A Guide to the Spring 2013
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Spring 2013 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas on April 4 and 5, 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 Thursday, April 4. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Friday, 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 Thursday, April 4, after which participants can enjoy a free evening along San Antonio’s delightful Riverwalk.
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. Information about wireless access in the meeting room areas will be available in your packets or at the registration table.
The Plenary Sessions
We have a wonderful pair of plenary speakers for our meeting. Herbert Van de Sompel will open the conference with a talk titled “From the Version of Record to a Version of the Record.” This should be quite extraordinary, based on the conversations that Herbert and I have been having, because instead of focusing deeply on one of the portfolio of important projects that Herbert has worked on in recent years, such as Memento, or Resource Synchronization, or Object Reuse and Exchange, in this talk, Herbert steps back and looks at the long term trends shaping our digital scholarly record and the technologies and architectures needed to manage these changes. He juxtaposes the evolving World Wide Web and our understanding of it to the way we have thought about digital archives over time. It is very unusual to see this sort of examination of the broad picture across time, of understanding information technologies as products of their times and contexts, of characterizing shifting conceptual paradigms, and yet I cannot stress how essential I believe such insights are to developing the collective wisdom to craft future generations of networked information technologies and services. I am delighted that Herbert is able to join us to share his thinking.
We will close the meeting with the first public presentation from Ithaka S+R on the key findings of their 2012 United States Faculty Survey. This large-scale survey, which has taken place every three years since 2000, is one of the best sources for understanding both the current state and evolution of faculty needs and perceptions about libraries, scholarly publishing, and the collection and discovery of information resources. This data should offer important insights on where faculty stand with regard to developments ranging from research data management to scholarly publishing alternatives to e-books, and also help us to see where the trend lines are going, and how rapidly. Deanna Marcum and Roger Schonfeld from Ithaka S+R will guide us through the survey findings, after which Judy Russell, Dean of Libraries at the University of Florida and a member of the survey project advisory board, will offer perspectives on the findings as a campus and library community leader. An interesting new development in this generation of the faculty survey is a provision to administer a localized version at a specific campus (and then compare campus to national results), and Judy will report on her experiences with a pilot version of such a localized study.
You can find more details on both plenaries, including biographies of the presenters, here:
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 2012-2013 Program Plan (www.cni.org/program) and also 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 website following the meeting.
The management of 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. Working in partnerships, many institutions are making advances in their capabilities to host stewardship services for large data sets and to make the datasets more accessible for reuse. In the United Kingdom (UK), the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has been working with individual universities to increase their capacity to deliver research management services, and we will hear about their challenges and successes, with particular attention to how this work can be applied outside the UK. The DataShare project has created a website that enables investigators at the University of California campuses to publish all of their research outputs, including data, images, and software so that they may be found and shared more easily. We will have an update on the DuraCloud for Research project, which provides enhanced cloud storage for research data. We will learn about two projects funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG): one that focuses on providing a means for researchers in economics to access datasets in order to replicate research results of their peers, and one that is building a directory for research data repositories. I know you will be intrigued by the tools that are being developed through the Digital Science company, which is a spin-off from Nature Publishing and works with a portfolio of innovative startups as well as internally developed projects; their software and platforms are driving innovation in the use of data and in the capabilities of extracting metrics of use; some CNI attendees will remember a plenary session by Timo Hannay (now Digital Science’s Managing Director) a few years ago that pre-figured many of the ideas now coming to fruition.
As higher education institutions and funders place increasing emphasis on e-research and data curation, we need highly qualified individuals to work in this area. The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, working in partnership with the Digital Library Federation (DLF) is reorienting this very successful program to focus more strongly on data curation issues.
Many of the project briefings address a variety of themes related to scholarly communication. I am delighted that my colleague Michael Buckland, University of California, Berkeley, and Ryan Shaw, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will report on their work to re-think the editing process for major texts in the humanities. Their presentation will provide insight into ways in which technology can aid scholarly editing projects through collaborative, shared access among scholars and curators; it has rich connections to evolving thinking about name infrastructure and scholarly identity. They will also discuss their efforts to exploit linked data in these scholarly edition projects.
