SPARC Europe’s strategic plan 2016-2020

The scope

SPARC Europe promotes and works for Open Scholarship in Europe. This includes
Open Access to Publications, Open Peer Review, Open Data, Open Educational Resources, as well as Research Evaluation, and Research Integrity.

The value proposition

SPARC Europe has a track record in driving Open Access forward by influencing Open policies in Europe and working with European institutions such as the European Commission, Europe’s research institutions and universities, and organisations with allied Open agendas. SPARC Europe consistently initiates, facilitates, and supports the implementation of the long-term objective of opening access to European research for all.

The vision

Driving to make more research accessible to all, and striving to make Open the default in Europe: For the academic community, education, industry, and for society.

The mission

Our mission is to provide leadership to Europe’s research community to enable the conditions, opportunities and rights for more access to Europe’s research for all.

The target groups

  • Primary target groups
    • Europe’s research policy makers at the EC, European Council, national research funders
    • Europe’s research communities including research administrators and senior university management, associations of universities
    • The European academic library community
  • Secondary target groups
    • Organisations with an interest in Open Scholarship such as EIFL, LIBER, Knowledge Exchange and others.


  1. To support pan-European and national Open Scholarship agendas in the areas of Open Access to publications, Open Peer Review, Open Data, and OER, as well as research evaluation, and research integrity.
  2. To provide leadership across Europe for Open Scholarship in the longer term leveraging strong contacts with policy makers and Europe’s research institutions across Europe.
  3. To reinforce Open Scholarship work across Europe for a more unified approach through increased collaboration with organisations, projects, and initiatives such as the Open Science Policy Platform, EARMA, LIBER, EIFL, EuroCRIS, Science Europe, EUA, Knowledge Exchange and others by
  • seeking synergies, and
  • acting as a connector, facilitator and broker to Open Scholarship organisations to create change.
  1. To encourage new norms and practice for cultural change in academia in the area of scholarly communication – making Open the default.

High-level activities

SPARC Europe will focus its activities on influencing policy and policy development in Europe. Advocacy and information-gathering activities will serve to accomplish more Openness to European research via:

  1. Policy development
  2. Influencing European, national and local levels for more Open Scholarship in Europe, with a priority on Europe and National levels
  3. Advocacy, guidance, and tool and service development also in support of the implementation and monitoring of Open policies.
  4. European information-gathering and dissemination including sharing good practice and European experience.

How we fund our work

Our work is funded by programme / project funds from not-for profit foundations or by the European Commission and by annual contributions mainly from the research and library community in Europe. This enables us to carry out the work defined in our strategy under high-level activities year on year.

Funds in 2020 covered staff costs which include: salary costs, consultancy costs for research, policy expertise, marketing, communications and technical support. Office costs included financial administration, legal costs, insurance and website development, and operating costs included board meeting costs, travel costs, specific project, tool or service deliverables and marketing and communications outputs. The budget for 2020 is 261,121 euros. SPARC Europe’s assets are limited in size and they are held in a Dutch bank account

Our financial report is annually approved by the SPARC Europe Board in the first quarter of the following year. For a summary of our 2019 financial report, see here.


Making Open the default