NRC report on Building a Mathematics Digital Library

Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to co-chair, along with Professor of Mathematics Ingrid Daubechies from Duke University, a US National Research Council Committee that has been exploring the possibilities for building a global digital library to support mathematical research. The Alfred P. Sloan foundation commissioned the study form the National Academies.

A preprint version of the report is now available for free download from the NAS web site, at


There is also a brief abstract of the report (under the “overview” tab) and a short pdf summary of the report’s major findings (under the “related resources”) tab.

Speaking personally, this has been an amazing, though difficult, opportunity to work with a superb committee and many outside experts to think about how the literature and the scholarly knowledge base in one specific discipline should evolve to take advantage of the capabilities and affordances of the digital environment and to offer new ways to advance scholarship in that discipline. It involved many challenges, notably in trying to evaluate the current and near-future capabilities of various technologies, and trying to envision and assess the potential impact of resources and capabilities that don’t exist today. I think that at least substantial parts of the report will be of interest to the broad community interested in scholarly communication, not just those concerned with the mathematical sciences.

While it’s too late to gather a representative subset of the committee for a session at the spring CNI meeting, I am hopeful that we will be able to include a breakout at the December CNI meeting, which will also allow inclusion of some of the community response to the report.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Last updated:  Wednesday, March 19th, 2014