In Autumn 2020, DOAJ will be relaunching with a new website with updated functionality, improved search, and a simplified application form. More information is available on our blog. Our API is also changing.

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Frequently Asked Questions






Features and Functionality



Open Access


Please see our Information for Publishers page.

What is DOAJ?

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research journals, periodicals and their articles' metadata. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access academic journals that use an appropriate quality control system (see below for definitions) and is not limited to particular languages, geographical region, or subject areas. The Directory aims to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access academic journals—regardless of size and country of origin—thereby promoting their visibility, usage and impact.

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Who works for DOAJ?

The DOAJ Team is listed on our About page.

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Who owns DOAJ?

DOAJ is 100% independent and is managed, not owned, by Infrastructure Services for Open Access. DOAJ is not connected to, owned by, or influenced by any other organisation or business. All funding is via donations, 40% of which comes from publishers and 60% from the public sector.

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How do we define 'Open Access Journal', 'Quality Control', 'Research Journal' and 'Periodical'?

Open Access Journal:
We define open access journals as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. From the BOAI definition[1] of 'open access' we take the right of users to 'read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles...or use them for any other lawful purpose' as mandatory for a journal to be included in the Directory.

Quality Control:

The journal must exercise peer-review with an editor and an editorial board or editorial review (particularly in the Humanities) carried out by at least two editors.

Research Journal:

Journals that report primary results of research or overviews of research results to a scholarly community.


A serial appearing or intended to appear indefinitely at regular intervals, generally more frequently than annually, each issue of which is numbered or dated consecutively and normally contains separate articles, stories, or other writings.

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How are journals classified / categorised?

All journals in DOAJ are classified according to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system. A classification is assigned by our editorial team when a journal is accepted for indexing in the database. If a publisher chooses to upload article metadata to us, a journal's articles inherit the same classification. Once a journal has been accepted, the classification appears in the 'Subject' facet of search.

Subjects appear in search results for journals and are structured as follows:

  • where subjects are separated by a full stop (.), the subjects are part of the same category level at LCC and in DOAJ. For example: 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion' is one category.
  • where subjects are separated by a colon (:), the second subject is a sub-category of the first. For example: 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Philosophy (General)' shows that 'Philosophy (General)' is a sub-category of 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion' and this journal has been categorised as General Philosophy.
  • where subjects are separated by a pipe (|), the second category has no relation to the first. For example: 'Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Philosophy (General) | Social Sciences: Social sciences (General)' means that this journal has been categorised both as General Philosophy AND General Social Sciences.

You can browse articles and journals by subject classification in our subject browser.

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What are keywords and how are they generated?

Keywords are provided by the publisher in the application form. They are not the same as 'Subject' which is a classification made by the DOAJ Team (see above). Keywords are more arbitrary because there is no control measure.

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Is there a list of journals added to and removed from DOAJ?

Yes, there is a Google Spreadsheet, updated manually by our editorial team. It goes back to the beginning of January 2014.

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What is the DOAJ Seal of Approval for Open Access Journals (the DOAJ Seal)?

The DOAJ Seal is a mark of certification for open access journals, awarded by DOAJ to journals that achieve a high level of openness, adhere to Best Practice and high publishing standards. To receive the Seal, the journal must comply with the following 7 conditions:

  • use DOIs as permanent identifiers;
  • provides DOAJ with article metadata;
  • deposits content with a long term digital preservation or archiving program;
  • embeds machine-readable CC licensing information in articles;
  • allows generous reuse and mixing of content, in accordance with a CC BY, CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC license;
  • has a deposit policy registered wíth a deposit policy registry;
  • allows the author to hold the copyright without restrictions.
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Which journals have the DOAJ Seal?

Here is a list of journals that have the Seal.

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What does the orange circle symbol next to some journals mean?

These are journals that have been awarded the DOAJ Seal.

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What does the green tick symbol next to journals mean?

