A Guide to the Spring 2017 Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Spring 2017 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 3 and 4, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at CNI member institutions, and highlight important national and international developments. Here is the customary “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 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, April 3. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, April 4, 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 7:15 PM on the evening of Monday, April 3, after which participants can enjoy an evening in Albuquerque.
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 website, www.cni.org, and on the announcements board near the registration desk at the meeting. Information about wireless access in the meeting room areas will be available in your packets and at the registration table. In addition, we will be running the mobile-friendly web app Sched to facilitate online access to the meeting schedule; Sched will be available from the meeting website, and information about it will be emailed to registrants and available at the meeting registration desk. And we’ll still have printed programs available for all, of course.
The Plenary Sessions
We have two wonderful plenary sessions lined up. Both are tied very closely to the ongoing programmatic interests of CNI and its members.
Our opening plenary speaker will be Alison Head, Executive Director and Principal Investigator of Project Information Literacy (PIL). Currently Alison is also a Research Affiliate at the metaLAB (at) Harvard and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s University Libraries.
Since 2008, PIL has been asking probing and perceptive questions about how today’s college students are accessing and using information in their studies, their everyday lives, and their first work experiences after graduation. PIL employs a project team to gather data from students in over 60 higher education institutions of all types and has published nine open access research reports on their findings. The analyses they produce have gained wide recognition for the insights they provide into use of information by students and new graduates. For example, a report published in 2016 concluded that new college graduates believe that they have good competencies for evaluating information, but that they were weak in their ability to formulate and ask their own questions. This has implications for information professionals and for higher education faculty in general. PIL has also provided insights into students’ use of library space and library space planning efforts. For their most recent student survey, Alison and her team published an open access data set, code book, survey instrument, and user guide along with the report of their study.
I think that Alison will give you a new perspective on today’s students. Also, the thing I love about Alison’s work is that she asks questions not just about how to help students succeed at being students, but how to help students thrive in their lives after they leave the academy; this is something that we don’t think nearly enough about.
I’m delighted that Amy Brand, the Director of the MIT Press, will be giving the closing plenary at the meeting. Amy has had an extensive, very diverse career in academia and scholarly communication, and thus brings a wide perspective on roles and opportunities for university presses within a very broad context. In addition, the MIT Libraries last year released a bold new vision for their future role; the MIT press will play an important part in this, so her comments are particularly timely.
MIT Press is a thriving, dynamic and innovative leader of long standing in the university press world, both in terms of what they publish and how they approach the processes of publishing. Amy has told me she will share some of her thinking about the future of the monograph, the role of open access, the challenges of discovery and preservation in a digital world, and much more.
You can find biographies of the speakers, and their abstracts, at https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2017/plenary-sessions-s17.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I will not attempt a comprehensive summary of breakout sessions here; we offer a great wealth and diversity of material. However, I want to note, particularly, some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2016-2017 Program Plan and also 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. I do realize that choosing among so many interesting concurrent sessions can be frustrating, and as always we will try to put material from the breakout sessions on our website following the meeting.
Our meeting will include the first rollout of the results from the new Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2016, presented by Roger Schonfeld. This survey measures academic library deans and directors’ views on strategies to support research, teaching, and learning and compares the responses with the results of their Faculty Survey 2015, as well as older survey data. The session will include opportunities for discussion on the implications of the survey.
We will have sessions highlighting some hot topics in the policy arena. Many researchers are concerned about the potential loss of access to important data collected and curated by US federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and have begun a project, in conjunction with libraries, to develop a “data refuge;” we will hear from some of the participants in this initiative. Krista Cox from the Association of Research Libraries’ public policy initiative along with Alan Inouye of the American Library Association’s Washington Office will present a session Direct from the Swamp in which they’ll discuss the latest implications of the new administration and Congress for libraries and higher education. We will have a session on protecting researcher privacy in the surveillance era and another on strategies for assisting students in identifying fake news.
We will have a particularly strong emphasis at this meeting on the topic of new strategies and approaches for institutional repositories (IR) and institutional collections of digital objects. Prior to the opening of the membership meeting, we will hold two rounds of a limited attendance Executive Roundtable on the topic Rethinking Institutional Repository Strategies. We had to turn away many institutions that wished to participate due to space constraints and I will be providing a summary of the roundtables in a project briefing session. After the meeting, we will also produce the usual written report on the roundtables.
In addition, you will find an array of approaches to the evolving nature of repositories in these sessions:
• Representatives from Duke and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will describe their different approaches to repositories and their strategies for how they will evolve on their campuses.
• The University of Michigan will discuss successes and concerns with their IR, now 10 years old, and their plans to merge their original IR and their data services version on a new platform.
