SPARC Releases New Guide for Campus Action

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By: 
Andrea Brusca Higginbotham
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2012
 
Contact:
Andrea Brusca Higginbotham
andrea [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 x 121
 

SPARC Releases New Guide for Campus Action

Document highlights positive publishing options for scholars 

 
Washington, DC – Frustrated with business practices that limit their ability to share the results of their scholarship, more than 10,500 academics have now signed the Cost of Knowledge’s online boycott of the journal publisher, Elsevier. Citing disapproval over exorbitant journal prices and profits, restrictive bundling requirements for journal purchasing, and support for legislation to further limit the free exchange of scholarly information, the number of signatories continues to grow steadily. 
 
The number and visibility of boycott signatories played a significant role in the recent successful defeat of the Research Works Act (RWA), legislation proposed by reps. Issa (R-CA) and Maloney (D-NY) and supported by Elsevier, which would have repealed the 2008 law that mandated PubMed Central deposits for NIH funded research. 
 
Inspired by the willingness of the academic community to speak out against practices that limit the accessibility and utility of their scholarship, SPARC has produced a guide suggesting positive actions that faculty, researchers, and other campus stakeholders can take to help contribute to the creation of a more equitable journal marketplace.
 
The new document, entitled “You’ve Signed onto the Boycott: Now What? A SPARC Guide for Campus Action” includes practical suggestions such as considering publication in open access journals, understanding your rights as an author, and making informed choices about publication venues that you choose to edit or review for. 
 
 “Scholars and researchers around the world are taking steps to effect change in scholarly communication to align it with the values of intellectual inquiry, open access and digital technologies,” said David Carlson, Dean of Texas A&M University Libraries and SPARC Steering Committee Chair. “Institutions are making changes in policies, granting agencies are requiring deposits and individual scholars are committing to change in where they submit and the rights they maintain. These disparate efforts are all important and, together, the individual commitments of scholars that this Guide recommends will make a difference.”
 
The guide also encouraged the signatories of the boycott to remain engaged in the larger policy debates surrounding open access, and encourages support for the Federal Research Public Access Act, (FRPAA, H.R. 4004 and S. 2096) a bill currently in front of Congress that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by 11 U.S. federal agencies. 
 
“This new SPARC document provides an opportunity for libraries to talk with scholars on how they can continue to take personal commitments and translate them to specific actions to create positive change,” said Heather Joseph, SPARC’s Executive Director. “It’s a terrific way for the library community to help keep the momentum towards Open Access moving steadily forward.”
 
 
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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 800 academic and research libraries worldwide. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc