Published June 30, 2023 | Version Draft
Project deliverable Open

CRAFT-OA Deliverable 3.1 Report on Standards for Best Publishing Practices and Basic Technical Requirements in the Light of FAIR Principles


"Diamond OA Journals have an enormous potential to establish and sustain an open scholarly communication. This is uncovered by the “Open Access Diamond Journals Study” (OADJS)." From 17 000 to 29 000 Open Access Diamond Journals (OADJ) published worldwide are responsible for publishing 8-9% of the world's scientific articles. This makes up 45% of Open Access (OA) publishing in general.
To develop this potential serious challenges need to be overcome, mastered and robust support needs to be provided to the Diamond OA Journals community. In 2022 the broadly supported “Action Plan for Diamond Open Access” (APDOA) was published as the follow up to the OADJS to outline the most pressing issues demanding swift action from the community. APDOA argues that the Diamond Open Access “is held back by challenges related to the technical capacity, management, visibility, and sustainability of journals and platforms”.
Associated projects Developing Institutional Open Access Publishing Models to Advance Scholarly Communication (DIAMAS) and CRAFT-OA embody this action to support institutional Diamond OA publishing. While DIAMAS focusses on developing non-technical standards and best practices, CRAFT-OA specifically targets the OADJ technology development. CRAFT-OA’s Work Package 3  (WP3) is responsible for Task 3.1 providing a technical standards’ and best publishing practices overview, Task 3.2 preparing a gap  analysis to understand the challenges that OADJ’s face when aiming to comply with the standards and best practices and with/in Task 3.3 offering targeted training to narrow this gap.
This deliverable is related to the Task 3.1 and offers an overview of the technical standards and best publishing practices which is intended to be reused by the community and also to guide the gap analysis and training to be offered through WP3.
We argue that the OADJs find the current dispersion and multiplicity of requirements and standards particularly difficult both to monitor and adhere to due to the OADJs’ insufficient resources and lack of collaborative workflows. This deliverable aims to alleviate this burden through identifying key requirements and policy documents (see 2. Definition and scope), organising the standards they mention (see 4. Technical standards for each of the FAIR principles and 5. Other recommended technical standards) and showcasing best publishing practices exemplifying the implementation of standards or adherence to the requirements (see 6. Examples illustrating several or all of the basic technical standards and best publishing practices).

The scope of this deliverable is impacted by the source documents we decided to concentrate on. We focus on two policy documents: a key, widely supported OA publishing policy paper Plan S and the Extensible Quality Standard in Institutional Publishing (EQSIP) compiled in DIAMAS, and two documents originating from key service providers in the OA publishing (IPSPs): the DOAJ Seal from the Directory of Open Access Journals and the OpenAIRE Guidelines for Literature Repository Managers v4. As this report aims to contribute to the interoperability of Diamond Open Access publishing, especially in the context of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), the EOSC interoperability framework was reviewed, but no concrete standards above those mentioned in the other documents were extracted. Chapter 4. Technical standards for each of the FAIR principles represents the overview of technical standards. These documents identify in the view of how they contribute to the OADJ’s findability, accessibility, interoperability or reusability (as defined by the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) principles). The standards expected or recommended by these documents serve as a good representation of what is now considered quality OA publishing by the community.
However, there are also other standards worth mentioning (see and 5. Other recommended technical standards) which are better suited to be discussed outside of the FAIR principles framework. We especially recognise that the larger context for OADJs is the EOSC which is developing its interoperability framework . It is important to be mindful of the interoperability challenges as they are stated in the EOSC ecosystem as onboarding of OADJ in EOSC is recognised by CRAFT-OA as the key factor for their visibility and sustainability. Additionally, as we use the FAIR principles as an important framework structuring this report we need to recognise that the FAIR principles development and implementation have their own dynamic that in some respects may not correspond to the standards development specific for the Diamond publishing. This is because while some OA publishing standards fall under the FAIR compliance, others do not. FAIR compliance is an important factor, but it is not a deciding factor for the inclusion of standards in this report.

There are already a number of actors in the OADJ ecosystem that comply with the discussed standards and can be regarded as illustrations of the best publishing practices. Out of many examples we are focusing on 1. two DOAJ-indexed journals Open Journal of Mathematical Optimization (OJMO) and Arheološki vestnik showcasing a platform for a single DOAJ-compliant journal, 2. two publishing platforms based on the Open Journal Systems (OJS) software (TIB1 Open Publishing and HRČAK - Portal of Croatian scientific and professional journals which illustrate the effects of choosing a software which intends to support OA publishing, 3. workflow for the OpenEdition’s journals FAIR assessment illustrating the operationalisation of FAIR principles in the editorial process.

Based on the standards and best practices overview, this deliverable closes with a set of conclusions. The report emphasises the significance of interoperability in facilitating the discoverability, reuse, and reproducibility of research outputs. To our knowledge, it is the first endeavour to systematically gather and compare the distinct requirements established by the chosen policies and services with one another. Through the adoption of these standards and best practices, publishers can play a vital role in ensuring that research outputs are easily discoverable not only by peers but also by the general public. Furthermore, implementation facilitates accessibility for all stakeholders, promotes interoperability with diverse services, and enables the seamless reuse of research  outputs in new research endeavours or policy-making decisions.


This deliverable is currently under review by the EC.


CRAFT-OA_D3.1_Report on standards for best publishing practices and basic technical requirements in the light of FAIR principles_Submitted to EC (002).pdf

Additional details


CRAFT-OA – Creating a Robust Accessible Federated Technology for Open Access 101094397
European Commission