Posted on August 28, 2008 in IP, open access, SPARC, Students for Free Culture by Brian RoweComments Off

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Students for FreeCulture, and the Public Library of Science (PLoS) have jointly announced the first international Open Access Day just 2 days after the National Students for Free Culture Conference in Berkley.

Open Access Day will invite researchers, educators, librarians, students, and the public to participate in live, worldwide broadcasts of events. In North America, events will be held at 7:00 PM (Eastern) and 7:00 PM (Pacific) and feature appearances from:

Sir Richard Roberts, Ph.D., F.R.S.
Joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993 for discovering split genes and RNA splicing, one of 26 Nobel Prize-winners to sign the Open Letter to U.S. Congress in support of taxpayer access to publicly funded research, and currently at New England Biolabs, USA. [7PM Eastern]

Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D.
Philip E. Bourne is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Computational Biology and the author of the popular PLoS Computational Biology Ten Simple Rules Series. He is Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California San Diego, Associate Director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, Senior Advisor to the San Diego Supercomputer Center, an Adjunct Professor at the Burnham Institute, and Co-Founder of SciVee. [7PM Pacific]

Librarians and student organizers are invited to host meetings around the broadcast. To see a list of participating campuses and to sign up, visit the Open Access Day Web site at Additional international events will be announced shortly.

Read more in the full press release.

Posted on May 7, 2008 in IP, SFFC, Sharing, SPARC by Brian RoweComments Off

This year’s contest is being organized by SPARC (the Scholarly
Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
with additional
co-sponsorship by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the
Association of Research Libraries, Penn Libraries, Students for Free Culture, and The Student PIRGs.

The 2008 contest theme is “MindMashup: The Value of Information
Sharing.” Well-suited for adoption as a college class assignment, the
Sparky Awards invite contestants to submit videos of two minutes or less
that imaginatively portray the benefits of the open, legal exchange of
information. Mashup is an expression referring to a song, video, Web
site, or software application that combines content from more than one

To be eligible, submissions must be publicly available on the Internet –
on a Web site or in a digital repository – and available for use under a
Creative Commons License. The Winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000
along with a Sparky Award statuette. Two Runners Up will each receive
$500 plus a personalized award certificate. The award-winning videos will be screened at the January 2009 American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Denver.

Details are online at

Posted on December 27, 2007 in Free Culture, open access, SPARC, Students for Free Culture by Brian RoweComments Off

SPARC has started their own Innovator Awards to recognize students who are helping move scholarly communication towards an open access model. SPARC, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. This years SPARC awards were heavily pervaded by students in the Free Culture movement.

Here are this years winners:

* “The Technologist,” Benjamin Mako Hill, Graduate of the MIT Media Lab, current Researcher at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Fellow in the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, and engineer of the 2007 “Overprice Tags” project at the MIT library.

* “The Professional,” Gavin Baker. Political Studies graduate of the University of Florida, Open Access Director for Students for Free Culture, and co-mastermind of the National Day of Action for Open Access, February 2007.

* “The Politician,” Nick Shockey. Current undergraduate and Student Senator at Trinity University in San Antonio and author of the second-ever student senate resolution in favor of public access to publicly funded research results.

* “The Diplomat,” Elizabeth Stark. Student of Law at Harvard University, Affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, founder of Harvard Free Culture, and architect of one of the first student free thesis repositories.

* “The Evangelist,” Nelson Pavlosky. Law student at George Mason University, co-founder of Students for Free Culture, and ally of the Student Global AIDS Campaign and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.

Read the full Story at SPARC: