OPERAS Certification Service - Description and User manual
The OPERAS Certification service is offered to publishers who have registered with Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), and is provided by DOAB Foundation on behalf of the OPERAS community. The Certification service is currently operating in Beta and will move into production in 2021.
The Certification service aims to certify Open Access (OA) book publishers, based on their publishing practices, in particular their peer review procedure and their licensing policy. The service is intended to certify publishers at both the publisher level and the individual publications level. The goal of the service is to support trust in OA book publishing, by improving transparency around quality assurance of OA book publishers and their publications.
When partner platforms conform to certain specified requirements, they will be able to provide the service to the publishers that use their platforms. Each of the publishing platforms has to be reviewed to become a certified partner.
Publishing platforms need to enable certification at publisher level, which means they need to work with publishers to achieve certification. In practise, certification is done through an application procedure. DOAB enables publisher level records to be enriched with peer review (PR) information, classes, and certificates. DOAB also enables publisher level PR metadata to be assigned at publication and chapter level.
Criteria for certification
The Certification service is based on a review of three elements:
- the publisher’s peer review process
- the licensing policy
- the information on the publisher’s website
To a certain extent, this is a continuation of the existing requirements to be listed in DOAB:
- Academic books in DOAB shall be available under an Open Access license (such as a Creative Commons license);
- Academic books in DOAB shall be subjected to independent and external peer review prior to publication.
The policies and procedures regarding peer review should be clearly outlined on the publisher’s website.
Publishers need to have an established peer review process for their OA books. If only part of their list of OA books has undergone peer review, it should be clear which books were reviewed.
The peer review process should be transparent and made public through the publisher’s website. Peer review should be documented at the level of individual publications. DOAB classifies the type of peer review using a classification scheme, based on information provided by the publisher through an online questionnaire.
- Publishers need to conduct peer review (PR) according to a formal process.
- Publishers are willing to make this process public through DOAB.
- Publishers fill in a form to determine the type of PR.
- DOAB classifies the type of PR based on a form (or forms, in case of multiple PR procedures).
- Publishers need to document the PR process at book level.
- Publishers are able and willing to share PR documentation with DOAB.
- DOAB can ask for PR documentation of specific publications.
Publishers need to make their publications available under an open license. This can be any Creative Commons license or another open license, as long as the publications are made openly available without any access restrictions. The open license should provide a clear description of user rights, which should be available online. The applicable license should be available within the publication and also made available through a hyperlink in the accompanying metadata.
- Publishers need to make their publications available under an open license.
- The publication should be made available without access restrictions.
- The license must provide a clear description of user rights.
- The license should be provided within the publication and in the metadata with a link to the description.
Publishers need to provide clear information about their OA book offering on their website. This information should include a description of their peer review process and of their licensing policy.
Publishers need to apply for certification through an online application process. They are asked to provide information about the elements that will be reviewed, including links to the information on their website. DOAB reviews the application, classifies the peer review process, and checks the information on the publisher’s website.
Terms and conditions
Publishers can request to be certified if they agree to the terms and conditions of the service.
Publishers need to provide correct information and may be suspended from certification if there is evidence that the information they provided is incorrect. Suspended publishers may be required to reapply for certification and their certificate may be revoked. DOAB reserves the right to announce such measures through its media channels.
Peer Review Certification application
The following are the current questions provided to the publishers wishing to take part in the Certification service. They need to be answered and then certified by DOAB.
Question A: At what stage is the peer review being conducted?
- Before submission
- After submission
- After publication
Question B: What is being reviewed?
- Book proposal
- Full manuscript
- Sample chapters
- Book proposal & Full manuscript
- Book proposal & Sample chapters
- Research paper
- Research proposal
Question C: Who conducts the PR?
- A single peer reviewer
- Multiple peer reviewers
- Peer to peer review
- Crowd sourced reviewers
- Editor or series editor
- Editorial board
- A single peer reviewer & Editor or series editor
- A single peer reviewer & Editorial board
- Multiple peer reviewers & Editor or series editor
- Multiple peer reviewers & Editorial board
- Peer to peer review & Editor or series editor
- Peer to peer review & Editorial board
- Crowd sourced reviewers & Editor or series editor
- Crowd sourced reviewers & Editorial board
Question D: Level of openness?
- Single blind peer review
- Double blind peer review
- Unblinded peer review
- Open peer review (the review is public)
Question E: Who oversees the peer review process?
- Editor or series editor
- Editorial board or committee
- Scientific committee