CNI News

An alternative access method for the same information available from the CNI-ANNOUNCE listserv.

CNI Conversations – Dec. podcast available

The podcast of the Dec. 16 CNI Conversations session is now available at http://conversations.cni.org/ (to subscribe to the audio feed add http://conversations.cni.org/feed to iTunes, or any podcatcher). This call featured a recap of the recent CNI Membership Meeting by Executive Director Clifford Lynch. Cliff also discussed the 6th International Digital Curation Conference, as well as the 2010-2011 CNI Program Plan, and The Next Twenty Years, a CNI project at the 20-year mark.

About CNI Conversations

CNI Conversations provides an opportunity for individuals from member institutions and organizations to talk to CNI Director Clifford Lynch and others; currently the events take place in audio-conference format. Questions and discussion are invited and encouraged. Real-time participation in CNI Conversations requires pre-registration, which is open only to those at member institutions and organizations; if you are interested in participating in CNI Conversations, please contact Jackie Eudell at jackie. We plan to continue to make audio or other records of these exchanges generally available after the event.

For questions or comments related to CNI Conversations, please contact CNI Associate Executive Director Joan Lippincott at joan.

PCAST report on US Networking and Information Technology Program

Yesterday, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued a report “Designing a Digital Future:  Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology”; this is a very interesting look at the coordinated, collective federal government investment in advanced information and networking technology.  The report can be found at:


Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Digital Forensics and Cultural Heritage

Earlier this week at the Fall CNI Membership Meeting, Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum and Rachel Donahue of the University of Maryland College Park presented their results of their study of digital forensics tools and methods in the context of curating digital materials. We’ll be making video of this presentation available online early in the new year and will announce this through CNI-announce when it’s available. Concurrent with the CNI presentation, however, CLIR has released the full report of the digital forensics project; it’s available at


I’ve reproduced the CLIR announcement below to provide some additional background on this very interesting work, which I think will have particular relevance to the management of digital “personal papers” by archives and special collections in future.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI


Report Examines Use of Digital Forensics Tools and Methods
in Cultural Heritage Sector

December 14, 2010-The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today released a report examining how the cultural heritage community can benefit from methods and tools developed for work in digital forensics.

The report, Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections, was written by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Richard Ovenden, and Gabriela Redwine, with research assistance from Rachel Donahue.

Digital forensics was once specialized to fields of law enforcement, computer security, and national defense, but the growing ubiquity of computers and electronic devices means that digital forensics is now used in a variety of circumstances.

Because most records today are born digital, libraries, archives, and other collecting institutions increasingly receive computer storage media-and sometimes entire computers-as part of their acquisition of “papers.” Staff at these institutions face challenges such as accessing and preserving legacy formats, recovering data, ensuring authenticity, and maintaining trust. The methods and tools that forensics experts have developed can be useful in meeting these challenges. For example, the same forensics software that indexes a criminal suspect’s hard drive allows the archivist to prepare a comprehensive manifest of the electronic files a donor has turned over for accession.

The report introduces the field of digital forensics in the cultural heritage sector and explores some points of convergence between the interests of those charged with collecting and maintaining born-digital cultural heritage materials and those charged with collecting and maintaining legal evidence.

Kirschenbaum is associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and associate director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). Ovenden is associate director and keeper of special collections of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and a professional fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Redwine is archivist and electronic records/metadata specialist at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Donahue is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland’s iSchool and research assistant at MITH. The authors conducted their research and writing with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections is available electronically at http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub149abst.html. Print copies will be available in January for ordering through CLIR’s Web site, for $25 per copy plus shipping and handling.

CNI 2010-2011 Program Plan Available Online

The CNI 2010-2011 Program Plan, which was distributed in printed form to participants at our Fall Membership Meeting in Washington, DC earlier this week, is now available online at the CNI Web site, at


We will also be mailing printed copies to our member representatives.

The Fall meeting was a great success; in the coming weeks we’ll be releasing video of the plenary sessions and a few selected breakouts, and also making available presentation materials on the CNI Web site.

With best wishes for the holidays.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

ARL Guide on NSF Data Sharing Policy

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a new resource for libraries supporting the recently revised NSF Data Sharing Policy. The Guide for Research Libraries: The NSF Data Sharing Policy, by Patricia Hswe and Ann Holt, is a set of Web-based resources that introduces and explains the policy. Hswe and Holt also offer advice for library professionals who work with researchers seeking funding and provide links to a range of resources that have been created by ARL member libraries and others.

