Rebecca Kennison Appointed Director of Center for Digital Research and Scholarship

NEW YORK, September 25, 2007 Rebecca Kennison has joined Columbia University Libraries as Director of the new Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), effective September 24.


As Director, Kennison will work closely with faculty, researchers, and various library programs and centers to enhance the use of new media and digital technologies in the research and scholarly communications of the university.

“Rebecca Kennison brings to Columbia extensive experience in scholarly publishing, familiarity with scholarly research and communication, and a thorough knowledge of digital technologies,” said Patricia Renfro, Deputy University Librarian.  “She is a strong proponent of collaborative communication and developing the tools to facilitate those connections.  We’re excited about her leadership of this important new initiative.”

Kennison said her primary objective at Columbia will be to facilitate scholarly research and the communication of that research using technology to its fullest extent. She envisions the role of CDRS to be twofold: (1) that of working with faculty and researchers on issues that affect them in their research and in the communication of that research, and (2) that of providing digital project development for enhancing research and communication.

From 2002 to 2006 Kennison was Director of Production at the Public Library of Science.  More recently she was Director of Content Services for Healthline Networks, an online consumer health Web site. She has also held positions with Blackwell Publishing, Inc., SilverPlatter Education, and Cell Press.   She has a B.A. and a B.S. from Christian Heritage College, an M.A. from Arizona State University, and completed coursework for Northeastern University's Ph.D. program in English. She has written on open access and scholarly publishing.

As Director, Kennison will be responsible for developing the programs and services of the Center, and coordinating with other Libraries divisions, including the Libraries Systems Office, the Libraries Digital Program,  the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, and the Copyright Advisory Office, which opens in January 2008.

The new Center advances the use of new media and digital technologies in research and scholarly communication. Areas of particular focus include: electronic publishing, scholarly communication policy and practice, scholarly database development, Columbia’s research repository, academic Web site development, and design and video services. Activities will include: consulting and technical assessment, project development and support, and research and development. In addition to core funding, the Center will secure resources through grants, services, and publishing activities.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

09/25/07 LMK