The green tick ("The Tick") is displayed against those journals that were accepted into DOAJ after March 2014, after the new, stricter criteria were put into practice. The new criteria require a higher level of compliance to best practices and publishing standards.

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How do I sign up for news alerts from DOAJ?

We don't have a newsletter or email alerts but you can follow our news and activity on social media:

We are also on LinkedIn and Google+.

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How do I log in to my account? How do I get an account?

Only publishers and volunteers need accounts. Everyone else is free to use DOAJ without logging in.

If you have a DOAJ account, you can log in here.

If you are a volunteer and cannot access your account, contact your managing editor.

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How do I get an API key? Español: ¿Cómo obtengo clave de acceso de la API?

To obtain an API key, you must contact us. Español: Para obtener la clave de la API contáctenos.

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Is there an upload limit for uploading articles, or a rate limit?

Regarding uploading articles via the API, you have two options:

  1. One by one via the Article CRUD API
  2. In batches using the Article Bulk API

There is a rate limit on all API routes include these, currently set at 2 requests per second. ‘Bursts' are permitted, which means up to five requests per user are queued by the system and are fulfilled in turn so long as they average out to 2 requests per second overall. There is no limit set on how many articles you can upload to the DOAJ.

When using the bulk API (only for authenticated publishers), there are no limits to how many articles are uploaded in a batch. Eventually, however, you may reach the maximum upload size of 50MB, so we recommend keeping batches fairly small, in the region of 100-1000 articles. The processing happens synchronously, so another limit you may encounter is a timeout based on how long the articles take to process by our system. Our response timeout is currently set very high: our server has 10 minutes to respond before the web server closes the connection. Your client may drop the connection sooner, however. Again, keeping the batch sizes low should help mitigate this.

Since the CRUD API allows one article at a time, it should be possible to upload 1-2 per second, or more if you have multiple IP addresses sending them at once.

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When making a POST request, do we need to include any of the fields in the admin hash (e.g. in_doaj or upload_id)?

In applications only the contact subfield is required in the admin section. The full list is handled in our validation structure.

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Should language and country be spelled out or use codes?

Using the correct ISO-3166 two-character code is the most robust route. The incoming data is passed to our get_country_code() function which looks up from that list, so a name will also work.

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Do we need the last_updated or created_date to be included?

No, these fields are generated by the system and will be ignored if included.

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Should keywords be comma-separated as a single string (e.g. "foo, bar") or separate strings (e.g. ["foo", "bar"])?

As a list of separate strings.

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For the link[:content_type] - what are acceptable values?

We expect one of ["PDF", "HTML", "ePUB", "XML"]

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Are start_page and end_page required?

In articles these fields are not required. See this list for required fields in article uploads.

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How can I contribute to DOAJ?

There are 3 ways that you can contribute to DOAJ.

  • Contact us if you have first hand evidence that a journal in DOAJ might be carrying out questionable practices, is of low quality, or may even be fake. All information shared with DOAJ is done so in the strictest confidence, is anonymous and is never published.
  • Become a member. All donations received are spent directly on activities or developments to keep the DOAJ running.
  • Contact us if you find a broken link on our site, or if you think that the information we have for a journal is outdated or incomplete. This feedback is so important for us and we are always grateful for the community being our eyes and ears.
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Can I volunteer for DOAJ?

Thank you for considering becoming a volunteer!

All volunteering positions are full and applications are closed but check back here regularly or sign up to our Twitter account (see above) for updates.

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I have found a broken link. Who should I contact?

Thanks for taking the trouble to report the broken link to us. Please send an email to feedback[at]doaj[.]org.

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How do I report a bug or error, or ask for technical help?

When reporting a suspected bug to us, or another kind of error, or if you need technical help with something, here is the information you need to provide to us. You may not be able to provide the details for all of these but fill in as many as you can. Thanks!

