5 Questions with… Jeanne Hoover

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Jeanne Hoover is the Head of Scholarly Communication at East Carolina University. She recently took part in our “Five Questions” series to tell us about her role.

1. Describe your current scholcomm position?

I am the head of our Scholarly Communication Department in Academic Library Services at East Carolina University. Our department focuses on scholarly communication and collection development. Our work involves faculty and student outreach, collaborating with colleagues in and outside the library on scholcomm topics, investigating and promoting sustainable scholarship initiatives, and supporting some of our library’s textbook affordability programs. I coordinate our mini-grant textbook program, open access publishing support fund, provide workshops on scholarly communication topics, and manage our institutional repository.

2. What attracted you to scholcomm work?

In my previous position, I was a science librarian and I found that a lot of my work overlapped and complemented scholarly communication. My interest grew in it and I had the opportunity to move to scholarly communication. One of the things that initially attracted me to scholcomm work is that it is constantly evolving, although that can bring its own challenges.

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

I think these two pieces of my job continue to be the most rewarding:

I enjoy seeing the impact of our mini-grant program and other textbook affordability initiatives at our library, making education more affordable and therefore accessible and equitable. It’s exciting to talk to faculty who are starting with OER or library resources as their course materials for a new class.

I really enjoy learning about others’ research, and in turn supporting them to make their research available, whether through our IR, open access publishing, or depositing data. There is some fascinating work being done at our institution and it’s exciting to help researchers with making their work as accessible as possible.

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

My first response is more funding for open science and open education initiatives, but that’s a few things.

Right now, I would say a US National Open Access Policy to make funded research results immediately available without an embargo. We see similar policies work successfully in other countries and saw the impact of accessible and open research with the pandemic. There isn’t a reason for us to not have a policy. On a local level, I work with faculty at our institution to comply with funder OA policies, like NIH, and it would be easier for the researcher and the funder if the research results were available immediately and automatically.

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

In libraries, I would be a science librarian again!

Outside libraries, I’d probably stay in education or go back to school to study industrial/organizational psychology. It could also be fun to do background research for podcasts or shows.

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.