May 27, 2022

SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph Will Be Recipient of NISO’s 2021 Miles Conrad Award

Ed. Note: A big congrats to infoDOCKET friend Heather Joseph! Kudos to NISO on the selection.

From NISO:

Heather Joseph

National Information Standards Organization (NISO) today announced that Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), will be the recipient of the 2021 Miles Conrad Award, a lifetime achievement award for those working in the information community.

Since her appointment as SPARC’s Executive Director  in 2005, Heather has focused the organization’s efforts on supporting the open and equitable sharing of digital articles, data, and educational resources. Under her stewardship, SPARC has become widely recognized as the leading international force for effective open access policies and practices. Among her many achievements, she leads the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the Open Access Working Group, coalitions that provided critical advocacy for the establishment of the landmark 2008 NIH Public Access Policy and the 2013 White House Memorandum on Public Access to Federally Funded Research.

Heather regularly participates in committees and collaborates on projects with U.S. federal agencies, ranging from the NIH National Advisory Committee on PubMed Central to the NIST Steering Committee to establish a Research Data Framework.  In 2015, she was appointed to the newly-formed Commerce Data Advisory Council to provide input to the Secretary of Commerce on issues surrounding open data, and in 2019, she spearheaded the establishment of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable an Aligning Incentives to Support Open Science.

Internationally, Heather has worked on initiatives and consultations to promote the open sharing of research outputs at the United Nations, The World Bank, UNESCO, and World Health Organization. Through SPARC’s global network of affiliates in Europe, Asia and Africa, she is an active collaborator on projects that support community developed and controlled solutions for knowledge sharing.

Heather is particularly committed to promoting leadership opportunities for students and early career professionals.  Through the establishment of  SPARC’s global OpenCon initiative and its student Right to Research Coalition, she has created opportunities for students and young leaders worldwide to actively advocate for the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials.  Her community service includes terms on the Board of Directors of non-profit organizations that support the open sharing of knowledge, including PLOS, Public Resource, DuraSpace, EIFL, the Center for Open Science, and OurResearch, as well as extensive volunteer advisory support for new and developing open initiatives.


A well-known and highly respected member of the global information community, Heather will join a long list of industry leaders, innovators, and opinion-makers who have received this prestigious award. She will deliver the Miles Conrad Lecture during the fully virtual NISO Plus 2021 conference, on February 24 at noon (Eastern Standard Time US & Canada).

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.