CNI Fall 2009 Membership Meeting
December 14-15, 2009
Renaissance Washington DC Hotel
The Fall 2009 CNI membership meeting, to be held at the Renaissance Washington Hotel in Washington, DC on December 14 and 15, 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 networked information. As always, we have strived to present sessions that reflect late-breaking developments and also take advantage of our venue in Washington, DC 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 14. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by two rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, December 15, 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 till 7:00 PM on the evening of Monday, December 14, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in the Washington area.
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.
Following tradition, I have reserved the opening plenary session to address key developments in networked information and the landscape of scholarship, discuss progress on the Coalition’s agenda, and highlight selected initiatives from the 2009-2010 Program Plan. 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 14). I look forward to sharing the Coalition’s continually evolving strategy with you, as well as discussing current issues. The opening plenary will include a generous amount of time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.
Professor Bernard Frischer of the University of Virginia will present the closing keynote session, which will start at 2:15PM on Tuesday. I have long followed and admired Bernie’s pioneering work on the application of three-dimensional visualization and imaging technologies to the humanities (you can read his full biography on the CNI Web site or in the agenda book), and I am delighted that he has agreed to join us for our Fall meeting. Many of you may be familiar with the remarkable “Rome Reborn” project, which created a very detailed reconstruction of the ancient city (including evidentiary provenance of the presentation); a version of this is now available through Google Earth, marking a milestone in the novel dissemination of scholarly work in ways that invite broad and creative reuse. Bernie, who has recently completed a tour as Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, has been at the center of the evolving relationships between technology and humanistic scholarship, and I think we will all learn a great deal from his presentation.
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 2009-2010 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.
Work on issues related to institutional repositories, discipline-related repositories, and management of locally produced scholarship is becoming more mature and responsive to both institutional and disciplinary needs. This year, we have three sessions that highlight concerted efforts to develop institutional strategies for a wide range of digital content; sessions will be led by Yale University, describing work spanning libraries, archives, and museums on campus; by Duke and Dartmouth Universities (discussing a Mellon-funded planning initiative), and by the Library of Congress, along with New York Public Library, and Harvard. In a more technical vein, the University of Rochester will highlight improvements made to their institutional repository software and related services in order to increase use of the repository by faculty.
Initiatives as well as policies related to the management, curation and preservation of data sets in the context of e-research continue to be key areas of interest for CNI. We will have a presentation on the two initial projects awarded funding from the National Science Foundation’s DataNet program: DataONE and the Data Conservancy; while we were able to introduce these at our Spring 2009 meeting, both projects have made a great deal of progress since then. Also at the national level, we will have a briefing on the new Board on Research Data and Information at the National Research Council, and a discussion of the recently released report from the National Academies on their research data study, which made recommendations to institutions concerning data integrity, access, and stewardship. The Association of Research Libraries will present data from their recent survey of e-science and data support services in their member libraries. In the humanities, there is also concerted activity on data-intensive research. Some exciting projects from the National Endowment for the Humanities/Department of Energy High Performance Computing Competition will be featured, and we will also have a session on the current status of the Bamboo Planning Project, which is seeking to identify critical elements of institutional and cross-institutional cyberinfrastructure for the humanities. On a more technical level, the Inter University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) will present a session on methods for protecting and distributing confidential research data, which is a persistent problem in many disciplines. Our colleagues from the Dutch SURF Foundation will discuss their efforts to understand the infrastructure needs for “enhanced publications,” journal articles which may be supplemented by data sets or other key research supplements. This is a philosophically somewhat different (article-centric) strategy for data stewardship that is receiving substantial attention as part of several European repository initiatives.
The production of new knowledge in the digital environment continues to have an impact on the traditional models we developed in academe for the dissemination of scholarly content. We will have a report and a look into the future from the American Council of Learned Societies’ (ACLS) Humanities E-book project, which has made great strides since its inception ten years ago. At Columbia University, the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship has combined forces with the Fordham University Press to create an online book that encourages continuing interaction between author and readers. The California Digital Library (CDL) is emphasizing their capabilities for innovative digital publishing, encouraging faculty to employ them as publishers.
