Entries invited for the 4th Annual Sparky Awards

Washington, DC The importance of the student stake in opening up access to scholarly research will be highlighted in Open Up! the fourth installment of the annual Sparky Awards student video contest. Calling on students to articulate their views in a two-minute video, the contest has been embraced by campuses all over the world and has inspired imaginative expressions of student support for the potential of Open Access to foster creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Open Access is free, immediate, online access to the published results of scholarly research, combined with the rights to be able to use and re-use them in the ways that should be possible in the digital space. Students have been leaders in the creative re-use, remix, and mash-up of material across the digital realm, and have a fair expectation that scholarly research should be equally, legally accessible to help advance their scholarship and ensure the quality of their education.

Students are uniquely positioned to advance Open Access. Through their publishing, copyright, and policy choices, students along with faculty and administrators can make Open Access to institutional research outputs and wider access to the whole scholarly record a reality today.

Open Up! calls on students to let the world know they support Open Access and to say why. This year, entries are invited to four categories:

1. Animation Drop into the media lab and master that illustration software!

2. Speech Just say how it is. Skip the fancy editing and use your 120 seconds to tell campus viewers in your own eloquent words why Open Access matters to you.

3. Remix Mix it up. Re-use video, music, images and remix with your own content to create your unique vision of the importance of Open Access. Content must be re-used legally.

4. Peoples Choice The People choose! Sparky Award entries are opened up for public vote.

Winners will receive an iPad, iPhone, or iPod and a fabulous "Sparky Award" statuette. The award-winning videos will be announced in conjunction with the American Library Association Annual Conference and a Campus MovieFest Regional Finale, and will be widely publicized by the sponsoring organizations at public events across North America throughout the year.

The Sparky Awards are an opportunity for faculty to enhance classes, as well as for libraries to promote services -- including media services or information commons, where students can edit video, browse media, work collaboratively, and develop a good understanding of copyright. Libraries everywhere are encouraged to host local installments of the contest.

Entries in the international Sparky Awards competition are now being accepted and must be received by 12:00AM Eastern time on May 27, 2011. To be eligible, videos must be freely available on the Internet and available for use under a Creative Commons License.

The Sparky Awards are organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and co-sponsored by: the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, Campus MovieFest, the Center for Social Media, the New Media Consortium (NMC), the Open Video Alliance, Penn Libraries, the Right to Research Coalition, Students for Free Culture, the Student PIRGs, and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).

For full details, visit the Sparky Awards Web site at

THE SPARKY AWARDS are organized and sponsored by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), an alliance of academic libraries and research institutions working to build on the opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Membership in SPARC is open to libraries of all sizes. For more information, visit


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