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Supporting equity and diversity within scholarly communications: the role of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

The mission of DOAJ is to increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of all quality, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography, or language.  The 2021 Open Access Diamond Journals Study identified a number of technical and operational challenges for this particular subset of journals, as well as issues with financial sustainability. It also found that diamond journals are widely dispersed in terms of region, discipline, and language, but that only a third of them were indexed within DOAJ. 

DOAJ Managing Director Joanna Ball and Managing Editor Leena Shah will outline the different initiatives DOAJ is undertaking to support equity and diversity in open access journal publishing: our outreach programme to provide support to smaller OA publishers and local journal editors; collaborative projects to address some of the technical challenges faced by smaller journals;  and targeted acquisition of new journals to address gaps and imbalances in our index and enhance the discoverability of content from smaller journals.



Joanna Ball

DOAJ Managing Director

Joanna Ball joined DOAJ as Managing Director in January 2022, and is responsible for the strategic development of the organisation and ensuring a sustainable future for the service. She previously spent over 25 years in management and leadership roles in both the UK and Denmark, most recently as Head of Roskilde University Library, part of the Royal Danish Library, where she co-led the Royal Danish Library’s Open Science strategic initiative, and was chair of Roskilde University’s Open Science working group. An active member of UKSG since 2016, she currently chairs the Board of Trustees.

Leena Shah

Managing Editor

Leena Shah based in Singapore, has been a Managing Editor with DOAJ since 2016 and oversees the assessment of journals from Indonesia, India, and other regions for inclusion in DOAJ. She manages a local team of volunteer editors for editorial work and engages with them to develop an understanding of regional publishing practices. In alignment with DOAJ’s mission to index quality journals she is an active member of the DOAJ team that examines and evaluates publishers for questionable publishing practices. Leena represents DOAJ on collaboration projects with partner organizations such as Crossref and C4DISC. She also conducts training sessions for DOAJ editors and has conducted workshops for DOAJ Ambassadors in Korea and Indonesia. Leena holds a Master’s degree in Information Studies and prior to joining DOAJ she worked as a Science librarian at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

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