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ISSN Newsletter n° 86 May 2020




Did you know that ROAD is a free service promoting OA publications?

Did you know that ROAD, the Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources, is a free service offered by the ISSN International Centre to support UNESCO’s policy to promote OA publications. ROAD lists a variety of OA journals, blogs, conference proceedings, academic repositories, book series which are identified and described by the ISSN network. Access ROAD at:

  >> ISSN International Centre, May 2020  

Did you know that you can request some modifications on records of the ISSN Portal?

Did you know subscribers can request some modifications on an record of the ISSN Portal by completing a form? These modifications will then be automatically visible to all subscribers in red text as a proposed change until the modification is approved by the ISSN Centre responsible for the record.

For more information, please contact the Sales department:


  >> ISSN International Centre, May 2020  

Note to publishers requesting ISSN assignments from the ISSN Network

Due to the COVID-19 global outbreak and health and social measures imposed by several national authorities, ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions may encounter technical and operational issues. This particular situation may have an impact on the timely management of publishers’ ISSN requests and ISSN assignments. Unfortunately, the ISSN International Centre cannot currently replace impacted ISSN National Centres and manage all ISSN requests and assignments. If ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions are temporary closed due to this crisis, the ISSN International Centre invites publishers to be patient and renew their requests regularly. We thank you for your understanding.


Director of ISSN International Centre chaired 2020 ISO TC46 Annual Meeting (11-15 May 2020, remote)

The annual plenary meeting of ISO Technical Committee 46 Information and Documentation was held remotely 11-15 May 2020. The various standardization committees, chaired by Gaëlle Béquet, Director of the ISSN International Centre, reported on the progress of their work, in particular with regard to the final vote by ISO member organizations on the sixth version of ISO 3297 – ISSN, which is scheduled to take place in the coming months.

ISSN IC is among the organizations in liaison category A of the Technical Committee 46.


Provisional ISSNs versus confirmed ISSNs

DOAJ does not allow provisional ISSNs. Applications which contain provisional ISSNs are rejected without review. Therefore, DOAJ insists that publishers, when submitting their application to DOAJ, check the ISSN Portal, and make sure that the ISSN(s) for their journal(s) is confirmed and that the title(s) match the one mentioned on their website and in their application form.

Note: Provisional records may be created for pre-publication ISSN assignment, and are only confirmed once proof of publication has been provided to the ISSN network. Provisional records can only be viewed by ISSN National Centres and not by subscribers of the ISSN Register as available at

  >> DOAJ, April 2020  

Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy, former Acting Director of the ISSN International Centre, died in Budapest, Hungary, on 25 February 2020 at the age of ninety.


Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy began her career as a librarian at the Central Library of the Budapest University of Technology from 1951 to 1957. She then worked at the Széchényi National Library from 1958 to 1991. She devoted her life and work to librarianship. She led important projects such as the establishment of the Hungarian ISDS Centre, which became the Hungarian ISSN Centre in the 1990s, the modernization of the Central Catalogue of Foreign Journals, and the launch of the National Periodicals Database (NPA). In 1990, when Hungary became a member of the Council of Europe, Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy was invited to establish the Council of Europe Information and Documentation Centre within the Hungarian Parliamentary Library. She headed this centre until 1998.

Her professional career has also been remarkable in the international arena: she served on the Board of the ISDS including as president, later the Governing Board of ISSN International Centre, from 1976 to 1992. In 1987, after the sudden death of Marie Rosenbaum, Director and Founder of the ISDS International Centre, she was Acting Director of the Centre for one year. Thanks to her language skills (English, French and German), Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy has carried out several international missions at the request of UNESCO, the Council of Europe, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IFLA.

Her main area of interest was periodical management. IFLA’s Serial Publications Section, which later became the Serial Publications and Other Continuing Resources Section (SOCRS), entrusted her with editing a manual on periodicals which was published in 1996 under the title Basic Serials Management Handbook. This manual has been translated into several languages (French, Russian, Spanish). It was also published in Hungarian in 2006 with updated content. By teaching librarianship to her young colleagues, she has shared her experience and knowledge with the new generation of librarians.

Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy’s career is recounted in an interview she gave in 2015 to Gaëlle Béquet, the current director of the ISSN International Centre, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the ISSN system. Judith Zoltánné Szilvássya was already retired but showed an enduring interest in her profession. The interview was published in the special issue of the journal Ciência da informação (No. 44, 2015) of the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT), which manages the ISSN Centre in Brazil. The interview is available online.

