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The application process for inclusion of the journal in the DOAJ system

The DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) was launched in 2003 with 300 open access journals. Today, this independent database contains over 16 500 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities. Open access journals from all countries and in all languages are welcome to apply for inclusion.

Before you start the application process, you will be asked to log in or register. You will be able to save your progress and review all your answers before you submit them. A PDF version of the application form is available for reference only.

Basic criteria for inclusion

The type of journal that can apply:

Open access journals published in any language may apply.

  • The journal must be actively publishing scholarly research
    • All research subject areas are accepted
    • Should publish at least 5 research articles per year
    • The primary target audience should be researchers or practitioners
  • Newly launched journals
    • Before applying to DOAJ, a new journal must demonstrate a publishing history of more than one year, or have published at least 10 articles.
    • This is in addition to the standard requirement to publish a minimum of 5 research articles per year.

The application process:

  1. Your application is successfully submitted when you see a Thank You screen and receive a confirmation email.
    • If you do not receive that email, contact us.
  1. Your application will be reviewed by an editor. You may receive an email alerting you when this process has started.
  2. The editor may need to contact you as part of the review process. Please answer any questions they send you. This helps us process your application correctly. Be aware that we will reject an application if, after one month, we haven't received answers to our questions.
  3. The editor reviewing your application may be a volunteer and will not have a email address. Check your spam folder frequently just in case the emails have ended up there.
  4. If your application is accepted, you will receive an email to confirm this.

Time from submission to decision

The time from submission to decision varies greatly and is dependent on the responsiveness of the journal contact and/or applicant. Generally, a decision is reached within three months. We cannot provide a status update for applications which are less than three months old.

If your application is rejected

You will receive an email giving the reasons for rejection of the application. Unless otherwise advised by DOAJ staff, you may not submit another application for the same journal until 6 months after the date of the notification of rejection.

If your application was rejected due to an unconfirmed ISSN, we may be able to reopen the application if the ISSN is confirmed within 3 months of the DOAJ rejection. Send an email to the DOAJ Helpdesk.

You are responsible for providing accurate information when submitting an application. Applications that contain information that is inaccurate or wrong, or that have answers missing, are automatically rejected. In cases where journal information is found to be untrue or misleading, DOAJ may decide not to allow further applications from the publisher for a period of up to three years.

DOAJ accepts only journals that follow good publishing practice. If our review finds a publisher is not adhering to best practice, or has questionable publishing practices, DOAJ will not allow further applications from that publisher for a period of up to three years.

Journals already accepted into DOAJ may be removed if they are found to be no longer adhering to DOAJ criteria or publishing best practice.

Please ensure that, if you do apply again after the exclusion period, the journal meets the DOAJ criteria for inclusion and any necessary changes have been made to the journal website or policies.


You may submit an appeal if your journal has been removed from DOAJ, or your application has been rejected, and no new application is allowed for at least a year. Email the DOAJ Appeals Committee.

The appeal should contain the following information: - Journal title - Journal ISSN - Reason for appeal - Evidence for the DOAJ Appeals Committee to consider - The original notification of rejection/removal

Appeals are considered by the DOAJ Appeals Committee, consisting of the Editor-in-Chief and members of the editorial team. Committee meetings are held monthly. After your case is discussed, a member of the Committee will contact you with the result of your appeal. This will not be the same Managing Editor who handled your case originally.

No further communication will be entered into after the appeal is heard, and the Committee has made their decision.

Updating your journal record

For journals that have been accepted into DOAJ, it is important that the information we hold about them is up-to-date.

You can update the journal information via our API or by logging into your account and going to your Publisher dashboard. Under 'My journals' is a list of all the journals connected to your account. Use the black 'Update' button, next to each journal record, to submit an update request to us.

A journal update request form will open with the current answers pre-filled. Change any answers that need to be updated. If you haven't updated the journal since before November 2020, when we revised the form, we suggest that you review every answer. Note that some questions may not have an answer, as new questions were added in November 2020.

Once you have amended and reviewed the answers, submit the update request to us.

Update requests are reviewed by the DOAJ editorial team for accuracy, and we aim to process them within six weeks of submission.

Zero tolerance policy

We expect the members of our Team, our volunteers and our Ambassadors to always be treated courteously and with respect for the work they are doing. They should not be subject to abusive behaviour in any form, which includes: - rude, disrespectful and offensive behaviour, including derogatory remarks or anything which amounts to verbal or emotional abuse in person or in communications - sexually inappropriate comments or behaviour - racist and discriminatory abuse - threats of physical violence - aggressive and violent behaviour.