Leading scientists will be featured in Open Access Week kick-off event

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For immediate release
October 4, 2010

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2296

jennifer [at] arl [ dot] org

Leading scientists will be featured in Open Access Week kick-off event
Pioneering Open Access advocate Harold Varmus to keynote

Washington, DC – SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has announced top international researchers will champion the importance of Open Access for advancing research at an online event to launch this year’s Open Access Week (October 18 – 24, 2010).

Nobel Prize-winning scientist and Director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute Dr. Harold Varmus will offer welcoming remarks. Varmus, a long-time champion, has been an unparalleled leader in promoting Open Access in a succession of key roles – from introducing the topic of wider access and launching PubMed Central to increase public access to the literature as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, to helping to found the Public Library of Science, one of the world’s leading open-access publishers.

Varmus will be joined by Dr. Cameron Neylon, a Senior Scientist at the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, biochemist, and author of the widely read “Science in the Open” blog. Neylon will highlight the kinds of scientific advances Open Access can facilitate, and discuss current examples along with future opportunities. A host of leading researchers from around the globe will also add their voices to the event.

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its fourth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access (OA), to share ideas with colleagues, and to inspire wider participation in establishing Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research. Hundreds of participating sites – including research funding agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations – in over 60 countries are using OA Week as a valuable chance to connect local action with global momentum. In 2009, the Week spurred the announcement of actions including expanded open-access publication funds, the adoption of institution-wide open-access policies, and the release of new reports on the societal and economic benefits of OA.

Open Access Week is organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with expert guidance from an international panel of Open Access leaders.

Program advisers include: Subbiah Arunachalam (Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore), Lucy Browse (INASP), Leslie Chan (University of Toronto, Scarborough, OASIS), Melissa Hagemann (Open Society Institute), Thomas Hickerson (University of Calgary), Heather Joseph (SPARC), Iryna Kuchma (eIFL.net), Li Lin (National Science Library, CAS), Donna Okubo (Public Library of Science), Robin Peek (Open Access Directory, Simmons College), Carolina Rossini (Berkman Center), Nick Shockey (Right to Research Coalition), Peter Suber (Berkman Center, Earlham College, SPARC), Alma Swan (Key Perspectives Ltd, OASIS), Ikuko Tsuchide (Digital Repository Federation, Japan), Astrid van Wesenbeeck (SPARC Europe), Xiaolin Zhang (National Science Library, CAS).

For more information, visit the Open Access Week Web site at http://www.openaccessweek.org.

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.