Tagged / SPARC

Women’s World Cup Forum hosted by Sport and Physical Activity Centre (SPARC)

Against the backdrop of the Women’s World Cup, the Sport & Physical Activity Centre (SPARC) hosted the Women’s World Cup (WWC) Forum on July 17th.

Featuring presentations from Dr Beth Fielding-Lloyd (Sheffield Hallam University), Anika Leslie-Walker (Nottingham Trent University) and Dr Rafaelle Nicholson (Faculty of Media & Communication, BU), the forum set out to explore the contemporary nature of women’s football and how academic work aligns to the apparent pace of growth. Attendees were invited back the following day and spent a productive day unpacking issues raised at the Forum and explored potential areas for further academic exploration.

One week prior to the event, former England International Karen Carney, authored an Independent Report for DCMS, titled Raising the Bar: Re-Framing the Opportunity in Women’s Football. The report offers a comprehensive review of the growth opportunities for the game at professional and grassroots level, but also highlights the significant challenges facing the game. The report, and indeed the SPARC Forum, invited us to look behind the mask of the landmark event and how narratives of ‘progress’ at such landmark events (attendances, media interest, coverage, taglines: the WWC for example is branded ‘Beyond Greatness’) can present a false picture of progress, highlight myths of women’s empowerment and indeed mask new/existing expressions of power.

In particular, discussion at the Forum focussed on developing a sustainable and inclusive fan base for the game (beyond landmark fixtures, average Women’s Super League (WSL) attendance stands at 2,800), funding and diversity issues within the talent pathway, safe fan experience/spaces (marked by religion, gender and race), gender pay disparities, the lessons of prior mergers and governance structures, and broadcasting rights (the UK’s domestic broadcasters offered just 8% of that which they paid for the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar) and media representations (that oft tended to reinforce, as opposed to challenge, dominant gender power relations). Indeed, and even as the Forum was in full-swing, the Australian team (The Matildas) broadcast a video highlighting pay disparities, the England team expressed their disappointment over a lack of agreement over their bonuses, figures from the Carney report suggested that 71% of attendees at WSL games reported their experience was ‘short of expectation’, and highlighted that there exists a significant lack of understanding of minority ethnic fans.

As the women’s game grows and transitions from a Football Association-owned entity to a new independently owned management structure (currently named New Co.) this is indeed an exciting time for women’s football. However, the Forum & workshop reinforced the need to peek behind the shiny spectacle of the World Cup and address some of the challenges that continue to be faced in the development of a sustainable, equitable and inclusive ‘product’. After two long, yet productive, days participants left with a compelling commitment to engage with key stakeholders and undertake a programme of work that aims to address inequalities in the game and influence policy, practice and strategy.

Want to know how to publish a journal article and retain your rights? – International Open Access Week

Then say hello to the SPARC Author Addendum – http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum

SPARC is The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.

Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal and, like your colleagues, you want it to have the widest possible distribution and impact in the scholarly community. In the past, this required print publication. Today you have other options, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.

It is unlikely that you would knowingly keep your research from a readership that could benefit from it, but signing a restrictive publication agreement limits your scholarly universe and lessens your impact as an author.

Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you are likely to want to place it on your staff profile page and in BU’s institutional repository (BURO, especially as this is now a requirement for the next REF exercise – see this post for further information). These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?

Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

Visit the SPARC website for further information – http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum

Have you got any experience of using this to negotiate your rights as an author with publishers? Share your experiences by contributing to the Research Blog!