By Kallie Stahl
Sarah Wipperman recently joined Research Services and Scholarly Engagement as the Scholarly Communication Librarian. RSSE works to support research, teaching, and learning at Villanova University, enabling the discovery of, access to, and stewardship of a vast array of scholarly resources.
“Scholarly communication encompasses the various ways in which scholarship is created and disseminated, thinking about how the various ecosystems of publishing, libraries, and academia fit together,” Wipperman explains. “My role is to assist individuals in navigating those complex systems and ensure they are protecting their rights when sharing their work.”
Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from New York University and a Master of Law from the University of Pennsylvania, Wipperman has developed expertise across multiple disciplines.
“As scholarly communication librarian, I am a liaison to everyone. My academic background has provided me the opportunity to work with different populations and understand how the field varies for each discipline and how to best address those differences.”
While working as the Scholarly Communications and Digital Repository Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Wipperman helped grow the current institutional repository, making it a more service-based offering and adding non-traditional publications, such as videos, podcasts, and 3D models.
She also assisted in building an open access policy at Penn, specifically partnering with the Wharton School, where she worked with faculty to make over 13,000 publications available for open access. Helping to expand digital scholarship at Villanova, focusing on infrastructure and developing publishing programs and current open journal systems is what interested Wipperman in joining Falvey Memorial Library.
“Villanova is sitting on an interesting precipice having gained a new research classification. To come and work with scholars to help build a new program that will propel Falvey into the future felt like such a great opportunity,” she says.
Wipperman is excited to work alongside the campus community and encourages faculty and students to reach out about ongoing and future scholarship. “My expertise lies in copyright and publishing. I can assist scholars with copyright support, any questions from ‘can I use this in the classroom?’ to ‘I created something, and I want to tell the public how they can use it.'”
She also assists with author rights and contract negotiation. “I can help scholars develop their publishing criteria and determine how they can make their research more visible and available to those that may not have access to scholarship. For anyone that would like assistance, I will read through author contracts and discuss potential pain points to help ensure scholars are getting and keeping the rights to their work.”
In her free time, Wipperman enjoys reading, video games, puzzles, board games, escape rooms, and brain teasers. She’s currently working on a cross-stitch of Johannes Vermeer’s painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Wipperman is trained as a classical pianist and plays the tenor saxophone.
“I’m really open to meeting people and getting to know the community here. I want to know what your needs are, where your scholarship is going: things we encounter everyday,” she explains.
Wipperman’s office is located in the Learning Commons on the second floor of Falvey Memorial Library in room 233.