Remembering Robin Peek

September 30, 2015

Robin Peek

Simmons SLIS honors Robin Peek, Faculty member and Open Access Pioneer

On September 30, SLIS students, faculty, staff and alums gathered to remember Robin Peek, who passed away in August. Her memory was celebrated with her husband, retired SLIS professor Jerry Miller. 

Robin's PhD student, Athanasia Pontika, shares her thoughts: 

"Working on my PhD with Professor Peek was wonderful. She taught me how to be passionate about open access, how to work hard for what I love and how to purse my dreams. The open access community and our open access family lost one of its biggest supporters and advocates. Professor Peek was also one of the most caring and generous people I have ever known. She had a big heart. I will miss her a lot."

Robin Peek was an early advocate for open access to research, and taught a course about it at Simmons. She worked with Dr. Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and the Harvard Open Access Project, as co-founders of the Open Access Directory (OAD). The OAD is a globally recognized encyclopedia of open access hosted by Simmons, of which Robin was also the editor. “She and I worked together on the OAD since before its launch in 2008,” Suber says. “Nearly all our overlapping professional interests centered on the OAD. She was the editor. Thinking that I wouldn't have time for front-line editorial work, I chose not to join her as co-editor and supported OAD mostly as a contributor and recruiter of other contributors. However, Robin was gracious enough to loop me into every important editorial decision. I would have cherished my autonomy as sole editor, but she cherished collaboration. All her collaborators knew this about her, which is one reason why she had so many friends and collaborations. Under her guidance, the OAD grew in size and authority, and is now one of the most widely cited and linked resources anywhere on its topic. Unlike most online resources that start to wither and decline after seven years, or sooner, the OAD is stronger than ever. All of us who use it, and who depend on it to scale with the growth of Open Access itself, should thank Simmons for supporting it and thank Robin for making it a resource worth supporting.”

The SLIS Community remembers Robin Peek and honors her memory, her friendship, and her contributions to the field.