  • The contact details for the person reporting the bug (or at least a proxy for them, so that we can request more details). That might be you or someone working on your behalf.
  • The user account you are logged in to when the problem occurred.
  • At what time the incident occurred. Both date and time ideally. If it happened several times, then all dates/times that were recorded, or a range.
  • What were you trying to do? As much detail and context as possible. Send a screenshot! An image helps.
  • What happened, what error message was received? Provide the exact error message, don't paraphrase. A screenshot could be provided here.
  • Which area of the system did this happen in. Generally, in the UI/API/OAI, and ideally specifically: which URL were you on when it happened, or which URL were you trying to access?
  • Send copies of any data you sent to the system. For example, article XML files uploaded, or payloads send to the API, if available.
  • What had you expected to happen?
  • Was the problem repeatable? Did you try several times with the same result?
  • What environment are you in? Specifically browser, or if not in the browser then any useful information about your API client such as the user agent.
  • DO NOT send us your passwords or API keys.

Send these details to feedback [at] doaj [dot] org

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I believe that a questionable journal is indexed in DOAJ. What should I do?

If you find a journal that you believe to be questionable, please send an email to feedback[at]doaj[.]org with the details and we will be very happy to investigate. All information shared with DOAJ is done so in the strictest confidence, is anonymous and is never published. We thank you for your contribution.

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How can I suggest a journal for indexing?

If you publish the journal or are the editor for the journal, fill in an application. Otherwise, contact the journal and ask them to submit an application to us.

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The journal I am looking for isn't in DOAJ. Why? What should I do?

It may be that the journal hasn't applied or that its application is still pending. It may be that the journal was removed from DOAJ. Contact us to see if the journal has a pending application.

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Does DOAJ have an API?

Yes! The API is live and is available now. Have a play with it and let us know what you think. We would welcome feedback.

We also have 3 groups that you might like to join for API announcements or discussion:

  • an announcement-only group (e.g. we release an improved API version or we are retiring a version)
  • a public discussion group for the public api, so people can benefit from a public archive
  • a private discussion group for the publishers api. This group is ONLY for publishers and others who have journals indexed in DOAJ and who are authorised to submit applications automatically or modify article metadata directly

Sign up to the announcement group or follow us on our news channels to find out more about our full API offering, and release dates.

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Do you have any restrictions on the reuse of your site code and software?

The code used to generate the DOAJ web site is open source, as are the various pieces of software used for the different features. The site or "work" is licensed under a CC-BY-SA license and those license terms apply.

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Under the hood

Under the hood, DOAJ is a Python web app with a JSON document store. The code is open source and can be found in our GitHub repository.

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How do I search in DOAJ and what information about a journal or article can I find?

You can use the quick search box on our home page or start with the Advanced Search.

You may refine your search by using the facets and filters to the left of your search results, or by sorting by using the dropdowns at the top of the search results.

If you write more than one word in your search query it will be treated as a phrase. To search on full journal or article titles, use " " around the title, e.g. "Is social, cultural and recreational participation a luxury for people living in poverty? An analysis of policy intentions and measures"

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Can I embed a search box or search results in my own site?

Yes! You can either create a set of search results on the DOAJ Advanced search page and then use the 'Share|Embed' button to get the code that embeds in your site OR you can embed a DOAJ simple search box in your site. (You do not need to ask our permission.)

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How do I browse by subject?

You can either use our subject browser or do a more detailed, manual browse from the Advanced Search page and then filtering with the Subject facet.

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How do I browse issues or Tables of Contents?

You can only browse issues and tables of contents for those journals where publishers have uploaded article metadata to us. Click on the large blue, hyperlinked journal title in search results to access them.

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Which journals in DOAJ have a CC-license?

Go to this search for journals and expand the 'Journal License' facet in the left hand panel. The number of journals per license is in brackets next to each license type.

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How is license information applied and displayed in DOAJ?

