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2013 Program Plan
What is SPARC?
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is a library membership organization that promotes expanded sharing of scholarship. SPARC believes that faster and wider sharing of outputs of the research process increases the impact of research, fuels the advancement of knowledge, and increases the return on research investments. SPARC is supported by a membership of over 200 academic and research libraries worldwide.
SPARC is a catalyst for action. Its pragmatic agenda focuses on collaborating with other stakeholders to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication norms, practices and policies that leverage the networked digital environment, expand the dissemination of research findings, and reduce financial pressures on libraries.
SPARC’s strategy focuses on reducing barriers to the access, sharing, and use of scholarship. Our highest priority is advancing the understanding and implementation of policies and practices that ensure Open Access (OA) to scholarly research outputs. SPARC’s primary focus is on journal literature, but our evolving strategy reflects an increasing focus on Open Access to research outputs of all kinds – including digital data and open educational resources (OER).
SPARC’s work centers on three key program areas:
- Educating stakeholders about the problems facing scholarly communication and the opportunities for them to play a role in achieving positive change;
- Advocating policy changes that advance scholarly communication and that explicitly recognize that dissemination of scholarship is an essential, inseparable component of the research process;
- Incubating demonstrations of new publishing and sustainability models that benefit scholarship and academe.
SPARC activities will advance acceptance and long-term sustainability of an open system for scholarly communication, with a primary focus on advancing open-access models for publishing and archiving the results of scholarly research. SPARC will promote changes in both the infrastructure and culture needed to make Open Access the norm in scholarly communication.
KEY NEW PROGRAM PRIORITIES FOR 2013
- Evaluate effectiveness of reorganization of SPARC’s European program activities, developed and approved in 2011, and fully implemented in 2012.
- Evaluate opportunities to use as model to extend structure beyond Europe.
- Target areas where interest has been expressed – specifically, Africa (leveraging relationships in South Africa); Brazil, China and India
- Actively promote the updated SPARC brand as a reflection of broad, global presence and activity.
- Continue to provide significant resources (both financial and managerial) to support operations of this rapidly-growing program
- Co-fund additional staff person/consultant with the Right to Research Coalition (R2RC) to develop program in support of Open Educational Resources (OER).
- Partner with R2RC to implement Student/Library Liaison Network
- Strengthen joint advocacy efforts with R2RC and member organizations to leverage community presence on Open Access, OER and related issues.
- Develop and present regular joint SPARC/Student educational programs – webcasts, videos, workshops, etc.
- Expand educational and advocacy campaigns to explicitly include data as a scholarly research output along with articles.
- Explore opportunities to educate policy makers on key aspects of Open Data, including developing campaign to work with funders on mandating Open Data policies.
- Develop and distribute primer on Open Data for funders
- Establish partnerships with relevant organizations, such as Open Knowledge Foundation, Digital Science, DataCite, etc.)
- Leverage new and existing relationships to develop educational programs on Open Data.
Evaluation, Tenure and Promotion Practices
- Use educational campaign on Alternative/Article Level Metrics (ALMs) as entry point for discussions on new modes of evaluating research outputs.
- Develop “ALM Primer,” targeting educating librarians, administrators, faculty and researchers on basics.
- Develop and deploy educational programming on ALM’s (including follow-on Webcast, ALA Forum etc.)
- Partner with key stakeholders (MLA, ACLS, Impact Story, etc.) to convene discussion(s) on changing nature of scholarly communications and its potential impact on faculty/researcher evaluation, tenure and promotion.
KEY CONTINUING ACTIVITIES IN 2013
Advocacy/Policy Strategy – SPARC will continue to raise the public policy profile of Open Access through its highly visible initiative to advance public access to the results of federally funded research through:
- Leading advocacy efforts in educating policymakers on Open Access in advocating for public access policies on National and International levels
- Supporting research on social/economic benefits of public access to federally funded research
- Managing U.S. National Working Group on Open Access
- Establishing Legislative Day for Open Access; partnering with OASPA to bring OA-friendly publishers to D.C.
- Educating funders on creation and implementation of open-access policies
- Participating in coalitions working on “Open” issues
- Holding Biennial North American Open Access Meeting
Campus Education – SPARC will enable and deepen libraries’ grassroots advocacy efforts to reach faculty, researchers, and students to educate them on critical issues in scholarly communication by:
- Promoting/supporting the adoption of campus-based, faculty-driven open-access policies and funds
- Regularly presenting SPARC’s activities at meetings of library, publishing, university, faculty, student and research organizations
- Partnering with the R2RC to establish Student/Librarian Liaison Network
- Sponsoring Open Access Week and its growing related activities
- Partnering with OER Common’s to support new Open Education Week
- Updating the ongoing “Author Rights” educational campaign
- Expand SPARC’s E-news, Innovator Series, biannual ALA forum, and other highly visible communication and education activities
Open Access Infrastructure Support – SPARC will continue its leadership role in promoting digital repositories and open-access journal outlets by:
- Actively partnering with OA publishers to promote awareness and adoption of open-access journal publishing options
- Partnering with key digital repository organizations to promote educational programs of interest to the community
- Publishing guide on potential business models supporting community-wide Open Access infrastructure.
- Participating in workshops and symposia on access issues, particularly those sponsored by the NSF, National Academies and other federal agencies
Publisher Partnership & Incubation Program - SPARC will continue to support and promote useful examples of open-access or other innovative publishing initiatives by:
- Exploring and supporting transition strategies for subscription-based publishers to move to open-access models
- Collaborating with university presses and scholarly societies
- Working with societies, university presses, and other non-profit publishing initiatives to develop educational materials highlighting successful alternative publishing models for journals, monographs, and other scholarly communication genres
- Supporting Academy-based publishing initiatives
Enabling Strategies - SPARC will implement mechanisms for ensuring organizational stability and strength by:
- Promoting member retention and recruitment
- Deploying regular internal/external communication highlighting SPARC’s programs
- Continuing “Members Only” programs and benefits
- Deepening member engagement in the SPARC network through Webcasts, social media outreach database-based relationship management, and other means
- Exploring opportunities to build internal capacity, via ongoing monitoring of dues structure, grant funding for program support, expanded partnership arrangements, etc.