Creating and capitalizing on opportunities to create change
SPARC takes the pulse of the scholarly publishing, higher education, scientific, and library communities. SPARC works in close concert with campuses, liaising with partners and contacts across sectors, This creates an ideal vantage point to discern potential opportunities for improving the research and communication environment, test out new models, evaluate and synthesize findings, and stimulate discussion. SPARC channels the efforts of the community to improve the flow of research and information. Members depend on SPARC to maintain and distill a strategic view of the marketplace.
Driving policy changes at the federal and local levels
SPARC leverages the power of its more than 220 members, including libraries of all types and sizes - plus its national partners - to lobby for policy shifts that support wider research sharing. Our active advocacy program brings together the collective muscle of our member libraries, and leverages our resources for on-campus communication, to pursue local and federal policies moves that compel wider access to research and scholarship. SPARC’s advocacy efforts have directly contributed to the success of the first U.S. and Canadian requirements for public access to publicly funded research (at the National Institutes of Health and Canadian Institutes of Health Research), and in helping to shape the growing number of open-access policies being adopted on college and university campuses. Members rely on SPARC to make their voices heard where policy is being made.
• Campus-based open-access policy support
• Evolution of the NIH policy
• SPARC’s advocacy program
• The Alliance for Taxpayer Access
Engage effectively with others on campus
In support of every strategy for change, SPARC maintains an extensive, regularly updated, freely available series of educational tools, designed for librarians to use in engaging with faculty, administrators, publishers, students, and others on campus. Our suite of materials includes everything from papers and posters to videos, podcasts, and live events. Libraries count on SPARC for the eye-catching and compelling tools they need to capture attention and start conversations on campus.
• Author Rights brochure and online addendum generator
• Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy - Copyright Considerations and Options
• Webcast invitation—Open-access funds: Design and implementation on campus
• Voices of Open Access Videos
• Campus-based publishing partnerships resource center
• SPARC-ACRL forum on campus-based open-access policies
Keep fully abreast of the latest developments
Through our extensive communications network and steady stream of tailored updates, SPARC puts members in a position to speak knowledgeably about a wide range of scholarly communication issues. Members use SPARC as a primary point of access to the news they need to keep up to date on important developments, emerging controversies, and promising resources within the field. This, in turn, helps them speak comfortably to faculty, administration, and students about scholarly communication developments.
• Open Access Week social network
• SPARC Twitter feed
• SPARC Author Rights discussion forum
• SPARC Open Access Newsletter
• SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting
Be connected to the global movement for change
Local momentum for wider access to scholarship and research – on campuses, at research institutes, among research funders, and beyond – is growing worldwide. SPARC serves as a hub for this global innovation, drawing together, analyzing, and distilling the latest developments for members. In addition to working closely with sister organizations in the UK, continental Europe, and Japan, SPARC regularly takes an active leadership role in international meetings. Through these activities, SPARC helps directly connect institutions around the world that share common interests, experiences, and concerns. SPARC is a global focal point for libraries interested in scholarly communication developments.
• Open Access Week social network
• SPARC email discussion lists
• SPARC Europe
• SPARC Japan
SPARC's efforts help libraries deliver access to more resources. Here are some results from the programs described on this page:
The NIH Public Access Policy unlocks access to ~80,000 journal articles published each year as a result of that agency’s funding.
Over 27,000,000 papers, presentations, and other files are being made openly available in over 1,700 digital repositories around the world.
More then 5,000 open-access journals are now in circulation, providing a growing variety of open outlets for authors across disciplines to choose from.
Over 230 research organizations have adopted policies to require Open Access to their research outputs.
Membership in SPARC is affordable and open to libraries of all types and sizes. Explore:
Contact us anytime. Start with SPARC's Communication Manager, Andrea Higginbotham -- by phone at (202) 296-2296, ext. 121, or by email through andrea [at] arl [dot] org.