Spring 2002 Task Force Meeting
by CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch
A Guide to the Spring 2002
Coalition for Networked Information
Task Force Meeting
The Spring 2002 CNI Task Force meeting 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 extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current developments in networked information.
As usual, the CNI meeting begins with an optional orientation session for new attendees at 11:30 AM and refreshments at 12:15 on April 15, followed by the opening keynote at 1:00 PM and breakout sessions. It ends with lunch and a closing keynote concluding at 3:30 PM on April 16. Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes ample time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception on the evening of April 15.
The CNI Spring Task Force meeting is followed immediately by the EDUCAUSE Net 2002 meeting, covering policy issues related to networking in higher education; CNI is a co-sponsor of this meeting. There has been a great deal of activity on the network policy front recently, and Net 2002 promises to be a very timely and dynamic conference. Unlike previous years, Net 2002 will not begin until the morning of April 17, so there will be no overlapping sessions with the CNI Task Force meeting. Information and registration information for Net 2002 can be found at www.educause.edu; separate (paid) registration is required for Net 2002.
The Opening Plenary Session
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has launched a very large and ambitious institutional program called the Open Courseware Initiative (OCW) which seeks to make MIT course materials available world-wide, without charge, via the Internet. This is a transformative effort from many perspectives: it speaks to the way that the institution and its faculty think about their teaching, about the way this relates to publication and intellectual property, the relationship between the institution and the world (including developing nations), and what characterizes the unique value of the MIT educational experience. As such it challenges all other educational institutions to engage the same questions. The project is also a formidable technical and support challenge that calls upon information and instructional technologists, librarians and faculty to work together at an unprecedented scale and level of collaboration. More information on OCW can be found at web.mit.edu/ocw/.
Reflecting the collaborative and multi-dimensional nature of the effort, our opening plenary will be a group presentation given by Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries at MIT, Vijay Kumar, Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing, and Professor Hal Abelson of MIT’s Computer Science faculty.[Picture: Vinton Gray Cerf] The Paul Evan Peters award was established in memory of the vision and achievements of CNI founding director Paul Peters following his untimely death in 1996. Through an endowment from EDUCAUSE, the Association of Research Libraries, Xerox and Microsoft, the award recognizes fundamental and lifelong contributions to both the technical and societal aspects of networked information in the service of scholarship and society. The recipient delivers a plenary address of his or her choosing at a CNI meeting.
Vinton Cerf is the second recipient of the Paul Evan Peters award and his address will close the conference. Vint, who is Senior Vice President for Internet Architecture and Technology for WorldCom, is known worldwide as one of the fathers of the Internet. He was one of the designers of the TCP/IP protocol and the fundamental internet architecture that has served us for two decades now. Vint has played central roles in not only the technical but also the social and political evolution of the Internet through his work at WorldCom and MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, and DARPA, his service on countless committees and boards, including the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, and as founding President of the Internet Society and current role as chair of the board for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
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 2001-2002 Program Plan, which is available at www.cni.org, and also a few other sessions of special interest. 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.
The Open Archives Metadata Harvesting Initiative, jointly sponsored by CNI and the Digital Library Federation, is maturing rapidly. We will have one session covering developments on the protocol and related aspects of the initiative, and a second reporting progress from some of the experimental service development efforts funded by the Mellon Foundation.
Many developments in digital preservation will be covered, including a report on the Mellon-funded journal archiving initiatives, an update on LOCKSS as it plans its transition from technology development and validation to more operational experiments, and a report by Margaret Hedstrom on the results of an April 2002 NSF and LC funded workshop looking at research agendas in digital preservation.
Collaboration among librarians, instructional and information technologists and faculty is a major focus for CNI in 2001- 2002; our work in this area includes highlighting organizational and physical facilities strategies. Sessions relevant to this theme include presentations by Vassar College, Vanderbilt, the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland. The NINCH-sponsored session will cover tools that can help to support such collaborations, particularly in the humanities.
Several sessions deal with authentication and middleware developments, including coverage of PKI-lite efforts, the Shibboleth project, and a report on the National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative. Also relevant to the middleware theme is a presentation on some very interesting „next-generation¾ experimental work going on within the Z39.50 community.
A number of sessions cover the development of new digital collections and services; these include coverage of spoken word collections (Michigan State and Northwestern) and of large-scale image collections (New York Public Library), network-based reference services (Library of Congress, OCLC, Carnegie Mellon and Wesleyan), and very interesting planning and deployment work at Duke, the Library of Congress, Oregon State, The Naval Research Laboratory, Washington State University and Auburn.
CNI and the U.K. Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) have had a long and productive collaborative relationship; later this year, in June, we will jointly sponsor a meeting in Edinburgh to focus on parallel UK-US developments. As a prelude to that meeting, we have invited two presentations from the UK, one on the Glasgow Digital Library and a second from JISC on information environments to support the education community.
We have some important sessions to help us understand how user behavior is changing. Leigh Watson Healy of Outsell will share preliminary findings of a large-scale multi- institutional sturdy of student and faculty behavior funded by the Mellon Foundation and the Digital Library Federation. Columbia University will report on their online use and cost study, also supported by Mellon. We will also have a presentation by the University of Michigan and the California Digital Library on sustainable models for electronic scholarly publishing, and an update on the progress of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations Initiative.
Finally, I want to mention two other important sessions. The first is from Phil Long of MIT, who will discuss the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) for courseware support. This is distinct from the OCW program that the plenary addresses (though they are mutually supporting, of course), and is emerging as a very important multi-institutional effort to develop both an overarching architecture and actual software components. The second is a discussion of the policy implications of the USA Patriot Act for higher education and libraries by Rodney Peterson and Prue Adler.
I welcome you to Washington 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 you would like to follow up on anything after the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information