Federal Big Data R&D Strategic Plan

Earlier this week the Obama administration issued a new report titled “The Federal Big Data Research and Development Strategic Plan” as the latest step in its overall big data initiative. You can find the announcement on the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) blog here:


The report itself can be downloaded here:


or at the NITRD web site


Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Perspectives on Big Data, Ethics and Society Report

The Council for Big Data, Ethics and Society, an interdisciplinary working group established in 2014, has just this week issued a report titled “Perspectives on Big Data, Ethics and Society” summarizing and synthesizing much of their thinking over the past two years.

The report can be downloaded here:


and there are many links to the Council’s other outputs, as well as background about the project.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Nature Survey and Report on Reproducibility in Science

The May 26, 2016 issue of Nature has a very interesting report on a survey that they conducted on scientific reproducibility, as well as an editorial. Both of these are available online without a paywall.



for the editorial, and the main article can be found at:


Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Summary of Radcliffe Workshop on Technology and Archival Processing

The invaluable SIgnal DIgital Preservation blog from the Library of Congress has a great summary post from guest contributor Julia Kim (from the LC American Folklife Center) describing the Workshop on Technology and Archival Processing held by the Radcliff Center for Advanced Study at Harvard on April 4-5, 2016 that I think will be interesting reading for many CNI-announce subscribers. See


Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Videos: Organization ID’s & Getty’s Provenance Index

New videos from CNI’s April membership meeting are now available:

Despite excellent work undertaken by existing players, there is no consistently adopted, open, community-driven infrastructure providing organization identifiers. The Future of Organization Identifiers provides an overview of current and potential uses of organization identifiers, current state of the art, a summary of topical reports and working papers, and a review of a draft proposal for a ‘minimum viable product’ to serve community needs.
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/channels/cni/166818858
YouTube: https://youtu.be/1mehVMocV_0

The Getty Provenance Index records the ownership and sale of artwork as documented in auction house sales catalogs, archival inventories, dealer stock books, and listings of public collections, with some records reaching as far back as the 16th century. In the mid 1980’s, the Getty converted the print publication to an online database, and now, 30 years later, the system of six heterogeneous flat file databases that make up the Provenance Index will be mapped to the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) and released as Linked Open Data. Rebuilding the Getty Provenance Index as Linked Data describes the project background, reveals some of the work in progress, and outlines the project roadmap.
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/167758833
YouTube: https://youtu.be/1HRbP4zjqPM

To see all videos produced by CNI, visit our video channels on YouTube (www.youtube.com/cnivideo) and Vimeo (vimeo.com/channels/cni).

Slides available – CNI/ARL Planning a Digital Scholarship Center Workshop

Last week CNI and ARL held a workshop Planning a Digital Scholarship Center, and presentation slides from our terrific roster of speakers are now available at:


Sessions included such topics as goals & strategies, models/types of centers, staffing, technologies, physical spaces, partnering with faculty on teaching and research, and products of new types of scholarship.

Several of the sessions were conducted as panels with some specific questions for speakers, and therefore some of the presentation materials are brief. In addition, the workshop included a number of table discussion sessions, which are not represented on the website but some details on those discussions will be included in the report that we will issue about the workshop.

I’m sending this on behalf of the organizing committee:

Rebecca Graham, U. Guelph
Harriette Hemmasi, Brown U.
Joan Lippincott, CNI
Rikk Mulligan, ARL


Joan K. Lippincott, Ph.D.
Associate Executive Director
Coalition for Networked Information
21 Dupont Circle, Suite 800
Washington, DC  20036
202-872-0884 (Fax)

ETD Plus – Review Guidance Briefs

Many of your institutions have active electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) programs, but you may still seek information on best practices in areas such as file formats, metadata, and version control. Our colleagues at Educopia have facilitated the development of ETD Guidance Briefs and are inviting the community to review and comment on these items by June 30, 2016.

–Joan Lippincott, CNI



If you have interest or involvement in ETD programs, please consider taking a look at these ETD documents and tools and evaluating them:

Preserving and Curating ETD Research Data and Complex Digital Objects, Guidance Briefs Available for Public Review and Use – (May 3-June 30, 2016)

The ETDplus project (https://educopia.org/research/grants/etdplus) invites Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) program staff, librarians, faculty advisors, and graduate students to participate in a public review of the Guidance Briefs for Preserving & Curating ETD Research Data & Complex Digital Objects. 

