Non-librarians may find this post a bit dry, so you might prefer to watch this video about Lund instead :)
This month, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) celebrates its 8th birthday (many happy returns!). It has grown a lot since it started in 2003 and now includes over 6000 titles. It is administered from Lund University Libraries Head Office and today I got the opportunity to work with some of the librarians who manage it. Given that it's a very small team, and even they are not working on it full time, it makes DOAJ appear even more impressive.
I have to admit that my own experience of DOAJ is somewhat limited to showing it to new researchers as an example of scholarly communication. I therefore found it very interesting to find out how journals are selected for inclusion in the database. There are strict criteria which the journals must meet. Anyone can suggest a journal (if you know of a good open access journal that's not included, simply complete this form). However, don't expect your suggestion to appear on DOAJ in the near future - DOAJ staff need to contact the journal editor to ask some questions about the title to see if it meets the criteria. A catalogue entry then has to be created and a link to the journal provided (DOAJ does not host the journals, it just links to them). With around 150 suggestions received every month, the backlog is huge! On top of that, staff have to check that current titles (all 6000+ of them!) continue to meet the criteria. Fortunately, they can get students in to do some of this work.
As far as the article level information goes, it is up to the journal editorial board to update this, which is why only about 42% of the journals on DOAJ are currently searchable at article level. When you think about it though, this is quite a high percentage and shows the importance of DOAJ to journal editors. DOAJ also provides the opportunity to archive journals in the e-depot of the National Library in the Hauge (only available for journals with PDF articles). Journals using this service have an 'archived' icon on their DOAJ record. The other icon that appears is the SPARC Europe Seal of Approval for open access journals, which means that the journal has the Creative Commons License BY and provides the article level metadata.
You may notice that DOAJ has recently undergone a facelift. This is just one of the ways the team is developing this very important service. Future developments include having DOAJ in languages other than English, specifically French, Turkish, Greek and Chinese.
I spent quite a lot of the day helping the team by going through a spreadsheet of the latest journals that are using Open Journals Systems (OJS) and comparing with journals already on DOAJ and in the admin system. I colour coded the titles according to their current status.
Finally, I'd like to point you to the interesting statistics by country page and ask you to consider supporting DOAJ. For a small cost, HE institutions can contribute to this key resource for the research community, and they get a mention on DOAJ's website.
After work I treated myself to a very nice ice cream and a walk around Lund University's beautiful botanical gardens (left memory card in my laptop though so no photos I'm afraid).