The SPARKY Awards - A Contest to Promote the Open Exchange of Information
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If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
- George Bernard Shaw

Official rules

Please use the following information to guide you when making your submission. Participation constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules.

Submission Requirements

Qualifying videos must:

•    Be submitted by 12:00AM (Eastern) May 27th, 2011.
•    Explain why Open Access to research matters to students.
•    Be no more than 2 minutes in length.
•    Have been completed after August 1, 2010.
•    Be narrated or subtitled in English.
•    Be posted on the Internet and available for public use under a Creative Commons license. See Stuff you should know about copyright for details.

Entries containing copyrighted material in a way that does not qualify under fair use are ineligible.

This competition is void where prohibited by law. There is no fee to enter the competition, however, you are responsible for any costs you may incur for creating and submitting your video. You must be over 15 years of age to be eligible. By submitting your video in this competition, you automatically grant SPARC the right to air and use it for any non-commercial purpose and with appropriate attribution as to its creator and/or source.


An independent panel of judges will select the winners from among all qualified entries.

Judges will view only those qualified videos submitted via the Internet link provided in the Official Entry Form. If the judges are unable to view the work because of a broken link or non-qualified file format, it will be ineligible.

Persons in the final panel may change without notice due to scheduling conflicts or for other reasons.

Judging Criteria

The panel of judges who will pick the winners will rate each qualified video based on these criteria:

Category:  Animation Speech Remix
Overall Impact (persuasive, informational, educational) 30% 30% 30%
Originality (concepts, ideas, format) 15% 15% 15%
Memorable Content and Delivery 20% 20% 20%
Relevance and Clarity of Message 20% 20% 20%
Creativity and Technical Merit 15% 0% 15%
Presentation Quality (tone, pitch, clarity) 0% 15% 0%

The decisions of the judges are final.

Additional Rules and Legal Notices — “The Fine Print”

All winners of cash prizes are solely responsible for any applicable U.S. income tax. Taxes will be withheld from any cash prize awarded to foreign citizens.

SPARC reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify and remove from competition any entry which is, in the judging panel's discretion, inappropriate, offensive, defamatory, or demeaning to any person or entity.

Winners will be notified by e-mail, express mail and/or phone before July 1, 2011 and will be required to complete an affidavit or declaration of eligibility/liability release, a publicity release and such other documents as may be required by SPARC. Required documents must be signed and received within 7 days of the date printed on the prize notification. Failure to comply or return of any prize notification as undeliverable may result in forfeiture of prize and selection of the next highest score entrant as the winner. A parent or guardian of a winner not of the age of majority in his or her state of residence will be required to ratify and sign required documents. SPARC is not responsible for and shall not be liable for late, lost, misdirected, or unsuccessful efforts to notify winners. Accepting the prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use winner's name, hometown (including state) and/or likeness for promotional purposes without further compensation.

By participating, entrants agree that SPARC and its employees and representatives are not responsible or liable for, and shall be released and held harmless from: (i) technical difficulties of any kind; (ii) any condition caused by events beyond the control of SPARC that may cause the Competition to be disrupted or corrupted; (iii) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Competition; (iv) any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with or resulting from participation in the Competition, or acceptance of the prize, including without limitation, claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy.

SPARC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel the Competition at any time due to any condition beyond the control of SPARC. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and SPARC in connection with the Competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the District of Columbia, USA, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the District of Columbia. The contest ends at 12:00AM Eastern, May 27, 2011.

All persons affiliated with SPARC or the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) (excluding members), and household members of a person affiliated with SPARC or ARL, as an employee, contractor, officer, director or a judge of this competition, are not eligible to participate in this competition. This does not prohibit persons who are employed by or affiliated with institutional members of SPARC from qualifying and participating.


The Sparky Awards competition is organized by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). An alliance supported and funded by hundreds of academic libraries and research institutions, SPARC promotes new scholarly communication models that use the Internet to expand sharing of information. SPARC was created in 1997 as an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and operates under ARL's non-profit status.