Land & Environment

USU Journal is Accepted in Directory of Open Access Journals

By Kellianne Gammill |

Human-Wildlife Interactions (HWI) scientific journal, dedicated to improving human-wildlife interactions by better managing human-wildlife conflicts, was accepted into the respected Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). HWI is an international journal with a readership in over 200 countries and was created by faculty and staff of the Jack H. Berryman Institute at Utah State University.

While the Institutional Repository at USU is not unfamiliar with open access materials, only three journals have been accepted by DOAJ.

“Inclusion in DOAJ is both a marker of quality in that a journal meets standards of rigor of process, authenticity of vetting and a commitment to openly licensed and globally accessible research,” USU Libraries Head of Digital Initiatives Becky Thoms said. “These are values that are shared by USU Libraries, HWI and DOAJ.

The DOAJ’s stamp of approval was not easy to come by. The application process requires extensive information about the journal, including basic publishing and preservation, editorial process, licensing and copyright. The application is reviewed by four editors who ask clarifying questions, request additional information and occasionally suggest modifications.

“Assuming all criteria are met, an application will be accepted and the journals will be listed in DOAJ,” Thoms said. “The process can take up to six months.” 

This process was a team effort between the HWI team and the USU Libraries.

Open Access grants readers accessibility to scholarly research for no cost, a principle that is particularly important as students face unprecedented financial burden due to COVID-19.

“Giving students access to the latest research is especially beneficial as COVID-19 impacts the way we teach and accentuates barriers to students’ learning,” Assistant Director of Empowering Teaching Excellence Travis Thurston said. “Providing open access to publications to students is one way we can address lowering these barriers.”

While Open Access can alleviate financial burden, it can also help reduce stress and anxiety, according to Assistant Professor Rose Judd-Murray.

“It may seem like open access to library resources may not be an equivalent solution for reducing mental stress and anxiety, but in my opinion, this is exactly the type of solution that means a great deal to our students,” Judd-Murray said. “Obtaining the resources they need, when they need them, in a format that is free and easy to use is the way we let them [our students] know that their coursework and success is our real business as educators.”

To learn more about Open Access at USU, visit


Kellianne Gammill
Public Relations Specialist
University Libraries
(435) 797-0555


Shannon Smith
Scholarly Communication Librarian
USU Libraries

Becky Thoms
Head of Digital Initiatives
USU Libraries


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