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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Library fights high journal costs

New Mexico State University's Library recently became a founding member of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition (SPARC), a newly formed alliance of libraries that aims to reduce the price of scholarly journals, ensure fair use of electronic resources and apply new technologies to improve the process of scholarly communication.

Launched with support from the membership of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), SPARC has begun creating partnerships with publishers who are developing high-quality but economical alternatives to existing high-priced publications.

"Membership in SPARC is an important first step in encouraging alternatives to high-priced journals, the kind of competition that will bring skyrocketing journal prices back to earth," said Charles Townley, dean of NMSU's Library. "Delivery time will be shortened, and libraries will be able to offer more economical access to the results of scholarly research. The NMSU Library is delighted to part of the solution to this perennial problem."

SPARC's initial publishing partnership with the American Chemical Society (ACS) will create three new journal titles in the next three years. The first new journal, tentatively entitled "Organic Chemistry Letters," is slated to be available next summer. This journal will include "Articles ASAP" (As Soon As Publishable), an enhanced feature developed by the ACS for all of its peer-reviewed journals. ASAP releases journal articles on the World Wide Web as soon as they are finished, accelerating publication by two to 11 weeks over print.

SPARC has approximately 100 founding members. Its development is being guided by a steering committee chaired by Ken Frazier, director of the General Library of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In addition to ARL, SPARC's efforts are endorsed by leading academic organizations including the Association of American Universities, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Big 12 Provosts, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. For more information contact Townley at (505) 646-1508.