Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


SPARC – Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition

sparc_colorI have published numerous posts on my blogs Re academic or scholarly publishing due to my belief that this field has grown into a flawed and unfair operation or was inherently skewed from inception. Mainly (and briefly) at how academic journal publishers enjoy humongous profit margins through outrageous subscription fees to universities and other players while paying the research workers/authors nada for creating the content that makes their journals possible in the first frigging place.

I am a firm believer in open access to research work. From Wikipedia: Open access (OA) refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g., access tolls) and free of many restrictions on use (e.g. certain copyright and license restrictions).[1] Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses,[2] book chapters,[1] and monographs.[3]   

Tonight, however, we are going to talk about two groups that are hoping to provide better access to Federally funded research projects. Specifically, how federal agencies will make the digital data associated with the research available for access and reuse.

One is a government group, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the other is an academic (I think) group, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) – Why do they HAVE to come up with these cute long names whose acronym represents a misspelled action word like ‘spark’?

Anyway, this is a release from the Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) publishing community news service, Knowledge Speak:

US SPARC and Johns Hopkins University Libraries collaborate to launch a resource analyzing US federal data sharing policies – 19 Apr 2016

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University Libraries, has released a new resource for tracking, comparing, and understanding U.S. Federal funded research data sharing policies. This free tool, launched at, provides a detailed analysis of 16 federal agency responses to the directive issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research. Specifically, the new resource focuses on how these agencies intend to make the digital data associated with the projects they fund available for access and reuse.

SPARC will host a webcast on May 11th, at 3pm EDT / 12pm PDT with the authors behind the resource who will provide their perspective on the data sharing policies, including important points of similarity and difference between agencies. The webcast is open to all SPARC members, and registration is free but required.

The SPARC/JHU Libraries resource can be used by researchers, librarians, policy makers, and other stakeholders to explore and compare agency plans. The detailed review, performed by JHU data experts, includes an analysis of the principles, scope, and limitations of agency responses to the OSTP directive, as well as a discussion of any goals and plans the agencies have articulated for future iterations of their policies. The resource contains practical information that can be used by active or prospective grant awardees to easily understand where research data can be shared, how quickly, and what other procedures must be followed to ensure grant compliance. It will be updated as additional federal agency plans are released and analyzed, and as current plans are revised.

The SPARC/JHU Libraries resource is available freely at Additionally, the entire dataset of policy analyses can be downloaded without restriction from the site.

This blog is available on your Kindle here 🙂

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