The Guide’s authors are actively seeking information on additional resources libraries are creating. The Google group, ARL Data Sharing Support Group, has been established as a contact point for librarians interested in sharing and exchanging information on their efforts to advance and support researchers creating data management and sharing plans. Individuals can join the group by emailing http://groups.google.com/group/arl-data-sharing-support-group/.

The Guide for Research Libraries: The NSF Data Sharing Policy is freely accessible at http://www.arl.org/rtl/eresearch/escien/nsf/index.shtml.

For more information, contact:
Karla Strieb
Association of Research Libraries

Roadmap for the Fall 2010 CNI Member Meeting

A Guide to the Fall 2010
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting

The Fall 2010 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on December 13 and 14, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at member institutions, and highlight important national and international developments. Here is the “roadmap” to the sessions at the meeting, which includes both plenary events and an extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current developments in digital information. As always, we have strived to present sessions that reflect late-breaking developments and also take advantage of our venue in the Washington, DC area to provide opportunities to interact with policy makers and funders.

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, December 13. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by two rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, December 14, 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 7:00 PM on Monday evening, December 13, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in the Crystal City and Washington areas. Downtown Washington, DC is a quick taxi ride or accessible via the METRO, which is directly connected to the Crystal Gateway hotel.

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.

The Plenary Sessions

As is usual at our fall meetings, I have reserved the opening plenary session to address key developments in networked information, discuss progress on the Coalition’s agenda, and highlight selected initiatives from the 2010-2011 Program Plan. This year, I’ll also announce a special project that we have planned to recognize the Coalition’s 20th anniversary. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition’s Web site,www.cni.org around December 13). I look forward to sharing the Coalition’s continually evolving strategy with you, as well as discussing current issues. The opening plenary will include time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.

The closing plenary, scheduled to start at 2:15PM on Tuesday, will be given by Professor Dan Cohen, the Director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Dan is well known to many within the CNI community as one of the leaders of the new generation of humanists making very sophisticated use of digital media and tools; you may have read about some of his research work with the Google book corpus recently in the New York Times. Or you may have used Zotero; Dan has led the development of this project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to extend the Firefox browser with a highly sophisticated citation manager that exploits social networking. He worked closely with the late Roy Rosenzweig on their milestone book Digital History, and has also authored Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith on his research into the intellectual history of Victorian-era mathematics. Among his many other contributions, he has been a great help to me in recent years as an at-large member of the CNI steering committee.

Dan has a new book, The Ivory Tower and the Open Web, coming out in 2011; in his plenary address he will explore some of the key theses of this work, which looks at the interplay and disconnects between the traditional scholarly communication system and the new genres of communication that continue to develop on the Web. I continue to be fascinated by Dan’s ability to draw out insightful new relationships between seemingly disparate developments and to reframe questions about the future of scholarship. I can guarantee that this will be a deeply thought-provoking discussion.

Highlighted Breakout Sessions

I will not attempt to comprehensively summarize the wealth of breakout sessions here. 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. We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and, as always, will try to put material from these sessions on our Web site following the meeting for those who were unable to attend.

A major continuing theme at this meeting is developments in cyberinfrastructure and data curation. We are delighted to have Alan Blatecky of the National Science Foundation (NSF) present an overall update on NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering. Over the past year, NSF has had a number of advisory task forces that are now reporting back with recommendations to inform the development of this framework, so this is an ideal time to assess developments. National level cyberinfrastructure work must link up with campus-based strategies; we’ll have a presentation by Sally Jackson, CIO at the University of Illinois, on the impact of institutional cyberinfrastructure on research initiatives. Another important development has been the announcement that NSF will join the National Institutes of Health in requiring data management plans as part of grant applications, effective January 2011; while this has been expected, details only began to be available in October, and many of our member institutions are now moving very quickly to ensure that they can support their faculty in responding to these mandates. Princeton and Purdue will describe their institutional models for data management and participants are encouraged to discuss what is developing on their campuses. We will also have a session on preserving social science research data using Fedora.

In the past two years, linked open data has received a lot of attention as a model for making data-particularly scientific data-available and for interconnecting a wide range of data resources. Uptake, however, has been patchy. We will have a panel that critically examines the prospects and barriers for linked open data, which I hope will help us gain a more balanced assessment of the technologies and related organizational and social initiatives.