Other scholarly communications sessions include:
o Scholarly Communication: New Models for Digital Scholarship Workflows, reporting on an NSF-sponsored workshop, held at the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on capturing, documenting, and reporting information associated with each stage of the scholarly workflow in order to expand global data and knowledge infrastructures
o Personal Archiving and Scholarly Workflow: An Exploratory Study of Penn State Faculty, that addresses scholarly workflow of individual faculty in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences from the perspective of archiving at the level of the individual scholar, and also identifies critical digital literacies for faculty
o Hypothes.is: Annotating the World’s Knowledge, where Peter Brantley will describe this initiative to leverage new identity systems, web standards, and distributed storage to encourage commentary and discourse across different kinds of media and representations
o Digital Humanities Revisited, which will raise issues related to library involvement in digital humanities work, drawing on perspectives from the University of Alabama and the wider community
o Publication and Research Roles for Libraries Using Spectral Imaging Data, which will describe UCLA’s work with an early manuscript project that uses spectral imaging of palimpsests and requires complex collaboration between technologists, scholars and librarians to uncover erased or deteriorated texts
o Two Institutions, Two Perspectives, One Partnership, in which the University of Oregon and Oregon State University describe their collaborative partnership around digital scholarship and publishing
o Using the Amazon Cloud to Host Digital Scholarship Projects, addressing how Emory University is using this solution for some innovative projects that need an environment less restrictive than those provided by the local institution
o Strategies for Fostering a Culture of Open Access, where representatives from the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions will share their strategies for gaining faculty buy-in, developing outreach programs, and tying Open Access policies to the land grant mission
A core area of CNI’s program has highlighted innovations in digital library content development. The Chinese Canadian Stories project from two universities in British Columbia is a fascinating initiative that brings narratives, a Chinese Head Tax Register, and other materials together and encourages user interaction through an educational video game, an interactive kiosk that presents materials in three languages, and educational materials for grade school students across the country. The Database of the Smokies, developed by the University of Tennessee Libraries, is a complex reference resource that includes rich image material, manuscripts, websites, and published items that are linked to a comprehensive bibliography of the region. The project includes a crowd-sourcing mechanism that encourages contributions from sophisticated users. Indiana University and Northwestern University have worked to develop the Avalon Media System, an open source system that will enable libraries and archives to curate, distribute, and provide online access to their audio and video collections, something that should benefit many other universities. Representatives from Baylor University will describe the structured project management environment that they employ in their digitization program, handling thousands of items per year ranging from medieval manuscripts to sheet music to historical maps.
In the related area of institutional repositories, two briefings will discuss next stages of repository projects. A report from University of Hong Kong will describe how that institution extended the model of its institutional repository to become a vehicle for sharing information on people, grants, and patents. Their Scholars Hubalso provides visualizations of networks of authors and metrics on use of content extracted from external sources. At Arizona State University, after successfully developing repository infrastructure, they are now focusing on building content, assuring sustainability, and fostering new uses for the content in the repository.
I will moderate a panel on developments in scholarly identity management, which will also be the topic of the Executive Roundtable held at this meeting. The panelists will provide insight into areas where international systematic approaches and institutional interests intersect. One of these areas is in capturing data needed for metrics related to research impact of individuals and their publications. We will also have a report from a Jisc-funded project that has analyzed best practices in this area and has made some recommendations regarding taxonomy, methodology and interoperability.
CNI continues to feature sessions that address the preservation of a wide variety of content related to our cultural heritage. I am always delighted when David Rosenthal of Stanford presents at our meetings, and he will be joined by Kris Carpenter Negulescu of the Internet Archive to discuss the very substantial and not yet well recognized preservation challenges that are emerging as the character of the web changes. We will also have a technical update on the Digital Preservation Network (DPN), which is providing a preservation backbone for digital information and has high visibility in information technology, library, and academic administration sectors. Continuing our ongoing examination of the economics of campus-based research data storage services, a session by Kent State University will describe their local system for high-volume, medium-term storage of digital items and will provide information on its costs.
