Tag Archives: SPARC


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending my second SPARC meeting in San Antonio. The theme for this year’s meeting, MORE (Meeting on Openness in Research & Education), was incredibly timely given the current climate in academic publishing, specifically in regard to Open Educational Resources (OERs). In Ohio, especially, OERs are a hot topic as the Ohio Task Force on College Affordability and Efficiency investigates ways of cutting higher education costs. Below are some exciting OER initiatives I heard about at SPARC:

The SkillCommons – https://www.skillscommons.org/

OERs developed by community colleges for job-driven workforce development created by the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program.

S.2176-Affordable College Textbook Act – https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2176/text

Bill that hopes “to expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.”

Office of Educational Technology #GoOpen Campaign – http://tech.ed.gov/open-education/

“The U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.”

Tidewater Community College’s “Z-Degree” – http://www.tcc.edu/academics/degrees/textbook-free

An entire associate’s degree offered by TCC using all OERs. Tidewater predicts this saves students as much as $2,500 over the course of their education.

It was so inspiring to hear all of the OER success stories. I’m sure the number of successes will continue to grow. I look forward to SPARC 2018!

SPARC and the Library Publishing Forum

During the first week of March, I attended the SPARC Open Access Meeting and the inaugural Library Publishing Forum in Kansas City, MO. Those in attendance were involved in open access and library publishing in various positions, but librarians seemed to make up a majority of the crowd.

SPARC’s theme for the 2014 meeting was “Convergence” and speakers focused on the issues of open access, open data, and open educational resources. Major topics included collaboration both within the library and beyond, transparency in publishing (conflicts of interest, who published, who paid, etc.), and a general battle cry of open is best. I furiously filled a notebook with thoughts and ideas and finished the conference feeling excited about the possibilities for open access on the Wright State campus.

The Library Publishing Forum had a decidedly different atmosphere, in my opinion. SPARC felt like the dreamer conference, and the LPF was the “that’s great, but how do we implement it?” conference. The dreams I left the SPARC Conference with took the shape of tangible initiatives that could be implemented in the Libraries and across campus.

In short, I have big plans for scholarly communication, open access, and the library as publisher in the next couple of years, thanks to these conferences. I would love to talk with you about it, so please don’t hesitate to email me. Stay tuned!