Wednesday, May 22, 2024 News

Jennifer Beamer Brings Expertise to SPARC as Visiting Program Officer for the US Repository Network

Open Access

Woman with blond hair and a grey coatSPARC welcomes Jennifer Beamer as a Visiting Program Officer for the U.S. Repository Network, a part-time appointment that begins May 27.

Jen is the Senior Assistant Scholarly Communications librarian at California State University, San Bernardino, and was previously the Head of Scholarly Communications and Open Publishing at Claremont College Library. Jen will spend about a quarter of her time on the VPO for the USRN appointment.

The U.S. Repository Network is an initiative of SPARC and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) to develop a more cohesive approach and greater collaboration around repositories in the U.S.

“Jen is a valued leader who brings a wealth of expertise to this position,” said Heather Joseph, SPARC Executive Director. “She comes at a critical time for building a strong network of repositories and we enthusiastically welcome her to the team.”

Jen has a doctorate in Communications and Information Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she studied open access Infrastructure, including the relationships among social, technical, and public policy networks in the United States and Japan. 

At the end of June, she will wrap up a six-month stint in Tokyo working as a Fulbright scholar at the National Institute of Informatics. After observing how Japan’s government issued a policy to establish its institutional repositories, Jen said she has new insights into the challenges and opportunities ahead with USRN.

“I believe a robust repository network can revolutionize the scholarly communication system, shifting control from the commercial sector to the scholarly community,” Jen said. “We are at a pivotal moment. The Nelson Memo provides a chance to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications by offering researchers a sustainable way to share their research outputs globally.”

Jen has been a member of the SPARC Steering Committee since 2022. She was also part of the 2019-20 OER Leadership Program. Jen credits attending OpenCon 10 years ago with changing the trajectory of her career after learning more about open access.

“I wouldn’t be here and have all these experiences if it weren’t for SPARC,” Jen said. “I want to make my mark. I don’t know what that is yet, but I want to be a catalyst and maybe this is the moment.”

Jen was part of the expert group of library and repository professionals who developed a strategic vision for U.S. repositories and an action plan for the initiative. Jen said she’s grateful to Rebecca Lubas, Dean of the Library at Cal State San Bernardino, to serve in this VPO role, which continues until June 2025. In her new position at SPARC, Jen will build on the work of SPARC’s inaugural USRN VPO, Tina Baich, who recently accepted a new role as Director of the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST).

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