SPARC Initiatives

To advance our vision of a more open system of scholarly communication, SPARC supports an evolving suite of initiatives designed to drive meaningful change across our main issue areas. SPARC’s initiatives are designed around three main goals:

Educating stakeholders about challenges in the scholarly communication system and the opportunities for change;

Advocating for policy changes that leverage technology to advance scholarly communication;

Incubating demonstrations of business and publishing models that leverage openness for the benefit of scholarship and academe.

SPARC currently supports active initiatives in the following areas:

Advocacy: SPARC supports a robust advocacy program supporting policy changes at the local, state, national, and international levels that leverage the use of technology to advance the communication of research and scholarship.

Article-Level Metrics:  Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) provide a new approach to quantifying the reach and impact of published research. SPARC provides resources to help clarify the definition, application, opportunities and challenges presented by ALMs, as well their potential application in the research evaluation and tenure and promotion processes.

Author Rights: Understanding and managing the rights you have as an author is one of the most effective ways to help promote a more open system of scholarly communication.  SPARC provides a full set of tools and resources to help you get started.

Campus-Based Publishing: As the changing digital landscape has led libraries to redefine their roles, many have broadened their mission to include publishing programs that explore new models for scholarly communication. SPARC provides resources for libraries, presses, and other academic units interested in launching and maintaining campus-based publishing ventures, as well as guidance on best practices.

Campus Open Access Funds: As the popularity of open access journals rises, the question “where will the money come from to support them?” becomes more crucial to answer.   Campus Open Access Funds are an important emerging option, and SPARC provides tools and resources to help you understand why Campus Open Access Funds are being launched, what decisions go into their creation, and how they are being managed.  It also provides a window in the lessons earned by institutions that have already created open access funds. 

Digital Repositories: SPARC is committed to producing resources to promote the establishment, use, and improvement of open digital repositories and maintains a variety of resources on the topic.

Right to Research Coalition: Students are the next generation of scholars, researchers, teachers and professionals.  Ensuring that they understand and adopt practices that promote a more open system of scholarly communication is essential to the long-term success of SPARC’s vision. SPARC supports the student Right to Research Coalition to promote education and advocacy efforts among undergraduate and graduate students globally.

SPARC Events: As part of its mission to educate stakeholders about opportunities for change in scholarly communication, SPARC hosts both regular and periodic meetings, webcasts and other community events.

SPARC Innovator Award: The SPARC Innovator program is an initiative that recognizes an individual, institution, or group that exemplifies SPARC principles by working to challenge the status quo in scholarly communication for the benefit of researchers, libraries, universities, and the public. SPARC Innovators are featured on the SPARC Web site semi-annually.

For more detailed information about SPARC’s current program activities, see the 2013 SPARC Program Plan.

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