SPARC Teams with Public Knowledge Project

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Jennifer Heffelfinger

Canadian Initiative Provides Open Source Digital Publishing Platforms for Libraries; Improves Access to Scholarly Publications

For Immediate Release
September 21, 2006

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Heffelfinger
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121

Washington, DC - September 21, 2006 - SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced a partnership with the Public Knowledge Project (, an open source publishing initiative funded by the Canadian government and based in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia (UBC), and the Simon Fraser University Library

Since 2001, the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) has offered free, open source software for the management and publishing of journals and conference proceedings. PKP software reduces publishing costs, improves management, enhances indexing, and increases access to knowledge.

PKP software includes three proven solutions. Open Journal Systems (OJS) provides a journal management system that supports every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions to online publication and indexing. Open Conference Systems (OCS) supports the management of conference paper review process as well as the scheduling and release of materials, from abstracts to full papers, with online posting and indexing. PKP Harvester (PKPH) harvests the metadata of OAI-PMH compliant sites, including OJS journals and OCS conferences.

PKP's proven open source software technologies are used in digital publishing programs at Rutgers University Library, University of Toronto Library, City University of New York Grad Center, and others. More than 800 journals currently use OJS software; a sample of the journals using OJS is at

"Our focus is on improving the public and scholarly quality of research through open source publishing tools that make different forms of open access feasible for journals and conferences," said John Willinsky, director of PKP and Pacific Press Professor of Literacy and Technology at UBC. Willinsky is the author of The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT Press, 2006), winner of the Blackwell Scholarship Award from the American Library Association and Distinguished Book of the Year award from Computers and Composition.

"The Public Knowledge Project has a proven track record providing innovative open source software that benefits the whole community," said Heather Joseph, SPARC Executive Director. "PKP's offerings make it possible for scholars and libraries to run successful publishing programs on their own terms and are a leading example of how such tools may be used to provide information via open access channels and facilitate the widest possible dissemination. We encourage SPARC members and partners to consider these valuable alternatives for their publishing programs."



SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and SPARC Europe are an international alliance of more than 300 academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. SPARC's advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research.