As was explained in statement on the OASPA blog in October 2013 (http://oaspa.org/oaspas-second-statement-following-the-article-in-science-entitled-whos-afraid-of-peer-review/), OASPA’s Membership Committee made the decision to place SAGE Publication’s membership under review as a result of concerns that were raised regarding the peer review policies of one of its journals. These concerns were raised as part of an investigation that was carried out by OASPA’s Membership Committee in response to an article published inScience (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.full), which also resulted in the termination of two other publishers’ membership of OASPA.
Given the fact that the editorial process for this journal (Journal of International Medical Research) was unique and handled differently to other SAGE titles, coupled with SAGE’s willingness to share information and work with OASPA to make improvements to its procedures, SAGE’s membership of OASPA was placed under review for 6 months with the hope that at the end of this period the processes would have been strengthened sufficiently to fulfil OASPA membership criteria.
During this review period SAGE have made some key changes to the editorial processes of this journal, including adding an additional stage of peer-review. Under the current system, once manuscripts have been screened by the Consultant Editor they are sent out for external, independent peer-review, a process coordinated by an in-house Managing Editor with an appropriate background, but with the advice of the Consultant Editor when necessary. This Managing Editor is now also clearly identified on the journal’s Editorial Board alongside the Consultant Editor. Manuscripts may be accepted, rejected, or require revisions at this stage. A final technical edit takes place for any papers that pass peer review and can comprise a further 2 or 3 stages.
The OASPA Membership Committee is satisfied that the new editorial procedures which are now in place have fully addressed the concerns that were raised during the investigation last year, and as a result the Committee is pleased to reinstate SAGE as a full member of OASPA.
There is also a statement available on the SAGE Publications website: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/press/2014/apr/29.htm