The Spring 2011 CNI Membership Meeting offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at CNI member institutions, and highlight important national and international developments. Here is the customary “roadmap” to the sessions at the meeting, which includes both plenary events and an extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current developments in networked information.
As usual, the CNI meeting proper is preceded by an optional orientation session for new attendees – both representatives of new member organizations and new representatives or alternate delegates from existing member organizations – at 11:30 AM; guests are also welcome. Refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, April 4. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by two rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, April 5, includes additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, lunch, and the closing keynote, concluding around 3:30 PM. Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes generous break time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception which will run until 7:15 PM on the evening of Monday, April 4, after which participants can enjoy a free evening in San Diego. I’ve had two opportunities to visit the San Diego Gaslamp district in the past year, and it offers a wide range of dining opportunities within easy walking distance of the Westin.
The CNI meeting agenda is subject to last minute changes, particularly in the breakout sessions, and you can find the most current information on our Web site, www.cni.org, and on the announcements board near the registration desk at the meeting. Information about wireless access in the meeting room areas will be available at the registration table.
I am delighted that Christine Borgman, Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, will receive the Paul Evan Peters Award during the opening plenary Session on Monday, April 4.
The Paul Evan Peters award recognizes a career of contributions to scholarship and intellectual productivity at the highest level; Chris’s work represents just such a level of achievement and contribution, and is notable as well for its diversity. She is perhaps best known internationally for her two award-winning monographs, Scholarship in the Digital Age and From Gutenberg to Global Information Infrastructure, which together analyze the evolution of scholarly practice and scholarly communication in the digital age. Her analytical work, however, is also deeply informed by her own participation in a wide range of empirical activities such as the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. She has been deeply involved in policy issues around the development of cyberinfrastructure, and two years ago, Chris chaired a National Science Foundation (NSF) Task Force on Cyberlearning which took the first coherent and focused look at the implications of cyberinfrastucture investments for teaching and learning; she addressed CNI on the results of this work in 2008.
Her Paul Evan Peters Award Lecture is entitled Information, Infrastructure and the Internet: Reflections on Three Decades in Internet Time.
This will be the sixth time that the Paul Evan Peters award has been presented; the award was created by the Association of Research Libraries, CNI and EDUCAUSE to honor the memory and contributions of CNI’s founding executive director following his untimely death. Chris Borgman joins previous recipients Dan Atkins, Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Brewster Kahle and Paul Ginsparg.
Our closing plenary session on Tuesday will feature another UCLA faculty member, Todd Presner, who is the Chair of the Digital Humanities Program at UCLA, as well as Director for the Center for Jewish Studies and a Professor in Germanic Languages, Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies. He is the founder and director of the HyperCities project, which is a unique and extremely interesting platform that uses geographical information systems technology (building on Google Earth and Google Maps) plus a temporal dimension to map and analyze a wide range of cultural, historical, and social dynamics. HyperCities is a tremendous example of how the creative interaction of a wide range of information technologies with humanistic methods and inquiry can transform teaching and learning as well as research in inter-disciplinary humanities.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I will not attempt a comprehensive summary of breakout sessions here; we offer a great wealth and diversity of material. However, I want to note particularly some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2010-2011 Program Plan and also a few other sessions of special interest, and to provide some additional context for a few sessions that may be helpful to attendees in making session choices. I do realize that choosing among so many interesting concurrent sessions can be frustrating, and as always we will try to put material from the breakout sessions on our Web site following the meeting.
A decade ago, I wrote a long piece on e-books for First Monday, called “The Battle to Define the Future of the Book in the Digital World.” As e-books have turned into a major policy challenge for libraries, a significant economic factor that is restructuring parts of the book industry, and an opportunity to reshape thinking at university presses, I have been thinking about what I got right, what I got wrong, and where the surprises were. I’m going to share my current thinking at the CNI meeting and I look forward to a conversation with you on this rapidly evolving area.
Two other sessions also address topical approaches to libraries and delivery of content. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) will report on its program to loan content, selected by patron-initiated requests, on Kindles, and the University of Utah and the University of Michigan will describe their recent experiences with the Espresso Book Machine for high quality printing on demand, which offers them a new mechanism for leveraging the digital content their institutions hold.
