Faculty Profile: Shaily Menon
When it comes to the science of climate change, Shaily Menon knows the clock is ticking. That’s why the professor in Grand Valley’s Biology Department and Natural Resources Management Program can’t wait to talk about the critical need for the development of an appropriate cyber infrastructure for biodiversity informatics, distributed databases, and open source visualization and analysis tools—and the best way to meet that need. “Open access sharing of literature and data is important to me and to my area of study,” she said. “I support the most rapid and widest possible sharing of research findings through repositories such as the ScholarWorks@GVSU website and the SelectedWorks author’s gallery.”
Given the unprecedented scope and consequences of global change, biodiversity scientists are in a race against time to organize existing knowledge, identify key biodiversity patterns, and anticipate coming changes. Such forecasting is essential for planning and implementation of mitigation, protection, and preservation efforts.
Though significant steps forward have been made, many gaps remain in terms of capturing biodiversity data, integrating and sharing data broadly or globally, and improving and cleaning that data. One of the biggest hurdles in the study of
global change and forecasting change remains lack of data or lack of access to data. Thus Menon’s strong championing of repositories such as ScholarWorks@GVSU as ways to share and disseminate research to colleagues and institutions across the country and around the world.
“Over the past couple of years I have worked closely with University Libraries’ personnel, and they have helped me obtain permission to post my publications on the ScholarWorks@GVSU and SelectedWorks repositories,” she said. “They have also helped me with the use of an author addendum to retain my rights when my papers are accepted for publication by peer-reviewed journals.” Menon understands that faculty members have rights to their work as copyright holders and should attempt to retain rights that would allow the broadest access to their papers. “For example,” she said, “the SPARC Author Addendum Online is an easy way for authors to generate a printable addendum to the journal’s publishing agreement.” (The SPARC Author Addendum is available for download at http://scholars.sciencecommons.org.)
Whether she’s modeling the effects of global sea level rise or modeling best practices in sharing research data, Menon is a leader in her field inside Grand Valley and beyond.