If you are an academic, you know what DOI are, and you know that a lot of websites are now requiring your publications to have one, so you can refer to them (for example, Publons). DOI are managed by IDF, the International DOI Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.
In the other hand, I am a co-editor for Linguamática, a free and open access journal. It exists for eight years, and never got any funding. Editors and reviewers are not paid. Publication if free and contents access too.
For some time that I want to add DOI to Linguamática. But all DOI registration agencies that I consulted have only paid membership, and fees for each DOI creation. This is not possible for Linguamática, unless we require fees to the authors or to the readers. And for us is better to keep without a DOI, than to change our policies.
Yesterday I tried to contact IDF directly, asking if there was any way to get a DOI:
I am one of the editors of Linguamática (http://linguamatica.com). This journal is in its eighth year of existence, without any fee for authors or readers. We do everything for the evolution of the natural language processing area for free.
As you know, a lot of services require DOI identifiers. Unfortunately we do now have any means to pay for the DOI services from one of the registration agencies. Does DOI/IDF has any service for this kind of initiative?
Unfortunately this was the answer I got:
Unfortunately, no. In order to acquire a DOI you must work with an existing RA, and it is up the each RA to establish a business plan and set pricing. Crossref offers low pricing for your type of journal, but I doubt they assign DOIs at no cost at all.
And as you might guess, RA (registration agencies) are not not-for-profit organizations. As an example, Crossref has an annual fee of 275 dollars, with an extra dollar for each deposited article (Linguamática publishes from 10 to 20 articles, top, each year). So, we would require around 300 dollars each year to have a DOI. Unfortunately that is not possible.
I wonder if other open access journals have similar problems, and how they solved the problem. Or if someone else thinks that an Open-DOI is needed, supported by volunteers and minimum monetary contributions for server and domain expenses…