Assessment of New Applications and Complaints Procedure
One of the goals of OASPA is to promote best practices for maintaining and disseminating OA scholarly communications, and ethical standards of publishing. Applicants must be judged to meet a set of OASPA membership criteria, and all new applications are screened by two of the OASPA Board members (supported by the OASPA Secretariat), in an effort to determine whether the applicant operates with integrity and is genuinely committed to open access publishing.
The screening process involves reviewing the applicant’s web site, and assessing whether there is sufficient evidence that the applicant meets the standards laid out in the OASPA code of conduct. We pay attention in particular to the following:
- The publisher has at least one journal that regularly publishes original research or scholarship which is all open access OR publishes at least five books annually which are all open access
- Contact information and instructions to authors are clearly available
- There is evidence of an acceptable peer-review process and a recognised editorial board and in the case of books that peer review involves at least two external reviewers.
- Information about publication fees (if appropriate) or any other charges is clearly provided
- License information is clear and compatible with the OASPA statement on open access.
For applications received after April 1st, 2010, we have also added the following:
- For applications from professional publishing organisations, we will request information about the legal status of the organisation, for example, whether it is a privately-owned or public company, a not-for-profit organisation or a charity. We will request company registration information.
We also frequently ask new applicants to make adjustments to the information on their web sites with regard to some of these issues, to improve their licensing arrangements, for example. We have also had to decline applications for membership on occasion.
We look to the broader community to help us maintain and improve standards. Serious concerns about potential misconduct by one of our members can be submitted to the OASPA board according to the following procedure.
- Complaints should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be as specific as possible and provide as much objective evidence as available. The person making the complaint must be willing to be identified to OASPA and supply a valid contact email address.
- Complaints will be reviewed by at least two members of the OASPA Board of Directors within 30 days of receiving a complaint. The member for whom the complaint has been lodged will be notified and given 14 days to respond to the complaint. Additional time to respond to the complaint will be provided if the request is felt to be reasonable by the reviewing Board members.
- Based on the evidence provided by both parties, the Board will make a good faith effort to determine if the complaint is valid. If the complaint is determined to be valid, actions may include appropriate revision of policies or practices by the publisher, or termination of the publisher’s membership of OASPA. The member and the person making the complaint will be notified via email of the decision and given the opportunity to appeal the decision to the full OASPA Board of Directors. The decision of the full Board of Directors will be final.