Tuesday, January 12, 2016 News

We’ve made a few big changes at SPARC

Over the past year, while we continued busily advocating for open policies, producing educational resources for our members, and convening and participating in workshops and conferences around the globe, SPARC also undertook a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the open landscape, and re-assessed our role in it.

While clear challenges remain, the good news is we’ve gained significant ground since our founding in 1998 – and it’s clear we have generated tremendous momentum in our mission to make open the default for research and education.

Now is the perfect time to capitalize on this momentum, and we’re kicking off 2016 with a few big changes here at SPARC:

  1. The Open Agenda. For many years, we’ve been best known for our advocacy on open access to research articles. But as our members know, SPARC takes a holistic view of the scholarly communications landscape, and recently added programs promoting open data and educational resources to our roster. As things have progressed, we’ve come to view open access, open data, and open education as essential components of a much broader “Open Agenda.” So we’re ramping up our efforts to embrace the Open Agenda as a comprehensive platform for knowledge sharing and innovation.
  2. sparcopen.org. We’ve also spent time assessing what has worked with our website and the changes it needed to continue to be an effective tool for our community to continue to drive the movement toward open. We’re pleased to announce the launch of a completely revamped website at a new location: sparcopen.org. You’ll find the wealth of resources SPARC has always provided (like the Author Addendum, the Open Access Spectrum Tool, Talking Points and Primers) along with new resources and stories detailing the impact of the Open Agenda. And they’ll be easier to find – our new site features an updated design and the latest in content search and social sharing applications.
  3. SPARC Brand. To help reflect the significant evolution of SPARC’s programs, our logo has also received an update! Since our founding, our logo has been inspired by the literal image of a “spark.” The spark epitomizes the birth of a new idea and speaks to the core of our collective drive to realize the full potential of the open sharing of knowledge. Our new logo modernizes this image, emphasizing energy and dynamism, while also reflecting our solid grounding in the digital environment.

Through our new website, we’ve built a platform to help us better support our work with our members’ and partners, to more fully advance the Open Agenda. And with our new brand and targeted new content, we aim to inspire many more to learn about the significant benefits of sharing knowledge.

As we enter this new and exciting phase, we’re challenging ourselves here at SPARC to focus on the larger outcomes that a successful move toward open might have – the problems that can be more easily solved, and the new opportunities for innovation that can be enabled. We’re looking forward to working with SPARC members, students, researchers, policymakers, funders, and decision-makers on campus and in government to collectively consider, “when we embrace open, what is possible?”

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