Sacha Turpin
Senior Director of Member Communications
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LYRASIS and CERN to Collaborate on Open Access Initiative SCOAP3

ATLANTA – (October 8, 2012) – LYRASIS has signed a Collaboration Agreement with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to serve as the US National Contact Point for the SCOAP3 initiative, whose mission is to convert peer-reviewed literature in particle physics to open access. SCOAP3 is a consortium of research institutions, funding agencies, libraries and library consortia. It is the first-ever planned experiment in converting an entire discipline to open access, in partnership with leading publishers. Through its broad membership reach, non-profit status, sound business infrastructure, as well as the long-time participation of its staff in SCOAP3 design and planning, LYRASIS is uniquely positioned to be the National Contact Point for the US and to bring the initiative to fruition.

Tom Sanville, Senior Director of Library Services at LYRASIS, serves on the SCOAP3 Technical Working Group, and was instrumental in the SCOAP3 outreach in previous roles since 2008. With LYRASIS providing the necessary infrastructure, Ann Okerson has been designated by LYRASIS to liaise with US libraries, library consortia and research institutions during the SCOAP3 pre-launch phases. Okerson has been active within SCOAP3 since 2008 and serves on the SCOAP3 Steering Committee.

In the SCOAP3 funding model, libraries, library consortia, research institutions and funding agencies will pool resources currently used to subscribe to journal content, re-directing the funds to directly pay for the peer-review service through established high-quality journals. Participating journal publishers will then make their articles open access in perpetuity and worldwide. Authors retain copyright, with articles licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY license. An inclusive international governance structure will oversee the initiative, and CERN will lend its infrastructure, acting as the “host laboratory” and global administrator of SCOAP3.

Operationally organized on a country-by-country basis, SCOAP3 will be funded by each country in proportion to its contributions to the particle physics peer-reviewed literature, and participating partners will recover their contribution through a reduction in subscription fees to these titles. In the US, this amounts to $3.5 million per year.

The tasks ahead are significant: Identifying prospective participating libraries and contacting them; Helping them through the process of calculating subscription reductions; And setting the framework for their participation to SCOAP3 through firm pledges. This work must be completed by Spring 2013, for SCOAP3 to take a final go/no-go decision, with funds to be transferred after the summer for a go-live date of January 1, 2014.

Publishers of 12 journals, accounting for the vast majority of articles in the field, were identified for participation in SCOAP3 through an open and competitive process (visit for more information). The initial SCOAP3 tender covers three years: 2014-2016. By 2015, the SCOAP3 governing bodies will assess the project and plan for its future phases.

Many US libraries with interest in High Energy Physics have previously submitted an Expression of Interest in SCOAP3. These and other libraries, library consortia and research institutions can now get more detailed information from Ann Okerson, National Contact Person, at, or

LYRASIS partners with member libraries to create, access and manage information, while building and sustaining collaboration, enhancing library and technology operations, and increasing buying power. For more information, please visit

About CERN

Funded in 1954, CERN (, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Israel and Serbia are Associate Members in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status. Through its infrastructure, CERN is facilitating the establishment of SCOAP3, for which benefit it has recently conducted a call for tender.


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