Increasing the volume of Gold Open Access journals in SSHA




Gold Open Access, SSHA, Social Science, Humanities and Arts, OA journal coverage


Currently, there is an apparent lack of Gold Open Access journals in Social Science, Humanities and Arts (SSHA), as showcased by the open letter the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) sent to the SSHA communities 16 May 2019. DOAJ asserts in the letter that they agree 100% that DOAJ’s coverage of SSHA journals is insufficient. The implications of the lack of available outlets for research articles by SSHA grantholders in the early years of Plan S implementation may include disadvantages for researchers in the fields. A mandatory criterion for Plan S compliant OA journals is that they must be registered in the DOAJ. One consequence of the lack of coverage is when SSHA scholars seek funding from any of the research agencies or funders that are part of cOAlition S, as scholars will encounter difficulties in finding relevant quality Gold OA journals in which they can publish their research. This could impair SSHA scholars’ chances of receiving grants. Because of the ongoing and accelerated changes to the scholarly publication landscape today, there is a need to support SSHA communities with identifying quality journals which qualifies as Gold OA. To achieve ‘true’ Gold OA status a journal needs to be indexed in DOAJ, as Gold OA journals are in practice defined by their inclusion in this directory.

The European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS) provides a curated register of peer reviewed journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities. Today ERIH PLUS includes 7,473 scientific journals, and 2,220 of the journals are also listed by DOAJ. Furthermore, ERIH PLUS covers 1,469,204 scholarly Gold OA publications, according to data from Dimensions. However, less than half of these, 712,135 publications, are today indexed in DOAJ. Dimensions (free version) classifies Gold OA publications in the following way: “Gold – refers to articles in fully accessible open access journals that are available immediately upon publication without a license”. In this project we seek to identify DOAJ inclusion candidates from the group of journals that have published the 757,069 Gold OA publications that are not listed in DOAJ, according to Dimensions data. We will work with editors/editorial staff of journals that we identify as having the potential to be indexed by DOAJ. The goal is to increase the volume of Gold OA journals in SSHA. We will contact, present arguments and provide support to journal editors in order to convince them to apply for inclusion in DOAJ.

In the poster, we will outline and describe some of the key tasks for the project in order to reach our goal. The project that we will briefly outline will center on:

  • Describing incentives for obtaining ‘true’ Gold OA status for SSHA journals
  • Identifying journals in ERIH PLUS for possible DOAJ inclusion
  • Efforts to flip SSHA journals to ‘true’ Gold OA

Author Biographies

Rolf Halse, NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data

Rolf Halse is a Special Adviser at NSD – Norwegian Centre for Research Data. Experienced in administration and development of information services for research and higher education. His tasks at NSD center on management and the developing of two reference indexes for research journals and publishers; ERIH PLUS and the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers. Halse holds a doctoral degree in media studies from the University of Bergen.

Lena-Cecilie Linge, NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data

Lena-Cecilie Lange is an Adviser at NSD – Norwegian Centre for Research Data. She started working for NSD in august 2018. Her main tasks are to maintain the  Norwegian register for scientific journals, series and publishers, evaluate new submission to the register and prepare the decision meetings with the National publication committee.