SPARC Announces New European Leadership

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
For immediate release
January 18, 2012
For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
(202) 631-8854
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

SPARC Announces New European Leadership
Alma Swan and Lars Bjørnshauge to direct international Open Access advocacy efforts

Washington, DC and The Hague – In a move that completes a year-long strategic restructuring of SPARC’s operations in Europe, Dr. Alma Swan has been appointed to the position of Director of European Advocacy, and Lars Bjørnshauge has been named SPARC’s Director of European Library Relations.
“SPARC is extremely fortunate to have attracted leaders of Alma Swan and Lars Bjørnshauge’s caliber to lead our European efforts,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC in North America. “Both are extremely well-respected internationally for their expertise in the scholarly communications arena, and true leaders in the Open Access movement.”
Alma Swan, who co-founded Key Perspectives Ltd., a scholarly communications consultancy in 1996, has more than two decades in medical cell biology research and scholarly publishing.  She holds graduate degrees in cell biology and business administration, and has experience in the university environment (as a faculty member of Leicester University) as well as in the publishing industry (serving as senior managing editor for Pergamon Press/Elsevier Science). Swan will be responsible for leading SPARC’s advocacy programs throughout Europe, with a concentration on regular outreach to the European Commission and European Parliament. 
I’m delighted to be taking on this new role,” said Swan, “Policymakers are increasingly interested in hearing the arguments. Presenting the evidence-based case to them will help to bring about the policy developments we all want to see.”
Lars Bjørnshauge, a long-standing member of the SPARC Europe Board, has been serving as SPARC’s Interim European Director since October, taking on the overall management of the 93-member library organization. He will continue to lead SPARC’s high-level education and outreach programs, capitalizing on his more than twenty years’ experience in the library community. Prior to his decade-long service as Director of Lund Libraries, he held management positions at the Technical Knowledge Center & Library of Denmark (DTV) in Lyngby, as well as serving as head of department at the Royal Danish School of Librarianship in Copenhagen.
“SPARC has a major role to play in Europe”, said Bjørnshauge, “Creating change needs coordination and determined action, and I am really looking forward to work together with Alma on this.” 
Both Swan and Bjørnshauge are well known for championing Open Access and providing high-level strategic leadership and expertise to the development of innovative programs and policies.  They will work closely with the SPARC member organizations in Europe, as well as SPARC staff in North America and Asia to continue to spearhead campaigns to strengthen the adoption of Open Access in the global scholarly community. 
“Swan and Bjørnshauge have the unique experience and expertise required to help SPARC lead the way in meeting the challenges of creating a more open and equitable system of scholarly communication,” noted Bas Savenije, Director General of the National Library of the Netherlands, and Chair of the SPARC Europe Board. “Their appointments help ensure that SPARC is well-positioned to serve its members in the global scholarly community.”
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is a library membership organization that promotes expanded sharing of scholarship. SPARC believes that faster and wider sharing of outputs of the research process increases the impact of research, fuels the advancement of knowledge, and increases the return on research investments. SPARC is supported by a membership of over 800 academic and research libraries worldwide, including more than 100 of Europe’s leading academic and research institutions. Membership is open to national and academic libraries, library organizations and research institutions in the region. SPARC is on the Web at and