5 Questions with… Camille Thomas

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Camille Thomas is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at Florida State University. She recently took part in our “Five Questions” series to tell us about her role.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position?

I see outreach and strategic leadership as the main function of my role as Scholarly Communication Librarian at FSU. I work with faculty, students, subject and functional librarians and campus units (e.g. The Graduate School, Honors College, Office of Distance Learning, Office of Research, Office of the Provost) on academic publishing, copyright, open access and open education initiatives. I work with the digital scholarship and media librarians in my department on projects that apply to how technology has created innovative applications for research and teaching. I speak to classes, create resources, conduct consultations, review contracts, give workshops and advise on other related initiatives in the library (e.g. transformative agreements, data services, course reserves, ebooks for the classroom). I also manage funds for open initiatives, support FSU’s open access policy and supervise our Repository Specialist. In my 5+ years doing scholcomm work, I’ve never been bored and grown a lot as a professional and a person.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?

I knew pretty early on in my first semester of library school that I wanted to do scholcomm work, which is pretty uncommon, until more recently as Intro to Scholarly Communication courses emerged. There were no such courses when I was in school even a few years ago. Like most people, I had no idea I even wanted to be a librarian for most of my life. I had a lot of different interests in research, technology, social justice, independent publishing and access to information by the time I was at the end of undergrad. I also knew I wanted to work in academic libraries, but didn’t feel a lot of the traditional roles spoke to me. In my first semester, I asked to meet with a seemingly successful alumni of FSU’s iSchool, Micah Vandegrift, who happened to be the founding Scholarly Communications Librarian and then Director of Digital Research and Scholarship at FSU. He described his work and it all clicked for me — all of my interests converged. I just knew it was for me. I planned my coursework and work experience to prepare me for the role. I haven’t looked back since.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping people navigate their agency regarding copyright and new ways of publishing. It is very rewarding when people are making considerations for copyright or academic publishing — they have all the elements of open access, for example, swirling in their minds, but I can help them put specific terms to the ideas and offer them support and services, even if that is just answering a question or reassuring them. It is so rewarding to help people see their own agency as creators in academia.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?

I would use a magic wand to change the inequities in scholarly publishing and what is recognized in promotion and tenure. I might be cheating because that is two things, but I think they go hand in hand. There are so many ways that the scholarly communication ecosystem perpetuates only what fits as “objective”, quantitative, mid-late career, white, male, Western, and Anglophone canon of what research looks like. I think open access and digital scholarship already support new formats and practices of scholarship. If new modes of scholarship were more accepted in promotion and tenure, I think there would be an opportunity to stop replicating inequitable and financially unsustainable publishing practices in order to demonstrate value. We could look at research in a more nuanced way, support impactful public scholarship and support marginalized scholars. We could expand to a scholcomm ecosystem based on strength and trust within our scholarly communities, rather than prestige alone.

5. If you were not a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?

My secondary interest is User Experience Librarianship, so I would probably be specialized in that area. I did an internship at the University of Arizona in their User Experience department, currently serve on FSU Libraries’ Usability and Accessibility Group, and am a Scholarly Submissions Editor for Weave: Journal of User Experience in Libraries. Besides that, I would probably be a writer (journalism and creative writing). As I near a transition from early to mid-career, I am discerning how to best shift my time from a high volume of “extracurricular” service and research projects to a few high impact ones. I hope to have more capacity to write.

Libraries in Process Community Call: OER advocacy in a time of remote teaching

Join the ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group for our fourth Libraries in Process community call on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT. We’ll be taking a look at Open Educational Resources (OER) advocacy in an age of remote teaching. We are pleased to have Katy Miller, Student Success and Textbook Affordability Librarian at the University of Central Florida, kick us off with an update on her work in this area. This will be a very informal, discussion-based call – please come with your questions, experiences, and thoughts to share!

