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New organisation looks to increase competition in the scientific journal marketplace

SPARC (Scholarly publishing and academic resources coalition) and LIBER, the principal association of the major research libraries in Europe have announced the launch of SPARC Europe, which aims to facilitate competition in the European scientific journal marketplace and intro...

SPARC (Scholarly publishing and academic resources coalition) and LIBER, the principal association of the major research libraries in Europe have announced the launch of SPARC Europe, which aims to facilitate competition in the European scientific journal marketplace and introduce advocacy initiatives tailored to the European research and library communities. SPARC Europe will collaborate with the international SPARC organisation based in Washington DC, USA, but will develop Europe-focused initiatives under the direction of a European management boards and a Europe-based programme officer. A European membership base, including a number of current SPARC members will support the work. SPARC is an alliance of research libraries, library organisations and research institutions that support increased competition in scientific journal publishing. Membership of SPARC Europe is open to national and academic libraries, library organisations and research institutions in Europe. 'SPARC Europe will enable the European research and library communities to take an assertive role in addressing the problem of high journal process,' said Elmar Mittler, LIBER President. 'SPARC Europe's tailored advocacy and outreach projects, partnerships with learned societies and academic institutions, and encouragement of competition in the marketplace will offer constructive solutions to the journals crisis.' Scholarly communication is intrinsically international, according to Rik Johnson, SPARC enterprise director, and so must be solutions to the problems threatening it. 'The members of SPARC Europe are in a unique position to enhance awareness of the issues among scholars across Europe, while also connecting into a global context and offering viable alternatives,' he said