The management of large-scale data sets in e-research has been a key theme for CNI’s program in recent years, and sessions at this meeting explore the progress that is being made in many areas. We have a set of sessions that deal with aspects of the challenges of data management. As a follow-up to a session at our December meeting, representatives from Purdue and the University of Wisconsin will describe their campus collaborative efforts to assist researchers in responding to the requirements for inclusion of data management plans in grant proposals submitted to NSF and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We will have an update on the Data Conservancy project by Sayeed Choudhury and his colleagues; this is one of the two major funded NSF DataNet projects. UCLA, the Smithsonian, the California Digital Library and other collaborators are working together to adapt the UK Digital Curation Centre’s tool – Data Management Plans Online – for use in the United States. A session from the California Digital Library will describe their work on a publishing pilot for what they term “data papers,” an approach to publishing data in a citable form that fits in with the scholarly publishing model. We will have an analysis from OCLC Research on managing research information, looking at the data life cycle. And we will also have a session by Rutgers on how the data life cycle factors into their approach to the data curation process. For those interested in catching up on developments in the e-science arena, this meeting will be a great opportunity.
The meeting will present a wide variety of perspectives and projects related to changes in scholarly communication and the role of libraries and information technology in providing infrastructure and services to support innovation. Syracuse University will describe its work on the Marcel Breuer Digital Initiative, developing applications to enable researchers to use a diverse set of materials from disparate digital archives.
Some of you may recall a few meetings ago, Tara McPherson of the University of Southern California (USC) gave a plenary talk about the Vectors journal, a high-end, extremely customized exploration of what authoring in new media can bring to the communication of humanities scholarship. Each article in Vectors represented, in addition to the author’s content, a significant investment of time of multimedia specialists, which creates problems with both scale and cost. Very recently, Tara’s group has been working on a complement to Vectors called Scalar, which intends to capture the some of the best ideas from Vectors and put them in a more scalable and lower-cost authoring framework, and they will update us on this work.
Four other sessions will address the sustainability and cost model aspects of digital projects. The Public Knowledge Project has been a very successful open source project, enabling many institutions and individuals to publish journals and conference proceedings using its platforms. In a discussion at our meeting, Brian Owen of Simon Fraser University, will seek input from attendees on paths to building a sustainable financial model and partnerships for the initiative. James Shulman of ARTstor, along with several partners from the university community, will lead a discussion of the business and fee model of a new Shared Shelf cloud-based cataloging and asset management system for images. Representatives from the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) will describe their organization’s decision to move to a fully open access model for their major journal and their deliberations as they implemented this change. Their experience with this transition will offer a valuable model for other scholarly and professional societies considering the strategic implications of open access. In addition, we will hear an update examining how twelve projects analyzed in an Ithaka sustainability study published two years ago, are faring today, with emphasis on strategies that have proven robust over time.
It is important that we continue to find ways to leverage the increasing amount of scholarly information in digital form for research and teaching. David Flanders from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the UK, a key CNI collaborator, will lead a discussion of JISC’s search for international partners to develop infrastructure components that build on open access, open bibliography, open citation, and open data, and that will help realize the potential of the Web for scholarship. In another innovative initiative, a representative from Elsevier will describe their thinking about a new publishing ecosystem that enables institutions to leverage research content through applications and tools. A representative from Mendeley will describe a network-based research catalog that can be used to mine various types of information useful to researchers.
Martin Warnke, a researcher supported by the DFG, the German science research agency, will report on his work to develop a collaborative, networked research environment for the consideration of work pertaining to art images and visual culture.
Several sessions will address the challenges of digital preservation. We will have a report from HathiTrust and the Minnesota Digital Library on their image preservation archive. Another project, the SAFE-Archive system, an open source product that is being released this month, will provide provisioning, monitoring, and auditing for cultural memory institutions. An initiative from the National Digital Stewardship Alliance and the Educopia Institute is working on a framework that will assist the community with developing good practices for distributed digital preservation.
Rob Sanderson from Los Alamos National Laboratory will present an update on the award-winning Memento system that we first heard about a little over a year ago. Memento represents a framework for allowing us to navigate the Web across time, to see sites as they have developed over time. Since its introduction to the CNI community, it has garnered substantial adoption and the underlying technology has matured considerably.
