Learn more about OASPA’s funding and activities

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Established back in 2008, OASPA has matured and evolved as much as open access has itself over the years. We recently shared our thoughts on how far we have come as an organisation. 

We’ve been in a really exciting growth phase this year and now have over 175 members which has enhanced our community even further. 75% of our publisher members are fully open access, but we have many mixed-model publisher members, as well as supporting services and infrastructures. The largest category of members we have are actually running publications on a volunteer basis. We help these smaller publishing operations with guidance and practical support. 

All of our members have signed up to OASPA’s mission of advancing open access. The core of our work is focussed on encouraging and enabling open access as the predominant mode of publication for scholarly outputs.  Alongside this we promote best practice and ethical standards in open access publishing, whilst showcasing innovation, and the diverse business models and policies that support open access publishing today.  

Often the work we do is in collaboration with other organisations who have similar goals. This year we’ve been working on a broad range of activities with others:


Internal work has included:

  • Reviewing and updating our membership criteria and code of conduct for members.
  • Collecting and publishing OA books publication data from our members, with journals data collection also underway and to be published before the end of the year.
  • Running interest groups for our members focussed on both fully OA journals and OA books – fully open access publisher members are eligible to join and can contact us if they would like to participate.
  • We started a major piece of work to investigate the health of the open access market with the support of Research Consulting and to explore what OASPA’s role can be. More information can be found here, including a report of the stakeholder workshops we ran this year.  We’re looking forward to taking this work further. 
  • We have an ongoing strategic partnership with the OA Switchboard which we founded last year – we manage the communications and our Executive Director is chair of the board. In this first year of being fully operational, it’s been wonderful to see the OA Switchboard develop as a truly collaborative initiative. The most recent webinar gives a really good overview of the exciting progress being made by those already participating, and this blog post lays out how we align with the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).
  • Beyond all this, we convene a broader group of people interested in open access and open scholarship. We’ve continued to run a series of free webinars on topics such as: open access books metadata; openness and privacy; researcher needs and values; and also took a look at Australia’s open access journey.
  • We ran our annual conference, this year with the overarching theme of Designing 21st Century Knowledge Sharing Systems, which was our biggest so far with 700 delegates and 72 speakers spanning 70 countries.


Throughout this year we’ve also been formalising OASPA as an organisation.  Behind the scenes we’re a small team but, together with the OASPA board, we’ve been making sure that the organisation is sustainable and on a good footing to grow in the future.  

In 2020 our total income was €196,961 and expenditure was €187,525, leaving a modest surplus of €9436 (just under 5%). As some background, this is the ratio of membership fees vs conference income for last year


And this is the breakdown of what the funds we received were spent on in 2020:

– ‘Community support’ covers funds that directly support work we are involved in on the OA Switchboard, Think. Check. Submit. and C4DISC, as well as covering the cost of Scholar Publisher DOI deposits with Crossref via our sponsored agreement.
– ‘Administration’ includes our legal and accounting expenses, website upkeep and any direct costs for marketing and communications.


In line with responsible governance for a non-profit organisation, we have been building up a reserve fund to secure the future of the organisation into the future, and also to grow our staff which is currently small in number at 2.5 FTEs. The funds we receive have enabled us to run the broad program of activities summarised above, to continue to build our community around open access publishing, to be responsive to community questions and needs, and to focus our efforts on the important work to realise OASPA’s mission.

We hope you have found this insight into our work in 2021 useful and interesting. We are committed to using our resources optimally to create meaningful progress in realising our mission and supporting our community. We value transparency and hope this post helps to demonstrate how our finances support our work and our community.

We welcome questions and comments either on the post or by email to claire.redhead@oaspa.org

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