Sessions on digital library initiatives range from those that focus on broad questions to multi-national initiatives to tools that enhance access and use for researchers, students, and the public. Rice University will report on research into the feasibility of creating a university library offering primarily digital collections; the researchers took a broad view and incorporated socio-cultural, technical, policy, and economics into their analysis. A colleague from the German science foundation (DFG) will report on a number of initiatives of the Knowledge Exchange, where her organization, along with the Dutch SURF Foundation, UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and the Denmark Electronic Research Library have combined to develop an information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure for higher education and research. A number of partners are working on a National Science Foundation-funded digital library network for Crisis, Tragedy and Recovery, and they will present an update on topics including automated text mining, storytelling technologies, and expert recommendations. With the development of the ARTstor Shared Shelf Initiative, university partners along with ARTstor and scholarly societies will be able to combine images created by individuals with those held by institutions as well as those in the ARTstor collection through a common software platform.
As digital collections increase in number, size, and complexity, there is a growing need for new tools for researchers and scholars. Stanford University will demonstrate the versatile uses of Blacklight, originally developed at University of Virginia, to provide a library “discovery layer,” serve as a front-end to repositories, or serve as a catalogers’ tool. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Brigham Young University will showcase tools that enhance the access to geographically oriented information in digital libraries. Libraries are also developing tools that enable readers, whether members of the general public or scholars, to have a role in the annotation or editing of digital resources; a project from the National Library of Australia allows readers to provide text correction and annotation, and one from JSTOR enables community editing of auction catalogs. A tool from the Internet Archive, Bookserver, enables content creators to publish catalogs of their digital works so that customers can find content from many sources that they may want to read on a variety of devices. NC State will describe access to mobile content and services via its recently upgraded mobile Web site and will also describe a mobile pilot project using geotagging and geolocation to improve discovery and access of some digitized special collections content. Another session will feature portals developed for specific inter-institutional scientific research communities; the portals aim to seamlessly integrate information from a variety of sources for researchers.
Sustainability is an ongoing challenge, whether for community open source projects or for operational services that serve disciplinary scholarly communities. Cornell will discuss the economics of a community-based sustainability model for the pioneering arXiv preprint repository. DuraSpace will discuss some exciting new models being developed to support “solution community” efforts; prototypes are underway in data curation, preservation and archiving, and scholars’ workbench and small archives. Brigham Young University will present its work with Millenniata Inc. to develop write once, read forever disc technology, which offers a very different economic profile from traditional digital preservation approaches.
As usual, we strive to bring our members the latest developments in infrastructural technologies and services. The new Chief Technology Officer of Internet2 will join us to talk about plans and architectural choices for the next generation of high-performance networking for research and education; there are very interesting connections here to evolving strategies for data curation and management. Two sessions will describe technologies to enhance the use of web-based content. In a session on the Interoperable Annotation Collaboration, Herbert Van de Sompel and Robert Sanderson of Los Alamos National Laboratory will describe the development of an interoperable annotation environment that will allow heterogeneous annotation clients to annotate distributed scholarly collections; this is a capability that research communities in many disciplines have been seeking. In a session on Memento, which has received some recent press coverage, Van de Sompel, Sanderson, and Michael Nelson of Old Dominion University will propose a framework in which archived web resources can be reached via the URI of their original, enabling searchers to quickly reach versions of Web pages for specified dates.
The digital environment is shaping our use of and attitude towards a variety of educational resources. The role of gaming in teaching, research, and libraries of liberal arts colleges and universities will be explored in a session by Bryan Alexander of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). The University of Michigan will describe their analysis, through a business feasibility study, faculty survey, and interviews, of the possible adoption of digital textbooks by faculty; they also explored faculty interest in authorship of alternatives to mainstream commercial textbooks.
The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has been operating a program in which post-doctoral fellows, drawn primarily from the humanities, have been immersed in issues related to libraries, information technology and digital humanities; the leaders of this program, along with several fellows, will discuss its implications for the transformation of academic libraries.
Finally, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will provide an update on a recent report and a wide variety of initiatives and also will discuss current grant programs.
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 when it is available to us.
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.