Ken Klingenstein of Internet2 has received substantial funding from NSF to carry on work on federated identity management in a broad sense, thinking about persona and preferences and he will report on those developments. This work will be essential to support multi-institutional virtual organizations like those coming out of the NSF DataNet projects or initiatives like VIVO. The latter project came out of Cornell University but is being carried forward by a substantial consortium of universities. We will also have a session updating progress on the VIVO work.
MacKenzie Smith of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will discuss the ORCID author ID project, which I have mentioned in a number of contexts, but this is the first time we will have a full session on this at one of our meetings. Author IDs are a significant piece of infrastructure that we need in order to do really high-quality bibliometrics and author identity management in the networked environment. CNI has been tracking this area since we convened a workshop on author identity management some years ago; it has a surprising number of connections to areas as diverse as authority control, campus and federated identity management systems, and institutional repositories.
Many of you have seen a book that came out a couple of months ago, Unlocking the Gates, by Taylor Walsh of Ithaka. Ithaka has been studying the history of universities and university consortia efforts to make courses and other learning materials available through the Internet, with particular emphasis on policy and business model issues; the book summarizes a range of false starts, successes and failures in the realm of both open and for-profit education. Roger Schonfeld will talk about key findings.
We will have some sessions focused on innovative technologies and tools in library environments. Representatives from JSTOR and the University of Minnesota will describe their project to make the university’s Web-scale discovery system more discoverable from within the JSTOR interface. At the University of Utah, they are also looking at ways to make their digital resources more discoverable by search engines, and they will report on their findings and plans, especially in regard to digital repository content. Pepperdine University will discuss its “move to the cloud,” migrating all library data and library system functionality to the OCLC Web-scale Management System. The Kuali OLE project, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and community-funded software project addressing academic library management workflow, is a large-scale open source effort; we will hear an update on their progress.
A session from OCLC brings together good practices and guidelines from various efforts looking at special collections content in the digital environment, with the goal of helping libraries increase access to those resources.
We have a group of sessions that address a convergence of space, technology, and services, and each has a different emphasis. At the University of Calgary, the new library construction is nearing completion and the facility will house not only the library but will serve as a hub for the university’s press and art museum. Their briefing will focus on the development of a technology plan that encompasses knowledge creation, visual display, and new media support. Columbia University has been developing discipline-based digital centers (focusing on humanities, social sciences, and sciences) that provide support for research and learning in high-end, collaborative, technology-rich environments; their session at CNI will focus on assessment planning and implementation in the centers along with lessons learned to date. At the University of Alabama, the Alabama Digital Humanities Center has been developed as a collaboration of faculty, the libraries, and the Office for Information Technology (IT). Alabama’s presentation will describe the collaborative nature of this project and the development of the physical and intellectual space, emphasizing the community-building aspects of the project. Emory University has undertaken a study, supported by the Andrew Mellon W. Foundation, to investigate existing centers of digital scholarship as input into their own planning process for development of a Digital Scholarship Commons. They will discuss what they learned from their visits to and discussions with five centers of digital scholarship, and their plans and implementation of a center at Emory.
Loyola University of Chicago will report on three years of library/IT collaboration on their information commons. Both the library dean and chief information officer will be presenters. Many information commons are developed through collaborations, some more successful than others, and it will be useful to see what they have learned at Loyola.
Finally, we will have a session by presenters from the University of Iowa and McMaster University that will focus on teaching and learning aspects of spaces. The Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage (TILE) program at Iowa has transformed classrooms into active learning spaces. We will hear about challenges faced and next steps for this initiative. The Lyons New Media Center at McMaster incorporates both technologies and support that serve to encourage faculty to incorporate new media into their curriculum. The presentation will highlight student projects in large and small courses that have been accomplished with the support of the facility and its services.
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts at the CNI Web site. In many cases you will find these abstracts include pointers to reference material that you may find useful to explore prior to the session, and after the meeting, we will add material from the actual presentations when it is available to us. We will also be videotaping a few selected sessions, including the plenary sessions, and making those available after the meeting. You can follow the meeting Twitter stream by using the hashtag #cni11s.
I look forward to seeing you in San Diego this April for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (email@example.com), if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information