“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.”
“Today, SPARC released the first ‘Connect OER Annual Report, 2016-2017,’ which shows that its member institutions in the U.S. and Canada are working to reduce the cost of textbooks, increase access to learning materials and support better student outcomes through open educational resources (OER)—freely available materials that can be used, adapted and shared to better serve all students.
The report provides insights based on data collected through Connect OER, a pilot project to build a searchable directory maintained by academic libraries to share and discover information about OER activities across North America. This data provides a snapshot of the state of OER on 65 SPARC member campuses—spanning 31 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces—during the 2016-2017 academic year. The six key insights are:
- Libraries are the most engaged entity on campus in efforts to advance OER.
- Within libraries, the department most actively engaged in advancing OER is Scholarly Communications.
- Mathematics and statistics is the academic subject with the most OER traction.
- Nearly half of the participating institutions have a faculty or staff person with explicit OER responsibilities.
- OER grant programs are the most common type of OER program reported.
- SPARC member institutions saved students an estimated $5 million through the use of OER in the 2016-2017 academic year.”
“Today, Authors Alliance joins with other public interest advocates such as Creative Commons, SPARC, Internet Archive, OpenMedia, and Public Knowledge to sign on to a statement in support of transparency and balanced copyright policy in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The statement was sent to the trade ministries of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, urging all three countries to make trade negotiation processes more transparent, inclusive, and accountable.
Closed-door trade agreements are not the right forum to create intellectual property policy, particularly when negotiations lack transparency. It is critically important that drafts of international agreements that address intellectual property issues be publicly available for comment so that authors and other stakeholders can weigh in on the proposed rules that will bind all member states. Moreover, such agreements are not flexible enough to account for rapid changes in technology.”
“To assist HRA [Health Research Alliance] member organizations wishing to adopt a public access policy, the HRA Public Access Task Group partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to enable HRA member-funded awardees/grantees* to deposit their publications into PubMed Central (PMC)….The following is a template developed by the HRA Public Access Task Group in conjunction with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) that can be used by organizations seeking to implement public access policies as a condition of award funding. This template is based on the policy developed by HRA member organization, Autism Speaks. …”
“The basic policy framework recommended in this document highlights the institution’s ability to play a central role in the stewardship of the scholarly record generated by its faculty. The framework is straightforward; campus OA policies require authors to make manuscripts available for deposit in an institution’s repository at the time they are accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Authors automatically grant the institution the right to make their manuscripts openly accessible. At the same time, authors may request a waiver, or “opt out,” of the institutional license for a given article if needed to accommodate a pressing individual circumstance….”
“This community resource for tracking, comparing, and understanding both current and future U.S. federal funder research data sharing policies is a joint project of SPARC & Johns Hopkins University Libraries. Click the icons below to select up to three agencies to view or compare. Click here to download the full data set….”