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SPARC Transition: Johnson to Joseph

Forwarded as of possible interest to liblicense-l readers.

April 21, 2005


Rick Johnson, the founding Executive Director of SPARC (Scholarly
Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), has announced his decision
to resign. Heather Joseph has been named to succeed him. Joseph is the
founding President and Chief Operating Officer of BioOne, an innovative
aggregation of high-impact bioscience research journals. The change in
SPARC leadership is effective July 1, 2005.

"Rick's leadership of SPARC was crucial in making libraries an important
force in the process of transforming scholarly communication," said ARL
Executive Director Duane Webster. "The news that Rick is leaving is
tempered, however by having someone of Heather Joseph's caliber and
experience assume this critical role.  ARL, SPARC, and BioOne already have
close working relationships that will ensure continuity and a seamless
transition in leadership."

Joseph held a number of senior positions with publishing organizations in
both the non-profit and commercial sectors before signing on to help
launch BioOne in 2000.  BioOne is a groundbreaking collaboration among
scientific societies, libraries, academe and the commercial sector that
works to transform the scholarly communication process by providing
expanded access to scientific research results.  SPARC was instrumental in
the establishment of BioOne, raising crucial development funds from SPARC
member libraries and supplying business-planning expertise to help ensure
the venture's sustainability.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to an organization
deeply committed to expanding access to information," said Joseph. "I look
forward to the challenge of building on the strong foundation that Rick
has built, and working to advance SPARC's important and ambitious agenda."

SPARC Steering Committee Chair, James Neal, Vice President for Information
Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, also expressed
his deep admiration for Johnson's accomplishments at SPARC and for ARL's
decision to move quickly with Joseph's appointment.

"Rick Johnson is a dedicated and heroic champion for open access.  The
power of his leadership is nowhere more apparent than in the success he
had in orchestrating a broad community of support for the NIH public
access policy.  Heather Joseph is a stellar choice to assume the
leadership of SPARC.  Her commitment to barrier-free access combined with
her experience in scientific publishing make for a perfect leader to
address the challenges presented by the transformation of scholarly
communication.  SPARC's agenda is ambitious and Heather's appointment
assures that we won't miss a beat."

"Developing and running SPARC has been the opportunity of a lifetime,"
said Johnson."I'm grateful for the support libraries have given me and I'm
proud of the progress we've achieved together.  After seven years at the
helm, it's time to catch my breath and make way for new leadership and
fresh perspectives. I expect to do some consulting and travel and to spend
more time with my family. Nonetheless, I remain energized by the issues
SPARC is addressing, so I plan to explore new ways of contributing."

"While meaningful change benefiting scholarship is well underway and can
never be stopped, there's more work for SPARC to do," Johnson added.
"Knowing that Heather Joseph is ready to step in gives me great confidence
that SPARC's greatest achievements are ahead."

- - -

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is an
international alliance of more than 300 academic and research libraries
working to unleash the potential of the Internet to enhance scholarly
communication. SPARC advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership
programs encourage expanded dissemination of research and reduced
financial pressure on libraries. SPARC is located on the web at

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of
123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the
changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies
that affect research libraries and the 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, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests
with those of allied organizations. ARL is located on the web at

John D'Ignazio, Communication Specialist
21 Dupont Circle, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036