The ISSN International Centre extends its condolences to the family and colleagues of Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy.


Director of ISSN National Centre of India moves to a new role at CSIR

On 10 May 2020, Dr G. Mahesh, the head of India’s  National Science Library and director of the ISSN National Centre of India, accepted a new role at the ISSN Centre’s  host institution,  CSIR-NISCAIR (National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources). As a Principal Scientist, he has been appointed to  take a new position at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the umbrella organization under which CSIR-NISCAIR and 37 other such S&T organizations belong. Dr G. Mahesh will join the newly formed “Science Communication and Dissemination Directorate”. G. Mahesh is also the Project Leader and Coordinator of the National Knowledge Resource Consortium (NKRC) that facilitates access to numerous electronic resources to all the CSIR and DST Institutions in the country.

A new director of the ISSN National Centre will be appointed very soon.

The lockdown had affected the ISSN National Centre of India activities for more than a month. However, since early May, most of the ISSN services are back to normal.




Manuscript Exchange Common Approach (MECA)

Authors lose time and effort when their manuscript is rejected by a journal and they have to repeat the submission process in subsequent journals. MECA is a NISO project which is developing a common means to easily transfer manuscripts between and among manuscript systems, such as those in use at publishers and preprint servers.

The MECA Recommended Practice Public Comment period has ended. You may access the draft document and view comments received, which will be considered by the Working Group prior to final publication.

  >> Manuscript Exchange Common Approach, April 2020  

Publishing Industry


Chinese Publishers React to New Policies on Research Evaluation

In February, the Chinese government released two documents that set forth important changes in policies governing science research evaluation. One of the most eye-catching changes is the requirement for researchers to publish one third of their representative papers in domestic Chinese journals, which is being hailed as a big boost for Chinese publishers. Will all the 5,000 STM titles published in China benefit from these new policies? How do Chinese publishers themselves interpret the documents? In this post, three Chinese publishers explained how they view the new policies.

  >> The Scholarly Kitchen, May 2020  

Journal Citation Reports to feature open access data

Clarivate Analytics has announced the addition of open access data to Journal Citation Reports profile pages to increase transparency around open access models in scholarly publishing. Journal Citation Reports is an annual journal report from the Web of Science, the world’s largest publisher-independent global citation database.  

  >> Web of Science Group, April 2020  

Publishing for the community

Staff from the Microbiology Society explain the decision taken to remove the paywall to all the Society’s journals during the current pandemic, and talk about the importance of working in partnership with libraries as attempts are made to find a way forward.

  >> UKSG e-News issue 469, May 2020  



Leading the Library by Looking Beyond the Library

Library directors face a number of leadership dilemmas. Rising from the ranks, many feel the need to work shoulder-to-shoulder with front-line employees as a “member of the team.” At the same time, many feel the need to engage with non-library constituencies across the campus and beyond in ways that take them out of the library. Which of these leadership models best positions the library for success?

  >> Ithaka S+R, May 2020  

Library Publishing SIG Mid-Term Meeting: Oslo, 5-6 March 2020

Hosted at OsloMet University through the gracious and untiring efforts of Professor Lars Egeland, the 2020 Library Publishing Group mid-term meeting focused on library publishing platforms (first morning session), on case studies and examples of library publishing services (first afternoon session), and in the second day’s full session on forms of collaboration and networking designed to support library publishing activities.

  >> IFLA, April 2020  

Digital preservation


CNI session explores persistent identifiers

At the recent Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) session “ARKs in the Open,” Karen Hanson, Senior Research Developer at Portico, joined panelists from the University of California, Smithsonian Institution, and FamilySearch International to discuss Archival Resource Keys (ARKs) and their use as persistent identifiers.

The full recorded session is available to view on CNI’s website.

  >> Portico, May 2020  

The TRUST Principles for digital repositories

Following a year-long public discussion and building on existing community consensus, several stakeholders have collaboratively developed and endorsed a set of guiding principles to demonstrate digital repository trustworthiness. Transparency, Responsibility, User focus, Sustainability and Technology: the TRUST Principles provide a common framework to facilitate discussion and implementation of best practice in digital preservation by all stakeholders.

