The SPARC Consulting Group (SCG) provides business, financial, and strategic consulting services to universities and university presses, learned societies, and other academic and nonprofit organizations. It supports the development, launch and operation of scholarly communications projects by helping make them more competitive, financially self-sufficient, and better equipped to serve scholars and the marketplace.
Our partner programs are of three types: The Alternative program supports lower-cost, directly competitive journals as an alternative for academic disciplines formerly dependent on high-priced journals; The Leading Edge program supports ventures that demonstrate open access or other innovative business models; The Scientific Communities program supports the development of non-profit portals that serve the needs of a discrete scientific community by aggregating peer-reviewed research and other content. SPARC welcomes new partners who are committed to fair pricing, the ethical use of scholarly resources, and intellectual property management policies that emphasize broad and easy distribution and reuse of material.
Products & Services
SPARC offers a list of potentially useful technologies for institutions, societies, or new publishing ventures in the following categories. (Not endorsed by SPARC unless noted).
If you're a new publisher or an established group considering other business models, explore SPARC Publications for guides on non-profit publishing cooperatives, defining and negotiating successful sponsorships, converting subscription-based journals to open access, getting your journal indexed, and more.
Explore SPARC Publications for more useful papers, presentations, and media files -- including "Publishing Cooperatives -- An Alternative for Society Publishers[PDF]."
This Web site and accompanying guide provide an overview of income models currently being used to support the open-access distribution of peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific journals. These resources will be a useful tool both for publishers exploring new potential sources of income and for libraries weighing where to direct meager library funds.
This site provides information for libraries, presses, and other academic units interested in launching and maintaining campus-based publishing partnerships. The resource is maintained by an editorial board representing library and university press staff actively engaged in creating and managing publishing partnerships. It reflects their practical experience and provides information on current developments, as well as guidance on best practices.
Please see our NIH page for recent growth in author submission rates, copyright considerations, text of the law, a list of journals that deposit on behalf of authors, and more. The Open Access Directory also publishes a list of publisher policies adapted to help authors comply with the NIH policy.
SPARC and ACRL have released interviews and analysis exploring in depth the views of three major open access publishers on the challenges of sustainability. The materials were produced in conjunction with the 15th SPARC-ACRL Forum on Emerging Issues in Scholarly Communication, which took place on June 23, 2007.
The Forum offered participants the opportunity to engage in conversation with top executives from the three organizations. Speakers included Mark Patterson, director of publishing for the Public Library of Science; Bryan Vickery, deputy publisher for BioMed Central and Editorial Director for Chemistry Central; and Paul Peters, director of business development for Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Alma Swan of Key Perspectives Ltd., moderated the session. Podcasts and slides from the event are now available at http://www.arl.org/sparc/meetings/ala07. The new materials offer a deeper level of insight into the three publishers’ business models.