The current version of DOAJ allows publishers to supply license information at the JOURNAL level only and we only have place for one license. New ways of applying licenses are being created all the time: some journals have different licenses from one article to another; some journals ask the authors to choose. We ask publishers to supply us with only the most restrictive license. We do have an item on our development list to accept and display more than one license.

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What does the green tick symbol mean?

In March 2014, DOAJ started to implemented its new criteria for journals being accepted into the directory. All journals accepted after this date display a green tick symbol:
Tick icon: journal was accepted after March 2014 appears next to the journal title in search results; and on a journal's Table of Contents page.

Since the our reapplication project, which invited all journals in DOAJ to reapply, came to an end, most of the journals in DOAJ now have the Tick.

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Can I use DOAJ with Javascript disabled?

If you disable all Javascript, it will not be possible to search the DOAJ. If you can switch off certain components and allow others, then you can continue to use DOAJ. Search will not work with Javascript switched off completely because some of the code that is required is served by Google's Javascript library hosting so if disallowed, search will fail. Other Javascript components are 'Addthis' which is our share feature that allows people to share items from within our site. Disabling this will simply disable the feature. Another component is Bootstrap ( which is the framework used to build the DOAJ website. This contains some Javascript for some of its features. Bootstrap was originally created by Twitter and made publicly available. We're not aware of any data collected by Twitter as part of its integration into the DOAJ site.

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Can I find information about which countries have journals included in DOAJ?

Yes, go to the Advanced Search page and select 'Journals' from the 'Journals vs. Articles' facet. Then expand the 'Country of publisher' facet to show all journals published by country. By default the list is sorted by country with the most journals at the top, in descending order.To see more than 10 countries in the facet, change the number at the top of the facet from '10' to a greater number.

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Why is the subject area that I'm looking for not covered?

This may be because we have not indexed any journals in that subject area yet. Applications for journals in under-represented areas, or areas that are not represented at all, are always welcome. Please submit an application or contact us at feedback[at]doaj[.]org.

Alternatively, if you are using our subject browser, it may be that the specific subject area you are looking for is not represented in the LCC list that we use. Try using a related term instead or doing a search.

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Is there an RSS/ATOM feed in DOAJ?

We have an ATOM feed. The feed contains information on journals added in the last 30 days and includes the latest 100 items.

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How can I or my institution/organisation become a member?

Please read our membership page and contact us if you have any questions. We are delighted that you want to become a DOAJ Member!

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How can I donate to or sponsor DOAJ?

We are delighted that you are considering a sponsorship or a donation. For a sponsorship, email Lars (lars[at]doaj[.]org). For a donation, please use our Donate button on our payments page.

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Who can become a DOAJ Member?

We accept membership requests from publishers, libraries, private individuals, industry-related organisations and government organisations. DOAJ reserves the right to deny membership.

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Does DOAJ have an API?

Yes! Our search API is available now. Have a play with it and let us know what you think. We would welcome feedback.

We have 3 groups that you might like to join for API announcements or discussion:

Sign up to the announcement group or follow us on our news channels to find out more about our full API offering.

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Why do some journals have no article metadata in DOAJ?

Unlike most indexes, we do not crawl publisher sites to collect article metadata but we ask publishers to upload the metadata to us. If a journal in DOAJ does not have any articles linked to it, this is simply because the article metadata hasn't been provided to us by the publisher or group responsible.

How can I get journal metadata from DOAJ?

The DOAJ service supports the OAI protocol for metadata harvesting (OAI-PMH). Thus, any OAI compatible service can obtain records from DOAJ. The OAI data is always up to date. OAI is well-established and easy to use. The base URL is: You can add most OAI verbs and other commands directly on to that. Read a full description of this service here. Our current OAI offering is standardised around Dublin Core. We expanded the granularity of the metadata in mid-2015.

A search API is available.

You can also download all of our metadata, either the journal metadata only or the article metadata only using our Full Data Dump service.

