Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is an international alliance of academic and research libraries developed by the Association of Research Libraries in 1998 which promotes open access to scholarship.[1] The coalition currently includes some 800 institutions[1] in North America, Europe, Japan, China and Australia.

Richard Johnson served as director 1998-2005.[2] Heather Joseph became executive director in 2005.[3][4]

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
SPARC logo 2018
FocusOpen access publishing
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
LeaderHeather Joseph
SubsidiariesAlliance for Taxpayer Access
Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions
AffiliationsSPARC Europe
SPARC Africa


A video released by SPARC in support of Access2Research, a petition for open-access mandates.

The idea of SPARC was presented at the 1997 annual meeting of the Association of Research Libraries.[5][6] Kenneth Frazier,[7] librarian at the University of Wisconsin, proposed that attendees at the meeting develop a fund to create a new publication model for academic journals wherein many libraries contributed to that fund, and from that fund, the contributors would create new publications on some model which lowered the costs of all journals.[5] As founding director, Rick Johnson led the establishment of SPARC in 2002 as a result of so many librarians expressing the desire for reform.[5]

SPARC Europe logo 2018
Logo of SPARC Europe

SPARC Europe was established with LIBER in 2001.[8] David Prosser became director in 2002.[9]

SPARC has established itself as an international alliance of academic and research libraries working "to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system". Its focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC. SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals offers certification for journals choosing the CC-BY license (Creative Commons) and provide the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) with metadata on article level.[10]

SPARC Author Addendum

SPARC publishes an addendum which authors may use to negotiate with academic publishers. The form provides a templated request by authors to add to the copyright transfer agreement which the publisher sends to the author upon acceptance of their work for publication. Authors which use the form typically retain the rights to use their own work without restriction, receive attribution, and to self-archive. The form gives the publisher the right to obtain a non-exclusive right to distribute a work for profit and to receive attribution as the journal of first publication.[11][12]


Founding organizations:

Later endorsements:

See also


  1. ^ a b David J. Brown; Richard Boulderstone (2008). Impact of Electronic Publishing: The Future for Publishers and Librarians. Germany: K.G. Saur. pp. 200–201. ISBN 978-3-598-44013-7 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Plan for Low-cost Journals Online". Publishers Weekly. US. 244 (29). July 20, 1998.
  3. ^ "SPARC at Ten: A Decade Later, Organization Still Aims to Be Part of The Solution", Library Journal, January 18, 2007, archived from the original on December 2, 2008
  4. ^ "SPARC Staff". SPARC. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Groen, Frances K. (2007). Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good. Lanham, Mar.: Scarecrow Press. pp. 218–220. ISBN 978-0-8108-5272-3.
  6. ^ "Will journal publishers perish?", The Economist, UK, May 11, 2000
  7. ^ Carol Kaesuk Yoon (December 8, 1998), "Soaring Prices Spur a Revolt in Scientific Publishing", New York Times
  8. ^ "About Us". SPARC. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  9. ^ "SPARC Europe Hires Director". Library Journal. August 30, 2002.
  10. ^ "Europe and North America - Global Open Access Portal". UNESCO. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  11. ^ "Author rights". 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Author rights" (PDF). SPARC. Retrieved 11 September 2013.

Further reading

External links


BioOne is a nonprofit publisher of scientific research.

BioOne was established in 1999 in Washington, DC, as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization by five scholarly collaborators: the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), The University of Kansas, Greater Western Library Alliance, and Allen Press.

The main impetus for BioOne's creation was the common desire amongst key scholarly stakeholders for an alternative to commercial scholarly publishing.Half of the subscription fee revenue from BioOne Complete is divided between participating publishers.

Budapest Open Access Initiative

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) is a public statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature, which was released to the public February 14, 2002. It arose from a conference convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute on December 1–2, 2001 to promote open access – at the time also known as Free Online Scholarship. This small gathering of individuals is recognised as one of the major defining events of the open access movement. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the initiative, it was reaffirmed in 2012 and supplemented with a set of concrete recommendations for achieving "the new goal that within the next ten years, OA will become the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and country."

Glossa (journal)

Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics is a peer-reviewed open access academic journal covering general linguistics. It was established in 2016 and is published by Ubiquity Press. The editor-in-chief is Johan Rooryck (Leiden University). The journal is funded by LingOA and the Open Library of Humanities.

Heather Joseph

Heather Joseph is a United States-based advocate for open access and particularly academic journal publishing reform. She is the Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and a member of the PLOS Board of Directors.

Herbert Van de Sompel

Herbert Van de Sompel is a Belgian librarian, computer scientist, and musician, most known for his role in the development of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and standards such as OpenURL, Object Reuse and Exchange, and the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.

Information commons

An information commons is an information system, such as a physical library or online community, that exists to produce, conserve, and preserve information for current and future generations. Wikipedia could be considered to be an information commons to the extent that it produces and preserves information through current versions of articles and histories. Other examples of an information commons include Creative Commons.

Labor (journal)

Labor: Studies in Working-Class History is a peer reviewed quarterly journal which publishes articles regarding the history of the labor movement in the United States. It is the official journal of the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) and is published by Duke University Press. Labor is edited by Leon Fink (University of Illinois at Chicago), who previously edited Labor History.