Katy Miller is the Student Success/Textbook Affordability Librarian at the University of Central Florida Libraries. She is currently serving as the library’s Interim Department Head for Student Learning and Engagement. Before joining UCF, she worked as a Title V grant Project Director for the East Campus of Valencia College and Library Director for Valencia’s Winter Park Campus. She is interested in how libraries can connect with students and develop strategies to position the library as an essential part of their academic journey.

 

To register for the call, please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4332435762617322768. After you register, you will receive instructions regarding how to access the call.

 

Interested in sharing on a topic you’re working on? E-mail Zach Lukemire or Devin Soper and sign-up to share about your work on a future Libraries in Process call.

 

Libraries in Process Community Call: Take 2

February saw us run into a few technical issues, but no fear! We’re running our speakers back and this time you’ll be able to connect.

So, join the ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group for our third Libraries in Process community call. We’ll be looking at data from a non-STEM perspective. We have two great presenters: Sherry Lake, Scholarly Repository Librarian at the University of Virginia and Raeda Anderson, Quantitative Data Specialist for the Social Sciences at Georgia State University. Our presenters will be sharing their work in process, but we’re looking for your questions, comments, and experience, so join us Thursday, March 26 at 3:30pm Eastern/2:30pm Central for an hour of insight and conversation.

Interested in sharing on a topic you’re working on? E-mail Jason Burton or Ellen Ramsey and sign-up to lead a future Libraries in Process.

 

To join Libraries in Process from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/323386045

For audio, you can dial in using your phone.

United States: tel:+1-646-749-3112

Access Code: 323-386-045

Or you can use your computer’s mic & speakers.

 

5 Questions with Darcee Olson

Darcee

Darcee Olson is the Copyright & Scholarly Communication Policy Director at Louisiana State University. She recently took part in our “Five Questions” series to tell us about her role.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position?
As LSU Libraries Copyright and Scholarly Communications Policy Director, I inform the Libraries’ administration on copyright and scholarly communications policy internally and externally, as part of developing and implementing the Libraries’ scholarly communication strategy. I provide insight into license negotiations, and offer weekly copyright workshops in the library as well as department specific trainings in copyright and its exceptions. I provide information to grad students, faculty and researchers to help them understand publishing agreements, explore publication options and clarify concepts around authors’ rights. I’ve also offered an OER workshop at Baton Rouge Community College.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?

LSU Libraries’ Dean Stanley Wilder offered me the opportunity to join a collaborative team, working to redefine the libraries’ role in the research and publishing lifecycle. My first day at LSU was the day the Provost announced that LSU Libraries would not be renewing their big deal agreement with Elsevier. I’m thrilled to be working with the libraries’ teams as they move forward in this new environment.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Collaborating. Transforming silos into Venn diagrams. Every aspect of my work intersects with someone else. Whether I’m providing copyright information to LSU’s online instructional design team, or working with our licensing team to hammer out vendor terms and accessibility issues, or helping authors understand the full range of their options as they navigate publication agreements, there are always new possibilities to explore. Scholarly Communication is evolving at LSU. I benefit from my colleagues deep knowledge and experience in their respective fields. I’m learning as much as I’m teaching as we all break new ground.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
If I had a magic wand.. improved library funding would be a first wish, with a crystal ball a close second. We are in an era of tremendous change and it would be very useful to be able to see the future of collections development, user data privacy and university publishing. LSU Libraries’ goal is to provide advocacy and support for the entire cycle of research and publication, but there is no clearly defined best way forward in a post big-deal ecosystem. I’m working with a great team, but perhaps because of my attorney training, I keep looking for precedent and a clearly defined path to follow. Frequently, there isn’t one. New options require analysis and consideration, without getting stuck in interminable deliberation. A crystal ball would help. Communication with colleagues inside and outside of LSU is vital. Organizations like ASERL play a critical role in facilitating real time exchange of information.

