SPARC Europe wins KR21’s proposal bid for reform rights retention and open licensing policies in Europe

SPARC Europe has been selected to deliver the first project sponsored under the Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21) Programme. KR21 is focused on bringing about changes in legislation and practice across Europe that will strengthen rights to knowledge through libraries and archives.

With this new project —called Retain— SPARC Europe will lead research to develop a stronger understanding of rights retention and open licensing policies in Europe. It is the ambition to reform the way institutions and authors manage their publishing rights, to enable Open Access and access to knowledge for all. Key goals are to simplify the rights retention procedures, encourage the adoption of open licences, and better empower authors so that they and their fellow researchers, teachers and students can benefit from their research. 

The Retain project will evaluate the copyright and open licensing policies developed and implemented by institutions, funders, and publishers, with a particular focus on how to support author needs. These findings will help establish a baseline against which to monitor future progress. SPARC Europe and KR21 look forward to sharing good practices to encourage more positive action in this area. 

The project will ultimately produce an action plan and practical materials to better ensure that institutions and authors retain their publication rights. In parallel, it will strengthen and update OA publishing policy and accelerate the adoption of open licensing through awareness-raising and the spread of good practice. 

SPARC Europe will be supported in the project by experts in publishing rights and open licensing in Croatia and Spain, and by Great North Wood Consulting

SPARC Europe and KR21 are looking forward to engaging with publishers, funders, institutions, and authors to reform copyright for OA.

If you’d like to find out more, please contact SPARC Europe at or KR21 at