Sloan Foundation Awards ARL Grant to Develop SHARE for Access to Publicly Funded Research

Photo of a "SHARE" key on keyboard where the right Shift key would normally appear
image © Niklas Wikström

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has been awarded $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to help develop the proposed SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE). SHARE is a joint initiative of ARL, the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to collaboratively build a cross-institutional coordination framework for the long-term management and preservation of—and expansion of access to—the results of academic research. The initiative was made urgent by the February 22, 2013, memorandum from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directing federal agencies to develop draft plans for the public deposit of research articles and data sets associated with federal funding.

Through SHARE, universities and their libraries aim to enhance the public discovery and reuse of articles and data that result from public funding. ARL has long worked to promote open access publishing as a means to spur innovation and advance science and research. “When the OSTP directive was issued, the ARL Board cheered,” said Elliott Shore, ARL executive director. “We are eager to engage with the university repository community, offices of sponsored research, and federal agencies directly to make this policy a success. The OSTP policy created a timely opportunity for the higher education community to better structure its strategies and systems for managing both data and publications. SHARE aims to take advantage of this opportunity to explore workflow solutions for research funded by federal agencies and, potentially, other funding bodies.”

AAU executive vice president John Vaughn said, “We appreciate the Sloan Foundation’s support for this effort. That support is going to play an important role in SHARE’s ability to carry out its mission of helping universities to make their scholarly work widely available to the public.”

“As the recipients of tens of billions of dollars in federal research investments each year, public universities are committed to making their federal research findings and advancements public and accessible for everyone to see,” APLU chief academic officer R. Michael Tanner said. “SHARE is the most logical and cost-effective way to assure long-term and comprehensive public access. By leveraging already existing university library systems and repositories, SHARE promises to make research findings more readily and lastingly accessible, which in turn, will facilitate further discoveries.”

Over the next few months, SHARE will engage the university, library, research, funding, technology, intellectual property, and publishing communities to develop the project roadmap. While many aspects of SHARE can be implemented now, its vision is ambitious and requires a thoughtful and inclusive implementation process.

For more information about the project, visit the SHARE webpage and follow SHARE onTwitter and Facebook.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is a nonprofit association of 60 US and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities. Founded in 1900, AAU focuses on national and institutional issues that are important to research-intensive universities, including funding for research, research and education policy, and graduate and undergraduate education. AAU is on the web at

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research, policy, and advocacy organization representing 219 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and related organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is the nation’s oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four US territories. Annually, member campuses enroll more than 3.8 million undergraduates and 1.2 million graduate students, award over 1 million degrees, employ nearly 1 million faculty and staff, and conduct more than $37 billion in university-based research. APLU is on the web at

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance. Funds for this project were provided through the Foundation’s Digital Information Technology program, which leverages developments in information technology to increase the effectiveness of scholarly research and public engagement with knowledge. The Sloan Foundation is on the web at