SPARC Launches Open-Access Journal Resource

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)  released on May 26th a free online Open Access Journal Publishing Resource Index with information and documents to support the launch and operation of an open-access journal. Materials in the index will help libraries, presses, and other academic units on campuses as they work together to make the work of their researchers more widely available.

This new resource is launched in conjunction with the SPARC Campus-based Publishing Resource Center, which delivers a guide to critical issues in campus-based publishing partnerships, case studies, a bibliography and resource list, an index of collaborative initiatives (operated in partnership with Columbia University Libraries), and access to the LIBPRESS online discussion forum (operated by the University of California). The Center is overseen by an editorial board representing library and university press staff who are actively engaged in creating and managing publishing partnerships.

The new index complements the rich existing resource center by pointing to relevant sections in existing open-access journal publishing guides and to sample journal proposals, policies, bylaws, and other documentation to help with planning, development, and collaboration issues. Topics covered include:

• New Journal Planning
• Journal Publishing Program Policies
• Governance
• Editorial
• Marketing & Promotion
• Technical Platforms
• Sustainability Planning

Relevant sections of existing open-access publishing guides, including those by David Solomon, Carol Sutton, Kevin Stranack, Jan Velterop, Howard Goldstein and Raym Crow, and others are indicated under each topic area.

By highlighting samples and best practices, the index will help give campuses the tools they need to develop and maintain long-term, successful open-access publishing ventures. “As campus-based publishing gets more ambitious in scope, it’s important to build on the successes and challenges of earlier initiatives and adopt best practices,” said Raym Crow, senior consultant at SPARC. “Ultimately, campus-based publishing can offer universities greater control over the intellectual products they help create. SPARC is pleased to provide another tool to support libraries and publishers in sustainable, professional, open-access publishing.”

Lee C. Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley State University, and a former speaker at the UCSD Libraries luncheon forum for scholarly communication issues, says faculty are beginning to consult librarians for advice on journal publishing options, including open-access models, and the SPARC site is a welcome resource. “We’re deepening our knowledge as quickly as possible, but it’s a whole new area of expertise for most of us,” she said. “It will save us time and increase the probability that we can get to the right solution when advising our faculty on their best options.”

The editorial board invites contributions from other campuses to help build this resource and expand the bibliography – especially with primary research papers on collaboration issues. “SPARC hopes this will seed an effort where people will give documents to share, making it a community hub,” said Crow. Members of the board and how to contact the managing editor with suggestions are detailed on the Center home page.

–Adapted from the SPARC press release dated May 26, 2011.

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