OASPA reinstates Sage membership

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) has reinstated Sage’s membership after a six-month review period.

The publisher’s membership was placed under review last October after one of its journals accepted a hoax article during a “sting” by a journalist from Science magazine.

OASPA said that Sage had now made “key changes to the editorial processes” of the journal in question – the Journal of International Medical Research (JIMR) – including adding an additional stage of peer review.

In a statement, the body said: “The OASPA Membership Committee is satisfied that the new editorial procedures which are now in place have fully addressed the concerns that were raised during the investigation last year, and as a result the committee is pleased to reinstate Sage as a full member of OASPA.”

The hoax article was also accepted for publication by Clinical and Eperimental Medical Sciences, published by Hikari, and Drug Design, Development and Therapy published by Dove Medical Press. OASPA terminated the memberships of Hikari and Dove Medical Press and will not reconsider them for membership for a year.

It took a different path with Sage because of the “unusual” editorial process at JIMR.

Sage, which had acquired JIMR shortly before its membership of OASPA was placed under review, said the journal had a “unique two-stage editorial process".

In a statement welcoming its reinstated OASPA membership, Sage said: “Although Science reported the ‘spoof’ article had been accepted for publication, this was subject to a further, detailed technical edit which had yet to take place. While Sage was concerned that a paper with fundamental errors got through the initial stage, we were confident that the second technical edit stage would have revealed the errors and led to its rejection.”

David Ross, Sage’s executive publisher for Open Access, said: “We are delighted that OASPA has recognised our efforts and as a result has made the decision to reinstate SAGE as a full member of OASPA. We are extremely pleased it is satisfied with both our open approach to its committee’s concerns, and the robust changes that we have implemented for JIMR to ensure a strengthened peer review process and the continued publication of quality research.”