5 Questions With… Hillary Miller

_N2A1199_crop Hillary Miller, Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University

This is #5 in our series of get-acquainted posts featuring members of the ASERL Scholarly Communications community.




Q1. Describe your current scholcomm position.

I’m the Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian and a member of our libraries’ Scholarly Communications and Publishing Division. I help guide faculty and students on matters of copyright, open access, author rights, open educational resources, and research impact. I offer consultations and workshops, and I collaborate with library and university partners to build larger-scale outreach initiatives and educational programming. Some recent and upcoming examples include Science Speak (a collaborative university event on science communication), Copyright for Creators (a workshop series on copyright for artists and art scholars), and OpenCon Virginia (a regional satellite event of the main international OpenCon).

Q2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?

In graduate school, I worked in the library’s e-resources and serials management division, where I first experienced e-resource license negotiations and learned about copyright, license restrictions, and open access. This sparked my interest in the broader scholcomm ecosystem, and I was excited by how dynamic this area of work is. Although change and uncertainty can be a challenge, it’s something I welcome!

Q3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is how many different parts of the university it brings me into contact with, and how excited people get when they find out that the libraries are working in this area. In addition to working with faculty and students across all of our academic schools and departments, I get to work with amazing colleagues from units like our Office of Research, Division of Community Engagement, and Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. And now with an emerging focus on open educational resources, I am building relationships with even more groups like the campus bookstore, Student Affairs, Academic Technologies, and more.

Q4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?

I’d use the magic wand to create an instant culture change in the academic community, one that would give all stakeholders a strong sense of ownership over the scholcomm ecosystem and scholarship in general. I’d like to bring all stakeholders to the table with a commitment to building and sustaining community-owned infrastructure and a drive to experiment with new forms of dissemination (and recognize this through promotion and tenure processes) that would support greater research impact, particularly for communities outside of the academy.

Q5. If you were NOT a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?

Inside of libraries, I would probably go back to e-resources acquisitions. I truly love reading and negotiating contracts!

Outside of libraries, I would love to work for a grant giving foundation. My dream job is to be able to give money and resources to people who have good ideas and who are doing good work. Being a billionaire philanthropist would also let me do this, but that’s probably a lot less likely to happen