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Friday, January 19, 2007

Ten years of SPARC

SPARC at Ten: A Decade Later, Organization Still Aims to Be Part of The Solution, Library Journal Academic Newswire, January 18, 2007.  Excerpt:

What a difference a decade makes. In 2007, SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) celebrates its tenth anniversary, now with an expansive mission to work not only on behalf of libraries but for the welfare of the higher education community at large, and for individual researchers and the public. "It's pretty amazing to me to look back and see how far we've come to with the organization," SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph, who replaced Rick Johnson in 2005, told the LJ Academic Newswire.... "Today, we spend so much more time talking with policy makers about how to create an overall better climate. The day-to-day work very little resembles what we were doing when SPARC first started." ...

Membership is up 15 percent over the last two years, now numbering more than 200 institutions in North America, Asia, and Australia, with an additional 100 institutions belonging to SPARC Europe.

With its partners, SPARC's agenda has included some high-profile battles on behalf of open access and public access initiatives, such as the 2005 effort to support the National Institutes of Health's public access policy. While SPARC has concentrated recently on such activities, Joseph says SPARC remains committed to three program areas: education, such as its Create Change and Author's Rights campaigns; incubation and business development, such as its involvement with BioOne and Project Euclid; and advocacy campaigns, such as the NIH effort....

Where would Joseph like to see SPARC be in five years? "I'd like us to be positioned as an organization that facilitates new opportunities," she says, "rather than addressing a crisis."