In DIAMAS, we seek to help institutional Open Access publishers improve their practices and the quality of their outputs. We will develop the Extensible Quality Standard for Institutional Publishing (EQSIP), which is expected to ensure the quality and transparency of governance, processes and workflows in institutional publishing.
The checklist consists of questions and is divided into seven sections, reflecting the seven core components of scholarly publishing outlined in the Diamond OA Action Plan, subsequently revised and modified by the DIAMAS project team. Each question is accompanied with a set of icons indicating the type of action you as a publisher should take if the answer to a particular question is "no".
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Is there a document defining the ownership structure of your publishing operations and the published content? Is the information from this document publicly available on your website (e.g. as a document or a statement referring to the document)?
Is there a legal document on the institutional level that describes the publishing operations (e.g. a rulebook on publishing operations)? Is the information from this document publicly available on your website (e.g. as a document or a statement referring to the document)?
Is there a document on the institutional level that defines the structure and responsibilities of the bodies managing publishing operations (e.g. institutional publishing councils, advisory boards, editorial boards, editorial team, etc.)? Is the information from this document publicly available on your website (e.g. as a document or a statement referring to the document)?
Are the members of relevant scholarly communities involved in decision-making on the direction of the publishing service and the publishing operations (e.g. as members of editorial and advisory boards)?
Are the composition and constitution of the editorial bodies defined and publicly displayed (i.e. with the editorial team names, functions and roles; Editorial Board affiliations)? Are PIDs (such as ORCID) and/or links to institutional profiles provided to specify the identity and affiliation of the editorial bodies?
Are procedures for the selection of members of the managing and editorial bodies open and publicly available?
Is there a regular renewal of editorial bodies?
Do editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content? Is this editorial freedom included in any document governing publishing operations? Is this information publicly available on your website?
Is ownership of all correspondence and mailing lists (e.g. compiled on the online submission system) in the hands of a research organisation/university?
Do you regulate relations between authors and the publishing entity for the content (i.e. in the form of an agreement/contract and/or the licensing policy)? Who owns copyright on contributions (e.g. articles, books, etc.) ? Is there any transfer or granting of rights (e.g. publishing rights)? Are authors allowed to retain copyright without restriction? Is the information about copyright and licensing publicly available on the website?
Do reviewers retain copyright of their reviews?
Do you have a written environmental policy? Is the information from this document publicly available on your website (e.g. as a document or a statement referring to the document)?
How easy is it to identify relevant contacts in the publishing entity? Is the publishing entity’s name clearly displayed on the website? Can one contact you by telephone, email, and post?
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Do you have a clear OA policy that explains your OA business model and addresses the compliance with funder and institutional OA policies (if they exist)?
Do you indicate on the homepage your funding sources, in case you receive funds from outside the publishing institution?
Where relevant, do you have sponsor roles and responsibilities described, as well as relations between editors and the publisher, sponsoring societies, or journal owners?
Do you have formal, explicit, written policies for advertising in both print and online versions including the following: which types of advertisements will be considered; who makes decisions regarding accepting advertisements; whether they are linked to content or reader behaviour or are displayed at random; advertisements aren’t related in any way to editorial decision making and are kept separate from the published content?
If you don’t charge Article Processing Charges (APCs) and/or Book Processing Charges (BPCs), is this clearly stated on your website? In case you are charging Voluntary Author Contributions (VAC), is this information publicly available on your website or (preferably) at the journal level?
Do you keep track of your resources and costs, including the role of volunteer work?
Do you have a sustainability plan?
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Do you have written and publicly available editorial policies, including written job descriptions, specifically detailing components of editorial freedom, including the degree of control regarding editorial content, acceptance and publication, and advertising content; a mechanism to prevent inappropriate influence on the editor by others and to handle conflicts in an objective and transparent manner with the goal of conflict resolution and maintenance of trust?
Are editor roles and responsibilities (towards authors, reviewers, readers and the scientific community, journal owners/publishers, public) clearly described? Do editor roles include the selection of reviewers for the papers assigned to them, providing the authors with advice on how to improve their paper, and negotiating disagreements between authors and reviewers? Is this information publicly available?
Do editors monitor the turnaround time for every publishing stage from manuscript receipt to publication or rejection to ensure a reasonable response time to authors and reasonable publication time?
Do you display information about the mission (i.e. in a journal mission statement), aims and scope, as well as the languages in which manuscripts can be submitted, on the website?
Do you have a policy on publication ethics (for example, COPE’s Core Practice guidance
), addressing authorship and contributorship
, handling complaints and appeals
, handling allegations of research misconduct
, conflicts of interest
, data sharing and reproducibility
, ethical oversight
, intellectual property
, post-publication discussions
, corrections and retractions
? Do these policies address plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others? Do you describe the standards or codes of ethics you use? Are these policies published on the publishing entity’s website?
Do you have research integrity control procedures (e.g. similarity check, checks for falsification and fabrication of data, image manipulation, etc)? Do you provide responsible reporting guidelines to authors to enable reproducibility of published works? Do you adhere to bibliographic standards adopted for citations and bibliographic references to other texts, research data, methods and computer software?
Do your institutional Research Integrity plans include journal publishing? Are there adequately trained research ethics committees who could provide support to journal editors and the publisher?
Do you provide publicly available clear and detailed author guidelines?
Do you have clear policies on authorship and contributorship, which also address chatbots and other writing assistance tools?
