“As part of the recent bipartisan budget deal, $2 billion was designated for programs that “aid college completion and affordability.” SPARC has just been alerted by our Congressional allies that there may be a chance to direct some of this funding toward an open textbook grant program—one of our key legislative priorities. However, we need your help to act fast.”
“Our leadership work will be concentrated in three program areas: Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Additionally, to maximize progress, SPARC will support efforts that champion intellectual freedom, a free and open Internet, privacy, confidentiality, and equitable copyright and intellectual property policies.”
“Today, SPARC released the OER State Policy Playbook, a new resource to support state-level advocacy in the U.S. The Playbook provides policy recommendations for state legislators interested in tackling college affordability through Open Educational Resources (OER). Our partners at Creative Commons USA released a companion resource, the OER State Legislative Guide, which provides detailed commentary on existing legislation.”
“Connect OER is a platform to share and discover information about OER activities at campuses across North America. Use the tools below to search for institutions listed in the directory. Simply expand the menus to access search criteria and refine your results. Alternatively, click the buttons below to search by OER activities on campus….”
“SPARC is currently piloting the SPARC Open Education Leadership program during the 2017-2018 academic year. The pilot began on October 2nd with a cohort of 14 fellows selected from SPARC member libraries. Pilot fellows participate both as students and creators, helping to evaluate and improve the curriculum along the way. Fellows who successfully complete the pilot will receive a certificate and the title of SPARC Open Education Leadership Fellow, and will be credited as contributors to the program’s development. …”
From Google translate:
The European Copyright Reform: The threat of Open Access and Open Science
The coalition, led by SPARC Europe (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and 15 other organizations representing the academic, library, research and digital rights communities have written an open letter to members of Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee European Parliament on the draft European Parliament Directive on Copyright in the Single Digital Market.
“Like many others in the scholarly community, we were very disappointed to learn about the recent acquisition by Elsevier of bepress, the provider of the popular Digital Commons repository platform.1The acquisition is especially troubling for the hundreds of institutions that use Digital Commons to support their open access repositories. These institutions now find their repository services owned and managed by Elsevier, a company well known for its obstruction of open access and repositories.2
While we were disappointed, we were not surprised. Elsevier’s interest in bepress and Digital Commons is reflective of the company’s long term strategy to stake an ownership claim in all the functions vital to the research cycle—from data gathering and annotation, to sharing and publication, to analytics and evaluation. Prior high-profile acquisitions (including SSRN and Mendeley) have made this strategy crystal clear. While this might be a smart business move on the part of a commercial company, it presents significant challenges and risks to the academic and research community.
The dangers inherent in the increasing control of crucial research communication functions in the hands of a small number of commercial players are well-known and well-documented.3 The dysfunction in the academic journal market serves as a case in point. This consolidated control has led to unaffordable costs, limited utility of research articles, the proliferation of western publishing biases, and a system in which publisher lock-in through big deal licenses is the norm. This situation is damaging for the research enterprise, individual researchers, and for society. Further consolidation of the market across functions and platforms—including key elements like research information systems and open access repositories—will exacerbate this already unhealthy situation.”