SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing
and Academic Resources Coalition) continues to expand its activities in
accordance with its mission to promote greater competition in the scholarly
publishing arena. Recently, SPARC announced a new public-private initiative
with the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the Big 12 Plus
Libraries Consortium, the University of Kansas and the Allen Press to develop
an electronic source named BioOne.
BioOne will begin as an electronic
aggregation of the full texts of dozens of research journals in the biological,
ecological and environmental sciences. It will provide an Internet access
and delivery system, based on an archival SGML database, to a broad selection
of the journals and bulletins of the 55 member societies which constitute
the AIBS. Back issues will be included and additional publishers/journals
may be added over time. Should the effort succeed, BioOne may ultimately
include over 200 bioscience titles from both AIBS and other publishers.
In essence, the coalition approach enables smaller, underfunded bioscience
societies to move strongly into electronic dissemination of research, thereby
reaching a broader audience and expanding service to their constituencies.
BioOne is scheduled for beta release in early 2001 and full availability
soon thereafter. Financing will come from the societies, the 166 member
libraries of the SPARC coalition, and other sources.
In other SPARC news, the American
Chemical Society has launched its new title Organic Letters, covering
peer-reviewed research in organic chemistry. The ACS is the first major
publisher to agree to work with research libraries to offer new journals
at lower prices to compete with costly competitors. A major innovation
is that this journal offers a completely online system of manuscript submission,
peer-review, editing and publishing. Articles in the Web edition of Organic
Letters will be published sequentially within 48 hours of peer-review
under the ACS's innovative ASAP (As Soon As Publishable) system. This system
should make the publication the fastest of the "letters" journals.