Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 20, 2007

SPARC Japan will extend SPARC's effectiveness

Bette Brunelle, Launch of SPARC Japan Adds Worldwide Momentum to SPARC Agenda, Outsell Now, January 19, 2007 (accessible only to subscribers).  Excerpt:

Important Details:  SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, announced the launch of SPARC Japan, a collaboration of Japanese academic institutions and scholarly societies to promote the work of Japanese researchers and make it widely available. SPARC Japan...will promote Japanese research and facilitate open access repositories at Japanese university libraries. SPARC Director Heather Joseph said this event highlights the "growing worldwide momentum behind SPARCís mission to improve access to research, empower scholarly societies, and return control of individual works to the author." ...

In Outsell's Opinion:  ...SPARC is a 10-year old membership organization of a wide variety of libraries in the US and Canada. SPARC Europe was formed in 2001, and the creation of SPARC Japan can be seen as part of a worldwide movement among libraries "to act positively in applying pressure for increased access to scholarly literature for the academic community," as Joseph put it. SPARC has done this through a variety of education programs; incubation programs with grant money; consulting or in-kind contributions for programs such as Project Euclid and PLoS; and successful advocacy and policy work at both the local and national/international levels. Local advocacy work has focused on university presidents and provosts, and at the national and international level has been instrumental in the creation of the NIH Public Policy and the Cornyn Lieberman Act (which was referred to the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee and will have to be re-introduced in a new session of Congress)....

SPARC relies heavily on working with strategic partners and has had mixed success in engaging publishers with its agenda, particularly around author rights and open access. The growing public acceptance of the open access concept is in part a testament to this organizationís education, outreach, and lobbying over the past five years, during which open access has moved well into the mainstream of publishing as one possible business model for journals (see Outsellís HotTopics, "Publishers Speak Up On Open Access: Big Promise, Small UptakeĒ Volume 2, November 16, 2006). If nothing else, publishers should note that a focused and concentrated outreach program within the scholarly community is effective over time, and keep in mind that SPARC has an effective network into this community, which remains an important one to journal publishers.