Membership Criteria


OASPA collaborates with the Committee on Publication Ethics, DOAJ and the World Association of Medical Editors to define the principles of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing.

These principles feed into the criteria on which all applications for OASPA membership are evaluated.

To ensure consistently high standards in open access publishing and among our members, the OASPA Board reviews and revises the criteria regularly.

Our members must always demonstrate that they continue to meet these criteria and that they abide by our Code of Conduct.

Please contact us if you have queries.

The Criteria

In accordance with our statement on open access, applications are only accepted from:

  • Publishers of open access journals and/or books
  • Organisations that provide significant services and/or support to open access publishing

Basic criteria for all applicants

  • Your organisation or journal name must be sufficiently unique so that it does not mislead your users.
  • Your website must:
    • demonstrate that care has been taken to ensure high standards of presentation.
    • include information on ownership and/or management.
    • include full contact information, including a business address and email for at least one named individual.
  • Any direct marketing activities, including solicitation of manuscripts, must be carried out in accordance with the OASPA Code of Conduct.
  • Your advertising policy must:
    • be stated clearly.
    • include what types of advertisements will be considered.
    • include who makes decisions regarding accepting ads.
    • include whether ads are linked to content, or reader behaviour, or are displayed at random.
  • Business models and revenue sources should be clear, including major sources of support for publishing operations in general, for example from institutions, funding agencies or commercial organisations.

Basic criteria for all publishing organisations

During the application review process, we will sometimes contact editorial board members and/or authors to determine whether content and editorial practices are rigorous.

  • Your website must:
    • display affiliations (department, institution, country) for all editors and editorial board members.
    • state if any fees are charged. If there are no charges this must also be stated.
    • clearly indicate the process for electronic backup and digital preservation of published content (for example via CLOCKSS or PubMedCentral).
    • not contain misleading information, including any attempt to mimic another journal or publisher.
  • Your published content:
  • Your author guidelines:
    • are linked to from your homepage.
    • are easy to find and read.
    • include details of
      • your open access policy.
      • your licensing policies, including links to the Creative Commons license terms.
      • your copyright policy, including whether or not the author retains copyright.
      • your peer review process.
  • The license(s) that you apply to published works must be
    • stated on the website.
    • included in all versions of the full text.
  • Your peer review process and policies must:
    • be clearly stated on the website (including the role of editors and editorial board in the process, what happens when peer review reports come in, whether the author can respond and who makes decision to accept/reject).
    • include independent external reviewing, appropriate for the subject, by experts in the field who are not part of the publisher’s editorial staff. Owners of companies should not be involved in editorial decision making.
  • Your editorial process and policies must:
    • be stated clearly on the website.
    • cover publication ethics.
    • include handling potential conflicts of interest of editors, authors and reviewers.
    • state a clear procedure, based on COPE’s guidelines or equivalent, for dealing with any allegations of research misconduct.
    • describe how you identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred. Editors should not encourage misconduct or allow misconduct to take place.
  • Publishers depositing their citation data with Crossref must make that data openly available as per the Initiative for Open Citations.

Extra criteria for journal publishers

  • At least one of your journals must be a fully open access journal that only uses a CC BY or CC BY-NC license. (See our licensing FAQs).
  • At least one journal must be listed in DOAJ.
  • Your website must state:
    • How frequently papers are published.
  • Your journals must have editorial boards (or similar)
    • that are large enough to support the journal.
    • whose members are recognised, active experts in the field.
  • Your articles must display:
    • Submission, acceptance and publication dates.
    • Author contact information.
    • The licence and a copyright statement.
  • If fees are charged, there must be a waiver policy that is easy to find and clearly stated.
  • 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.

Extra criteria for book publishers

Recommendations for publishing organisations

The following are recommendations for best practice but are not required criteria for membership. We recommend that:

  • Professional Publishers are members of Crossref and provide DOIs for all published content.
  • Scholar Publishers use DOIs for published content. (OASPA can provide support for this membership group after joining OASPA as one of our benefits of membership).

Recommendations for book publishers

The following are recommendations for best practice but are not required criteria for membership. We recommend that:

You register your open access books in Directory of Open Access Books.

Please contact us if you have queries.

Become a Member

  • Learn about new open scholarship developments
  • Strengthen your organisation
  • Contribute to OASPA’s direction
  • Advocate for open scholarship