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SPARC & U. Michigan Launch Publisher Assistance Program

For Immediate Release
May 18, 2005

For more information, contact:
Alison Buckholtz, SPARC, alison@arl.org


Partnership Provides Business Planning and
Digital Publishing Services for Open-Access Journals

Washington, D.C. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition) and the University of Michigan Library's Scholarly Publishing
Office (SPO) have teamed up to launch the Publisher Assistance Program,
which provides business planning and digital publishing services to
facilitate open-access publishing in the social sciences and humanities. The Publisher Assistance Program, which integrates the complementary
expertise of SPARC and SPO, provides a comprehensive solution for
scholarly communities in search of a cost-effective way to reach potential

The Publisher Assistance Program offers existing and prospective
publishers a variety of benefits based on SPARC's and SPO's in-depth
experience in the field. SPARC and SPO bring together a business planning
process to ensure the sustainability of the journal under an open-access
or cost-recovery mode, including the transition from print publishing
funded by subscriptions to an online open-access model. The Publisher
Assistance Program will also offer a package of options for journal
development, production, hosting, and maintenance. These packages will
include free online hosting for open-access journals and a variety of
digital publishing options that SPO will offer on a cost-recovery basis.

"Many editors and publishers of journals in the social sciences and
humanities are looking for a way to do well while doing good," said SPARC
Executive Director Rick Johnson. "They frequently approach both SPO and
SPARC seeking guidance on how to move their publications to an online
environment, and they require both business planning advice and digital
publishing technical expertise in order to achieve their goals. The
Publisher Assistance Program can serve these needs and send them into the
marketplace with sound business options and a superior open-access journal

"Michigan believes that the synergy between SPARC's strong advocacy role
and SPO's hands-on experience in open access publishing is extraordinarily
powerful," said James Hilton, Interim University Librarian at the
University of Michigan.

The new Publisher Assistance Program will serve nonprofit publishers of
either new or existing peer-reviewed journals that wish to operate under
an open-access model. SPARC and SPO have separately provided such
publishers business planning services or technical assistance for dozens
of print, online, and open-access journals. By joining forces, they have
enhanced their ability to apply their experience in helping this scale of
publishers overcome obstacles. For information on how to participate in
the Publisher Assistance Program, please contact Raym Crow, SPARC Business
Development Consultant, at raym@arl.org.


About the University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office The
University of Michigan University Library through its Scholarly Publishing
Office is committed to providing academic publishing services that are
responsive to the needs of both producers and users, that foster a
sustainable economic model for academic publishing, and that support
institutional control of intellectual assets. The Scholarly Publishing
Office seeks to disseminate high-quality, cost-effective scholarly content
through both print and electronic publishing. Information about the
Scholarly Publishing Office can be found at <http://spo.umdl.umich.edu>.


SPARC and SPARC Europe are alliances of academic and research libraries
working to unleash the potential of the Internet to enhance scholarly
communication. SPARC partnerships, advocacy, and educational activities
encourage expanded dissemination of research and reduced financial
pressure on libraries. Worldwide membership currently includes over 300
institutions and organizations. SPARC is located on the web at
<www.arl.org/sparc>. SPARC Europe is at <www.sparceurope.org>.