Membership Criteria

Statement on Open Access

The members of OASPA agree that OA publishing is now an established part of the publishing landscape.  Members are committed to ensuring the highest standards of conduct among all OA publishers, and to encouraging the broader adoption of OA publishing models in all fields of research and scholarship.
Full members of OASPA acknowledge a common interpretation of Open Access publishing that includes the following components:

  • The dissemination of peer-reviewed manuscripts containing original research or scholarship immediately upon publication, at no charge to user groups, without requiring registration or other access barriers.
  • Copyright holders allow users to “copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship…” in the case of journals.

Books publishers who are members of OASPA shall strive to adhere as much as possible to the principles set out in the Berlin Declaration. OASPA recognizes that in some fields (e.g. Art History) the application of the most liberal licenses may be difficult and as such other licensing practices may be considered acceptable.

OASPA Membership Criteria

JOURNALS

  • The publisher has at least one journal that regularly publishes original research or scholarship which is all open access.
  • The journal name shall be unique and not be one that is easily confused with another journal or that might mislead potential authors and readers about the journal’s origin or association with other journals.
  • The periodicity at which a journal publishes shall be clearly indicated.
  • The publisher’s website demonstrates that care has been taken to ensure high standards of  presentation.
  • Published articles can be read without the requirement for registration of any kind.
  • Full contact information is visible on the website and includes a business address and the full names and affiliations of the journal’s editors.
  • Clear and detailed Instructions for Authors are present and easily located from the homepage.  The guidelines include details of the Open Access policy for this publication.
  • All articles, apart from any editorial material that is clearly marked as such,
    shall be subjected to some form of peer-based review process, appropriate for the subject, by experts in the field who are not part of the journal’s editorial staff. This process and policies related to peer review shall be clearly outlined on the journal or publisher web site.
  • Journals shall have editorial boards or other governing bodies of sufficient size to support the journal, whose members are recognized experts in the field(s) that  constitute the scope of the publication;
  • Any fees for publishing in the journal are clearly displayed in a place that is easy to find. If there are no charges to authors this should also be highlighted.
  • The journal website and published articles, including pdfs, should clearly show the licensing policy of the journal.  The policy should be equivalent to CC BY, however use of the CC BY-NC license is currently also permitted (see OASPA licensing FAQs).
  • The publisher should not indulge in any practices or activities that could bring the Association or open access publishing into disrepute.
  • Any direct marketing activities publishers engage in, including solicitation of manuscripts, shall be appropriate, well targeted and unobtrusive.
  • Journals shall state their advertising policy if relevant, including what types of ads will be considered, who makes decisions regarding accepting ads and whether they are linked to content or reader behavior (online only) or are displayed at random.
  • Information about the ownership and/or management of a journal shall be clearly indicated on the journal’s Web site. Publishers shall not use organizational names that would mislead potential authors and editors about the nature of the journal’s owner.  Where appropriate, we will request information about the legal status of the publishing organization, for example, whether it is a privately-owned or public company, a not-for-profit organization or a charity. We will request company registration information.
  • Business models or revenue sources (eg, author fees, subscriptions, advertising, reprints, institutional support, and organizational support) shall be clearly stated or otherwise evident on the journal’s Web site.
  • Publishers and editors shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. In no case shall a journal or its editors encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. In the event that a journal’s publisher or editors are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in their journal – the publisher or editor shall follow COPE’s guidelines (or equivalent) in dealing with allegations.
  • A journal shall have clear policies on handling potential conflicts of interest of editors, authors, and reviewers and the policies should be clearly stated.
  • A journal’s plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to the journal content (for example, access to main articles via CLOCKSS or PubMedCentral) in the event a journal is no longer published shall be clearly indicated.
  • Demonstration of the following would also be desirable: A&I services that index the journal(s), availability of DOIs for published content, COPE membership.

BOOKS

  • The publisher has published at least one Open Access book, preferably more.
  • The publisher’s website demonstrates that care has been taken to ensure high standards of presentation.
  • Published books can be read without the requirement for registration of any kind.
  • Full contact information is visible on the website and includes a business address.
  • Clear and detailed Instructions for Authors are present and easily located from the homepage. The guidelines include details of the Open Access policy for this publication.
  • All books shall be subjected to some form of peer-based review process which includes independent external reviewing.  This process and policies related to peer review shall be clearly outlined on the publisher’s web site.
  • Any fees for publication of books are clearly displayed.  If there are no charges to authors this should also be highlighted.
  • The book licensing policy (including policy on re-use and redistribution) shall be clearly stated and visible on the web site and all published material.  Ideally, a Creative Commons license policy would be used.  The license policy should allow for the broadest re-use of published material possible – OASPA may ask for information on the reasoning for your chosen license policy if restrictions apply.
  • Where appropriate, we will request information about the legal status of the publishing organization, for example, whether it is a privately-owned or public company, a not-for-profit organization or a charity. We will request company registration information.
  • Demonstration of the following would also be desirable: Availability of DOIs for published content, COPE membership, archiving policy.

In forming the OASPA criteria above, we have collaborated with the Committee on Publication Ethics, the Directory of Open Access Journals and the World Association of Medical Editors in an effort to identify principles of transparency and best practice that set apart legitimate journals and publishers from non-legitimate ones and to clarify that these principles form part of the criteria on which membership applications will be evaluated. Please see the full statement released jointly with these organizations.

Other organizations who are allied to publishing but not publishers themselves may also join as members of OASPA, provided that the board feel they provide significant services and/or support for open access publishing to support OASPA’s statement on open access.