Spring 2000 Task Force Meeting
by CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch
A Guide to the Spring 2000
Coalition for Networked Information
Task Force Meeting
The Spring 2000 CNI Task Force meeting, to be held in Washington, DC at the Renaissance Hotel on March 27-28, 2000, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects developed by Task Force member institutions, and highlight key activities in the broader field of networked information at a national and international level. This provides a roadmap to the sessions at the meeting, which includes an unusually strong and varied range of breakout sessions focusing on current developments in networked information.
Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes ample time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception on the evening of March 27. The CNI meeting leads off a week of conferences in Washington dealing with advanced technology and higher education; all of these will be held at the Renaissance hotel. For Internet 2 member institutions, the I2 spring meeting will take place on March 29; information on this is at <www.internet2.edu>. The EDUCAUSE Net 2000 meeting, covering policy issues related to networking, has an opening reception on March 29, and sessions March 30-31. CNI attendees who are still in town are welcome to join us for the Net 2000 opening reception, even if they cannot stay for the Net 2000 conference. Information and registration information for Net 2000 can be found at <www.educause.edu>.
As in previous years, there will be exhibitions and demos of advanced high-performance network applications running during the week, and CNI attendees will have an opportunity to visit these on the afternoon of March 28, after the CNI meeting, or on March 29.
The Plenary Sessions
The opening plenary will be by Gregory Crane of Tufts University, Professor of Classics and Editor in Chief of the Perseus Project; his talk is titled “Will Two Plus Two Make Five or Three? Utopias and Dystopias of a Networked Environment”. This should be a stimulating, insightful and authoritative talk. There has been a great deal of discussion over the past few years about new genres of scholarly communication and their implications for scholars and authors, as well as for teaching and research. Greg Crane has been living these issues, and his work is one of the most exciting examples of what advanced information technology can bring to scholarly information and communication in the humanities. Perseus has already developed and deployed an extensive and sophisticated digital library of Greco-Roman culture, and is now, as an NSF Phase 2 Digital Library project, expanding its reach into new areas such as 19th century London. You can find more background on Greg’s work at <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/>.
Professor Crane has also agreed to follow his plenary address with a breakout session that will allow a more detailed and interactive follow-up discussion of the issues that he will raise.
The closing plenary address will be by Tim Berners-Lee, the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, who is widely recognized as the key person responsible for the conceptualization and development of the Web. Over the past decade, Tim has been evolving and implementing a vision of the future of the Web and has also thought deeply about the broader social implications of these developments; he will share this thinking with us. Tim will also be the first recipient of the Paul Evan Peters Award, which was established in memory of the vision and achievements of CNI founding director Paul Peters following his untimely death in 1996. This award, which was established with an endowment from Educause, the Association of Research Libraries, Xerox, and Microsoft, will be presented to Tim prior to his address.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I cannot cover all of the many breakout sessions here. However, I want to note particularly some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 1999-2000 Program Plan, which is available at www.cni.org, and also a few other sessions of special interest. The breakout sessions at this meeting are particularly exciting, I think, and I’m afraid you will have to make some difficult choices about which ones to attend.
Several sessions will focus on progress in authentication and access management: Robert Pack will describe work on establishing a public key infrastructure at the University of Pittsburgh, and Keith Hazelton of the University of Wisconsin will describe an initiative to develop standards for describing members of educational institutions called Edu-Person, which will be an important building block for interoperable directories and access management in the higher education community and beyond.
Archiving, records management, and e-print archives are particularly well represented. We will have a session on Archiving the Open Access Web led by Bill Arms of Cornell University and Winston Tabb and Barbara Tillet of the Library of Congress; an update on the work on archivability of electronic journals as part of the CNI initiative in this area, and several presentations on issues related to e-print servers: Eric Celeste of MIT and William Wickes of Hewlett-Packard Labs will discuss planning for an institutional server at MIT; Herbert van de Sompel will discuss advanced services that can build on e-print server infrastructure, and Liz Pope will provide an update on the work on Pubmed Central at the National Library of Medicine. There will be a session that begins the exploration of implications of courseware products for records management. Finally, we will have a session on digital dissertations at the Library of Congress.
We will have updates on Internet 2 and the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, and also a session on new middleware initiatives. Howard Strauss of Princeton University will present a two-part session and discussion on issues related to portal sites. John Dyer will present an overview of networked information initiatives in the European Terena program. Dan Greenstein, the new director of the Digital Library Federation, will offer a presentation on directions for this important initiative, and discuss how it relates to other efforts underway in digital libraries.
David Green of the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage will moderate a session updating our community on progress in various image licensing consortium and database initiatives.
We will have several breakouts focusing on reference services, including one by the National Library of Agriculture on their AgNIC effort, and another by the Library of Congress on 24-hour network-based reference services.
Among the important policy-related sessions is a discussion of the implications of UCITA for Chief Information Officers. UCITA is a set of proposed changes to state law governing transactions in information which is now being introduced into many state legislatures; this session should help CIOs and other key administrators who may be called upon to provide input or testimony related to this legislation to understand the implications of the proposed changes.
Don King and Carol Tenopir have just completed a major book summarizing and synthesizing their many years of research into electronic journals titled “Towards Electronic Journals: Realities for Scientists, Librarians and Publishers” which provides a wealth of data to help us to understand how electronic publishing is really changing scholarly communication. Don King will present a summary of this work.
You can find a full list of the breakout sessions that are scheduled on the CNI web site <http://www.cni.org/>. This list will be updated as last-minute changes invariably occur.
I look forward to seeing you in Washington this March for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (email@example.com), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information