SPARC Europe Award

The idea that SPARC Europe could sponsor an award to reward innovation in scholarly communications to increase the branding of SPARC Europe while promoting products, projects, and leadership that further the cause of Open Access came to life early in 2005.

The SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications

SPARC Europe initiated the Award in 2006 to recognise the work of an individual or group within Europe that has made significant advances in our understanding of the issues surrounding scholarly communications and/or in developing practical means to address the problems with the current systems.

A panel of judges made up of a sub-set of the SPARC Europe Board of Directors plus additional invited experts if necessary, is responsible for making the Awards that have since been presented at the OAI meetings in CERN, the Nordic Conferences in Lund or in parallel with the LIBER annual conferences.

The Awards

The first Award, in 2006, went to the Wellcome Trust for their groundbreaking work in scholarly communication. The Trust was nominated by Frederick J Friend, JISC Scholarly Communication Consultant and Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL, in recognition for the work it has done in providing free and unrestricted access to the research it funds and in advancing the process of improved scholarly communications in policy commitment, copyright improvements, support for authors and publishers, collaboration with other research funders, advocacy and leadership.

The SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access) partnership was presented with the 2007 SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications at OAI5 in Geneva.

In making the Award to SHERPA, nominated by Dr Judith Wusteman of University College Dublin, the judging panel noted their advocacy for the adoption of institutional repositories and their development of a suite of tools in support of Open Access, including OpenDOAR (a world-wide directory of repositories hosting freely available peer-reviewed publications), JULIET (a listing of funding bodies’ policies regarding deposit mandates) and RoMEO (listing publishers’ copyright policies in relation to articles deposit).

Dr Leo Waaijers received the 2008 SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications as part of the Fourth Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communications, held in Lund. In making the Award to Dr Waaijers the judging panel noted his tireless support for new models of scholarly communication and his innovative approach to repositories and their promotion, especially as initiator of the DARE programme and manager of DAREnet.

The DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) received the SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2009 as part of the LIBER 38th Annual General Conference held in Toulouse. Since its launch in 2003 the DOAJ has become a vital part of the OA infrastructure. DOAJ was awarded for the judging panel noted their ground-breaking promotion of open access journals, their work on setting copyright, metadata, and preservation standards, and their development of a sustainable model of support.

CERN/SCOAP3, nominated by Inge Van Nieuwerburgh, University library Ghent in Belgium, was awarded the SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding in 2010 for its comprehensive approach to Open Access, especially in respect of the SCOAP3 project. SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing) is an innovative Open Access initiative for publishing in high-energy physics.

The nature of the prize


Nominations are open to all who have made major contributions in the field of scholarly communications, and in particular from individuals or groups working in any of the following areas:

  • Research that helps illuminate the scholarly communications landscape;
    Advocacy for new models of scholarly communications;
  • Development of new tools to aid scholarly communication (e.g. repository software);
  • Interesting new projects or products;
  • Implementation of policies that promote new scholarly communication models.
  • Nominations may come from any part of the world, but nominees should work mainly within Europe.

    SPARC Global