Home   »   Events   »   Past SSP Events

Institutional Repositories: Opportunity or Threat

November 7, 2005, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.

Institutional Repositories may become the backbone of the Open Access movement as libraries around the world begin implementing or planning on capturing the intellectual assets of their institution. Just what are IRs and why are libraries and consortium building these multifaceted repositories are two questions that this seminar addresses. IRs are becoming a major focus of educational institutions in the UK and Europe as some higher education authorities are mandating that faculty deposit their publications in the IR. In the United States the IR movement is gaining strength with many of our major research libraries building or developing IRs to manage the intellectual capital of their institutions. The real question is what’s the long term impact on scholarly publishing?

The session will address questions such as:

  • What are IRs and why are libraries building them?
  • What is the current state of software to support both the building and access?
  • How do commercial publishers view IRs and how can they work with them?
  • Will IRs replace the traditional scholarly publisher’s role?
  • Will IRs fix the funding problem or the high cost of information that libraries face?
  • Can publishers live with IRs?
  • Can publishers coexist?
  • What will the future bring to scholarly publishing when IRs are networked and part of Google Scholar?

Seminar Managers and Moderators:

  • Dan Tonkery, VP, Business Development, EBSCO Information Services
  • Isabella Hinds, Senior Director, Content Alliances, WebCT
  • Jim Mouw, Electronic Resources Officer, The University of Chicago Library


  • Heather Joseph, Executive Director, SPARC, Association of Research Libraries
  • MacKenzie Smith, Associate Director for Technology, MIT Libraries
  • Michael Mabe, Director of Academic Relations, Elsevier
  • Richard Newman, Director, Online Business, American Medical Association
  • Susan Gibbons, Assistant Dean for Public Services & Collection Development, University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries


Dan Tonkery, VP, Business Development, EBSCO Information Services has over 30 years of professional experience in working with library supply and services companies including serving as President of the former Readmore Subscription Company, The Faxon Company and Information Quest. Dan has a background in Biomedical Communications and Biology having graduated from the University of Illinois and completed a Post Graduate Program in Biomedical Communications at the National Library of Medicine. Dan believes that moving from a print based business to a mixed environment where one must service both print and electronic resources requires a major restructure of the business systems. Users now want desktop delivery of content and the distribution agent must again look at a new business model.

Heather Joseph, Executive Director, SPARC, Association of Research Libraries, has spent the last 16 years in scholarly publishing, working for both nonprofit and commercial publishers. She was recently appointed Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) to focus on Open Access and advocacy issues, and is the immediate Past President of SSP.

Isabella Hinds, Director of Content Alliances at WebCT, the market leader in online teaching tools. WebCT allows faculty to easily design, develop and manage Web-based and Web-enhanced courses. At WebCT, Isabella develops partnerships with a range of content creators, including college text publishers, professional and society publishers, emerging publishers of unique learning objects, and content aggregators, to deliver WebCT-ready content directly to the desktops of faculty and students. These partnerships serve more than 2,250 institutions, 148,000 faculty, and 6,000,000 students, worldwide, on the WebCT platform.

James R. Mouw, Acquisitions Librarian and Electronic Resources Officer, University of Chicago and has previously held positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Gardner-Webb College in North Carolina. He is also adjunct professor at Dominican University School of Library and Information Science (formerly Rosary College), where he teaches the class on serials. His most recent presentations were at the 2002 Charleston Conference, where he participated in a pre-conference session on linking and also convened a plenary session on issues related to linking standards.

MacKenzie Smith, Associate Director for Technology, MIT Libraries, where she oversees the Libraries’ use of technology and its digital library research program. She is currently acting as the project director at MIT for DSpace, MIT’s collaboration with Hewlett-Packard Labs to develop an open source digital repository for scholarly research material in digital formats. She was formerly the Digital Library Program Manager in the Harvard University Library’s Office for Information Systems.

Michael Mabe, Director of Academic Relations, Elsevier, a research and external relations department created in 1999. Since 2001 he has also been a Visiting Professor in the Department of Information Science at City University, London. He began his publishing career as a scientific lexicographer working on OUP’s OED Supplement in 1980. After leaving OUP in 1985, he worked in various capacities for the British Standards Institution, Pergamon Press and Elsevier, where he was Publishing Director of their international materials science program.

Richard Newman, Director, Online Business, American Medical Association. Previously at HighWire he was responsible for the customer-contact functions of the online press: the account management team, customer service, and business development. Richard had joined HighWire Press in March of 2001 after a sixteen-year career with the Thomson Corporation. At Thomson, Richard served in a variety of roles including President of UTLAS, a library automation company in Toronto; Chief Technology Officer of International Thomson Publishing; and Senior Vice President of ISI. Richard’s experience prior to Thomson was at Data Phase Corporation, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG), and the University of Minnesota. Richard holds degrees from Boston College and Indiana University.

Susan Gibbons, Assistant Dean for Public Services & Collection Development, University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries. She earned an MLS and M.A. in history from Indiana University and a professional MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has published and presented on various library information technology topics, including institutional repositories, electronic books and library course management systems.