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On-Demand Presentation

Miles Conrad Award 2021 - Heather Joseph

Miles Conrad was the founder of the National Federation of Abstracting and Indexing Services (NFAIS), and this award was established in 1965, in his memory. During the 1960s, Conrad encouraged NFAIS members — scholarly societies and government agencies — to work collaboratively in support of the space exploration program, in order to enhance the speed with which scientific knowledge could be disseminated, discovered, and acted upon. In the years that followed, NFAIS expanded its cross-disciplinary membership and played an important role in the development of online information services and resources, before merging with National Information Standards Organization (NISO) in 2019. NISO’s vision, of a world where all can benefit from the unfettered exchange of information, reflects the aims of both organizations; in awarding this prize, we are proud to continue recognizing the contributions of those whose lifetime achievements have moved our community forward.

Heather Joseph

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Executive Director - Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition


Heather Joseph has served as the Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) since 2005. In that capacity, she works to support broadening access to the results of scholarly research through enabling open access publishing, archiving and policies on a local, national and international level.

Ms. Joseph is also the convener of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of universities, libraries, patients advocacy groups, consumer groups, and student organizations who work to ensure that results of publicly funded research are openly accessible to the public. The group has been a leading voice on U.S. open access policies, including the landmark public access policy issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the recent White House Directive mandating public access to publicly funded research across all U.S. science agencies.

Prior to coming to SPARC, she spent 15 years as a publisher in both commercial and not-for-profit publishing organizations. She served as the publishing director at the American Society for Cell Biology, which became the first journal to commit its full content to the NIH’s pioneering open repository, PubMed Central, and subsequently served on the National Advisory Committee for the project.

Ms. Joseph serves on the Board of Directors of numerous not-for-profit organizations, including the Public Library of Science. She is a frequent speaker and writer on scholarly communications in general, and on open access in particular.