Reflections from the Drexel Libraries’ Director, Scholarly Connections
September 14, 2020
By Brad Eden, Director, Scholarly Connections
Earlier this year, I joined the Drexel University Libraries as the Director, Scholarly Connections, a newly redefined position within the Libraries’ matrixed organization that provides administrative leadership to implement one of the Libraries’ core strategic directions: strengthening Drexel’s connections to scholarship.
In this new role, I not only provide direct supervision to three managers who lead the Archival Stewardship, Research Data Management Guidance, and Scholarly Communications programs, but I also have the opportunity to work with staff across the Libraries under our matrixed organizational structure.
Opportunities range from collaborating with our communications manager to plan our 2020 Open Access Week celebrations to joining numerous staff on the Esploro Early Adopter Program. Doing so, I am excited to extend the Libraries’ expertise to ensure access to authoritative information, to connect faculty, staff, researchers and students to publications and deposited archival and data resources, and to guide effective use of tools, systems, and procedures to facilitate global connections to Drexel-generated research output to shape future research.
After all, such activities are core to the Libraries’ mission and ambitions, and to my role here. Highly active research universities are dependent on strong connections to scholarship and research data output, and I am excited to help lead the Libraries’ efforts to facilitate and build such connections.
For example, earlier this month we launched a new webinar series designed to help faculty, researchers, and graduate students improve and develop strong research practices. During each 30-minute session, our expert librarians will highlight a different resource or tool that Drexel faculty, researchers, professional staff and students can incorporate into their research and teaching practices. Sessions will cover topics including how to find funding through the Pivot database, navigating recent changes to the APA Style Guide 7th edition, choosing a research repository, and using the University Archives.
One of my most challenging parts of my job is applying my knowledge and expertise to discussions about priorities for renewing licensed subscriptions and guiding clients to adjust teaching and research habits that are dependent on reliable and convenient access to scholarly publications. I am joining the Dean of Libraries and fellow Libraries directors to identify online journals that researchers need. It is a step toward understanding scholarly connections essential to support the University’s research, as we seek to build cost effective improvements that incorporate open access publishing, use of repositories, efficient discovery tools, and other strategies at Drexel.
I am excited to forge ahead with these projects—and others—and to find new and exciting ways to deepen Drexel’s connections to scholarship.