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SPARC Europe Award for Leo Waaijers

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Dr Leo Waaijers has won the 2008 SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications. The award was presented during the fourth Nordic Conference at the University of Lund, Sweden.

By presenting Leo Waaijers with this award, the jury has acknowledged his unceasing efforts to promote open access to research results via the internet. It was under his leadership that SURF’s DARE programme created DAREnet, which provides access to the 150,000 publications contained in the repositories of all the Dutch universities. Waaijers also initiated the successful petition asking the European Commission to guarantee public access to publicly financed research results. The petition garnered worldwide support.

‘Leo Waaijers deserves this recognition for his work in the world of libraries, IT and Open Access,’ said Wim Liebrand, director of SURF. ‘His energetic efforts to promote the dissemination of knowledge have been highly effective. We all know that this has direct benefits for research, education and enterprise. Leo has put the Netherlands in the lead in the fast-changing world of scientific communication, and we at SURF are very proud of his achievement.’

This is the third SPARC Europe Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scholarly Communications. The first Award, in 2006, went to the UK’s Wellcome Trust, and the second, in 2007, went to the SHERPA Group (the University of Nottingham’s Open Access programme). This is the first time that the Award has been presented to an individual.