New International Scholarly Communications Alliance

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 13:10:27 +0000

On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, Peter Suber <> wrote:

[This arrived too late for inclusion in today's FOSN. --Peter.]

For Release on 6 February 2002

For more information:
Paul Ayris, University College London
+ 44 20 7679 7834


Facilitates Transformation of Knowledge Dissemination

Washington, DC -- Eight of the world's principal research library
organizations today announced the establishment of the International
Scholarly Communications Alliance (ISCA). The ISCA, an initiative of
research library associations in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Hong
Kong SAR, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, is an
action-oriented global network that will collaborate with scholars and
publishers to establish equitable access to scholarly and research

The ISCA - whose members represent over 600 research libraries worldwide -
will engage in a series of activities that focus the scholarly publishing
process on the primary goals of the academic research community, advancing
the discovery of new knowledge and facilitating its dissemination. Through
sharing expertise on scholarly communications issues, these organizations,
whose total library budgets equal over US$5 billion and which serve well
over 11 million students and faculty, will be prepared to act as a unified
body in creating policies and taking actions that advance these goals.

Because the ISCA recognizes that both the publishing industry and the
research community are global, its members will concentrate on ways to
ensure open and affordable access to scholarship across national
boundaries. Its essential partnership will be with the scholar-author, the
key provider of the world's research.

Many scholar-authors have already become active partners with their
university library, playing a visible role in making research more
accessible. Both within faculty departments and in libraries, the
spiralling cost of journal literature (in particular research in science,
technology, and medicine) is a cause of concern. During the past 15 years,
serial unit cost increases have outpaced general inflation in the economies
of developed countries. This has resulted in increased costs of 226
percent (U.S.) for universities and their libraries and a reduction in
their ability to deliver access to the global knowledge base for their

As a body, ISCA will promote solutions which its members agree are
necessary, practical and viable approaches. Members will then collaborate
to develop, expand, and leverage initiatives to transform the scholarly
communications process, including strategic and advocacy programs including
but not limited to:

ß SPARC, the ARL-initiated effort to facilitate competition in scientific
communication through the creation of high-quality alternatives to
commercial titles, and SPARC Europe, recently launched to provide a
European operational arm for SPARC activities;

ß The establishment of institutional and discipline-based archives that
allow public access to content and employ the Open Archives Metadata
Harvesting Protocol.

Initial members of ISCA include: the Association of Japanese National
University Libraries (ANUL); the Association of Research Libraries (ARL);
the Canadian Association of Research Libraries/Association des
bibliothèques de recherche du Canada (CARL/ABRC); the Consortium of
University Research Libraries, U.K. (CURL); the Council of Australian
University Librarians (CAUL); the Council of New Zealand Librarians
(CONZUL); the Ligue des Bibliothèques Europeennes de Recherche (LIBER), and
the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee, Hong Kong SAR, China


For Further Information:

ANUL/Syun Tutiya:
ARL/Mary Case: <>,
CAUL/Diane Costello: <>,
CARL/ABRC/Tim Mark: <http://>http://,
CURL/Paul Ayris: <>,
CONZUL/Sue Pharo: <>,
LIBER/Elmar Mittler: <>,
JULAC/Colin Storey:

Alison Buckholtz, Associate Enterprise Director
SPARC--The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
21 Dupont Circle, Ste. 800
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Ph: 202 296 2296 x115 Fx: 202 872 0884 <>

Received on Thu Feb 07 2002 - 13:10:39 GMT

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