Myron Gutmann, NSF’s newly-appointed Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, issued an extraordinary public call for views on the new opportunities and priorities for social sciences research in 2020. Myron and Amy Friedlander will present an initial survey and analysis of responses to this call and offer preliminary thoughts on how the research agenda in these disciplines may evolve.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has produced an exceptionally good set of scenarios sketching possible futures for the research enterprise; I think these will find wide applicability in institutional strategic planning efforts. Karla Strieb, who led the ARL work, will present these scenarios and discuss ways in which they might be employed.

Several briefings will focus on issues related to scholarly communications, repositories, and publishing. Representatives from the University of Michigan, Cornell University, and Duke University Press will discuss various models of scholarly publishing and collaborative strategies. ProQuest will describe developments in the company’s thesis and dissertation publishing program. We will have a session on a project that is looking at a LOCKSS solution of open access materials from German institutional repositories. Representatives from the Center for Research Libraries and Portico will discuss a certification and assessment process for trusted digital repositories from the perspectives of auditor and repository operator.

As libraries approach digitization of their own collections, a common stumbling block is what to do about materials that may still be under copyright protection. Three universities will describe their policies, strategies, and workflows for these types of materials in their digitization projects.

We will have a report on the OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections, which provides perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for these materials in the digital environment. Stanford University will describe its framework, involving librarians from various units, for adding Web materials to its collections. The Library of Congress will provide an update on its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and its initiatives for 2011; they are tackling some very complex issues related to born-digital collections. David Kirsch of the University of Maryland has been doing some outstanding work on the public interest in the long-term preservation of private business and organizational records and will report on his recent work in this area within the NDIIPP.

There has been a good deal of interest in the possible applications of computer forensics techniques to the ingest and management of personal digital archives; probably the deepest examination of the possibilities here has been the work of Matthew Kirschenbaum and his colleagues at the University of Maryland, which were presented earlier this year in an excellent symposium that I was fortunate to be able to attend. They have prepared a major report on these issues, and will summarize this work for us.

A number of sessions will demonstrate the wide variety of work that is taking place related to digital scholarship, particularly in the humanities. One briefing will highlight a unique collection of Cuban theater materials at the University of Miami. Another will focus on jazz discography and a collaborative Web site developed at Columbia University. The University of Nebraska and Brown University will describe their programs for working with digital humanities scholars and will also discuss the facilities and staff that support this work. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a new laboratory for digital cultural heritage will provide a state-of-the-art facility for collaborative work on digital initiatives, involving faculty, librarians, IT, and students. Another session will describe innovative digital humanities initiatives in liberal arts colleges, bringing undergraduates into direct contact with the work of digital scholars.

Bamboo, a large-scale, multi-institutional program to support digital humanities has moved from planning to implementation, with a focused agenda that emphasizes the development of common virtual research environments and tools and resources that can interoperate within them. We’ll have a presentation on this new stage of the initiative, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation.

As digital collections increase in number, size, and complexity, there is a growing need for new tools for librarians, researchers and scholars. Annotation of resources in the digital environment has been an ongoing area of tool development, and we will have a report from Herbert Van de Sompel, Robert Sanderson, and Tim Cole about progress being made by the Open Annotation project. The bX Recommender service will assist the discovery process in online libraries, using an approach that is informed by data about user search behavior. The University of Georgia will discuss its trial of a central index discovery tool and the University of Nevada Las Vegas will report on its survey of vendor “Web-scale” discovery services. We will have reports from two projects at the National Library of Medicine, one that will describe the infrastructure of the new MedlinePlus Connect service and one that provides an update on NLM DTDs. In a project funded by the DFG (German Science Foundation), researchers are focusing on techniques to automate the processing of historic documents when optical character recognition (OCR) is not possible; they will describe their Venod system. We will also have a report from MIT on the updating of the popular Exhibit tool.

Sessions focusing on campus IT projects include an institutional reorganization and revamping of IT services at Cornell University, as well as a project at Emory University that seeks to understand cloud-based capacity for a variety of digital projects.

