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    Alma: DOAJ - Information about date ranges

    • Product: Alma, 360 KB, SFX
    • Product Version: all
    • Relevant for Installation Type: all

    What information is available for coverage date information in DOAJ?


    DOAJ, as a directory, receives information from open access journal publishers about their titles, articles, and availabilities. DOAJ does not create this information themselves, nor do they maintain it on behalf of publishers. Instead, those publishers supply this information to DOAJ, who then makes it available through their data dumps, OAI-PMH, and other means.

    The main source of metadata for Ex Libris KBs is the DOAJ csv file. This file includes information supplied by publishers about their titles, such as the title, ISSN, title-level URL, subjects, language, country, journal license, and two date fields in particular that Ex Libris uses across our knowledgebases. 

    These two date fields are labeled in the DOAJ CSV file as When did the journal start to publish all content using an open license? and Most Recent Article Added, both of which require some explanation.


    When did the journal start to publish all content using an open license?


    This field is mapped by Ex Libris to the beginning of coverage for a title in DOAJ - that is, the start of when the title became fully open access (as DOAJ represents open access journal content).


    • This date is not necessarily when the journal began. It may have started as a fully OA title, or it may have been published for many years before it switched to full OA coverage
    • The date is not necessarily when the journal started publishing articles as OA. The title could have previously had some articles as OA, and some paid or under another license. There could even be free-to-read content, but this content would not necessarily have an OA license.
    • Your institution may have access to content from the title that is not covered by the DOAJ date, either because you have paid for access, or because the content is free-to-read (as explained above)
    • Since the date is self-reported by publishers, they may have incorrectly reported this date to DOAJ


    Most Recent Article Added


    In addition to information about titles, publishers of OA journals supply article-level information to DOAJ. The date that the last article was supplied to DOAJ is the only data point that Ex Libris or DOAJ have to determine when the last content is available for the title. Like with "When did the journal start to publish all content using an open license?", this date may be misleading.

    • The journal may have additional content that requires payment or subscription
    • There may be free-to-read content that is not applicable to OA coverage
    • The publisher may not have uploaded their most recent articles to DOAJ


    Ex Libris policy on date corrections for DOAJ content


    These two date values have different considerations and meanings than traditional dates of coverage from other providers, even from some OA publishers. Although Ex Libris receives this data from DOAJ, DOAJ in turn receive this metadata from publishers who are responsible for maintaining this information. In other words, there are two intermediary parties between the library and the publisher!

    Because of the above problems and considerations, neither Ex Libris nor DOAJ are able to maintain the start or ending dates of coverage in the knowledgebases. Ex Libris knowledgebase users should maintain any date corrections locally, through overrides and customizations, at their discretion.

    Although there are caveats around these date values, Ex Libris, DOAJ, and Ex Libris Content Working Group librarians believe this is useful information to gather and supply about OA resources if their context is understood, especially since DOAJ are able to supply regular metadata updates for their data.


    Some actions to consider


    • Some libraries may prefer treating DOAJ as a "discovery-only" collection by de-activating all of the individual titles in the KB, and only use the DOAJ CDI data. All articles submitted to DOAJ are available through CDI.
    • If you see an incorrect start date, suggest to the publisher (not to DOAJ) that they update their publication information in DOAJ. Ex Libris will then receive the correct start date from DOAJ once the correction has been made.
    • If you see an incorrect end date, and you can verify that there are OA articles after that date, suggest to the publisher that they supply their latest OA articles to DOAJ, which will update this value for Ex Libris





    • Article last edited: 15-Dec-2023
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