Mike Rossner

Mike Rossner is a United States-based advocate for academic journal publishing reform and open access. He was the director of the Rockefeller University Press from December, 2006 to May, 2013.

Open Access Button

The Open Access Button is a browser bookmarklet which registers when people hit a paywall to an academic article and cannot access it. It is supported by Medsin UK and the Right to Research Coalition.A prototype was built at a BMJ Hack Weekend. All code is openly available online at GitHub.A beta version of the Open Access Button was officially launched on 18 November 2013 at the Berlin 11 Satellite Conference for Students & Early Stage Researchers. It records instances of hitting a paywall, and also provides options to try to locate an open access version of the article. In April 2014 a crowdfunding campaign was started to build a second version.The second version of the button was launched on 21 October 2014 as part of open access week.In February 2015 the Open Access Button and its co-founders, David Carroll and Joseph McArthur ("the button boys"), were awarded a SPARC Innovator Award by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).The third version of the button was launched on 28 October 2016, again, as part of open access week.

Open access in Belgium

In Belgium, open access to scholarly communication accelerated after 2007 when the University of Liège adopted its first open-access mandate. The "Brussels Declaration" for open access was signed by officials in 2012.

Open access in France

In France, open access to scholarly communication is relatively robust and has strong public support., a digital platform for social science and humanities publications, launched in 1999. Hyper Articles en Ligne (HAL) began in 2001. The French National Center for Scientific Research participated in 2003 in the creation of the influential Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Publishers EDP Sciences and OpenEdition belong to the international Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

Open educational resources policy

Open educational resource policies (OER policies) are principles or tenets adopted by governing bodies in support of the use of open content—specifically open educational resources (OER) -- and practices in educational institutions. Such policies are emerging increasingly at the national, state/province, and local levels. Creative Commons defines (OER) policies as "legislation, institutional policies, and/or funder mandates that lead to the creation, increased use, and/or support for improving OER." OER are learning materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

Open knowledge

Open knowledge is knowledge that one is free to use, reuse, and redistribute without legal, social or technological restriction. Open knowledge is a set of principles and methodologies related to the production and distribution of how knowledge works in an open manner. Knowledge is interpreted broadly to include data, content and general information.

The concept is related to open source and the Open Knowledge Definition is directly derived from the Open Source Definition. Open knowledge can be seen as being a superset of open data, open content and libre open access with the aim of highlighting the commonalities between these different groups.

Panton Principles

The Panton Principles are a set of principles which were written to promote open science. They were first drafted in July 2009 at the Panton Arms pub in Cambridge.

Pensoft Publishers

Pensoft Publishers (also known as: Pensoft) are a publisher of scientific literature based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Pensoft was founded in 1994, by two academics: Lyubomir Penev and Sergei Golovatch. It has published nearly 1000 academic and professional books and currently publishes 24 peer-reviewed open access scientific journals including ZooKeys, PhytoKeys, Check List, Comparative Cytogenetics, Journal of Hymenoptera Research, Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, and Zoosystematics and Evolution.

Pensoft is part of the open-access publishing movement. The Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) is used for all journal articles. In 2012, Pensoft established a partnership with Encyclopedia of Life called the EOL Open Access Support Project (EOASP) to financially support independent taxonomists, and taxonomists living in developing countries to publish their results in Pensoft journals.Pensoft were notably one of the first publishers to facilitate the publication of data papers in collaboration with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The first data paper they published came out in 2011, published in the journal ZooKeys.Pensoft also published the first ever eukaryotic species description (Eupolybothrus cavernicolus) to combine transcriptomics, DNA barcoding, and micro-CT imaging data in the same paper, in the Biodiversity Data Journal.

Peter Suber

Peter Dain Suber (born November 8, 1951) is a philosopher specializing in the philosophy of law and open access to knowledge. He is a Senior Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, and Director of the Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP). Suber is known as a leading voice in the open access movement, and as the creator of the game Nomic.

SPARC (disambiguation)

SPARC is a computer instruction set architecture.

SPARC may also refer to:

ANSI-SPARC Architecture, SPARC for Standards Planning And Requirements Committee

Osteonectin, a glycoprotein also known as SPARC (Secreted Protein, Acidic and Rich in Cysteine)

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, a nonprofit organization in Virginia

Social and Public Art Resource Center, a community arts center in Venice, California

Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child in Pakistan

SPARC Innovation Program, a research program at Mayo Clinic, and its "See-Plan-Act-Refine-Communicate" method

SPARC (tokamak), a proposed compact tokamak fusion experiment to be built by Commonwealth Fusion Systems and MIT based on the ARC fusion reactor

Sport and Recreation New Zealand, the former name of Sport New Zealand, a Crown entity

Stratospheric Processes And their Role in Climate, a project of the World Climate Research Programme

Summer Program on Applied Rationality and Cognition, a summer program sponsored by the Center for Applied Rationality

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) combines an online encyclopedia of philosophy with peer-reviewed publication of original papers in philosophy, freely accessible to Internet users. It is maintained by Stanford University. Each entry is written and maintained by an expert in the field, including professors from many academic institutions worldwide. Authors contributing to the encyclopedia give Stanford University the permission to publish the articles, but retain the copyright to those articles.

Timeline of the open-access movement

The following is a timeline of the international movement for open access to scholarly communication.

Projects +
Concepts and
Projects and

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