Issues

SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.   SPARC believes that faster and wider sharing of the outputs of the scholarly research process increases the impact of research, fuels the advancement of knowledge, and increases the return on research investments. 

As a catalyst for action, we focus on collaborating with other stakeholders to support emergence of new scholarly communication practices and policies that leverage the networked digital environment, expand the dissemination of research findings, and reduce financial pressures on libraries.SPARC’s strategy focuses on reducing barriers to the access, sharing, and use of scholarship.  Our highest priority is advancing the understanding and implementation of policies and practices that ensure Open Access to scholarly research outputs.  SPARC’s primary focus is on journal literature, but our evolving strategy reflects an increasing focus on Open Access to research outputs of all kinds – including digital data and open educational resources (OER). 

SPARC’s activities are centered on the following broad issue areas:

  • Open Access to Scholarly and Scientific Research Articles: SPARC supports the immediate, barrier-free online availability of scholarly and scientific research articles, coupled with the rights to reuse these articles fully in the digital environment, and advocates for practices and policies that enable this.
    Learn more about Open Access.
     
  • Open Data: SPARC recognizes that the conduct of scientific and scholarly research is increasingly digital, and that its advancement is predicated on being able to access, comment on, build upon and reuse data.  SPARC supports practices and policies that promote broad, open accessibility and utility of scholarly and scientific research data.
    Learn more about Open Data.
     
  • Open Educational Resources (OER): SPARC believes that Open Educational Resources helps make the link between teaching, learning and the collaborative culture of the Internet. SPARC supports the open creation and sharing of materials used in teaching, as well as new approaches to learning where people create and shape knowledge openly together, and advocates for practices and policies to advance this vision.
    Learn more about OER.

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Why Access Matters