OASPA represents a broad spectrum of open-access and other relevant organisations, and we are proud to have established a community of collaborative and energetic organisations and individuals to discuss and explore business models, tools and standards in open access. Since our launch in 2008, OASPA has rigorously assessed the applications of all those looking to become members of the association, although the criteria for inclusion have been revised and enhanced during this time. To join OASPA, applicants must fulfil all of our membership criteria, and we conduct additional background research when needed during our assessment. With the continued year-on-year increase in applications to OASPA, we wanted to highlight the current status of our application process.
In some cases, applicants wanting to become members of OASPA are required to revise their policies, information on their websites, or other aspects of their organisation, in order to meet OASPA’s membership criteria and to be approved as members. We aim to ensure that applicants find this a useful and constructive process, and we provide guidance to them throughout to make sure that expectations are understood and achievable. We find on the whole that applicants are very grateful for the support OASPA gives during our application review procedure, and that having advice on issues such as licensing or having websites assessed by someone external to their organisation can be very beneficial, particularly for small organisations with limited resources.
When looking at data for applications to OASPA over the past 3 years, 67% of accepted applications – 28 of the total 42 approved – required some changes to be made prior to acceptance (see Table 1). Such applications may have been close to fulfilling OASPA’s membership criteria, but assessment by the OASPA Membership Committee would have highlighted that particular policies, or website information, needed to be amended in some way. Understandably this applies more frequently to applications from publishing organisations. 77% of accepted applications from publishing organisations – 27 of 35 applications – required some changes to be made during the review process, while only 1 of 7 applications (14%) from non-publishing organisations required revisions to be made.
|Publishing Organisation||Non-Publishing Organisation||Total No. Applications Accepted by OASPA|
|Modifications necessary||No Modifications necessary||Modifications necessary||No Modifications necessary|
Table 1: Modifications made to accepted applications, 2013-2015
Between 2013 and 2015, ~24% of applications to join OASPA were accepted.
|Application Status||Total 2013-2015||Percentage|
Table 2: All applications received to OASPA, 2013-2015
Rejection of applications to OASPA occurs when applicants are unable to fulfil one or more important aspects of OASPA’s membership criteria.
Another relatively common outcome is that applicants do not respond to the changes requested in light of the assessment of their application: we consider such applications to be ‘dropped’. This does not mean the application has been rejected; it simply means that the applicant has chosen not to proceed for some reason.
Ongoing reviews of members
It is important to note that OASPA members are required to continue to meet the same membership criteria that any new applicant must meet. As such, OASPA members must adhere to our code of conduct. Our own review procedures are also regularly assessed to ensure that they are robust and rigorous. OASPA’s Board and Committees are key to this process, as well our ongoing collaboration with related membership organisations.
OASPA is keen to ensure that our process of applicant reviews, as well as our assessment of existing members and our membership criteria, are as transparent as possible. We welcome your input on any aspect of our current processes – and how they might be improved. If you’d like to get in touch, you can do so here.