Washington, DC – June 24, 2008 – Higher-education leader David Shulenburger, Science Commons head John Wilbanks, and marketing communications strategist Bob Witeck are keynote speakers slated for the SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting 2008 in Baltimore on November 17-18. The international gathering, organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) in cooperation with SPARC Europe, and SPARC Japan (a Japan National Informatics Institute initiative), will offer a practical exploration of how open online archives hosted by universities, colleges, and government agencies can enhance their service to scholars, institutions, and the public.

In the opening keynote address, John Wilbanks, Vice President for Science at Creative Commons and director of the Science Commons program, will provide his unique and inspiring vision for the potential of a fully enabled research Web. The following day, Bob Witeck, CEO and co-founder of Witeck-Combs Communications, a renowned marketing communications and public relations agency in Washington, DC, will tackle how repository advocates can introduce their services to campus and agency communities. David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the National Association of State University and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) will wrap up the meeting with a public policy perspective on the emerging role of open digital repositories. 

Joining the keynoters are speakers and panelists from around the world, who will look at four conference program areas – The Policy Environment, New Horizons, Value-added User Services, and Campus Publishing Strategies. Invited speakers include: Sayeed Choudhury (Johns Hopkins University, USA), Rea Devakos (University of Toronto T-Space, Canada), Norbert Lossau (Goettingen State and University Library and DRIVER, Germany), Bernard Rentier (University of Liege, Belgium), and Syun Tutiya (Chiba University, Japan). Additional speakers are to be selected by an expert program committee from submitted proposals.

The SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting 2008 is supported by major contributions from Microsoft (Conference Sponsor) and Berkeley Electronic Press (Coffee Break Sponsor), and by additional contributions from a number of Supporting Organizations, including: the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), the DSpace Foundation, Fedora, Hewlett-Packard (HP), the Japanese Coordinating Committee for University Libraries, JISC (the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee), and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). 

The program is being developed by the members of the 2008 Program Committee: Jun Adachi (SPARC Japan), Raym Crow (SPARC), Richard Fyffe (Grinnell College), Susan Gibbons (University of Rochester), Melissa Hagemann (Open Society Institute), Karla Hahn (Association of Research Libraries), Bill Hubbard (SHERPA), Rick Johnson (SPARC), Michelle Kimpton (DSpace Foundation), Norbert Lossau (Goettingen State and University Library and DRIVER), Joyce Ogburn (University of Utah), Terry Owen (University of Maryland, College Park), Kathleen Shearer (Canadian Association of Research Libraries), Alma Swan (Key Perspectives Ltd.), Sean Thomas (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Susan Veldsman (eIFL), and Charles Watkinson (The American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

This meeting is a follow up to SPARC’s popular 2004 institutional repositories conference, which drew hundreds of participants from around the globe and set the stage for some of the key developments in open access of the past four years.

To register for the SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting 2008, visit the conference Web site at Early Bird Registration ends September 15. 

For more details, including biographies for the keynote speakers and sponsorship opportunities, visit the conference Web site at



SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications
(The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition)
Save the date: The SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting 2008
November 17  18, 2008 | Baltimore, MD
(202) 296-2296 ext 121
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