2023 Outcomes

As a membership organization, SPARC works hard to support our members’ ability to effectively address pressing challenges in the areas where we have the most expertise. In close collaboration with our member libraries, we’ve made significant progress over this past year in the areas where SPARC is uniquely positioned to have an impact, including:


Driving Policy Change

  • Coordinating extensive consultation to ensure effective implementation of the landmark OSTP Nelson Memorandum ensuring open access to $90 billion in federally-funded research output.
  • Promoting the White House 2023 “Year of Open Science” initiative.  
  • Securing $12 million in federal funding for the U.S. Open Textbook Pilot grant program in FY2023, with an additional $7 million proposed for FY2024 – bringing the total appropriations for this program to $54 million.
  • Analyzing proposed AI-related regulations and legislation relevant to our members, including the bipartisan, bicameral CREATE AI Act.
  • Educating policymakers on growing antitrust issues in the academic publishing market.
  • Partnering on a four-year, $4 million grant from the Arcadia Fund with Creative Commons and EIFL to develop a global campaign to embed open access policies and practices into the global climate change community.
  • Actively monitoring and engaging on Open Access- and OER- related bills in U.S. state legislatures, sharing information in SPARC’s State Policy Tracker
  • Providing rapid response federal and state policy briefings to SPARC Members.
  • Developing  resources to help university leaders implement the OSTP Memo, including, “Meeting New Federal Requirements for Research Access: Opportunities for Leadership Action.”


Equipping Members for Successful Publisher Negotiations

  • Addressing information asymmetries by providing extensive resources (member briefings, contract libraries, pricing information, guidance on data analysis for negotiation, the Big Deal Knowledge Base, and more) to support libraries in preparing for negotiations.
  • Convening vendor-specific negotiation discussions for our members to share strategies and learn from one another’s experiences.
  • Hosting regular professional development opportunities related to negotiations and contributing to the Open Negotiations Education for Academic Libraries (ONEAL) project to provide training on fundamental negotiation skills.
  • Supporting a survey focused on better understanding staffing for open in libraries to identify key themes and experiences of academic library workers.  


Promoting New Equitable Models for Research Communication


Centering Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity

  • Evolving SPARC’s membership structure to ensure that all institutional members can participate in SPARC’s annual Steering Committee election.
  • Regularly examining and revising our operations, finances, communications, and strategies to center anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (REDI).
  • Fully resourcing initiatives that promote REDI throughout the research communication system.
  • Supporting the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in hosting a public workshop promote centering equity and inclusion in federal plans to implement the OSTP Memo.  


Realigning Research Incentives 

  • Partnering with the U.S. National Academies of Science to convene the “Roundtable on Realigning Research Incentives” to support Open Science.
  • Supporting the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG), 26 foundations with $12 billion in annual research funding who support open & equitable sharing of research. 
  • Working with philanthropies via an ORFG community of practice to develop and implement open science language in their grantmaking policies.
  • Collaborating with the ORFG to support the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Science (HELIOS), university leaders from 96 institutions working to make open scholarship easier for individual researchers, align incentive structures, and support sustainable infrastructure. 


Encouraging Competition/Guarding Against Antitrust

  • Proactively educating regulators and legislators on issues in the scholarly publishing market, and initiating interventions where necessary.
  • Challenging practices that threaten the privacy of data users.


Promoting Awareness of User Data Privacy Issues

  • Providing resources to equip libraries to establish stronger privacy protections for scholarly infrastructure. explore library approaches to address privacy and surveillance concerns with vendors.
  • Educating members on data privacy and surveillance issues in critical library infrastructure.


Empowering Librarians Through Online Resources and Professional Development

  • Cultivating communities of practice across key areas of focus for our members, including Negotiations, Privacy & Surveillance, and the U.S. Repository Network.
  • Hosting the Open Education Leadership Program, our popular and intensive online professional development course, now with over 120 graduates over the past 6 years.
  • Providing member-only programming, including current topical issues, member-only meetings, and our rapid response national policy briefings.
  • Expanding resources on “Equitable Access” with the Inclusive Access contract library and our joint initiative InclusiveAccess.org, which offers more than two dozen presentations, workshops, and webinars to raise awareness of the downsides of automatic textbook billing.
  • Piloting a new “Foundations in Advocacy Skills Training” designed to offer practical, hands-on training on how to think like an advocate, including how to frame problems, set goals, develop strategies, and pitch solutions to decision-makers.
  • Creating opportunities for libraries to promote openness by organizing International Open Access Week around the theme “Community over Commercialization.
  • Serving as organizer of the 2023 Open Education Conference under the event’s community-elected board.

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