CNI Fall 2010 Membership Meeting
December 13-14, 2010
Crystal Gateway Marriott
A Guide to the Fall 2010 Membership Meeting
by Executive Director Clifford Lynch
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.
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 (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.