5. If you were not a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
That’s a tough question. I could be very happy back at the Program in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Oxford University. I also loved the time I spent teaching copyright in San Francisco and could see myself continuing to teach. There is so much new ground being broken in scholarly communications at this moment in time and at LSU Libraries that I’m very happy to be right where I am. The constant collaboration on new projects makes this copyright/scholarly communications mash-up an ideal match for the skills I bring to the job and the type of work I enjoy. I’d like to stretch my current position to do more to support accessibility, inclusion and data privacy. These are Venn diagram issues that nest into the scholarly communications sphere, but they impact other departments and need to be addressed on several fronts.

5 Questions with Mary Ann Jones

Associate Professor Mary Ann Jones.  (photo by Logan Kirkland / © Mississippi State University)

Associate Professor Mary Ann Jones.
(photo by Logan Kirkland / © Mississippi State University)

Mary Ann Jones is the Scholarly Communication Services Coordinator at Mississippi State University.  She recently took part in our “Five Questions” series to tell us about her new role. 

1. Describe your current scholcomm position?
My current position is to coordinate the Scholarly Communication Services at the Mississippi State University Libraries. I moved into this position July 1, 2019 from my previous position of Coordinator of Electronic Resources and Acquisitions, so the transition is still happening and I’m still learning about my new role. In this position, I work to bring awareness to campus of all scholcomm elements including open access, open educational resources, data management, copyright, author’s rights, impact metrics, researcher identification, etc. Currently, I’m an office of one, but have many resources at my disposal from research librarians, special collections librarians, digital media specialists, instructional technologists, etc., I could not do scholarly communication outreach without the rest of the library to back me up. Outreach and teaching are my primary concentrations while I get my feet wet and learn about all that is involved with being a ScholComm Librarian.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?

Money! In my previous position I was hands on with the rising cost of resources and my first passion for scholcomm was open access to research. I stayed frustrated at the cost of journals and the lack of access we were able to provide. Constant review of journals and cancellations to stay in budget became the primary focus of managing electronic resources, so advocating for open access was logical. It wasn’t until MSU started our scholarly communication initiative in 2014 that I got involved in other aspects of scholcomm when I chaired the Institutional Repository committee. Once I was more attuned to the myriad of other scholcomm issues I was “all in” and wanted to do more. When MSU hired our first scholarly communication librarian I started learning from her and getting more involved in teaching other scholcomm areas resulting in where I am today!

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I’m still learning, but so far, it’s been the enthusiasm from the Student Association to partner with the library on an Open Educational Resources proposal to the University administration. Working with the SA president and seeing his commitment to bringing OERs to campus has helped jump start administration awareness of the need for not only OERs, but other scholcomm issues like open access and open data. I’ve also been fortunate that I am the current Vice President of Faculty Senate, so I’ve had additional occasions to address administration about scholcomm issues. Using OERs as a gateway into a more robust conversation, I’ve been able to address the need for administration to support other areas of scholarly communication; consequently, an open data initiative discussion is now happening with our Office of Research and Economic Development. I’m just getting started, but I already feel rewarded just by having the opportunity to advocate for open research issues.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
I would wave that magic want and do away with predatory publishers. In my short time as a scholcomm librarian, the greatest barrier I’ve encountered to open access is by far the reputation of predatory publishers. Even above and beyond the notion of article processing charges, how to avoid predatory publishing is the most often asked question and concern of authors. Researchers simply want to disseminate their research but are afraid of open access due to the reputation predatory publishing has in the rank and file faculty population. I truly believe that if predatory publishing was a non-issue, open access would be easier for researchers to accept and even advocate for in their fields of expertise.

5. If you were not a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
As a librarian, I most likely I would still be the Coordinator of Electronic Resources and Acquisitions. Not as a librarian? Maybe PR or some other area of communication in either politics or corporate human resources.

 

Libraries in Process Community Call

Join the ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group Friday, November 22nd at 10am EST/9am CST for the second installment of our community call series, Libraries in Process. This month we will be looking at library publishing with an exciting group of presenters:

  • Jody Bailey, Head of the Scholarly Communications Office at Emory University
  • Sam Byrd, Scholarly Publishing Librarian at VCU Libraries
  • Anna Craft, Coordinator of Metadata Services at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Devin Soper, Director of the Office of Digital Research & Scholarship at Florida State University Libraries

After Jody, Sam, Anna, and Devin share their work, it’s your turn. We’ll open the floor for you to share your experiences in library publishing and pick the brains of everyone on the call.

