Monday, June 22, 2020 News

SPARC Releases Update to Landscape Analysis and Accompanying Interactive Website

Open Access   ·   Open Data   ·   Open Education

In the year that’s elapsed since SPARC released its comprehensive Landscape Analysis and accompanying Roadmap for Action, an in-depth look at how the academic publishing market is changing and the implications of those changes for higher education institutions,  our community has experienced significant changes. Today, SPARC is releasing The 2020 Update  to those documents on a new interactive website designed to make taking action easier for librarians and campus administrators. 

 The update examines the events of the past year particularly the global COVID health and resulting economic crisis, and provides updates on the academic publishing market landscape, and the status of the key companies involved.  It highlights emerging trends in academic publishing market that merit close attention, including:

    1. A significant deepening in the shift of major companies away from research publishing and towards research assessment;
    1. A shift away from individual research distribution to more communal, consolidated models; and
    1. The emergence of a “Bigger Deal,” where institutional content licensing is directly linked to the purchase of data analytics services.

The 2020 Update provides suggested actions for the community to consider, with a particular emphasis on establishing strong principles to guide the purchase of any data analytics related product or service.  it also provides additional deep detail on the financial performance of key academic publishers in 2019 and 2020, as well as their response to changes in their respective marketplaces. 

The new interactive website integrates the full content of the previous reports and the 2020 Update, and presents it  in a form that is easily digestible and actionable. It’s designed to be  a resource to help our members make the case for community-controlled, open infrastructure. 

While the current environment presents the significant challenges, it also opens up a strategic  opportunity for the academic community to think about a different future, and consider not just focusing on “reopening” using the same system,  but to make substantive progress towards building a more equitable and open one.

The update was compiled by Claudio Aspesi, market expert and lead author, along with SPARC’s Nicole Allen, Raym Crow, Heather Joseph, Joseph McArthur, and Nick Shockey.

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Learn more at

Learn more about our work