Robin Sinn, Coordinator, Office of Scholarly Communication, Johns Hopkins University Libraries
This is #8 in our series of get-acquainted posts featuring members of the ASERL Scholarly Communications community.
Q1. Describe your current scholcomm position.
I am the new (as of January) Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication, so I’m still figuring this out. I am also the sole person in this office. This opportunity came to me because for several years I’ve been the chair of the JHU libraries Scholarly Communication Group. Members come from across the Hopkins libraries (which are more like a consortium than a system). We work on issues dealing with copyright, open access, intellectual property, tools and resources we think the libraries need, education and outreach, even some policy. This work hasn’t been very programmatic up until now because my primary job was as a STEM liaison librarian. All the members have their own primary jobs. This new role will allow me to focus on scholarly communication and grow a program. I’ve got a great group of people to work with. Now it’s time to do some serious planning and get to work.
Q2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?
In the early 2000s I remember wondering why researchers weren’t starting their own journals, since the web was obviously going to make that possible. I watched the early OA movement develop with great interest. When I got to Hopkins, I became part of the Scholarly Communication Group and eventually its chair. It’s exciting to provide researchers and students with information that allows them to share their work in new ways.
Q3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy being a consultant on a project and bringing basic library tools as well as an understanding of the publishing/copyright environment to a discussion. The amount of innovative work that is going on in labs and classes is astounding. They need someone who can help them with the dissemination side of their work.
Q4. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in the scholcomm ecosystem, what would it be?
I’ll echo Dave Hansen: We need a separate copyright environment for academic work. And I’d like the infrastructure for the credit and attribution to be a shared priority. I’m thinking of things like ORCID , GRID CReDIT , and the like.
Q5. If you were NOT a scholcomm librarian, what would you be?
I think I’d like to work in a small special library; that would allow me a broad scope of action. My first official librarian job was Public Services Librarian at the library of the Academy of Nature Sciences http://www.ansp.org/research/library/ in Philadelphia and I enjoyed that immensely. Outside of librarianship? I love houseplants and was just joking with my husband that my retirement job could be taking care of the plants in office buildings.