A Guide to the Fall 2012
Coalition for Networked Information
The Fall 2012 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC on December 10 and 11, 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 10. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. As we did last fall, we added an extra round of breakout sessions on Monday in order to take advantage of a large number of very high quality and timely proposals for sessions. Tuesday, December 11, includes three 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 Monday evening, December 10, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in Washington.
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 website, www.cni.org, and on the announcements board near the registration desk at the meeting.
We expect to have free wireless access available throughout the meeting; details will be available at registration.
As is usual at our fall meetings, I have reserved the opening plenary session. I want to look at recent developments and the ways in which the landscape is changing, and to outline the developments I expect to see in the coming years. As part of this, I’ll discuss progress on the Coalition’s agenda, and highlight selected initiatives from the 2012-2013 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition’s website, www.cni.org by December 12). 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 2:15 PM on Tuesday, will be given by Hunter R. Rawlings III, President of the Association of American Universities (AAU). As former president of both the University of Iowa and Cornell University, and now as the leader of the AAU, Hunter Rawlings has an extraordinary vantage point for understanding how higher education in the United States is changing in response to a very wide range of pressures and new opportunities; he will share some of his perspectives on these developments, and help us to better understand the broad context for our collective efforts to support and advance the scholarly enterprise.
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 2012-2013 Program Plan, as well as a few other sessions of special interest or importance, and to provide some additional context that may be helpful to attendees in making choices. We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and, as always, will try to put material from these sessions on our website following the meeting for those who were unable to attend. We will also be capturing a few sessions for later re-distribution, some using traditional video capture and some using a new voice over visuals system we are evaluating.
Many CNI member institutions are developing an array of capabilities related to “big data” or e-research as well as new services to assist researchers with data curation. We are very pleased to have two special sessions from the German national science foundation, the DFG, highlighting their new national strategies supporting information infrastructure funding in the areas of research data and virtual research environments (VREs); presentations will include both an overview of the strategy and reports from some of the related projects.
Tools and services for managing research data either at the disciplinary level or institutional level will be highlighted in sessions from the DataONE project and the California Digital Library and in a talk describing a family of services for data at Oxford. We will have an update on the DMPTool, which is becoming increasingly popular as both a way to work with researchers on planning management of their data as they develop grant proposals, and an entrée into a dialogue between researchers and information professionals. Representatives from Elsevier will discuss the role of libraries, data repositories, and publishers to develop open and sustainable data infrastructure and will seek the views of the CNI community. ARTstor and Columbia will describe an open, shareable data resource for architectural works and the built environment that they are building in cooperation with the Getty Research Institute.
In order to support research data curation efforts, many institutions have been looking at staffing requirements and staff training needs. We will have a session on the new E-Science Institute, sponsored by DuraSpace and the Digital Library Federation (DLF), which has grown out of the earlier professional development initiative of the Association of Research Libraries and DLF.
Research Data Alliance, an emerging organization being launched with support from the National Science Foundation to develop research data exchange at a global level, will offer an early look at its agenda and plans.
Two sessions will focus on text mining: JISC will summarize an excellent study that it has commissioned dealing with legal, policy and licensing issues in computational analysis of the scholarly literature, and Duke University will report on what I believe is one of the very first institutionally-sponsored strategies for workshops and services related to text mining.
Innovations in scholarly communication and developments in publishing will be topics of a number of sessions. We know that the system of scholarly communication is in flux and a session by Dan Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University will provide us with a thought-provoking look at issues including how we collect, screen, and draw attention to new forms of scholarship and how we might evaluate scholarly work on the open web.
Other scholarly communications sessions include:
o Force11, a community of scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers, and funders looking at the future of research communications and e-scholarship. This group is particularly interested in successors to the traditional “page based” digital scholarly article and has issued an interesting manifesto on the issues here
o SURFconext, a nationwide Dutch initiative developing infrastructure for collaborative services and virtual research environments for scholars
o Open Annotation Update, which will provide an update on the work on the Open Annotation standards effort and look at a number of experimental systems being developed and deployed based upon this standard to encourage collaborative annotation of scholarly work in various disciplines, as well as the prospects for interoperability. Participants will be invited to provide input on directions for this important developing initiative
o Ithaka S+R’s Research Support Services, reporting on studies of the changing research methods and practices of historians and chemists in academe
o Debunking Myths and Establishing Guidelines for the ETD Lifecycle, describing two initiatives: one developing life cycle practices for ETDs and culminating with a workshop, and one describing an important study of the acceptance by science journals of articles based on research made available in open access ETDs, and clearing up some long-standing myths about how open access ETDs may endanger the opportunities for new faculty to publish their research
o Establishing Infrastructures for Scholarly Publishing, featuring two projects: one to publish directly in HathiTrust, and one for hosting open access journals in the library
o Library Publishing Coalition Project, a preview of a new multi-institutional initiative getting underway to study and document the current range of publishing activities in academic libraries and to envision future community activities
A number of sessions will address digital preservation issues. David Rosenthal of Stanford recently gave a compelling (and sobering) talk about economic models and the role of the cloud in digital preservation at the seminar I co-organize at the University of California, Berkeley School of Information; I am pleased that he accepted my invitation to give a version of that talk at this CNI meeting. You may recall that David gave an important plenary talk on preservation at a CNI meeting in 2009; the video of that talk has been one of our most popular web resources. His presentation here will substantially update and extend that work.
We will also have an update on the Digital Preservation Network (DPN) by James Hilton and Steven Morales. This project intends to provide a federated backbone preservation network which would offer secure digital archiving for the academic community; it was announced in early 2012 and is now moving into actual implementation and deployment planning, and progress on the project will be shared with the CNI community.
Additional sessions on digital preservation are:
o Academic Preservation Trust, a consortial program that intends to develop a multi-institutional digital repository system that will serve as one of the institutional front-end archives connected to the Digital Preservation Network (DPN)
o Using the Cloud for Backup, Storage, and Archiving, focusing on three universities’ approaches and experiences using DuraCloud to exploit distributed cloud based storage
o Video at Risk, a report on a major series of studies to understand what parts of research library video collections are most at risk both from technology evolution (e.g. the obsolescence of VHS videotape) or because of collection wear, and appropriate policy and technical responses to mitigate these risks
o Auditing Distributed Digital Preservation Networks, reporting on trial audits of digital repository services using an open source SafeArchive system
A number of sessions will provide insights into developments related to teaching and learning and new models for educational materials. We are especially pleased to have two sessions on different approaches to massive open online courses-MOOCs-one by Duke University, employing Coursera, and one featuring HarvardX. Both will explore the motivation to develop such programs, implementation strategies, and policy issues; the perspective here is institutional, as opposed to focusing on the faculty experience of teaching a specific MOOC based course. In addition, we will have two sessions on e-textbook models, one by the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 e-text pilot, involving a number of universities and publishers, and one from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which emphasizes device neutrality, publishing opportunities for faculty, and a platform that is more accessible than most currently on the market. Illinois is actively seeking to leverage library holdings for use in e-textbooks when possible.
Explorations of how organizations are developing new services and how professional roles are changing are also key components of CNI’s program. Institutions are rethinking services and putting resources into a variety of new programs.
I have long argued that realistic and cost-effective provisions for continued access to electronic scholarly resources after graduation is an essential and largely ignored challenge that is causing multiple problems for higher education and its relationship to society. In this context, I am delighted that we will hear a report from JSTOR, Columbia, Yale, and Duke on a pilot project to make JSTOR resources available to alumni of participating institutions; the pilot was so successful that the program is now available to all JSTOR participants.
Other sessions that address institutional and service issues include:
o Academic Library as Makerspace, describing the quick uptake of 3D printing in a science and engineering library; this technology (sometimes called “additive manufacturing” is going to have substantial impact both in consumer marketplaces and in academia, and this is one of the first efforts to deploy it as institutional infrastructure
o Wikipedia and Libraries, which will look at the very interesting “Wikipedian in residence” program now underway at various memory institutions by exploring how OCLC and the Smithsonian are adding information to Wikipedia and using it to expose collections
o Student Driven Innovation, featuring student development of mobile apps for the library at the University of California, Los Angeles as a strategy for speeding up the cycle of innovation adoption in academia
o Library Innovation, including a technology prototyping service that employs undergraduates and a search and discovery initiative that incorporates graduate students at University of Illinois as well as a description of a variety of partnership strategies to advance eResearch programs at Virginia Tech
o Leveraging Digital Library Infrastructure to Support New Roles, describing how libraries at University of North Texas, University of Florida, and University of California, San Diego are rethinking what constitute core functions in today’s research library
A session on demonstrating library value will feature two initiatives: an Association of Research Libraries project to understand how libraries contribute to student success and the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Value of Academic Libraries initiative and its next steps.
A core area of CNI’s program has highlighted innovations in digital library development and institutional repositories. Projects at this meeting will highlight innovative scholarship initiatives, collaborative efforts, and the encouragement of new approaches to exploiting the large corpora of texts and other media that constitute some large digital libraries.
o Developing a Customized, Extensible Application for Digital Collections, featuring Syracuse University’s Marcel Breuer digital archive along with digital objects from nine institutions
o Olive, Carnegie Mellon’s executable content archive project
o Collaborative Statewide Networked Information Content, featuring a discussion about the Portal to Texas History by two universities and a program officer from National Endowment for the Humanities
o Supporting Community and Open Source Software, describing open source information management for content in archives, museums, and libraries
o The Future of Fedora, providing a report on a recent strategy meeting about development directions for this widely used repository software
o Piloting Linked Data, describing how Civil War digitized materials were enriched for discovery at Emory University using a linked data strategy
o Internet2 Net+ Services, which will update us on a new series of “above-the-network” services that Internet2 is brokering, focusing on e-content initiatives
o UCLA Broadcast News Archive, which is developing a new approach to collecting, organizing and analyzing a very large collection of television news
o The HathiTrust Research Center, which is being set up as a focal point to provide computational access to the HathiTrust digital corpus for research purposes that involve text mining and related technologies
An area that has been of long-standing interest to CNI is the identity and name management problem in the attribution of scholarship and the management of the scholarly record; this combines some of the traditional library authority work with some components of persistent identifiers, authentication, biography, bibliography and other topics. I will be participating in a session along with Daniel Pitti and Brian Tingle to discuss two important and related identity management projects in the archival community.
We know our members are always interested in understanding funding opportunities for digital projects, and we will have a session with panelists from the National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Historic Records and Publications Commission describing their latest grant programs and soliciting input from CNI attendees on future priorities.
There is much more, and I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts on the CNI website. 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 become available to us. You can also follow the meeting via Twitter, using the hashtag #cni12f.
I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC this December 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. Safe Travels.