SPARC and University of Michigan Launch Publisher Assistance Program

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SPARC and University of Michigan Launch

Publisher Assistance Program Partnership with University Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office provides business planning and digital publishing services

May 18, 2005

For more information, contact:

Alison Buckholtz,

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 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 readers.

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 model, including the transition from print publishing funded by subscriptions to an online open-access model.

This program will also offer a package of options for journal development, production, hosting, and maintenance. The options 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 offering,” he said.

The University of Michigan University Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office provides academic publishing services that foster a sustainable economic model for academic publishing ventures while supporting institutional control of intellectual assets. “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 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.