About the ETD Guidance Briefs:

The Guidance Briefs are short (3-4 page) “how-to” oriented briefs designed to help ETD programs build and nurture supportive relationships with student researchers. These briefs will assist student researchers in understanding how their approaches to data and content management impact credibility, replicable research, and general long-term accessibility: knowledge and skills that will impact the health of their careers for years to come.

Review (and Use!) the Guidance Briefs:

Interested ETD stakeholders can download copies of the Guidance Briefs at the following website, https://educopia.org/deliverables/etdplus-guidance-briefs . The Guidance Briefs cover the following topics:

1. Copyright
2. Data Structures
3. File Formats
4. Metadata
5. Storage
6. Version Control

We are releasing these Briefs–both during this initial public review phase and after they are refined–as openly editable documents. We want institutions to use and reuse these in whatever way works for their local audiences. Each Brief includes generally applicable information about its topic, and also includes a “Local Practices” section that an institution may use to call attention to what’s happening on its own campus. 

We invite you to help us refine these documents by drawing our project team’s attention to any components that need to be edited, revised, broadened, or narrowed. Please send us an email with your suggestions and/or track your changes within the documents and ema

Designing Libraries 5 Conference Announced

I am sharing the announcement below, by University of Calgary, the host of the next Designing Libraries Conference. CNI is proud to be a co-sponsor of this conference series, which highlights innovations and new kinds of programs at libraries. This year we will have two preconferences to choose from — one on Digital Displays for Visualization, Engagement, & Learning and one on Innovations in Teaching & Learning Spaces at the New Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, a building that opened after the last Designing Libraries conference was held at Calgary.

The conference will include a reception and tour at the newly opened and spectacular building – the National Music Centre – in downtown Calgary and a presentation on the Calgary Public Library, a Snohetta-designed project, which is currently under construction. We will also get an advance look at the Riddell Library and Learning Centre, which will open in October, 2016,  at nearby Mount Royal University.

The main program will include sessions on fostering experimentation, aligning the library organization with facility transformations, new staff roles, and digital research platforms, among others.

The Designing Libraries conferences generally fill up quickly so I encourage you to register soon if you plan to attend.

Joan Lippincott, CNI


On behalf of my colleagues at North Carolina State University and the Coalition for Networked Information, it is my pleasure to announce that the Website and Registration for the Designing Libraries 5 Conference being held at the University of Calgary, September 18-20, is LIVE at: www.ucalgary.ca/designinglibraries/ 

I hope you will find this year’s production inviting.  It includes some special features and more details will be forthcoming soon. 


H. Thomas Hickerson
Vice Provost and University Librarian
University of Calgary

Videos: Mining Licensed Content & Proactive Chat

New videos from CNI’s April membership meeting are now available:

Expensive electronic licensed content promises easy access to vast quantities of digitized material, but its use is restricted by both copyright and licensing agreements. Text and Data-Mining on Licensed Collections includes a discussion and demonstration of Robots Reading Vogue, a project of the Yale University Library DHLab, which is an effort to build digital humanities tools on top of a restricted archive, allowing exploration and experimentation on 400,000 pages of Vogue magazine while still respecting copyright.

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/166401139
YouTube: https://youtu.be/I5CjfMsKBM4

At a time when many libraries continue to experience low reference activity, the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries have seen a 489% increase in chat usage from 2013 (4,600 questions) to 2015 (27,000 questions), after implementing Zopim, a proactive, context-sensitive chat system. Transformational Online Reference with a Proactive, Context-sensitive Chat System: Using Triggers to Encourage Patrons to Ask Questions provides information about the configuration and management of the system and the changes in chat staffing to support the high-demand service.

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/166403201
YouTube: https://youtu.be/P27-3z3cCA0

To see all videos produced by CNI, visit our video channels on YouTube (www.youtube.com/cnivideo) and Vimeo (vimeo.com/channels/cni).

Last updated:  Friday, February 1st, 2013