On the Cutting Edge - Baylor Libraries Join SPARC

The Baylor University Libraries recently became a full member of SPARC', the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. To quote the website (www.arl.org/sparc/), SPARC "is an alliance of academic and research libraries and organizations working to correct market dysfunctions in the scholarly communication system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to facilitate the emergence of systems that capitalize on the networked environment to disseminate research. Its strategies expend competition and support open access to address the high and rising cost of scholarly journals, especially in science, technology, and medicine a trend which inhibits the advancement of scholarship."

The Baylor University Libraries have been contributing indirectly to SPARC programs by subscribing to resources such as BioOne and participating in the inaugural ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication. As the leadership in the Baylor University Libraries continues to emphasize the impact of scholarly communication issues on universities in general and libraries in particular, they determined that the time was right for the Baylor Libraries to contribute more overtly to SPARC programs.

SPARC's initiatives focus on three areas:

• The incubation of competitive alternatives to the current high-cost scholarly publishing models.

• The advocacy of changes in the scholarly communication system and culture.

• The education of others to increase awareness of scholarly issues and the impact of those issues on academic institutions.

For more information on SPARC, please visit (www.arl.org/sparc/about/faq.html)

-Billie Peterson-Lugo, Electronic Libraries