Interested in sharing on a topic you’re working on? E-mail Jason Burton or Ellen Ramsey and sign-up to lead a future Libraries in Process.

 

To join Libraries in Process from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/323386045

For audio, you can dial in using your phone.

United States: tel:+1-646-749-3112

Access Code: 323-386-045

Or you can use your computer’s mic & speakers.

ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group Community Call: Libraries In Process

Librarians do a great job of working together to brainstorm new ideas. They have mastered the art of reporting back their successes and sharing their frustrations. But what about the middle? Do we share the process, the works in progress? The ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group wants to help you share your Libraries In Process. Our new community call will be a forum for 2-3 librarians and information professionals to share the work they are immersed in and give their peers the chance to provide feedback and advice in the moment.

Our first Libraries In Process call is on a perennial Fall topic, outreach. Join us Friday, October 4 at 2EDT/1CDT to for a conversation on reaching out and garnering interest. Curious about the types of projects you might hear about? The University of Virginia Library is in the middle stages of an ORCID outreach project. Faculty are encouraged to verify their affiliation with the University of Virginia using  a UVA-ORCID Connector web service. The outreach mechanism is personalized invitation letters to UVA authors with known ORCIDs with an embedded link to the Connector service, and a link to an ORCID at UVA information page, https://www.library.virginia.edu/services/orcid-at-uva.

If you’re interested in taking 10 minutes to share your current outreach efforts, how you got there, and your sense of how things are going, reach out to Jason Burton or Ellen Ramsey to sign up to share. Those not sharing, stay on the line. We’ll open the floor for constructive feedback, comments, and questions.

Do you have a scholarly communications topic you’d like to hear discussed? Suggest a topic for a future call by letting Jason Burton or Ellen Ramsey know.

LOGIN:  Please join the online meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:  https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/323386045

AUDIO:  Telephone connections seem to work better than VOIP.

Dial:  1-646-749-3112

Access Code: 323-386-045

* Or you can use your computer’s mic & speakers if desired.

5 Questions with… Caitlin Carter

c-carterCaitlin Carter is the Scholarly Communication and Open Access Policy Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University Welch Medical Library.  She recently took part in our “Five Questions” series to tell us about her role. 

1. Describe your current scholcomm position?
My current position is the Scholarly Communication and Open Access Policy Fellow at Welch Medical Library. Welch is part of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine. I work closely with Robin Sinn who coordinates the Office of Scholarly Communication from the Homewood campus, while I’m based on the medical campus. We are both funded out of the Hopkins President’s Office for two years to socialize the new (as of July 2018) faculty-wide Open Access Policy. I also teach Welch classes about publishing and author resources, and I help plan and run events dedicated to the changing scholarly publishing landscape like the role of preprints for medical and health researchers.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?
Leaving my full time job at an IT government contractor to pursue a degree in library science was a hard choice, but one I don’t regret. When I started my program, I was attracted to academia, but I was not sure what form of librarianship I wanted to pursue. When I got a graduate assistantship at the University of Maryland working on the digital repository, helping to make research open access, I discovered the value (and definition of) green open access. This discovery then led me down a rabbit hole where I learned and explored the history of and changes happening within scholarly publishing.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I’m humbled by the fact that working at Hopkins means I have access to a lot of, often, well-funded researchers conducting high-level research. The most rewarding part is that I am encouraging, and, hopefully, making it easier for these researchers to make their research openly accessible to others. When I find faculty allies to encourage peers to share research, it is even more rewarding.  Something I find similarly rewarding is working with early career researchers and graduate students who are navigating the publishing landscape and looking for ways to improve publishing and mentoring processes.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
It’s easy for me to think of many large-scale ways the scholarly ecosystem could be revamped: removing journal titles and impact factor from faculty tenure/promotion processes, ensuring open access research is the default everywhere, and diverting library budgets from support for Big Deals or Read and Publish agreements to instead support open infrastructure.  However, because I have to pick one thing, I’m going to go with a small change that would make my day-to-day a little easier: if I had a magic wand, I’d change the perception some have that open access publishing equates to a pay-to-publish model. Heather Joseph (Executive Director, SPARC) came to campus during Open Access Week and discussed how article processing charges (APCs) bake the inequities into the publishing system, and it resonated with me. It can be easy to write off open access journals because of APCs, which not all journals have and not all researchers can pay for when they do. I try to communicate the nuances of open access publishing by describing the many ways researchers can make work open access without paying. When authors or institutions are asked to pay to publish their work, I can see how well-funded institutions and researchers are privileged, and it creates a less equitable and accessible research environment for everyone.

