SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC.
SPARC’s role in stimulating change focuses on:
Today membership in SPARC numbers nearly 800 institutions in North America, Europe, Japan, China, and Australia. SPARC worked with the Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER) and other European organizations to establish SPARC Europe in 2001. SPARC also is affiliated with major library organizations in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, and North America.
SPARC finances its efforts through coalition member fees that support operating expenses and help build a capital fund to provide start-up money for its programs. SPARC also seeks grants to augment the capital fund. The key to SPARC's success, however, is the commitment of its approximately 200 coalition members to support SPARC initiatives. The members elect a small group of their own to assist SPARC in creating and governing its programs through the SPARC Steering Committee according to the SPARC governance policies.