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Drexel’s Annual Authors Event Held Remotely During Global Pandemic

June 3, 2020

The 2020 Celebrating Drexel Authors event – now in its eighth year – looked much different this year than it has in the past. Instead of gathering together in-person in the AJ Drexel Picture Gallery, as is tradition, an audience of 78 Drexel faculty, staff, students and their friends and family met online via Zoom to honor members of the Drexel community whose works were published in 2019.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we cannot physically be together this year to toast our colleagues for their achievements,” Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, Dean of Libraries, noted in her opening remarks. “However, we are Drexel Dragons after all, and so we have adapted to the current situation. Thanks to the power of Zoom, we are able to gather virtually today to congratulate fellow Dragons for their contributions to scholarship and creative expression during these times of celebrating at a distance.”

Co-hosted by the Office of the Provost and the Drexel University Libraries, this annual event recognizes Drexel authors and editors for their achievements and raises awareness of the importance of publishing and disseminating scholarship and creative works.

A screenshot of people attending an online Zoom session
A screenshot of just a few of the authors recognized online via Zoom during the 2020 Celebrating Drexel Authors event.

“When Drexel researchers publish their work—when they make their research accessible on a global scale—they contribute knowledge to solve society’s problems,” said Paul Jensen, PhD, Interim Nina Henderson Provost, during his remarks given at the event. “Sharing research can catalyze new collaborations. And it can inspire other researchers to shape new scholarly inquiries—both of which benefit the world around us.”

This year, the Libraries and the Office of the Provost recognized 52 book authors and editors for their work to create 50 unique books that covered a wide range of topics, from works of poetry and children’s books to textbooks on pediatric nutrition to books about rock and roll history, anxiety, gender and practice, fashion, and more.

Book authors and editors were not the only members of the Drexel community recognized during the event.

Continuing a tradition that started in 2017, this year’s Celebrating Drexel Authors event also recognized 49 Drexel-affiliated researchers who contributed to peer-reviewed journal articles that were both published and highly cited in 2019. These papers reached a highly cited threshold—set by citation counts taken by Clarivate Analytics in October 2019—which placed them in the top 1% of cited publications in their fields.

“There is no doubt that this is a small group of Drexel article authors. Libraries staff identified nearly 2,600 journal articles and conference papers published by Drexel-affiliated authors in 2019 using the Web of Science alone—and we know there are more publications that we have not captured,” Dr. Jensen explained, acknowledging how difficult it is to find and compile lists of Drexel authors and editors. “Unfortunately, we do not have enough time to recognize every single one of our journal authors,“ he noted while congratulating and thanking all Drexel published authors for how their contributions to scholarship “reflect Drexel’s truly comprehensive scope of research, and they are critical to the University’s success and to important societal advancements.”

Since 2013, Drexel has recognized 443 authors and editors from every college and school during this annual event. Donated copies of the 2019 publications recognized this year will be on display in the case outside the Provost's Office in Main Building once the campus reopens. Following their exhibition there, copies will be moved to the Faculty Authors Collection in the University Archives.

For a complete list of authors and editors recognized during the 2020 Celebrating Drexel Authors event, download a copy of the program or view a recording of the ceremony on the Drexel Libraries’ YouTube page.