5. If you were not a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
I have always liked studying what makes people operate the way they do, and helping others navigate through life situations. If I had to choose an alternative career in an alternative universe, I think I would be a psychologist. In my context, I think the better way to answer is: if not a librarian, and had I been better at biology, chemistry, and statistics, I would be a psychologist.

5 Questions with… Amie Freeman

AmieFAmie Freeman is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina.  She recently took part in our “Five Questions” series to tell us about her role. 

If you or someone you know would like to be part of this series, please contact John Burger.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position.
I’m part of the new Digital Research Services Department at the University of South Carolina. In my role as the Scholarly Communication Librarian, I lead outreach efforts to faculty in support of scholarly communication innovations and reforms and supervise activities related to open access and open education. I also oversee our Institutional Repository, Scholar Commons, and am working with the Digital Research Services team to grow digital publishing initiatives.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?
I worked in Interlibrary Loan for several years and absolutely loved the openness and collaboration of the resource sharing community. I initially enjoyed working with the intellectual property pieces of ILL and gravitated more and more towards scholcomm work as I became involved with open education. Because so much of my early career was driven by the willingness of other institutions and librarians to share their resources, it was easy to see value of creating services and initiatives to promote open science and research sharing on a more extensive level. It’s fascinating to observe new methods of scholarly publishing develop and to discover which of those methods are and are not sustainable. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to move into this role full time and to be able to focus on these shifts in scholarly communication and digital research.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I know it’s a cliché, but of course I have to say the people. The faculty, students, and librarians I work with are brilliant in so many ways and it’s wonderful to be able to make connections with their teaching and research. Seeing someone I’ve worked with publish in an open access journal or use an OER in their teaching is a uniquely gratifying experience. It’s also incredibly rewarding to watch new concepts click into place when talking to faculty and students and to realize that I might have made a small difference in the world of scholarly communication.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
This is a tough one! There are so many areas that need to evolve, but it’s hard to decide which would be the most impactful. If I had to narrow my answer down to one thing, I think that I’d like to change the attitudes of the “we’ve always done it this way” folks. I’m referring not just to one group, but across academia—publishers, administrators, tenure and promotion committees, faculty, and librarians. What we’ve been doing no longer works and we must be willing to try new things to see what does. We’re not always going to succeed, and we might occasionally make a bigger mess of things, but that’s okay. Eventually we’ll get it right, but only if we’re willing to accept that experimentation is necessary to lead us to a more sustainable scholcomm ecosystem.

5. If you were NOT a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
I’ve always enjoyed working with people, and my favorite job in college was working as a barista. Owning an upscale coffee and wine bar seems like it would be an exciting way to combine those two passions. While I can’t really imagine life outside of librarianship and, to be honest, don’t know all that much about wine, I’d like to pursue this dream after retirement—preferably in a tropical location!

Give 3 minutes, get back what matters

The ASERL ScholComm Interest Group’s priority is on building a community of practice within ASERL libraries for scholarly communication. You have 3 minutes to contribute what matters to you and your institution for future learning and development opportunities, right?

Ready, set, go:
ASERL SCHOLCOMM Professional Development Survey 2019

Survey closes on June 6, look for results and next steps after that.

Thanks!