Large collections of digital materials need new perspectives and solutions for information access and retrieval, particularly as the ecology of discovery and access systems becomes ever more complex. A session from bepress will share their thinking about their Digital Commons Network, which is enhancing the browsing experience across distributed institutional repositories; they will not only highlight the success this system has had in attracting repository contributors, but also explore how this method might be generalized to incorporate a range of repository platforms.
Other sessions on information access and discovery include:
o Bibliographic Framework Initiative, an update on the major developmental effort led by the Library of Congress, to retool bibliographic data exchange, looking beyond the traditional MARC framework
o Discovery Turned Inside Out: Using schema.org and Google Site Search with Library Digital Collections, in which Duke University is looking at how to leverage traffic driven to their digital collections from external search engines as well as looking at Google Site Search as a potential replacement for their current discovery services; this project includes one of the first reports on campus experience with the schema.org initiative
o Update on NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative, which is recommending best practice in index-based library discovery services in a document that will be released soon after the CNI meeting
Linked data is a topic of interest to many in our CNI constituency. Rob Sanderson of Los Alamos Labs has some important perspectives to share with us on the successes and potential failures of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and linked data; I was fortunate to see an earlier version of this talk a few months ago; I would rate it as one of the most enlightening and realistic evaluations of where this technology stands, and I am grateful that Rob has agreed to update and reprise this work for the CNI community. We will also have a talk on Tuft’s planning project applying linked data in the context of archival description.
Intellectual property policies continue to dictate many of the ways in which academe addresses access to and stewardship of digital content. The University of Michigan will give us an update on a collaborative project involving 14 institutions that are helping to determine the copyright status of books in HathiTrust, with the particular aim of making more content that is in the public domain available through that digital library. We will also hear about a new initiative, SIPX, which is an online copyright management, distribution and analytics system, first used at Stanford.
Teaching and learning will be the topic of a number of sessions, some focusing on the learning process and others on the technical and economic aspects of digital learning materials. A fascinating study of student use of digital resources for learning will be presented by the University of Central Florida and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; this talk will challenge your preconceptions and encourage you to think about new ways of presenting content to our students.
Other sessions highlighting teaching and learning include:
o ZSRx: An Information Literacy MOOC, presented by Wake Forest University, which will have just completed delivering the program, targeting parents and alumni for participation in the MOOC. This is an interesting example of a phenomenon I think we will see much more of: MOOC platforms and approaches being used to deliver learning materials that do not correlate directly to traditional courses
o ECAR Student Study, describing the annual EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) initiative, highlighting findings, and discussing how institutions can become involved in the work
o Administering and Assessing Four E-Textbook Pilots, a project at the State University of New York, Buffalo, that will provide data on a hot topic
o Providing Library Course Reserves Solely in the Context of Blackboard While Leveraging the Summon API, which is a novel approach to leveraging library licensed content in a way that will be most convenient to students and faculty
o The Move Towards Open Standards: Enabling Next Generation Digital Learning, which will provide an update from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, the leading organization addressing standards for content in this environment
Finally, we will have some sessions that describe innovations at the campus level. The new Hunt Library at North Carolina State University is notable for its engaging design and for the truly cutting edge array of technologies that have been made available for their researchers and students. We will have a session featuring their new core services such as “project cloud space” and a discussion of the type of staffing they have put into place to support their technologies and services. At Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), they developed the LibX project to integrate librarians into users’ webflow; the talk will focus on the implications of disruptive organizational change and resulting innovation in services. Dean Krafft of Cornell University will give us his perspectives on the realities of implementing a new IT model after an outside consultant’s report three years ago, and he will discuss the challenges of their new goal of “intentional interdependence.”
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts at the CNI website:www.cni.org/mm/spring-2013/s13-project-briefings-presentations/. 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 recording the plenary sessions and capturing a few selected breakout sessions using voice over visuals and making those available after the meeting. There will be a list of the breakouts we plan to capture at the registration table, but please keep in mind that these session captures do not include the discussion part of the breakout, and that we occasionally have problems with the captures. There’s no substitute for being there in person!
You can follow the meeting on Twitter by using the hashtag #cni13s.
I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio this April. Please contact me (cliff), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (joan), if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.