Sarah Potvin

Professional Responsibilities

The Digital Scholarship Librarian is responsible for consulting on the development and testing of standards and platforms and providing metadata expertise to support and advance new models of scholarship and collections. The Librarian serves as a primary resource on non-MARC metadata design, structure, and standards (descriptive, technical, administrative/preservation) and digital scholarship (including digital humanities and escience) for the University Libraries and assists in developing and implementing strategies for digital curation, working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that digital projects unique to the Libraries are discoverable, usable, and preserved. The Librarian also provides outreach and community support to the University for digital humanities.

As a member of the DiSC steering committee, the Librarian evaluates projects slated for inclusion in the Texas A&M University digital repository (OAK Trust) and other platforms; and, in collaboration with colleagues in Digital Services & Scholarly Communication, Cataloging, and Digital Initiatives, assesses user needs, in order to develop appropriate metadata schemes for complex and heterogeneous collections. The librarian is expected to consult with faculty regarding humanities datasets and research collections, as well as to provide metadata support for OAK Trust. The individual serves on Texas Digital Library (TDL) committees and University working groups as assigned. The librarian is expected to maintain awareness of regional, national, and international metadata, digital humanities, and digital library trends in order to make informed policy decisions, and serve as a general resource for Texas A&M University and its affiliates. This includes providing consultation services, training, and participating on Texas A&M University committees as needed.  


  • Master of Science, Information Studies, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Bachelor of Arts, History & Literature, Harvard College. Magna cum laude.

Research Interests

  • Digital Humanities and libraries
  • The history and evolution of scholarly communication
  • Open access
  • Metadata, policies, and workflows for student work
  • Metadata for legacy collections
  • Metadata reuse
  • DSpace
  • Dublin Core
  • Linked data
  • Data curation, preservation, and stewardship

Select Publications & Presentations

  • Zach Coble, Sarah Potvin, and Roxanne Shirazi, "dh+lib: Behind the Scences," poster session, Digital Library Federation Forum, Austin, TX. November 2013. (

  • Sarah Potvin, "The Proof of the Proxy: Altmetrics, Impact, & Use," Presentation to Texas A&M University Libraries (2013). (

  • Sarah Potvin and Catherine Coker, "Arcane Magic: Hal Hall and the Creation and Transformation of Science Fiction Indexing," Reference & User Services Quarterly 53, no. 1 (2013). DOI: 10.5860/rusq.53n1.51

  • Sarah Potvin and James Silas Creel, "Creating and Evaluating Metadata for a Large Legacy Thesis Collection: From 'Vocational Agriculture' (1922) to 'Microemulsion-mediated syntheses' (2004)," poster session, Texas Electronic Theses and Dissertations Association / US Region 3 Electronic Theses and Dissertations Association Joint Conference, College Station, TX. February 28, 2013. (

  • Sarah Potvin, “The Principle and the Pragmatist: On Conflict and Coalescence for Librarian Engagement with Open Access Initiatives,” Journal of Academic Librarianship (2013),

  • Sarah Potvin, "On Elective Double Submission: Data Points from the Early Years of Optional," poster session, Texas Electronic Theses and Dissertations Association Annual Meeting, Denton, TX. February 23, 2012. (

  • Bruce R. Scott and Sarah Potvin. “Capitalism and Democracy.” In Bruce R. Scott, Capitalism: Its Origins and Evolution as a System of Governance. New York: Springer, 2011. Pp. 67-110.
  • Bruce R. Scott and Sarah Potvin. “Creating Capitalism and Democracy in the United States, 1630-1830.” In Bruce R. Scott, Capitalism: Its Origins and Evolution as a System of Governance. New York: Springer, 2011. Pp. 227-276.


  • Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata Interest Group, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services - Preservation & Reformatting Section (Co-chair, 2012-2014).
  • DSpace Community Advisory Team (Member, 2012-present).
  • Texas Digital Library Metadata Community group (Chair, 2013-present).
  • NISO Open Access Metadata and Indicator Project (Member, Review Group, 2013).
  • Planning for the Lifecycle Management and Long-Term Preservation of Research Data: A Federated Approach, KU/GPN/GWLA/IMLS National Leadership Planning Grant (Member, Research Team A, 2012-2013).
  • dh+lib, a digital project hosted by the Association of College and Research Libraries Digital Humanities Discussion Group (Founding co-editor, 2012-present).
  • International Program Committee, Digital Humanities 2013, Digital Humanities 2014 (nominated position, representative of centerNet, 2012-present).
  • Digital Humanities & Libraries THATCamp (Organizer, 2013).
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