More information: Zielinski, Chris, Margaret Winker, Rakesh Aggarwal, Lorraine Ferris, Markus Heinemann, Jose Florencio Jr. Lapeña, Sanjay Pai, Edsel Ing, and Leslie Citrome. 2023. ‘Chatbots, ChatGPT, and Scholarly Manuscripts: WAME Recommendations on ChatGPT and Chatbots in Relation to Scholarly Publications’. WAME. 20 January 2023. https://wame.org/page3.php?id=106
Do you apply the CRediT taxonomy? Do you display the full names and affiliations of each author/contributor? Do you have complete and unambiguous author information supported by the author’s persistent identifiers (ORCID)?
Do you have defined criteria for acceptance of manuscripts, preprints and other contributions?
Do you allow the deposit of the “Version of Record” or the “Publisher Version” in repositories?
Hint: This information is usually mentioned in the self-archiving policy. Open Access journals should allow this.
Do you have an archival, digital preservation policy and do you implement it? Is the published content deposited in a digital preservation service (e.g. LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, Portico)?
Do you regularly review and update your policies and guidelines?
Do you have a mechanism for regular and objective evaluation of editor performance by the publisher based on predetermined and agreed-upon measures of success?
Do you clearly define reviewer roles and responsibilities? Do you provide a review framework to reviewers and do you publish it on the journal website with the process outline and evaluation criteria?
Do you have a mechanism of preventing manuscripts from being reviewed by a closed circle of people who are well acquainted with each other or work in the same institution?
Do you practise one of the forms of anonymised peer review or open peer review (including the potential disclosure of the identity of reviewers, publicly available reviews, or the ability for a broader community to participate in the review process) by at least two reviewers? Do you publish review reports? Do you have any other form of evaluation of submissions by more than one person, and is this transparently specified on your website?
Do you have a workflow for reviewers’ recognition and awards? Do you publish the names of reviewers annually and/or do you have a publicly available list of reviewers (updated at least once a year)? Do you work with services for crediting reviewers (such as Reviewer Credits
Do you display dates of submission and acceptance on published articles? Do you publish at least basic statistics annually on the journal/platform website, covering in particular the number of submissions, the number of reviews requested, the number of reviews received, the approval rate, and the average time between submission and publication?
Does the editorial team maintain the registry of submitted papers, the archive of author statements, reviewer guidelines, list of reviewers and the registry of peer-review reports?
Do you have a policy in place to address complaints and appeals for rejected or withdrawn manuscripts?
Do you provide training for editors and reviewers and do you make training materials available?
Are authors, reviewers and editorial staff required to provide transparent declarations of conflict of interests, including the financial conflicts of interest (e.g. the Conflict of Interest statement in the manuscript in the case of authors)?
Do authors disclose all sources of funding (i.e., in the Funding acknowledgements/statements)?
Does the publisher have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication? Do editors maintain the integrity of the literature by publishing errata or corrections identifying anything of significance, retractions, expressions of concern and new versions of the publication as quickly as possible? Does the publisher have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication?
Do you allow debate post publication either on the journal site, through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubPeer?
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Do you use CC-BY as the preferred open licence for journal articles, and other types of CC licences for book publications? Do you display licensing information?
How to: ‘Displaying Licensing Information – OA Journals Toolkit’. 2023. https://www.oajournals-toolkit.org/policies/displaying-licensing-information.
Do you have a data availability policy? Do you provide clear data sharing guidelines? Do you require authors to provide a data availability statement? Do you encourage authors to make data related to their submissions available in a repository already at the time of submission?
How to: ‘Open Data, Software and Code Guidelines’. Open Research Europe. Accessed 13 July 2023. https://open-research-europe.ec.europa.eu/for-authors/data-guidelines.
Do you encourage authors to share their manuscripts as preprints by depositing them and making them immediately available in open repositories, including preprint repositories, at all stages of the publication process? Do you encourage authors to share the details of their research in a public registry before conducting the study (as a preregistration report)?
More information: ‘Preprint Resource Center’. n.d. ASAPbio (blog). Accessed 13 July 2023. https://asapbio.org/preprint-info.
Science, Center for Open. n.d. ‘Preregistration’. Center for Open Science. Accessed 13 July 2023. https://www.cos.io/initiatives/prereg.
Do you accept manuscripts presenting and discussing negative scientific results (and those that do not meet the expected results)?
More information: ‘Non-Reporting of Negative Findings’. 2021. The Embassy of Good Science. 27 March 2021. https://embassy.science/wiki/Theme:24e87492-7020-4fc0-ab37-dd88bcf9f637.
Do you publish/make available the research protocols and methods? Making associated research protocols and methods available is a good open science practice that allows others to replicate and build on work published.
More information: ‘Protocols’. n.d. PLOS (blog). Accessed 13 July 2023. https://plos.org/protocols/.
‘Open Methods’. n.d. PLOS (blog). Accessed 13 July 2023. https://plos.org/open-science/open-methods/.
Do you encourage sharing of research software, e.g. through a source code repository?
More information: ‘Open Code’. n.d. PLOS (blog). Accessed 13 July 2023. https://plos.org/open-science/open-code/.
Are your bibliographic references openly available, structured, separable, freely accessible and reusable? Are you aligned with the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) and the Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA)?
Do you adhere to the TOP Guidelines of Promotion of Transparency and Openness? If you do, to which standard/s: Citation standards, Data transparency, Analytic methods (code) transparency, Research materials transparency, Design and analysis transparency, Study preregistration, Analysis plan pre-registration, and Replication? And to which level of increasing stringency – Disclosure, Requirement, or Verification?
More information: ‘TOP Guidelines’. 2015. Center for Open Science. 2015. https://www.cos.io/initiatives/top-guidelines.
Do you participate in or support research assessment reform?