Springer membership of OASPA is reinstated

As was explained in a statement on the OASPA blog in April 2014 (http://oaspa.org/statement-regarding-the-suspension-of-springers-membership-in-oaspa/), OASPA’s Membership Committee made the decision to place Springer’s membership under review as a result of concerns that were raised regarding the peer review policies of several of its conference proceedings. The concerns arose because of the publication of 16 (since increased to 18) gibberish articles generated by the computer program SCIGen, despite these publications being described as peer reviewed.

Springer have responded to several inquiries from OASPA about actions that are being taken to bolster peer review processes at the conference proceedings publications, and have also issued a number of informative and constructive public statements.  The Membership Committee’s view is that Springer have taken appropriate steps to strengthen their peer review processes, and we are delighted to reinstate Springer as a full member of OASPA with immediate effect.

During this investigation, the OASPA Board has discussed whether it is appropriate for OASPA to place a member under review in cases where there are concerns relating to products that are not themselves open access.  The Board’s view is that evidence of systematic weaknesses in publishing processes that compromise the integrity of scholarship are relevant to the organisation as a whole. OASPA will therefore continue to investigate evidence of significant weaknesses if we judge that the evidence could be seen to reflect on open-access publishing operations. Wherever possible, OASPA will also offer to assist members in taking the appropriate steps to correct any problems that may arise.

The final statement from Springer regarding the publication of these SCIGen manuscripts is available athttp://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/statements/springer-final-scigen-report/32052