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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are not a few of my favorite things (probably not even in the top 10), but I can say with certainty that one of my favorite things is Open Access (OA), as I’ve illustrated in past blog posts. These past posts discuss open access resources ranging from university repositories to OA sections of subscription databases. Today I’ll highlight a central directory that allows users to locate thousands of available OA journals, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) . Patent searchers can utilize this resource to locate obscure prior art from all over the world during comprehensive patent searches, and almost all prior art located through DOAJ is full text and freely accessible.
After the jump, learn about the open access coverage and search options available on DOAJ!
DOAJ: Background and Content
The DOAJ is a free online directory of open access journals maintained by Lund University Libraries. The Directory defines Open Access Journals as “journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access.” The initiative for a comprehensive directory of open access journals was first discussed at the 2002 First Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communication in Lund/Copenhagen, and initial work on the project was supported by the Open Society Institute (OSI).
According to the FAQ section of the website, “the Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.” The FAQ states that the resources are cataloged at the journal title level, and the directory also attempts to obtain article metadata from the journal owners to make article level content searchable in the system.
DOAJ: Search and View Options
The Directory includes two main navigation options:
- Use a Journals search form to search by keyword for journal listings. Search results for this form include the journal title, ISSN, subject, publisher, country, language, keywords, start year, and publication fee (with links to further publication information). Select the “DOAJ Content” icon beside a result to view the full journal record and all available issues and articles related to that journal that are cataloged in DOAJ.
- Use an Articles search form to enter up to two words or phrases connected by a Boolean operator, and select the field for each word or phrase through an adjacent drop-down menu beside each text box. 10 search results are listed per page, including the article title, author(s), journal, year, volume, issue, and pages. The user can select to view the full DOAJ record on the article or view the full text of the article on the publisher’s website.
- Browse – Browse journals alphabetically by title, or browse through a hierarchal subject tree. The full subject tree includes broad subject categories and narrower categories with the total number of corresponding journals listed next to the category in parentheses.
Through the DOAJ website, users can also suggest a journal or view statistics related to DOAJ (spread of journals by country, daily visitor number, and journals added within a specific date range).
Although the search, browse, and viewing options for DOAJ are relatively simplistic, they allow users to quickly and easily locate journals related to specific keywords or topics. The article search option is less reliable, since the metadata for certain journals may not be readily available within the DOAJ system. A prior art searcher should access any relevant journal website directly, instead of relying on the DOAJ article search option.
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