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Scholarly communication librarianship is always evolving. It is inherently malleable and context-dependent. Relevant skills can be challenging to learn in most LIS programs.

As a result, the experiences that shaped our early careers in scholarly communication were essential. Time at institutions with well-resourced, well-established, and highly visible scholarly communication programs, at MIT, Harvard, and the University of Michigan, showed us what was possible with a team working toward shared goals: where to look for opportunities, how to engage in strategic decision-making, when to keep nudging, and when to back-burner an effort.

An interesting shift we have each navigated is what happens when you move from where this sort of work is woven into an institution’s structure and culture to somewhere that is just beginning to build a scholarly communication program.

Gaining experience in a well-established program and then having the opportunity to build a new program elsewhere seems to be a common juncture in many careers. Interestingly, the challenges we have faced and continue to navigate have striking parallels, despite the differences in our institutions and roles. Our discussion here offers what we hope are some practical takeaways distilled from our collective experiences.


This edited book chapter is made openly available:

Kilcer, E., Lovett, J., & Clemente, M. (2023). Reflections on moving on and scaling up: Adapting past experience to emerging scholarly communication programs. In M. Bonn, J. Block & W. Cross (Eds.), Scholarly communication librarianship and open knowledge. ACRL., open access edition available at

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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