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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Copenhagen, Denmark - It is now 10 years since a new initiative was set in motion: The Directory of Open Access Journals is the result of a unique venture between Lund University Libraries, supported by the Information Program of the Open Society Institute, along with SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
Back in February 2003, the then Program Manager of the Open Access Program at the Open Society Foundations, Melissa Hagemann said, somewhat prophetically, "Open access journals can compete with traditional subscription-based journals if librarians and users are made aware of these titles, and the Directory of Open Access Journals is the way to publicise their existence." Happily, she was right and today, DOAJ sits at the very heart of open access scholarly content on the web.
Today, Melissa told us that the "Directory [has] become a major reference tool for the scholarly communications community. Back in 2002, when OSF helped to define OA, we thought that it wasn't enough to simply call for the development of OA journals, but we knew that there had to be a guide or directory where users could find and access these open resources. Thus we were pleased to support the development of the DOAJ and have been proud to see that it is now a resource used by libraries throughout the world." Today, DOAJ receives over 12 million page requests a month, lists journals in 51 different languages, from 119 countries and is used the whole world over.
Today it is hard to imagine a world without the open access publishing model, without open access content freely available online for everyone to use, re-use and add to. Back in 2002, it was a very different story and the open access model was struggling to gain a real footing in the scholarly publishing communities. Libraries were struggling to retain journal collections as they saw their budgets cut and subscription prices hiked. The open access movement was seen as a radical one, looked on with some derision by traditional publishers. Therefore, one of the primary tasks of establishing the DOAJ was to increase the visibility on the web and in library holdings of open access content, alongside the more traditional fee-based journals. Who would have thought that in ten years’ time, we would see scholarly content from well-established publishers rubbing shoulders with content from emerging territories, from newborn journals and from journals with experimental business or publishing models? And yet, the content indexed in DOAJ today is all that and more.
Over the years, open access journals have developed rapidly and so have the demands and expectations of the online communities consuming the information published. DOAJ has already started strategic partnerships to carry it through the next 10 years: a new home under the management of Infrastructure Services for Open Access (www.is4oa.org), a new platform implemented by SemperTool (www.sempertool.dk) and new, tighter criteria for including journals in DOAJ.
DOAJ’s various stakeholders – researchers, funders, universities, libraries, and users - all have demands and expectations of the DOAJ service and thus the next ten years will see continued development of services so that DOAJ can strive to meet and exceed expectations. Collaboration and being an active part in the community is key to DOAJ’s success so we will be interacting more with the community that has supported us so avidly.
DOAJ’s managing director, Lars Bjørnshauge, said “We are very grateful for the support over the years from all of our members, supporters & sponsors and we are delighted that DOAJ has reached such an important milestone. While we have already made such great progress in 2013, I feel that we have so much more to do. I hope that DOAJ can continue to count on support from the community and allow us to reach our goals over the next 10 years.”
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