A Guide to the Fall 2002 CNI Task Force Meeting
by CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch
We welcome CNI Task Force representatives and other participants back to San Antonio, Texas, for the Fall 2002 CNI Task Force meeting. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel ‚- the same venue as the Fall 2000 and Fall 2001 meetings ‚- on December 5-6, 2002. In San Antonio this year we will offer a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNIís programs, showcase projects and issues from Task Force member institutions, and highlight key activities in the broader field of networked information. Here is the “roadmap” to the meeting. We have a great deal to report on and to talk about.
As usual, the CNI meeting begins with an optional orientation session for new attendees — both representatives of new member organizations and new representatives of existing member organizations — at 11:30 AM. Refreshments for all attendees will be available at 12:15 PM on Thursday, December 5, followed by the opening plenary at 1:15 PM and several rounds of breakout sessions. The meeting wraps up with a closing keynote concluding at 3:30 PM on Friday, December 6.
Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes generous time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception on the evening of December 5. The reception will conclude by 7:30 PM, allowing time for attendees to stroll and enjoy the many dining options available on the San Antonio Riverwalk.
The Plenary Sessions
Again, I have reserved the opening plenary session to address key developments in networked information, discuss progress on the Coalition’s agenda, and highlight initiatives from the 2002-2003 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available on the Coalition’s Web site, www.cni.org). I have a great deal of progress to share with you, as well as some exciting new initiatives. The opening plenary will include time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.
Cathy Marshall of Microsoft Research will deliver the closing plenary. Cathy is an active and long-standing member of the digital library research community and has been conducting research on how people read, annotate, and use digital materials in a variety of technological and social settings. Her work synthesizes ideas from computer science, the social sciences, and the arts and offers insights into the future of authors and readers and the construction of learning materials and scholarly communication in the digital medium. Her talk is titled “Prospects for Reading in a Digital Age.”
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I cannot cover all of the many breakout sessions here. However, as always I want to note some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalitionís 2002-2003 Program Plan and also a few other sessions of special interest. Abstracts for most of these sessions will be available shortly at the CNI Web site, and we will update these on an ongoing basis. We again have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and will put additional material from the sessions on our Web site following the meeting.
Institutional repositories have emerged as a highly significant development, tying together issues involving new uses of digital materials in scholarly communication and the dissemination, stewardship, and preservation of digital content. Of particular note is the open-source distribution of the joint MIT/Hewlett-Packard DSpace system (which was covered in depth at the opening plenary of the Spring 2002 Task Force meeting) and its deployment to institutions beyond MIT. We will have a number of sessions that deal with institutional repository developments, as well as a joint presentation from the IMS Project and the Open Knowledge Initiative on architectural and standards developments for repositories of learning objects. Also closely related are presentations on applications being developed using the Open Archives Metadata Harvesting protocol, which allows repositories and digital collections to share and disseminate metadata describing their content.
The Shibboleth distributed authorization system, which has been discussed at prior CNI meetings, has now rolled out into actual field trials bringing together content suppliers and universities; we will have a session discussing the status and early results from these experimental deployments. Also in the security area, we will have a report from the EDUCAUSE Systems Security effort and a session discussing late-breaking developments involving institutional roles and responsibilities in the protection of resources for which libraries have licensed access.
CNI, working with partners at Internet2, SURA, and the ViDe initiative, hosted an NSF-funded workshop in September to explore the digital rights management research and implementation agenda for the higher education community. A breakout is scheduled to report on this workshop and to discuss follow-on work by CNI and other organizations.
In the area of digital archiving, we have two breakouts planned. The first, by Rob Spindler, deals with archiving of electronic theses and dissertations; in the second, Kevin Guthrie will discuss JSTORís plans to expand their efforts in the archiving area.
The relationship between learning management systems and other parts of the academic information infrastructure has become an area of considerable interest. We have a breakout covering a number of institutional approaches being taken to link learning management systems to library information resources. In addition, I have scheduled a breakout to discuss investigations (reported in an EDUCAUSE ECAR report due to appear this month) that I have been pursuing into information management policy questions raised by course sites in learning management systems.
Reports and discussions are also scheduled on several other CNI initiatives, including the study of the feasibility of developing an image retrieval benchmark database and CNIís work with the EDUCAUSE National Learning Infrastructure Initiative and the Flashlight Project on the Transformative Assessment Project.
We have several sessions dealing with evolving standards, including an update on the work on Open URLs, on developments in Z39.50 profiles and the so-called “next generation” Z39.50 effort, and a very interesting discussion on the use of XML markup in taxonomy. There are a substantial number of sessions dealing with new digital library services, including presentations from the University of Kansas, the University of Washington, and the University of Texas. In addition, we have a number of sessions covering the construction of new digital resources, including updates on the Carnegie Mellon Million Book project, a distributed collections project in Utah, a very large and diverse public access image database at the New York Public Library, a library of 3-dimensional digital objects at Arizona State, and experiments with the IFLA FRBR standards and metadata mapping services at OCLC.
Iím delighted that Eric Miller, manager of the Semantic Web Initiative at the Worldwide Web Consortium is able to join us to provide an update on W3Cís work with the Semantic Web. This is a complex and ambitious effort that Tim Berners-Lee described in his keynote at the Spring 2000 Task Force meeting. I think it has been very difficult for those not deeply and directly involved to understand the state of developments, so Ericís session should be timely for the CNI community.
I also welcome David Seaman, the new Director of the Digital Library Federation. DLF has been an extremely important partner with CNI on many of our recent efforts such as Open Archives Metadata Harvesting. For those CNI members who do not belong to DLF, David will be doing a breakout offering his views on future directions for the DLF program.
Finally, Dan Atkins of the University of Michigan will be joining us to discuss the report of the blue-ribbon panel he chaired for the National Science Foundation dealing with cyber-infrastructure to support the conduct of science over the next decade. This is an important report with broad implications for scholarly communications and the conduct of research, and for libraries and information technology organizations that support this work.
You will be able to find a full list of the breakout sessions that are scheduled on the CNI Web site (www.cni.org), including abstracts and in some cases pointers to background reading. This list will be updated as last-minute changes invariably occur.
I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio this December for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Joan Lippincott, CNIís Associate Director (email@example.com) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.