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SPARC Landscape Analysis

Open Access   ·   Open Data   ·   Open Education

In response to the growing trend of commercial acquisition of critical infrastructure in academic  institutions SPARC conducted an extensive Landscape Analysis to provide a comprehensive look at the current players in this arena, their strategies and potential actions, and the implications of these on the operations of our libraries and home institutions. The resulting report also outlines an initial set of strategic responses for the community to consider in order to ensure community control of both this infrastructure and the data generated by/resident on it.

This analysis was produced in partnership with the SPARC team and Claudio Aspesi, a respected market analyst with more than a decade of experience covering the academic publishing market for international investors. Besides analyzing publicly available data and literature on the companies’ strategies, the team conducted interviews with current and former company employees, as well as stakeholders including provosts, CIO’s, library leaders, and higher education administrators in a wide variety of North American institutions, as well as publishers, and other market experts.

The Landscape Analysis document includes: 

  • An analysis of the publishers who are developing significant data businesses.
  • A strategic analysis  of their actions and what they imply as an indication of their strategy.
  • A discussion  of where these strategies might affect academic institutions.
  • The implications of these strategies for libraries and for academic institutions as a whole.
  • A set of scenarios for how the publishers (and the industry structure) may rationally choose to evolve.
  • An initial sketch of possible/proposed strategies that institutions might take.


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