 3000 USD. There are some pricing exceptions in the SAGE Choice hydrid option. The average for those journals is 1275 USD. The average for the journals previously published by Libertas Academica is 1784 USD

A comparison between 2016 and 2017 data for Libertas Academica journals, now owned by SAGE, show no variations in prices for the same journals. However, the 2016 data is missing 7 journals from its list that appear on the 2017 data. 6 of these journals are no longer in Open Access model. 1 journal has a 1085 USD APC.

Full text here.

Cite as:

Laprade, K. (2017). SAGE Publications 2016 & 2017 Data Analysis (including Libertas Academica). Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2017/04/11/sage-publications-2016-2017-data-analysis-including-libertas-academica/

APCs in DOAJ 2017: summary of 3 studies

The DOAJ application form requests information from journals and publishers about article processing charges: whether or not there are charges, if yes the amount and currency, and a URL for more information. Is DOAJ APC data sufficient for the purposes of our longitudinal study on APC charges? In brief, we compared the APCs on publisher website for 3 publishers and conclude that no, DOAJ APC is not sufficient. There are significant differences between APC data on the websites of publishers Hindawi, MDPI, and Taylor & Francis. Conclusion: APC details in DOAJ are not sufficient for the longitudinal study of APC.

Details in brief and links to substantive posts

We used the DOAJ metadata as of Jan. 31, 2017 (our DOAJ metadata set for the 2017 APC study) for these studies.

Widlyne Brutus compared journal and APC data for Hindawi on the Hindawi website and in DOAJ – not an easy task as the title lists in DOAJ and on the Hindawi website are quite different. DOAJ includes titles that Hindawi no longer publishes (a good practice but this makes research a challenge), but not all of the titles that Hindawi currently does publish. Hindawi titles have a high rate of APC listings in DOAJ, but only 9% of the titles have the same price in DOAJ and on the publisher’s website. 144 titles have higher prices on the publisher’s website, while 45 have a lower price on the publisher’s website. Details: https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2017/03/14/hindawi-apc-le-site-web-dhindawi-versu-le-repertoire-du-doaj/

Arbia Ouerghi found that 107 MDPI titles listed in DOAJ have an APC according to the MDPI website. DOAJ has APC data for only 21 of these journals, and only 3 have the same price on the MDPI website and in DOAJ. APCs on the MDPI website are higher than those listed in DOAJ. Details: https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2017/03/02/comparaison-doaj-et-mdpi-titres-et-apc/

Katherine Laprade found 150 fully OA titles on the Taylor and Francis website. 77% of these titles have an APC according to the Taylor & Francis website, but only 1% have an APC listed in DOAJ. Of these titles, 54% have a different amount in DOAJ as compared with the publisher’s website. https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2017/03/28/taylor-francis-2017-data/

Comment (Heather Morrison): the question about whether journals charge an APC or not is a useful one, however the answer based on our research is more complex than a simple yes / no. DOAJ used to have a “conditional” charges option that I recommend re-instating. As we noted in 2014 (Morrison et al, 2015), the vast majority of fully OA journals (over 90%) have variations in pricing based on such factors as the status of the author (society member, editing contributions to the journal, location, perceived ability to pay), and the nature of the work (length, quality, type of article). A single flat-fee approach to APC does exist but is not that common. Collecting specific APC information and keeping it up to date will depend on publishers updating DOAJ every time there is a price change. It seems likely that DOAJ’s APC information will become more and more outdated over time. The yes / no / conditional information and link to where to find the information seem likely to be stable and useful, but DOAJ and its user community might want to reconsider the costs and benefits of capturing specific APC amounts.

Reference

Morrison, H.; Salhab, J.; Calvé-Genest, A.; Horava, T. Open Access Article Processing Charges: DOAJ Survey May 2014. Publications 2015, 3, 1-16. doi:10.3390/publications3010001

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2017). APCs in DOAJ 2017: Summary of 3 studies. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2017/03/29/apcs-in-doaj-2017-summary-of-3-studies/