Societies and Open Access Research

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  • The goal of the Societies and Open Access Research (SOAR) project is to maintain a comprehensive catalog of scholarly societies supporting gold OA for their own journals. For this purpose, a society's relationship to its OA journals might be that of owner, publisher, or partner with the publisher.
  • Peter Suber and Caroline Sutton started the project in 2007, before the launch of HOAP. But Peter Suber's participation became part of HOAP in 2011, as did Amanda Page's in 2013. However, HOAP itself is only one contributor, and Caroline Sutton continues as a project principal.


  • The catalog itself = Society publishers with open access journals
    • By Caroline Sutton, Peter Suber, and Amanda Page.
    • Highlight: As of October 19, 2015, the catalog lists 1,033 societies publishing 1,000 full (non-hybrid) OA journals. Of these, 803 are in science, technology, engineering and medicine (STM or STEM), 117 are in the social sciences, 63 are in the humanities, 7 are in the arts, and the rest cover more than one of these categories.
    • The latest edition of the catalog is the third. We released it on September 16, 2013, and update it regularly.
    • The catalog is a Google Spreadsheet under a CC-BY license.
    • Originally the spreadsheet was open for public editing. Unfortunately vandalism forced us to close public editing in April 2013, although the spreadsheet remains OA under a CC-BY license for reading and reuse. We'll re-open it for public editing when we think it's safe to do so. In the meantime, we continue to update the spreadsheet ourselves. If you have additions or corrections, please send them to Amanda Page.
    • Suggested short URL for the catalog =
  • Editions of the catalog, and accompanying articles
    • Caroline Sutton and Peter Suber released the first edition of the catalog in September 2007. At that time, the catalog was a downloadable Excel spreadsheet under a CC-BY license. It's still available, though superseded.
    • Caroline and Peter released the second edition on December 2, 2011. This edition launched the Google spreadsheet still in use for the third and current edition.
    • The second edition was open to public edits, and continuously updated. For those reasons, we didn't plan to release a third edition. But we did so in September 2013 in order to add Amanda Page as a co-author and recognize her work enlarging and improving the catalog.
    • The first edition of the catalog listed both full and hybrid OA journals. But the second and third editions list only full (non-hybrid) OA journals.


  • Amanda Page created a series of maps, released on October 21, 2013, to show the locations of the societies publishing OA journals.
    • The maps are moving to the HOAP wiki. See the growing SOAR maps page.

Related resources

For real-time news and comment on the topic of society publishers and OA, follow the oa.societies tag at the Open Access Tracking Project. (This feed is crowd-sourced, and you can make it more complete by taking part in the OATP.)