SPARC Recognizes Open Society Institute's Melissa Hagemann as Newest SPARC Innovator

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Hagemann Chosen for her Strategic Efforts to Launch Open Access Movement and Educate Individuals and Organizations on the Benefits of Open Access.

For Immediate Release
December 5, 2006

For more information, contact:

Jennifer McLennan
jennifer@arl.org
(202) 296-2296 x121

Washington, DC – December 4, 2006 – SPARC has selected Melissa Hagemann, the Program Manager of the Open Access Initiative at the Open Society Institute (OSI), as the newest SPARC Innovator. Hagemann was chosen in recognition of the new possibilities that now exist for scholars, institutions, and the public since the introduction of the Open Access movement and in honor of Hagemann's seminal role in launching the movement with her OSI colleagues.

For Hagemann, the Open Access movement is the realization of an ideal that can benefit thousands of institutions and millions of people, including those in transitional and developing countries who would otherwise have to do without the benefits of critical research findings. To achieve her goal, Hagemann has worked closely with OSI colleagues, deploying critical resources to launch the Open Access movement. Most significantly, OSI convened the December 2001 gathering in Budapest that culminated in the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Since that landmark meeting, OSI has funded about $3 million in individual and institutional grants related to Open Access.

Despite the grant and funding assistance, however, Hagemann's contributions to the Open Access movement are not primarily financial. Her intellectual creativity and far-reaching vision led her to strategize on a way forward within OSI to unify the Open Access movement by linking together open access journals with open archiving strategies, an idea conceived by the participants in Budapest.

"Melissa's recognition in 2001 that the time was right to bring people together to create the Open Access movement was critical," said SPARC Director Heather Joseph. "The initial BOAI gathering set out the principles of OA to foster change on a systemic level, rather than on a journal-by-journal basis. Her clear focus was on defining this new concept, and then supporting education to plant the concept of OA around the world. Open Access would simply not have had the tremendous impact it has had so far without this crucial first step."

"It is an immense honor to be profiled this way, along with my colleagues at OSI and those who participated in the meeting in Budapest which lead to the BOAI," Hagemann said.

Hagemann's strategic, behind-the-scenes planning on behalf of the Open Access movement during the past five years set in motion a series of events that have affected scholarship around the globe. To read the complete SPARC Innovator profile detailing Hagemann's role, please seehttp://www.arl.org/sparc/innovator/hagemann.html.

The SPARC Innovator program recognizes advances in scholarly communication realized by an individual, institution, or group. Typically, these advances exemplify SPARC principles by challenging the status quo in scholarly communication for the benefit of researchers, libraries, universities, and the public. SPARC Innovators are featured on the SPARC Web site semi-annually and have included Herbert Von de Sompel (April) and the University of California (July). SPARC Innovators are named by the SPARC staff in consultation with the SPARC Steering Committee.

Individuals can nominate potential SPARC Innovators at

http://www.arl.org/sparc/innovator/nominate.html.

For further information, please see the SPARC Web site at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.

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SPARC

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. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.