You can download a list of journals in CSV (comma-separated) format which can then be imported into Excel or any equivalent analysis tool. The CSV file is updated every 30 minutes. To retrieve the data:

  1. Download the file to your computer
  2. Open or import the file into a document processing program like Excel or OpenOffice. Be careful to check the configuration options when you import the file as sometimes the fields can shift upon import. Choose Unicode (UTF-8) as the file origin.

If you wish to crawl DOAJ, you may do so as long as you follow general guidelines for crawling good behaviour. If your crawler hits our servers too often, or your crawler starts to affect DOAJ's performance in any way, then your access will be restricted or even blocked. It's actually faster and easier for you to collect our medata if you connect via the API.

Finally, you can subscribe to our ATOM feed of new journals added which is updated every time new journals are added to the database. You can integrate the feed into your browser or straight into a web site.

If you have any questions about how to collect and use DOAJ's metadata, do not hesitate to send email: feedback[at]doaj[.]org.

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How do I get article level metadata from DOAJ?

Article level metadata can be harvested using the OAI protocol. Read a full description of this service here.

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Can I download all of the DOAJ metadata?

Yes. The simplest way is to download the CSV file which contains all the journal metadata.

You can also download all of our metadata, either the journal metadata only or the article metadata only using our Full Data Dump service.

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Does DOAJ support Open Archives Initiative, OAI, OAI-PMH?

Yes. OAI, Open Archives Initiative, supplies a common framework to web communities that allows them to gain access to content in a standard manner by means of metadata harvesting. Read the details of our OAI feature.

Can I link to DOAJ using OpenURL?

Yes. We reinstated our OpenURL service in April 2015.

Do you have any restrictions on the reuse of your metadata?

The data in DOAJ is licensed to you under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC BY-SA). The essence of this license is explained on the Creative Commons web site. (You may also be interested in the fine print.) The rights of the site-generated metadata in the Atom feed are listed in the feed.

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Are there other ways to find Open Access content?

Yes, read more about Self-Archiving and Open Archives in the Southampton Self-Archiving FAQ. You can also consult the Directory of Open Access Repositories and the Directory of Open Access Book.

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How can I find out whether a journal charges article processing fees (APCs)?

You can find this information in two ways:

  1. Go to the Advanced Search page, select 'Journals' from the 'Journals vs Articles' facet and expand the 'Article Processing Charges (APCs)' facet. By selecting 'No', you will retrieve a list of all the journals where the publisher has told us that they do not charge authors anything at all.
  2. APC information is displayed under each journal in search results and under the 'Publication Charges' section on a journal's home page. For example:
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What is DOAJ's policy on "predatory" publishers and journals?

DOAJ prefers to use the term 'questionable' instead of predatory. We do not believe in black lists and we do not discuss details of individual publishers or journals with the public, whether they are in DOAJ or not. We will provide advice, when asked, on improvements a journal can make to meet our own high standards.

We believe that, when confronted with a possible questionable journal, it is our duty to review it as objectively as possible. That is why every single application is reviewed by up to 4 different individuals. Difficult cases are discussed at team meetings. In general, we communicate extensively with applicants to pin down the facts of their application and be certain of the all-important details. We operate under a disclaimer that allows us to remove journals from DOAJ without warning.

It is important to remember that questionable publishing practices are not restricted to open access publishing alone but, sadly, are seen throughout academic publishing.

If you believe that you have found a questionable journal in DOAJ, please contact us: feedback[at]doaj[.]org. All information shared with DOAJ is done so in the strictest confidence, is anonymous and is never published.

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Why do journals get removed from DOAJ?

Journals get removed for the following reasons:

  • the journal is no longer Open Access;
  • the journal is inactive (has not published in the last calender year);
  • the journal has not published enough articles this calendar year;
  • the journal has ceased publishing;
  • the journal's web site URL no longer works;
  • there is evidence of editorial misconduct;
  • the publisher failed to submit a new application within the given time period for reapplications;
  • the journal does not adhere to Best practice.
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