Tyler Walters, dean of university libraries at Virginia Tech, has been named SHARE’s founding director, beginning on October 13, 2014. Walters has been involved integrally in SHARE since its inception, serving as co-chair of the SHARE steering group for the past year. The directorship is a two-year term appointment, during which Walters will continue to serve as dean of libraries at Virginia Tech.
SHARE, which stands for SHared Access Research Ecosystem, is a collaborative initiative of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The three associations established SHARE in 2013 to help ensure the preservation of, access to, and reuse of research outputs. Their primary goal is to help maximize the benefits of research to science and society.
As director, Walters will lead a small operations team in developing SHARE services to improve the infrastructure, workflows, and policies necessary to expand research impact. He also will serve on the SHARE Advisory Board’s Executive Committee, which is chaired by the ARL executive director and includes representatives from AAU and APLU.
A top priority for Walters will be recruiting several partner institutions from the ARL, AAU, and APLU memberships as well as allied organizations to participate in prototyping SHARE services. Chief among the services are a notification service to inform stakeholders when research outputs are released, a registry of research outputs to document those objects being generated by publicly sponsored research programs, a discovery layer to identify and use those objects, and a content aggregation layer that facilitates the mining of large corpora of content, as well as other community-driven value-added services.
“Through SHARE, the higher education community has a unique opportunity to improve the management and communication of digital research outputs and tackle the myriad new forms of output that are emerging,” said Walters. “Working nationally and internationally, SHARE has the potential to leverage and modify important components of our research ecosystem to better facilitate the awareness of research outputs and promote their reuse by members of the public, academic researchers, and other stakeholders. I’m excited by the prospects and look forward to working with SHARE’s partners, and to our future achievements.”
Mark McNamee, senior vice president and provost of Virginia Tech, said, “We are pleased to be applying Virginia Tech’s expertise to the data and information challenges present in our national research landscape. Virginia Tech’s libraries have been contributing significantly to important digital research initiatives and we are delighted that the higher education community has sought out the leadership of Tyler Walters and the participation of his team.”
ARL executive director Elliott Shore said, “We are thrilled that Tyler Walters will be the founding director of SHARE. He has played a vital leadership role in SHARE since its inception, as a co-chair of the steering group. I’m confident that Tyler will deftly guide SHARE into a bright future, realizing the initiative’s goals to expand access to research and enable the community to build upon research in creative and productive ways.”
Since 2011 Walters has served as dean of university libraries at Virginia Tech, where he is embedding the libraries in the research enterprise through such activities as research data management and consulting, technology development, and digital scholarship production. He has served on many professional boards and steering groups for organizations such as the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), DuraSpace, and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). Walters is a co-founder of the Educopia Institute, which established the MetaArchive Cooperative, a digital preservation federation of cultural institutions, and he is a co-founder of the Library Publishing Coalition, a consortium whose members are advancing library publishing services. He also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Digital Curation.
Walters holds a PhD in managerial leadership in the information professions from Simmons College, where he authored the dissertation, “The Future of Knowledge Creation and Production in University Research Programs and Their Effect on University Libraries.” He holds an MA in library and information science from University of Arizona, an MA in archival management from North Carolina State University, and a BA in history from Northern Illinois University. He was an ARL Research Library Leadership Fellow in 2009–2010.
SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem) is a higher education and research community initiative to ensure the preservation of, access to, and reuse of research outputs. SHARE aims to develop the infrastructure, workflow, and policy improvements necessary to maximize research impact. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) have partnered to develop SHARE with significant input from the three associations’ member institutions and their broader communities. SHARE is funded, in part, by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).