Code of Conduct

Members of OASPA are approved following a strict evaluation process in accordance with the OASPA Membership Criteria. By becoming a member of OASPA, members agree to abide by the statements below in this Code of Conduct.

OASPA is also a co-developer of the The Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. The principles should apply to all published content, including special issues and conference proceedings. Where practices deviate from the standards outlined, editors must transparently communicate the procedures that the journal follows. These principles also acknowledge that publishers and editors are responsible for promoting accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusivity in all aspects of the publication. Editorial decisions should be based on scholarly merit. They should not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Journals should ensure no policies create an exclusionary environment for anyone wanting to engage with the journal and should regularly assess their policies for inclusivity. You can read the Principles in full at this link.


Members must not indulge in any practices or activities that OASPA feels could bring the Association or open access publishing into disrepute. Misconduct may be reported to the Board of Directors and will be investigated according to a set procedure.

Any information or external communications about the publisher or journal are expected to be truthful and not misleading for readers or authors.

Data protection and privacy

Marketing practices should be well-targeted and in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • GDPR regulations (and the equivalent data protection regulations applicable in your country) should be strictly adhered to as well as the guidelines of an appropriate recognised national marketing association (e.g the Data & Marketing Association in the UK)
  • Contacts acquired should be categorised appropriately to enable tight targeting and segmentation to ensure communications received are relevant. Marketing should be managed so contacts are not receiving duplicate or excessive messages.
  • All communications should include a clear and easy unsubscribe option with standard, visible wording.
  • Privacy and data use policies should include an explanation of how data is used and saved, and be fully available and accessible at all times on the journal or publisher website.

Statement on Open Access

The members of OASPA support open access in line with the OASPA Mission and agree that OA publishing is now an established part of the publishing landscape. Members are committed to ensuring the highest standards of conduct among all OA publishers, and to encouraging the broader adoption of OA publishing models in all fields of research and scholarship. Members of OASPA acknowledge a common interpretation of Open Access publishing that includes the following components:

  • The dissemination of peer-reviewed manuscripts containing original research or scholarship immediately upon publication, at no charge to user groups, without requiring registration or other access barriers.
  • Copyright holders allow users to “copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship…” in the case of journals.


Whilst the CC BY license is most compatible with the above definition of open-access and is strongly encouraged by OASPA, our membership criteria for journals publishers permit the use of the non-commercial restriction where there are compelling reasons to do so. Books publishers who are members of OASPA shall also strive to adhere as much as possible to the reuse principles above. OASPA recognises, however, that in some fields (e.g. Art History) the application of the most liberal licenses may be difficult and as such other licensing practices may be considered acceptable.

Applications, Complaints and Investigations

Membership of OASPA is only granted following an in-depth review process. Find out more.