Missing a golden opportunity? An analysis of publication trends by income level in the Directory of Open Access Journals 1987–2020

Authors : David DruelingerLai Ma

The growing prevalence of the gold open access model can exacerbate the monoculture of research and inequality in knowledge production. This study examines publication trends in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) journals by countries’ income level from 1987 to 2020.

By combining article metadata from journals listed in the DOAJ with World Bank country income data, this analysis examines the trends visible in plots of historical open access publication data. In 2020, the number of articles published in DOAJ journals by authors affiliated with high-income countries exceeds the sum of the other income categories. Article processing charge waivers seem to have more impact on high- and low-income countries than middle-income countries.

The results show that the gold open access model has not been able to improve the extremely low number of open access articles from low-income regions. In addition, authors in middle-income countries publish in gold open access DOAJ journals at lower rates than authors based in other economic regions.

The gold open access model is disadvantageous to researchers outside of high-income countries, highlighting the importance of supporting the diamond open access model as a potential means of improving global equity and epistemic diversity in knowledge production.

URL : Missing a golden opportunity? An analysis of publication trends by income level in the Directory of Open Access Journals 1987–2020

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1543

The APC-Barrier and its effect on stratification in open access publishing

Authors : Thomas Klebel, Tony Ross-Hellauer

Current implementations of Open Access (OA) publishing frequently involve Article Publishing Charges (APCs). Increasing evidence emerges that APCs impede researchers with fewer resources in publishing their research OA.

We analysed 1.5 million scientific articles from journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals to assess average APCs and their determinants for a comprehensive set of journal publications, across scientific disciplines, world regions and through time.

Levels of APCs were strongly stratified by scientific fields and the institutions’ countries, corroborating previous findings on publishing cultures and the impact of mandates of research funders.

After controlling for country and scientific field with a multilevel mixture model, however, we found small to moderate effects of levels of institutional resourcing on the level of APCs.

Effects were largest in countries with low GDP, suggesting decreasing marginal effects of institutional resources when general levels of funding are high. Our findings provide further evidence on how APCs stratify OA publishing and highlight the need for alternative publishing models.

URL : The APC-Barrier and its effect on stratification in open access publishing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00245

Extraction and validation of scientific data for the identification of publications in open access journals

Authors : Patrícia Mascarenhas Dias, Thiago Magela Rodrigues Dias, Gray Farias Moita, Adilson Luiz Pinto

This work aims to identify articles published in open access journals registered in the Lattes Platform curricula. Currently, the curricular data from the Lattes Platform has been the source of several studies that adopt bibliometric metrics to understand scientific evolution in Brazil. However, when registering a publication in a curriculum, only basic information from the magazine is informed.

Therefore, to quantify the publications made in open access journals, a strategy is proposed that uses data from the Directory of Open Access Journals, validating the publications and, thus, obtaining a process that allows identifying which publications were made in this communication format.

Therefore, using the proposed methodology, which has a low computational cost, it was possible to quantify in an unprecedented way the publications of Brazilians in open access journals registered in the curricula of the Lattes Platform.

In addition, having the authors’ data of the publications, it was possible to understand how these authors are geographically distributed in the country, what their areas of operation are and how they have published the results of their research in open access.

It is noteworthy that they are generally published in Portuguese and English. Over the last few years, the representativeness of publications in open access journals has increased.

URL : Extraction and validation of scientific data for the identification of publications in open access journals

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1590/2318-0889202234e210040

Open access scientific journals: an analysis of the DOAJ catalogue

Authors : Suênia Oliveira Mendes, Rosângela Schwarz Rodrigues


The research aims to analyse the publishers, countries of publication, citation indexes, article processing charges, and their inter-relations, in the journals that make up the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), a global directory that offers scientific information in immediate and exclusive open access.


Bibliographic, quantitative, and inferential study of 9,005 journals in the DOAJ, focusing on publishers, countries of publication, article processing charges, and citation indexes.


Calculation of absolute and relative frequencies, measurement of central tendency, chi-squared test, and Mann-Whitney U test using the R statistical software (version 3.2.4) with a 95% confidence interval.


Brazil is the country with the largest number of titles (10.9%), followed by the United Kingdom, which has a greater number of titles with article processing charges fees averaging US$ 1,474 for those that are DOAJ No Seal and US$ 862 for those that are certified DOAJ Seal. Europe has the greatest number of open access titles (47.6%).

The Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Elsevier, De Gruyter Open, BioMed Central, and Springer are the publishers with the greatest number of journals and a higher presence in citation indexes (Journal Citation Reports and SCImago Journal Rank). DOAJ Seal journals are correlated and more likely to have article processing charges fees.


In the consolidation of open access journals, commercial publishers and countries with a tradition of scientific publishing continue to gather the majority of journals. Thus, the oligopoly of commercial scientific publishers is maintained.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47989/irpaper911

What happens when a journal converts to Open Access? A bibliometric analysis

Authors : Fakhri Momeni, Philipp Mayr, Nicholas Fraser, Isabella Peters

In recent years, increased stakeholder pressure to transition research to Open Access has led to many journals converting, or ‘flipping’, from a closed access (CA) to an open access (OA) publishing model.

Changing the publishing model can influence the decision of authors to submit their papers to a journal, and increased article accessibility may influence citation behaviour. In this paper we aimed to understand how flipping a journal to an OA model influences the journal’s future publication volumes and citation impact.

We analysed two independent sets of journals that had flipped to an OA model, one from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and one from the Open Access Directory (OAD), and compared their development with two respective control groups of similar journals. For bibliometric analyses, journals were matched to the Scopus database.

We assessed changes in the number of articles published over time, as well as two citation metrics at the journal and article level: the normalised impact factor (IF) and the average relative citations (ARC), respectively. Our results show that overall, journals that flipped to an OA model increased their publication output compared to journals that remained closed.

Mean normalised IF and ARC also generally increased following the flip to an OA model, at a greater rate than was observed in the control groups. However, the changes appear to vary largely by scientific discipline. Overall, these results indicate that flipping to an OA publishing model can bring positive changes to a journal.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.14522

Directory of Open Access Journals in Keywords. Distribution and Themes of Articles

Authors : Rosangela Schwarz Rodrigues, Breno Kricheldorf Hermes de Araújo, Laura Lavinia Sabino dos Santos, Ana Lidia Campos Brizola

Researchers depend on consultation with previous work in their field, most of which is published in scientific journals. The open access movement has affected journals and articles, providing new alternatives for accessing scientific content, and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is the most specialized and multidisciplinary database of open access journals.

The main goal of this study is to analyze publications that include “DOAJ” in their keywords, to determine how researchers in the areas of Library and Information Science and Social Science are studying it.

The specific objectives are: a) to describe the characteristics of journals indexed in the Web of Science, DOAJ, or SCOPUS that have published articles with “DOAJ” as a keyword; b) to identify the institutional affiliations of the authors of those articles; and c) to classify the articles according to subject area.

We identified 39 articles from 29 journals. The countries with the largest numbers of journals are the United States and the United Kingdom (six journals each). Most of the journals were open access, of which universities were the biggest publishers.

The countries with the largest numbers of authors were India (12), and Italy and Russia (11 each), and the journal that published the most articles was the University of Nebraska’s Library Philosophy and Practice (four articles).

Most articles analyze the quality (65.5%), followed by the growth (25.6%), of the Open Access Movement. An analysis of the subject areas covered revealed significant gaps, as the economic, legal and technological aspects of DOAJ were not represented.

URL : Directory of Open Access Journals in Keywords. Distribution and Themes of Articles

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12630

Open access publishers: The new players

Authors : Rosângela Schwarz Rodrigues, Ernest Abadal, Breno Kricheldorf Hermes de Araújo

The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal.

The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees.

The research method involved the use of the DOAJ database, the Seal option and the following indicators: publisher, title, country, number of articles, knowledge area, article processing charges in USD, time for publication in weeks, and year of indexing in DOAJ.

The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles.

We’ve identified three models of expansion: a) a few titles with hundreds of articles; b) a high number of titles with a mix of big and small journals; and c) a high number of titles with medium-size journals.

We identify a high number of titles without APCs (27%) in all areas while medicine was found to be the most expensive area.

Commercial publishers clearly exercise control over the scope of journals and the creation of new titles, according to the interests of their companies, which are not necessarily the same as those of the scientific community or of society in general.

URL : Open access publishers: The new players

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233432