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Peter Potter Named ARL Visiting Program Officer to Advance TOME Open Monograph Initiative

Peter Potter

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has appointed Peter Potter as a visiting program officer (VPO) to advance TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem), starting in January 2019. TOME is a joint initiative of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) to pilot a new way of financing peer-reviewed open monographs, through direct university grants to faculty members publishing in a network of participating university presses. With over 30 years in scholarly publishing, Potter now serves as publishing director for the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. He has been involved in TOME since 2016, before the launch of the current five-year pilot.

As a VPO for TOME, Potter will work with Judy Ruttenberg, ARL program director for strategic initiatives, and ARL’s partner organizations to develop a robust communications structure so that all key audiences can learn about TOME, promote the initiative, and share and use information on TOME with fellow faculty members and administrators in their institutions, as well as with colleagues in their fields of study. Potter will draw on deep experience and a wide network from his time in university press publishing. At Virginia Tech he launched VT Publishing, a digital-first, open-access press based in the University Libraries that also offers consulting, education, and outreach.

“Virginia Tech is very pleased to support Peter Potter as a VPO for ARL to advance TOME,” said Tyler Walters, dean of University Libraries at Virginia Tech. “With his unique background in university and library publishing, he brings great insight into the values, workflows, and challenges of a transformational project like TOME.” Potter has also maintained his connections within the AUPresses community. “We look forward to working with Peter and our partners at ARL and AAU to advance this important initiative,” said AUPresses executive director Peter Berkery. Potter will help the three groups recruit new participating institutions to TOME.

Interfacing with TOME partners and working groups, Potter will coordinate communications including model/template contracts, case studies, position descriptions for scholarly publishing strategy positions, slide presentations, video interviews with faculty, and relevant author-facing resources. He will also keep track of books published through TOME for the partners to assess impact. “AAU is keenly interested in demonstrating the wider readership and reach of scholarly works through open models like TOME. Peter will help us measure and message that success,” said Jessica Sebeok, deputy vice president for federal relations and counsel for policy at AAU.

Potter has held editorial acquisitions positions at the university presses of Cornell, Penn State, and Wesleyan. He has an MA in history from the University of Virginia, and a BA from Virginia Tech. He is an active participant and speaker in the Library Publishing Coalition and the Association of University Presses.

The ARL Visiting Program Officer program provides opportunities for outstanding staff members at ARL member libraries and archives to contribute to special projects and programs, either in whole or in part, in order to advance the agenda of the Association. Visit the ARL website for more information about the Visiting Program Officer program.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

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