DOAJ is short for the Directory of Open Access Journals. It is a database of academic journals that are open access and high quality. Their website is a free means for authors and readers to find such journals.
By being included in DOAJ, a journal’s content is more visible.1 It costs time and effort to get listed in DOAJ. The amount of time depends on the journal’s content, infrastructure, capabilities, and technical expertise. There is no associated fee.
How to get a journal listed in DOAJ is on the page, Guide to Applying. The minimum criteria for inclusion are, well, minimal: the journal must be entirely open access; actively publish five or more scholarly articles per year; principally target researchers or practitioners; and, have an ISSN. There are further criteria described on the aforementioned page, categorized into “The type of open access,” “Journal website,” “ISSN,” “Quality control process,” “Licensing,” “Copyright,” and “Additional criteria for some journal types.”
Once you believe your journal meets the criteria, you should use the application form to get it listed. After creating and confirming your account, you will be asked to confirm the journal adheres to DOAJ’s definition of open access; provide the URL for a journal webpage that displays accordance with that definition; give information about the journal and publisher, including the copyright/licensing, editorial processes, business model, and compliance with best practices.
The application requires adding a lot of information, frankly. The website says it should take 30 minutes, but it could take longer depending on how much you know. Unlike with getting included in Google Scholar, Scimago, or Scopus, you may need help. Please do not hesitate to send me or your librarian any questions.
It takes time for DOAJ to decide whether it will list a journal:
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.2
Post acceptance, I did not see how long it takes for a journal to find its way onto the DOAJ website. (Please let me know if you come across that information.) Do be aware that after a journal is added to DOAJ, it can be removed if it falls out of compliance with the criteria. 3
If your journal’s application is rejected, you cannot submit a subsequent application for 6 months.4 There is an appeal process, however.