Friday, February 16, 2007

Year End Investments Towards Open Access: DOAJ!

One more very important addition to my list of Year End Investments Towards Open Access, DOAJ!

Kudos to DOAJ for an innovative approach to long-term sustainability of open access - and, for rapid responsiveness to suggestions for improvements to the model!

DOAJ is an open access resource - it is, and will remain free - to connect readers and authors with open access journals. DOAJ has just announced a membership program, designed to provide the economic support needed for long-term open access. Please consider joining!

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) maintains a professionally vetted list of fully open access, peer-reviewed journals. Currently, there are 2,577 journals listed in DOAJ.

DOAJ is a wonderful investment for libraries - a way of keeping track of those open access journals which is a great deal more efficient than having every library try to keep up by ourselves. In addition to journal metadata, DOAJ offers search services for journals by
title, subject, or keyword, and 769 journals are searchable at the article level as well.

DOAJ is, and will remain, free. The DOAJ membership program provides rights to value-added features, such as rights to use DOAJ membership in marketing activities, and rights to lists of recently added or removed titles.

The DOAJ membership program has generated tremendous interest among libraries and consortia, around the world. Many have offered suggestions for improvement to the membership categories, particularly for libraries in developing countries, who want to
provide support but cannot afford to do so at levels that make sense at European libraries.

In response, DOAJ has just posted an Update to the DOAJ Membership Program, providing a flexible means for participation for libraries and consortia for whom the regular membership program is not affordable. Details can be found at:

Watch for an official DOAJ announcement in the near future.

Kudos to current DOAJ sponsors: The National Library of Sweden, Axiell AB,
Ebsco Information Services, and CSA.

The participation of the commercial sector in particular is welcome, and illustrates the potential for partnerships between open access initiatives and library commercial services, for mutual benefit.

For libraries wishing to consider the new, flexible membership model, here are some thoughts.

If you had to pay for cataloguing copy for 2,500 journals, how much would this cost? Currently, DOAJ is adding new titles at about a rate of 1.5 titles per calendar day - roughly 500 a year. Would it make sense to contribute what you would pay for cataloguing for 500
journals to DOAJ?

DOAJ is a search service, for 2,500 journals. Because open access is happening around the world, DOAJ includes many titles that have not been included in traditional services. There is a tremendous diversity in DOAJ - journals published in different areas of the world, written by a very international audience.

What would be a reasonable cost for such a search service? The membership fee for an individual library is 400 Euros. Is there a comparable resource - full, non-embargoed access to over 2,500 peer-reviewed journals - at such a low cost?

This post is part of the Transitioning to Open Access series.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

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