  >> Scientific Data, May 2020  

Scholarly Communication


SciELO updates the indexing criteria. New version takes effect from May 2020

The SciELO Program has updated the document “Criteria, policy and procedures for the admission and permanence of journals in the SciELO Brazil Collection” [in Portuguese] with a new version that takes effect from May 2020. The document is referred to as SciELO Brazil Criteria for its purpose and function of contributing to the development of Brazil’s journals, and at the same time, it serves as a reference for the indexing criteria of all SciELO Network collections.

  >> SciELO blog, May 2020  

Methods & Proposal for Metadata Guiding Principles for Scholarly Communications

This article describes an international community-based effort to create metadata guiding principles for adopting and using richer metadata and advancing its application in scholarly communications. These principles can facilitate the dissemination, discoverability and use/reuse of many types of research and scholarly outputs. While much work remains to be done, these principles serve as a starting point for the evolution of processes that span the entire scholarly communication community.

  >> RIO Journal, May 2020  

Open science expert’s examination of Web of Science and Scopus: not global enough

Jon Tennant writes both Web of Science and Scopus are critical components of our research ecosystem, providing the basis for university and global rankings, as well as for bibliometric research. However, both are structurally biased against research produced in non-western countries, non-English language research, and research from the arts, humanities and social sciences. This viewpoint emphasises the damage that these systematic inequities pose upon our global knowledge production systems, and the need to research funders to unite to form a more globally-representative, non-profit, community-controlled infrastructure for our global research knowledge pool.

  >> SocArxiv Papers, March 2020  

Towards inclusive scholarly publishing: developments in the university press community

This article provides an overview of the ways in which the members of the Association of University Presses are working towards more inclusive practices in scholarly publishing. The authors document how bias has shaped universities and university presses, and propose actions to encourage inclusion and equity.

  >> Insights 33 (1): 15, May 2020  

Open Access


The Megajournal Lifecycle

Megajournals have been at the heart of the Open Access (OA) publishing model, spearheading its growth over the last 15 years. Titles such as PLOS ONE (ISSN: 1932-6203) and Scientific Reports (ISSN: 2045-2322) have been enormously influential and commercially successful. Nonetheless, the commercial success of megajournals is not guaranteed and their long-term performance has been occasionally unreliable, introducing uncertainty in an industry that has been particularly attractive to investors for its ability to generate low but sustainable growth.

  >> The Scholarly Kitchen, May 2020  

cOAlition S announces price transparency requirements

Transparent pricing is a cornerstone of the Plan S principles: When Open Access publication fees are applied, they must be commensurate with the publication services delivered and the structure of such fees must be transparent. [Principle 5]

To deliver on this commitment, cOAlition S has:

1. Endorsed two Price Transparency Frameworks; the one developed by Information Power and the one developed by the FAIR Open Access Alliance.

2. Determined that from 1st July 2022, only those publishers which adhere to at least one of the approved Frameworks will be eligible to receive funds from cOAlition S members.

  >> Plan S, May 2020  

What’s in a “NAME”? A study of African and Arab journals in the DOAJ

Journal applications for DOAJ are reaching the milestone of +500 titles assessed by the ‘North Africa & Middle East’ (NAME) editor group at DOAJ. This editor group made a study of the African and Arab journals in the DOAJ. The study concludes that although many Arab journals are online, participation in the DOAJ is very little, and African journals tend to adhere to other databases. Rejection of applications from Arab countries is quite high and that is due to a reluctance towards Open Access, ignorance of the main features of Gold OA, and lack of appliance to principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications. Efforts need to be made to encourage publishing in Arabic and national languages, to assist publishers to meet requirements of peer-reviewing, publication ethics, copyright and licensing.

  >> DOAJ Blog, May 2020  



Virtual OpenRepositories OR2020 meetings

The Open Repositories annual conference will be held under the form of four 90 minute virtual workshops. The first one will focus on the work FAIRsFAIR (Fostering Fair Data Practices in Europe) carries out in collaboration with repositories  to enable them to play their role in helping to make and keep data FAIR over time.

Register and check dates and hours:

  >> Virtual OpenRepositories OR2020 meetings, 1-4 June 2020  

NASIG Conference

The NASIG Executive Board has announced that it will be holding the 35th Annual NASIG Conference online, 9-11 June 2020. The conference will be free to all attendees, thanks to the generous contributions of sponsors. The full programme is now available on the NASIG website. Attendees can register for the online conference.

  >> 35th Annual NASIG Conference online, 9-11 June 2020  

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