We are very pleased to announce the first of our 2015 IR All-Stars, Sarah Beaubien, Head of Collections and Scholarly Communications at Grand Valley State University (GVSU)! Sarah has been instrumental in helping GVSU researchers to increase the visibility and impact of their work through GVSU’s IR, ScholarWorks@GVSU. Though she has many wide-ranging accomplishments, we’d like to highlight Sarah’s considerable contribution to the library-led publishing movement, in particular her success with Open Educational Resources and journals.
Sarah is a leader in the growing movement of open access textbooks in higher education. “Once I saw how much of an impact and how many downloads they get with a small investment of our staff time, I’ve started to do more and more presentations specifically about OEMs [Open Educational Materials] and the services the library can offer through our repository.” With the help of dedicated liaison librarians and concentrated outreach efforts, Sarah is seeing word about the collection ripple through campus and beyond.
Sarah was also a visionary of bepress’s new Teaching Commons, which brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and much more.
For those institutions looking to grow their own open educational collections, Sarah offers several key insights: First, make sure you define exactly what kind of materials you’re looking for—whether that’s syllabi, lecture notes, or completed manuscripts. Second, approach faculty you know have already completed manuscripts. “Many faculty over the years have written their own course materials because that’s the way they want to teach. Writing a textbook is a significant, time-consuming endeavor, so find the things that are already out there and once you have a few of those, show them off as examples.” For more information about how to build an Open Educational Resource collection on your campus, check out the webinar “Serving Students and Faculty with Open-Access Textbooks” by Sarah and GVSU professor Charles Lowe.
GVSU now boasts an amazing 22 journals—a testament to Sarah’s goal of adapting library services to specific needs on campus. Sarah’s team does extensive outreach so when someone on campus needs to share their work, the library can offer publishing services to fill that need.
Sarah maintains an active presence in the scholarly communications community at large with a number of publications and presentations. These include “Addressing Faculty Publishing Concerns with Open Access Journal Quality Indicators” (with Max Eckard) in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (2014) and “Cultivating Sustainable Library Publishing Services: Perspectives from a Range of Academic Libraries” (ACRL 2015). You can learn more about Sarah and check out her full list of scholarly contributions on her SelectedWorks profile. Congratulations, Sarah!