Heading for the Exits

At SPARC: "Rick Johnson, SPARC’s founding Executive Director, has announced his decision to resign. Heather Joseph has been named to succeed him. Joseph is the founding President and Chief Operating Officer of BioOne, an innovative aggregation of high-impact bioscience research journals. The change in SPARC leadership is effective July 1, 2005." And, at BioMed Central: "Jan Velterop, Director and Publisher of BioMed Central, will be leaving to pursue independently his many engagements as an advocate of Open Access to societies, funding institutions and publishers. Matthew Cockerill and Anne Greenwood will take joint responsibility for publishing and other activities of BioMed Central as the business continues its rapid growth." (Thanks to Peter Suber for the second one.)

What are the chances that these two major figures in the scholarly publishing reform movement would have their resignations announced within a day of each other? Let’s hope it’s not a trend. Rick Johnson did a bang-up job of "creating change" at SPARC, and Jan Velterop vigorously led the OA journal charge at BioMed Central, fostering the development of over 100 journals. Kudos and best wishes to both. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of them.