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SPARC-ACRL forum to examine open-access monographs

For immediate release
December 1, 2009

SPARC-ACRL forum to examine open-access monographs

Washington, DC and Chicago, IL -- Three ambitious initiatives to 
deliver free online access to scholarly monographs will be 
featured at the next installment of the SPARC-ACRL forum, 'The 
ebook transition: Collaborations and innovations behind 
open-access monographs.' The forum, co-sponsored by SPARC (the 
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the 
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), will be 
held in conjunction with the Boston meeting of the American 
Library Association in January.

The market-based business model for scholarly monographs, long 
under pressure due to decreased library purchasing, must now 
accommodate a transition to ebooks. Many non-profit publishers, 
including university presses, are actively exploring new 
publishing models to support scholarly monographs, including 
open-access distribution and collaborative initiatives with 
university libraries. This next SPARC-
ACRL forum will feature three pioneering initiatives to deliver 
free online access to scholarly monographs, and will highlight 
opportunities for libraries to support innovations in this 
important area.

Presenters will include:

*  Michael Jensen, Director of Strategic Web Communications for 
the National Academies Press (NAP), on the NAP's successful 
decade-long program to deliver free online access to scientific 
and technical monographs. See 
http://www.nap.edu/about/about_pdf.html for details.

*  Patrick Alexander, Director of The Pennsylvania State 
University Press and co-director of Penn State University 
Libraries' Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing, on a 
well-regarded Romance Studies monograph series that was revived 
with an open distribution component in collaboration with the 
Penn State University Library. See 
for details.

*  Maria Bonn, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Office at the 
University of Michigan Libraries, on the Digital Culture Books 
project and other coordination between the Libraries and the 
University of Michigan Press. See http://www.digitalculture.org.

This forum will also feature an experimental new, interactive 
format that integrates the type of robust and engaging discussion 
typical of the ACRL Sunday discussion group. Following the 
presentations, participants will be invited to connect in smaller 
groups and consider specific questions on how open-access 
monographs figure in their local campus collections and scholarly 
communication programs. The ACRL Scholarly Communications 
Discussion Group will not meet on Sunday.

The 20th biennial SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held Saturday, January 
16, 2009 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the Sheraton Boston, Back Bay 
Ballroom A/B.

Registration is not required. For further details on the forum, 
visit http://www.arl.org/sparc/forum

This forum will be available via SPARC video-cast at a later 
date. For more information, visit the SPARC Web site at 


SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), 
with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance 
of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to 
create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC's 
advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs 
encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web 
at http://www.arl.org/sparc.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a 
division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents 
nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested 
individuals. It is the only individual membership organization in 
North America that develops programs, products and services to 
meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its 
initiatives enable the higher education community to understand 
the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning 
and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at 

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications