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.

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.

 

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… Carmelita Pickett

Carmelita PickettCarmelita Pickett, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy at the University of Virginia, graciously agreed to be our 15th profile in our 5 Questions with… series. Since her team at UVA includes ASERL ScholComm Co-chair Ellen Ramsey, both took the opportunity for a great conversation about local and national issues in our realm.

1. Describe your current position’s scholarly communication responsibilities.
I came to the University of Virginia as Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy in July, 2018. Most recently, I held comparable roles at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University. At UVA, I am responsible for the overall administration and coordination of the staff responsible for the lifecycle of the Library’s reference and circulating collections. In addition to selection, acquisition, metadata, digitization, stacks maintenance, Ivy Stacks, and interlibrary loan operations.  In a natural extension of collections work, I oversee the scholarly communications arm of the Library to build outreach and advocacy for the Library’s decisions in these areas.

2. What attracted you to a position with a scholcomm portfolio?
Before I interviewed for my current role at UVA, I made sure that scholarly communication was included in the collections-focused AUL’s portfolio as it had been at the University of Iowa. Scholarly communication is a natural extension of collection development work, and its outreach arm. Viewing collection decisions through the lens of scholarly communication helps the academic community come to terms with what is going on in the scholarly publishing ecosystem, and how it affects the choices libraries must make to be the best stewards of resources needed by their institutions.

It is very nice to have a team devoted to this work at UVA; I don’t feel like I’m borrowing people from other parts of the library for advocacy and outreach in support of our accountability-driven vision for collections. At Iowa, I coordinated work on ORCID, OER, information sessions on IP and copyright for faculty with support from within the library and connections across campus, but we did not have a team whose main focus was scholarly communication.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
People! Connecting with people who do the work is the best way to map the impact of what we are doing. I also enjoy the collections part of my job, it feels like home and provides the context for everything we do. There are so many intersections in library work that you can’t help but have an affinity for all things, and having a solid starting place helps it all come together. Also, my colleagues here don’t engage with me as if I am new — which is a good thing and shows how quickly we are solidifying our team — but every so often I get to remind people I am still new enough here so some context is necessary, which leads to great conversations like this one.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
The goal to break the big deals is so important. That conversation is what drew me to UVA. I had negotiated, managed, and lived through those agreements at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M and was excited about John Unsworth’s reputation as a library dean who wanted to do something different about big deals, not just continue the status quo.

We do have a solid strategy in this area, with many groups involved and invested, so I’m hopeful about life after the “Big Deal”.  Once we are on the other side, we can help other institutions achieve the same kind of culture change. Faculty may not see immediate results, but when the benefits to their work are clear, they will appreciate what we are doing.

Libraries and librarians need training to make this change happen. Acquisitions is core work of the Library, but recent years have seen a decline in professional development and hiring in that segment of our work. We need to communicate, advocate, and plan with the long term effects of the changing scholarly environment in mind. Best practices mean not just answering faculty requests for immediate acquisitions, but really showing the long-term consequences of a well-considered, accountable strategy for acquiring and stewarding scholarly resources. Recent divestments from acquisitions and collections focus at individual institutions means we need more support from consortia. That means right now I am busy learning how VIVA is different from the Big 10 consortium structure. I strongly believe that collaboration on community advocacy is going to become more important and valuable to consortium members than the older model of economies of scale from combined purchasing power.

5. If you were NOT a librarian furthering scholcomm, what would you be?
If I weren’t a librarian, I think I would do missionary work, like my father did in Haiti during the mid to late 1980’s. Or I’d be a millionaire philanthropist supporting work like that of Brian Stephenson’s Equal Justice Initiative. His book, Just Mercy, inspired me to get involved with his organization, and if I had more time and money, I would use it to give more support to EJI’s commitment to “ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”

5 Questions with… Rebekah Kati

r-kati Rebekah Kati, Institutional Repository Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This is #13 in our series of get-acquainted posts featuring members of the ASERL Scholarly Communications community.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position.
I am the Institutional Repository Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am one of two repository librarians in my department; I manage the services for the Carolina Digital Repository, which is UNC’s institutional repository, while my boss manages the special collections repository and the overall program. My main initiatives since I started in the position last October have been to create and implement a new data services policy and develop a strategy to identify paywalled content that can be legally imported into the repository. My group is launching a new institutional repository system (maybe by the time you read this!), and I am working with our development team to identify requirements. Once that is complete, I will be writing documentation, training staff, creating new services, identifying improvements and ingesting content into the repository.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?
I became interested in digital collections in grad school, while I interned for the Indiana University Digital Library program. Through my coursework, I learned about institutional repositories and thought they were fantastic. Offering free, legal access to scholarly content seemed to me to be a key role for librarians. I accepted my first librarian job because I was supposed to head a repository implementation. Unfortunately, that project didn’t materialize to due budget cuts but I kept looking for opportunities to expand my knowledge and involvement in scholarly communications. As I learned more about open access, licensing and other scholarly communications topics, I became fascinated and wanted to work in a scholcomm position. This led to a job at a university press that was part XML specialist, part digital content project manager and part journals production project manager. While I liked working for a publisher, I was disappointed that there weren’t more opportunities to work on open access projects and I missed the library environment. I’m very excited to take part in both at UNC!

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I’ve always liked fixing things, so working in the repository every day and figuring out solutions to make content available is very rewarding. I also love working with my wonderful colleague Jennifer Solomon, UNC’s Open Access Librarian.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
Outside of redefining promotion and tenure systems to incentivize open access (which has been noted several times already), I would like to see institutions fund and support scholarly communications initiatives more fully. In libraries, we talk a lot about authors’ labor in the research, authorship and peer review process, but we don’t tend to address academic journal editors’ labor. One reason that editors bring their journals to publishers is that they don’t have the time or inclination to do the copyediting, typesetting, design, online content platform optimization and hosting and marketing that is needed to get their journal an audience. If universities want to take their content back from publishers, they need to provide and fund viable alternatives. That could mean more support for their repository program, library publishing program and university press.

5. If you were NOT a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
I imagine I would be working as an e-resources or web librarian, since I used to work in those areas.

5 Questions with… Ellen Ramsey

ecrEllen Catz Ramsey, Virgo Project Lead and Director, Scholarly Repository Services; University of Virginia Library

This is #12 in our series of get-acquainted posts featuring members of the ASERL Scholarly Communications community.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position.
I came to the University of Virginia Library in 2013 to manage the University’s institutional repository, known as Libra. That one-person department was responsible for defining policies and facilitating deposits that would result in more open access to UVA research products. Fast-forward five years and UVA now has a cohort whose portfolios intersect with scholarly communication from several angles. I direct Scholarly Repository Services, which includes repositories for a variety of born-local content. My colleague Sherry Lake stewards data, ETD, and open deposits into Libra, with help on the public services front from Trillian Hosticka and on the digitization side from Lorrie Chisholm. Above and beyond the repository, Chip German and Brandon Butler cover advocacy, education, and outreach about alternative publishing models, among their many other duties beyond scholcomm. Dave Ghamandi heads our new open publishing initiative, Aperio. Hanni Nabahe just joined us as our early career resident librarian in scholcomm, and I am trying not to jade her too much. However, if you believe Dorothea Salo (and I do), scholarly communication librarianship can be a long and lonely road. With the energy of my colleagues bringing new perspectives to UVA scholarly communication priorities, I am taking on new responsibilities leading evaluation, selection, and implementation of an updated discovery layer (e.g. online catalog) for UVA. While that last bit might seem an unusual direction, I have a green light from our library administration to prioritize and highlight worldwide access to UVA resources, as well as the leveraging of open content, as UVA evaluates its participation in big subscription deals.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?
Doesn’t everyone want to change the world? I came to the academic library side of things from the health sciences library world, where open science and access to publicly-funded research have been important topics for a long time. Transferring those interests to a broader range of disciplines seemed like a natural evolution. I probably also like tilting at windmills.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Social justice aspirations for equitable access to knowledge, as well as the challenge of accomplishing meaningful change from inside of the bureaucracy of a large state institution, keep me engaged. Also that no one cares if I knit during meetings.

4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
It definitely seems in the realm of magic for a sustainable revenue model to emerge that works for institutions, scholars, and publishers. You can’t change the scholarly rewards system without changing the publishing industry, and vice versa. Laura, Andy, KevinBrandon, and so many others have spoken far more eloquently on this topic in many open forums.

5. If you were NOT a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
I’m not sure I really am a scholcomm librarian, though the work I have done for the last several years has certainly been focused on opening access to scholarship born at my institution. Most of the time at work, I am a software and service project manager, open source community member, and unit director. When I am not doing those things, I am exploring near and far destinations with my spouse, parenting a teenager and two dogs, and being a mountain biker, knitter, and curious person.

5 Questions with… Marian Taliaferro


mt-headshot_office_07032018Marian Taliaferro,
 Digital Scholarship Librarian, College of William and Mary Libraries

This is #11 in our series of get-acquainted posts featuring members of the ASERL Scholarly Communications community.

Q1. Describe your current scholcomm position
While my title is technically Digital Scholarship Librarian, my role is all about scholarly communications — promoting and creating a strategy for the institutional repository, W&M ScholarWorks, educating the campus community on academic publishing, open access initiatives (including OER) and  intellectual property issues; and also fostering connections between information literacy and scholarly communications.

Q2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?
My interest started pretty early in my career — in 2005, with a library director who was hugely influential on my path to learning about open access publishing and all that goes along with it. She was the driving force behind a campus-wide conference on OA and building library support for it. My interest continued when I worked at a non-profit (Association of American Medical Colleges), which gave me exposure to several aspects of scholarly communication. I served a supporting role in their path to adopting a hybrid model for their peer-review journal, Academic Medicine. My role also provided general library support for the journal editorial staff and I became familiar with their workflows and concerns in publishing. I even served as a peer reviewer for the journal. At AAMC, I also witnessed the ‘birth’ of MedEdPORTAL, an open access medical education curricular tools repository.  From the get-go, MedEdPORTAL used Creative Commons licenses, and I worked as a core staff person in its development. It was also at AAMC that staff increasingly wanted to demonstrate impacts of their publications, so I began delivering metrics on publication usage and initiated and collaborated with Publications staff to investigate altmetrics tools for the Association’s publications. Finally, it was my role to procure copyright permissions for the Association and so I became familiar with educating staff on copyright and fair use. Overall, I think what most attracted me to scholarly communications work was the win-win aspect of it — leveraging my librarian skill sets for helping faculty and researchers make their work more discoverable and garnering increased impact for it, while also appreciating the publishing side of the equation from a non-profit society’s perspective. It seems a key, demonstrable success for libraries to partner with their campus communities in this way.

Q3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I have to pick just one? For me, it’s always the connections with people that are most rewarding. As anyone reading this blog realizes, copyright is very unclear to most people, so it’s gratifying to be a guide or resource for them in making things more understandable. I enjoy speaking with graduate students about fair use, licensing and embargoes; helping faculty with author agreements and learning about Open Education Resources (OERs) and serving to publish some pretty amazing electronic theses and dissertations (ETD’s).  ETDs are hugely impactful for our students and soon alumni —  we have a large retrospective conversion project rollout and campaign on the books for OA Week. I’m also enjoying helping to grow William & Mary’s scholarly communications program via creating and expanding research guides, making firmer establishments in research data management support services, and also rebranding and relaunching our institutional repository, newly renamed W&M ScholarWorks and a new design debuting soon.

Q4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
That faculty were more aware of how their promotion & tenure practices play into the larger publication ecosystem. It would be great if it were incredibly easy to bridge the barriers to budgetary transparency associated with providing collections in support of research and scholarship. I think that’s probably high on every librarian’s list!

Q5. If you were not a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
Depending on the day, in no particular order and perhaps mostly if I became aware of a heretofore secret trust fund: Persian rug trader, estate jewelry sales/gemologist, helicopter pilot or landscaper… It’s probably a good thing I went the library route.

5 Questions with… Jennifer Solomon

jpg-jen-solomonJennifer Solomon, Open Access Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

This is #11 in our series of get-acquainted posts featuring members of the ASERL Scholarly Communications community.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position.
I am currently the Open Access (OA) Librarian in the Office of Scholarly Communications at UNC Libraries. This is a newly created position in a small department, so I work on many different aspects within Schol Comm. One of my primary roles is to lead the outreach and communication initiatives for the UNC Faculty Council’s Open Access Policy implementation, which so far has included collaborating with a marketing firm on a campaign for OA awareness and authors’ rights, developing faculty and graduate student competencies in OA, and establishing connections with UNC departments to deposit materials in the Carolina Digital Repository. I also frequently get to work with (TRLN) Scholarly Communications colleagues to support cross-institutional programs and events.

2. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
That depends on the day! Over the past month, I have had several opportunities to visit department meetings and have been blown away by the interest from the faculty. I have also been meeting with several graduate students in the UNC School of Information and Library Science and we’re cooking up some very exciting plans for OA in the fall.

3. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
Imposter syndrome. From librarians, to faculty, to students, to publishers, I have so many conversations with people that stem from their fears about being a fraud. Sometimes this prevents people from asking for help, sharing their accomplishments, or even discussing ideas with potential collaborators. My magic wand would cast a spell for an open and transparent environment in which scholarship and the people who produce it, use it, access it, make it discoverable, and preserve it can do their work without so much anxiety.

4. If you were NOT a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
A career counselor! Throughout my own career I have worked in many different industries and I’m fascinated by emerging careers and changing workplace cultures. I love helping people to think about the type of work they want to do and how their previous experience and interests have prepared them to take on new challenges.