Sunday, January 13, 2008

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Review: 4 3/4 Stars (of 5)

My review of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) has just been published by The Charleston Advisor.


The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is the world’s most authoritative list of scholarly, peer-reviewed, fully open access journals, and a “must” for libraries of all types. As of August 2007, DOAJ includes over 2,800 titles, over 10% of the world’s estimated 20-25,000 peer-reviewed scholarly journal titles. This is an impressive list; in terms of numbers of titles, DOAJ compares favorably with commercial journal packages. DOAJ is growing rapidly, at a rate of more than one title per calendar day. DOAJ’s highly functional and aesthetically pleasing interface features a number of search options, including a new search option for authors looking for open access or hybrid journals to publish in. DOAJ is freely available, and working towards economic sustainability through an optional membership / sponsorship program. This article examines the DOAJ membership program in some depth. Membership fees for libraries and library consortia are an incredible bargain. The membership fee for DOAJ’s 2,800 (and growing) title list is less than the average subscription cost for a single journal in any scientific discipline, and DOAJ represents significant staff time savings for libraries. The promotional benefits of DOAJ membership are important to position libraries for leadership in the internet age, and especially in the key emerging area of scholarly communications. DOAJ is a very popular service among libraries, with a strong reputation for quality; membership or sponsorship is likely to be highly beneficial to library service providers. As a free resource, DOAJ is strongly recommended for all libraries. DOAJ titles can be included in A-Z journal lists, library catalogues or websites, and subject-specific URLs can be added to subject guides or pathfinders.

A copy of the review can be found in E-LIS as well.

Many thanks to the ever-alert Peter Suber for notice of this publication!