Many thanks for this, Lars. I believe your answer is excellent and full of good 
common sense. DOAJ is about OA scholarly publishing quality, not about putting 
pressure on potentially tyrannical governments. Given the way some governments 
are evolving these days, this might even lead to very weird consequences.

Politics does intersect open access, but not quite in the way Heather suggests.


Jean-Claude Guédon

On 2019-08-15 8:55 a.m., Lars Bjørnshauge wrote:
Hello Heather,

We agree that “Achieving the goals of the movement requires critical reflection 
and occasional changes in policy and procedure”. Over the years DOAJ has done 
this, listening to the changed and increasing demands from the community, for 
instance when in 2014 we implemented substantially stronger criteria for 
inclusion which were based on extensive feedback from the community:
Earlier today we responded to your statement that we reject open access 
journals that would be "suitable venues for critics of the despotic 
government”. DOAJ wants to index good quality open access journals, but they 
must apply and meet the selection criteria in order to be included. We might 
also discuss the issue about “despotic governments”, but currently we would 
find it very hard to 1) create selection criteria for DOAJ defining what 
constitutes a journal sponsored by a “despotic government” and 2) agree on a 
list of such governments.

Lars Bjørnshauge
Managing Director

On Thu, Aug 15, 2019 at 8:08 AM Heather Morrison 
<<>> wrote:
As any movement grows and flourishes, decisions made will turn out to have 
unforeseen consequences. Achieving the goals of the movement requires critical 
reflection and occasional changes in policy and procedure.The purpose of this 
post is to point out that the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) appears 
to be inadvertently acting as a handmaiden to at least one despotic government, 
facilitating dissemination of works subject to censorship and rejecting open 
access journals that would be suitable venues for critics of the despotic 
government. There is no blame and no immediately obvious remedy, but solving a 
problem begins with acknowledging that a problem exists and inviting discussion 
of how to avoid and solve the problem. OA friends, please consider this such an 

Sustaining the knowledge commons full post:


Dr. Heather Morrison

Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa

Professeur Agrégé, École des Sciences de l'Information, Université d'Ottawa

Principal Investigator, Sustaining the Knowledge Commons, a SSHRC Insight 

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Lars Bjørnshauge
Managing Director DOAJ (<>)

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Skype-Id: lbj-lub0603 - Twitter: elbjoern0603

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