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Ghaphery to lead new library division for scholarly communications and publishing

August 9, 2016

James Ghaphery is now VCU Libraries’ Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communications and Publishing.

In his new role with the VCU Libraries, Ghaphery will work with the VCU Libraries staff and the university community to advance and deepen the university’s engagement with contemporary issues in scholarly communications and scholarly publishing. Central to that work is developing a new library division devoted to these issues--the first new division created by VCU Libraries in at least 20 years.

With Ghaphery’s leadership, the new division will merge existing efforts in scholarly publishing, scholarly communications and data management into a coordinated strategic framework. Staff and other assets will be added as appropriate to enable this work and pursue related university priorities, such as more use of open educational resources and affordable class content. The new division will work in close collaboration with colleagues throughout the libraries and the university to accomplish its strategic goals.

Faculty are expected to see enhanced support for:

  • Digital scholarship projects
  • Community engagement initiatives that can involve digital scholarship or research or other materials that need to be protected and made widely available
  • Navigating copyright and open access publishing issues
  • Data management and data sharing in compliance with emerging Federal mandates
  • Managing journal publications, conference proceedings and other scholarly output in VCU Scholars Compass.

“This is an exciting time,” says Ghaphery. “VCU is really at the center of national discussions on diversity, copyright, creative expression, open access, scientific reproducibility and community engagement. We are excited to facilitate success in all of these endeavors through an expanded emphasis on scholarly publishing and outreach.”

To the new position, Ghaphery brings more than 20 years of experience. Starting as a library assistant with the VCU Libraries in 1993, he has steadily taken on greater roles and responsibilities, becoming Librarian for Instructional Technology in 1994 and Head, Digital Technologies in 2004. As head of Digital Technologies, he expanded the department to 12 full-time staff responsible for all aspects of technology development, management and support. Notable accomplishments include introducing the first cloud-based integrated library system at a major research library system in 2012. He has  accelerated development of repository and publishing technologies at VCU over the past three years, including publication of VCU’s first nationally-available digital journals, vastly expanded digital collections and electronic theses and dissertations.

Ghaphery holds the B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary, the Master of Teaching in English Education from VCU and the Master of Education in Adult Education from VCU.

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Want to know more about how VCU Libraries Scholarly Communications and Publishing department can help you? Contact Ghaphery at, (804) 827-3551.  

Says Ghaphery: “I look forward to hearing from anyone within the VCU family about how we can advance our understanding and support of the scholarly and artistic endeavor. At this stage, no ideas are too big or too small, from a specific copyright question to launching new publications to partnering on large grants, we are listening.

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