Leo Waaijers Receives SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications, 2008

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For more information, contact: David Prosser, david.prosser@bodley.ox.ac.uk

LUND, Sweden – As part of the Fourth Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communications, held at the University of Lund in Sweden, Dr Leo Waaijers has been presented with the 2008 SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications.

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Europe initiated the Award in 2006 to recognise the work of an individual or group within Europe that has made significant advances in our understanding of the issues surrounding scholarly communications and/or in developing practical means to address the problems with the current systems. In making the Award to Dr Waaijers the judging panel noted his tireless support for new models of scholarly communication and his innovative approach to repositories and their promotion, especially as initiator of the DARE programme and manager of DAREnet.

As manager of the SURF Platform ICT and Research, Dr Waaijers has initiated a number of important projects within the Netherlands, including the original DARE programme, the Keur der Wetenschap (Cream of Science) initiative and the honDAREduizend - or HunDAREdthousand – project.  In addition, his influence as been felt throughout Europe and beyond as a widely-travelled advocate, initiator of the 2007 petition to the European Commission, and an important player in the DRIVER and DRIVER II programmes.

Wim Liebrand, director of SURF commented “Leo Waaijers deserves this tangible recognition for his work in the world of libraries, information technology and Open Access. We all know that Leo has been highly effective in his energetic attempts to improve the easier dissemination of knowledge. And that has had a direct and beneficial impact on both research and educational environments. Leo has guided the Netherlands to a lead position in supporting the fast changing world of scholarly communication and we, at SURF, are proud of that.”

Leo Waaijers said "Open Access is also about sharing inspiration, best practices and knowledge within the OA community itself. This has been the key success factor of DAREnet. For me, the SPARC Europe Award is recognizing exactly this. It is a great stimulus to proceed with this modus operandi.'
This is the third time the SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications has been made.  The first Award, in 2006, went to the Wellcome Trust and the second in 2007 to the SHERPA Group. 

SPARC Europe is an alliance of 110 research-led university libraries from 14 European countries. It is affiliated with SPARC based in Washington, D.C., which represents over 200 institutions, mainly in North America. SPARC Europe and SPARC work to develop and promote new models of scholarly communication that increase the access to and utility of the research literature.

About SURF
SURF is the collaborative organisation for academic universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT. SURF supports higher education and research in taking optimum advantage of the possibilities offered by ICT to improve the quality of education and research. SURF provides the foundation for the excellence of higher education and research in the Netherlands.

More information on DRIVER: www.driver-community.eu
More information on SURFshare: www.surf.nl/surfshare