A number of sessions will provide insights into new developments related to teaching and learning and the educational process. Ira Fuchs, in his new role at EDUCAUSE, will discuss the recently launched Next Generation Learning Challenges initiative, which will be making grants to projects that show promise for dramatically improving college readiness and completion. We will learn about the new EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) project Evidence of Impact, which seeks to understand ways in which institutions are currently gathering and analyzing evidence of the impact of technology-based innovations in teaching and learning. CNI’s Joan Lippincott will join ELI’s Malcolm Brown in presenting this session. VTLS Inc. will present its system for multi-channel streaming media of course presentations and the way in which it can enhance learning. Columbia University and ARTstor will discuss multimedia analysis software that can be used by students to tag, annotate, clip, and embed images, audio, and video into individual and group multimedia projects. An innovative project that reaches out to library users is the Public WOW interface and display at Case Western Reserve University Library; it highlights all types of library usage data, raising awareness of the many ways people use the library.

Finally, the Association of College & Research Libraries will highlight findings from their Value of Academic Libraries initiative and describe next steps.

There is much more, and 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, including selected video recordings, when they available to us. You can also follow the meeting via Twitter, using the hashtag #cni10f.

I look forward to seeing you in Arlington, Virginia this December for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (cliff@cni.org), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (joan@cni.org) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.

Clifford Lynch

CNI Meeting Update: Schedule, Abstracts & Twitter

A schedule of project briefings to be presented at the Fall 2010 CNI Membership Meeting is now available:


Links from this page lead to session abstracts; we are continuing to add supplemental information as it becomes available.

Additionally, the meeting Schedule of Events (not including handouts) is available for download from:

We will be posting meeting updates from the CNI Twitter account (http://twitter.com/cni_org) using the hashtag #cni10f and we encourage other twitterers to do the same.

The meeting will be held in Arlington, VA, December 13-14.

We look forward to seeing you in Arlington!

CNI Conversations Dec. 16 – Registration open!

Join us for a recap of CNI’s 2010 fall membership meeting, and updates on issues of importance to the community – register now for the Dec. 16 session of CNI Conversations. The discussion will begin at 1:00 pm EST and will run for about an hour. These events allow all individuals affiliated with CNI member organizations to talk with Clifford Lynch, to ask questions, and to hear updates on the latest developments. Questions are encouraged and may be submitted in advance or posed during the call. Please contact Jackie Eudell at Jackie@cni.org to register for the call.

About CNI Conversations
CNI Conversations provides an opportunity for individuals from member institutions and organizations to take part in discussions on current topics with CNI Director Clifford Lynch and others; currently the events take place in audio-conference format. Real-time participation in CNI Conversations requires pre-registration, which is open only to those at member institutions and organizations. Recordings of these events are made available from the archive at http://conversations.cni.org/ (to subscribe to the audio feed add http://conversations.cni.org/feed to iTunes, or any podcatcher).

For questions or comments related to CNI Conversations, please contact CNI Associate Executive Director Joan Lippincott at Joan@cni.org.

JEP issue: Reimagining the University Press

The latest issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing explores the future of university presses, and includes a piece by CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch, “Imagining a University Press System to Support Scholarship in the Digital Age.” The entire issue is freely available online at http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/.

CNI Conversations – November podcast available

The podcast of the Nov. 17 CNI Conversations session is now available at http://conversations.cni.org/ (to subscribe to the audio feed add http://conversations.cni.org/feed to iTunes, or any podcatcher). During this session, CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch previews the plenary sessions and some of the project briefings to be presented at the upcoming CNI Fall Membership Meeting, and he discusses the 2011 Personal Digital Archiving Conference, as well as LC’s recent invitational NDIIPP meeting on citizen journalism.  Associate Director Joan Lippincott reports on the PKAL Learning Spaces Collaboratory, and questions asked during the call include a recent New York Times article on digital humanities and the recent Internet2 meeting.

About CNI Conversations

CNI Conversations provides an opportunity for individuals from member institutions and organizations to talk to CNI Director Clifford Lynch and others; currently the events take place in audio-conference format. Questions and discussion are invited and encouraged. Real-time participation in CNI Conversations requires pre-registration, which is open only to those at member institutions and organizations; if you are interested in participating in CNI Conversations, please contact Jackie Eudell at jackie@cni.org. We plan to continue to make audio or other records of these exchanges generally available after the event.

For questions or comments related to CNI Conversations, please contact CNI Associate Executive Director Joan Lippincott at joan@cni.org.

Last updated:  Friday, February 1st, 2013