The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a free resource that allows users to locate open access, peer-reviewed journals. First launched in 2003, DOAJ’s mission is to “increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language.” In order to support this mission and stay impartial, DOAJ functions as an independent non-profit, with an advisory board and council. Additionally, there are basic criteria for inclusion that journals must meet in order to be accepted and remain on the directory.
If you have used DOAJ in the past, you might be familiar with the way the website used to look. At the end of 2020, it underwent a large website relaunch. Not only has it been modernized in terms of design, but it has also provided increased clarity and ease of searching. The updated DOAJ site emphasizes the larger search box on the homepage, while clearly presenting page navigation options and quick facts about the material you are searching. For example, if you needed to avoid APCs (article processing charges/publication fees) due to lack of funding, you would know from a brief glance at the homepage that 11,400+ (over 72%) of the 15,700+ indexed journals on DOAJ are without APCs. Once a search has been submitted, the filters are clearly depicted, easily turned on and off, and require fewer steps to do so compared to the former website. The results provide you with a brief overview of each journal, including information such as the journal’s subject and identification of the Creative Commons license. Clicking on the journal title still allows you to view the full journal record. The best way to check out these changes and others that were not mentioned here is to try searching the new website yourself! DOAJ plans to improve on other features as well, including better integration with other databases, additional filtering options, and possibly data visualizations. For more information on current and future updates, visit the DOAJ News Service blog.
To learn more about open access, consider attending the HSLS Open Access Fundamentals class. If you would like assistance searching DOAJ or locating open access journals, please contact us via Ask a Librarian.