|SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has
announced the formation of the SPARC Consulting Group, which provides business,
financial, and strategic consulting services to universities and university
presses, not-for-profit learned societies, and other academic and not-for-profit
organizations, as well as to SPARC members and partners.
According to the announcement, the SPARC Consulting Group aims to support
the development, launch, and operation of scholarly communications projects
by helping to make them more competitive, financially self-sufficient,
and better equipped to improve the scholarly communication marketplace
via the following services:
"SPARC has been instrumental in the launch of scholarly communication initiatives
which improve access to information, facilitate competition, and encourage
community control," said Rick Johnson, SPARC's enterprise director. "With
the SPARC Consulting Group, SPARC is providing direct access to expert
assistance in developing, launching, and operating a new initiative, as
well as in retooling existing activities. The SPARC Consulting Group supplements
a client's experience, know-how, and resources; infuses objectivity and
business knowledge; and leverages prior work on related projects to provide
effective solutions, all at a reasonable cost. It is essential that not-for-profit
scholarly initiatives build viable, sustainable products, and the SPARC
Consulting Group can help them do that."
Business, financial, and strategic advice
Conceptualization and preparation of business plans, pricing, and marketing
Economic modeling and financial plans
Market analysis and other services as necessary
The SPARC Consulting Group providesaccess to qualified consultants acting
as independent contractors. Howard Goldstein, the group's senior consultant,
hasover 25 years of experience in scholarly and professional publishing.
Current clients include university libraries, university presses, learned
societies, and other academic and nonprofit organizations. Under a typical
engagement, the focus is on validating and possibly modifying an existing
concept, and then planning thoroughly for a start-up or early-stage product
or project with the objective of becoming sustainable over the long term.
Consulting services are a client-specific, fee-based adjunct to SPARC's
existing services, which remain free of charge. Inquiries regarding the
SPARC Consulting Group may be sent by e-mail to Goldstein at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Johnson at email@example.com.
Source: SPARC, Washington, DC, 202/296-2296; http://www.arl.org/sparc.