Applicants looking to become members of OASPA should ensure they fulfil the following criteria before applying:
- You must have published at least one open access book, or have a journal that regularly publishes original research or scholarship which is all open access.
- For journals you must have at least one fully open access journal which is CC BY, however use of the CC BY-NC license is currently also permitted (see OASPA licensing FAQs). Any pricing differences related to different licenses or copyright must be transparent and clearly displayed. OASPA may ask for information on the reasoning for your chosen license policy if restrictions apply.
- Published articles or books can be read without the requirement for registration of any kind.
- Journals will clearly state how frequently papers are published.
- Your website must demonstrate that care has been taken to ensure high standards of presentation. It must not contain misleading information, including any attempt to mimic another journal/publisher’s site, or use of organisational names that would mislead potential authors and editors.
- Information about the ownership and/or management of a journal or publisher must be clearly indicated on the journal or publisher website. Full contact information should be visible on the website, including a business address and email for at least one named individual.
- Clear and detailed Instructions for Authors are present and linked to from the homepage.
- Author guidelines must include details of the open access and copyright policies for this publication. It must be clear who holds copyright and which specific license is used, with a link to the terms of that license.
- In addition to the website, the licensing policy must be included on all published material (both HTML and PDF) together with author contact information, date of publication (plus submission and acceptance for journals), and information to enable correct citation.
- The peer review processes for articles or books must include independent external reviewing, appropriate for the subject, by experts in the field who are not part of the publisher’s editorial staff. Your process and policies related to peer review must be clearly stated on the journal and/or publisher website. Owners of companies should not be involved in editorial decision making.
- Journals must have editorial boards or other governing bodies large enough to support the journal, whose members are recognised experts in the field. You must display affiliations (department, institution, country) for all editors and editorial board members.
- Any fees for publishing must be clearly displayed in a place that is easy to find. If there are no charges to authors this should also be made clear. Any other additional major sources of support, for example from institutions, funding agencies or commercial organisations, should also be indicated.
- Members must not indulge in any practices or activities that OASPA feels could bring the Association or open access publishing into disrepute.
- Any direct marketing activities publishers engage in, including solicitation of manuscripts, must be appropriate and well targeted.
- Journals must state their advertising policy if relevant, including what types of adverts will be considered, who makes decisions regarding accepting adverts and whether they are linked to content or reader behaviour (online only) or are displayed at random.
- Journal or book publishers must have clear editorial policies which cover publication ethics and include handling potential conflicts of interest of editors, authors and reviewers. Publishers and editors must 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 should 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 or book publisher’s plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to published content (for example, access to main articles via CLOCKSS or PubMedCentral) in the event a journal is no longer published must be clearly indicated.
- Professional Publishing Organisations should be members of Crossref and provide DOIs for all published content.
- Demonstration of the following would also be desirable: Availability of DOIs for published content, COPE membership, Abstracting & Indexing services if applicable.
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 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 organisations.
In some cases we might contact editorial board members and/or authors during the membership application review process to determine whether content and editorial practices are rigorous.
Other organisations 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 be in accordance with OASPA’s statement on open access.
From 7th August 2018 onwards: Given the overlap in the screening criteria between the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and OASPA, and that DOAJ is primarily an index of reputable open-access journals, we have agreed with DOAJ that, with immediate effect, all single journals that apply to OASPA will now be first referred to DOAJ if the journal is not already listed in DOAJ. More details can be found in our full announcement of this new agreement here.