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Welcome Ellen Finnie, CDL’s new Director of Shared Collections

It is our great pleasure to announce that Ellen Finnie has been appointed as CDL’s new Director of Shared Collections, with responsibility for a significant strategic portfolio encompassing systemwide licensing, open access publisher agreements, and shared print initiatives. Ellen will begin transitioning to her new role in June, and fully assume her responsibilities on July 1st, following the retirement of Ivy Anderson. 

For the past year, Ellen has been the Open Access Publisher Agreements Manager at CDL. In this role, she has been responsible for initiating, developing, and coordinating the implementation and assessment of open access publisher agreements across a broad spectrum of publishing partners in support of UC’s transformative open access initiatives.  

Prior to her arrival at CDL, Ellen led open access, licensing, authors’ rights, and scholarly communication transformation efforts at MIT. Her portfolio included open access policy development and implementation, and creating a licensing and collections program focused on leveraging contracts and purchases to enable more open and equitable access to the scholarly publishing ecosystem. Ellen led negotiations under MIT’s open science principles as manifest in the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, and spearheaded groundbreaking open access agreements with the Royal Society of Chemistry and ACM (the latter in collaboration with UC, Carnegie Mellon and Iowa State University). During her 30 year career at MIT, Ellen’s roles encompassed many elements of the Director of Shared Collections position. In various positions at MIT, she managed serials acquisitions, built MIT Libraries’ first licensing program, administered the collections budget, and established the digital resources acquisitions program, including building metadata processes to codify bibliographic, licensing, and access terms for eresources. Ellen received the MIT Excellence Award in the category of “Innovative solutions: collaborating for results” (2006) for work in that arena, which involved partnering to develop an early electronic resources management system. She also received two MIT Libraries’ “Infinite Mile” peer-recognition awards, including one for initiating and leading an ongoing libraries-based therapy dog program (2015). 

Ellen transitioned to CDL in March 2020, embracing the opportunity to contribute to CDL’s influential leadership in advancing open access to research for UC and for the world. “I wanted to work for UC because I felt that in all of North America there was no greater engine to advance open access to research and scholarship.  And now, I am honored — and truly humbled — to take up the reins from the inimitable Ivy Anderson, to have the chance to contribute further in service of an organization that is so deeply and broadly committed to openness and equity in scholarly communication, and to actively advancing open access along multiple paths.”

“Researchers at the University of California have the opportunity to publish open access under nine transformative agreements covering over 30% of UC publications; they also make 20,000 articles per year available under UC’s open access policies and can establish new open access publications with eScholarship, the nation’s largest library-led publishing program,” says Günter Waibel, Associate Vice Provost & Executive Director of CDL. “In Ellen, we found an individual who clearly cherishes all those paths to open access and who is committed to building on our foundational successes in transformative publisher agreements.”


About the California Digital Library

CDL was founded by the University of California in 1997 to radically reconceive the way scholarly information resources might be published, archived, and accessed in the context of rapidly emerging technologies. Today, CDL provides transformative digital library services, grounded in campus partnerships and extended through external collaborations, that amplify the impact of the libraries, scholarship, and resources of the University of California.  Through CDL’s commitment to sustainable open scholarship, an ever-wider range of freely available research informs ever-more potent responses to real-world challenges. Together with the UC campus Libraries and other partners, CDL amplifies the academy’s capacity for innovation, knowledge creation and research breakthroughs and enables the University of California to produce a measurable impact valued by the state, the nation and the world.