SPARC Europe has been working for a number of years in the area of copyright to better ensure Open Access to Europe’s research.

Starting our campaign to retain author rights, in 2020, we conducted a research study into the Open Access copyright policies of publishers in Europe since it has been one of the most challenging barriers to advancing open. This report Open Access: An Analysis of Publisher Copyright and Licensing Policies in Europe was published in September 2020.  Though the past decade has seen a great deal of movement around establishing and advancing OA policies — including the recent Plan S Rights Retention Strategy; this report provides an account of where actual copyright policies and practices stand today. It shows how, in spite of recent years’ policy shifts, publishers have yet to align and support authors in getting the maximum amount of visibility and re-use of their research through Open Access and open licensing.

In 2022 we started Project Retain, as part of the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme; an Arcadia Fund project. We look forward to reforming copyright policies to improve access to and use of copyrighted works and accelerating the uptake of rights retention and open licensing to enable researchers to share their work openly.
In June 2023 we published our most recent policy landscape report Opening Knowledge: Retaining Rights and Licensing in Europe 2023.

If you have questions on our copyright work, please mail us at