• The University of British Columbia will discuss how they chose not to consolidate their repositories but to develop a better discovery and delivery service for their repositories.
• The University of New Mexico and the University of Wyoming will describe their efforts to build services on top of their IR software.
• A representative from bepress will discuss the ways in which some institutions are integrating their repository into the core goals and activities of their college or university.
• DSpace will provide their latest information on the next phase of their user interface.
• We will have a discussion of the ongoing problem of sustaining open source software, in this case focusing on repository software.
Many CNI member institutions are developing a range of capabilities and organizational strategies related to research data management (including strategies for dealing with big data and services addressing data curation, data discovery, and the support for new scholarly practices (e-research). We also have a number of sessions that will focus on a variety of services for researchers. The University of California, San Diego will describe how its use of SHARE allowed it to streamline its capability to provide discoverability and access to data sets created or hosted on campus but not housed in the library’s repository.
Additional sessions on data and research services include:
• A panel from the University of Rhode Island describing how the library became the umbrella entity for big data and data science at their institution.
• A discussion of a new incentive infrastructure for the sharing of data and other research outputs to change research culture and practice.
• A study at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign of attitudes and practices regarding data management and sharing of biomedical and bioengineering researcher.
• An update from Tom Hickerson of the University of Calgary on their initiative to identify new forms of support for multidisciplinary research needs of their faculty.
• A program at the University of Oklahoma to offer Software Carpentry workshops to faculty so that they can develop basic programming skills and good software practices that will help them automate and track their research processes.
• A session on the University of Waterloo’s bibliometrics and research impact program.
• A combined session that will feature California Digital Library’s program to make data count by promoting usage and impact tracking along with the University of New Mexico and the University of Montana’s work on comparing DSpace log and Google Analytics data in regards to tracking use of items in institutional repositories. This kind of usage data is very important, but surprisingly tricky to capture accurately in practice.
A number of sessions will focus on researchers in the digital humanities, including a report on the Ithaka S+R studies of scholarly practices in history, art history and most recently (2017) religious studies. The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library and the Claremont University Consortium will discuss their digital scholarship centers and services, focusing on humanities and other disciplines. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will provide information on training students to support digital scholarship in their libraries. Representatives from Johns Hopkins and University College London will give an update on their project developing a linked data approach for humanities data. Other sessions will focus on developments in infrastructure and curation for a variety of digital objects in the humanities, including two sessions on the emerging challenges of 3-D cultural objects—paleontological collections at the University of Wyoming and artifacts and other complex data related to archaeological work at several campuses of the University of California. Two sessions from UCLA will explore the ongoing development of their digital ephemera project, emphasizing global cultural heritage partnerships, and a second initiative enabling the publication of online spectral image datasets of medieval manuscripts with two layers of textual materials (palimpsests).
Developing systems to manage faculty research are taking a variety of forms, and a session on research information management (RIM) systems will include speakers from OCLC Research, Duke University, and the University of Arizona. A session by Crossref will examine how open identifier and metadata infrastructures can help streamline increased reporting requirements faced by academic researchers.
Several sessions will examine identity and identity management issues, including Montana State University’s look at Semantic Web Identify in relation to academic organizations and concepts, a session by Elsevier following up on publisher efforts to improve authentication and authorization, and an update on the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) project by the US National Archives and Daniel Pitti from the University of Virginia, which is now moved into a large-scale pilot phase.
We have a very strong set of sessions on various aspects of digital preservation, a topic of great interest to our members. We’ll learn about a new initiative supported by The Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Digital Preservation Coalition to look at strategies for preserving email. Herbert Van de Sompel and Martin Klein of Los Alamos National Laboratory along with Michael Nelson of Old Dominion University will describe their project to explore how scholarly artifacts outside of the established publishing system can be archived.
Other sessions on digital preservation include:
• Preserving Digital Content at Scale, where presenters from Northwestern, Penn State, University of Wisconsin, York University, and the Digital Preservation Network (DPN) will describe data and metadata migration challenges and strategies.
• Virtual Reality in the Trenches, which will describe the University of Oklahoma’s strategies and development of best practices for data curation of virtual reality and 3-D digital assets. This is a significant problem that has received little examination.
• Developing Library Technology Infrastructure, which will combine reports from the University of New Mexico and Libnova on their digital preservation initiative along with Dartmouth’s work on curating XML collections and digital archive storage.
• Digital Preservation in Production, which will provide an update on DPN and DuraCloud Vault after its first operational year.
• Perma.cc: Ensuring the Integrity of the Digital Scholarly Record, describing a system for archiving web pages, originally developed for the legal community but now expanding into broader academic use.
A selection of project briefings addresses a variety of themes regarding platforms, tools, and services. We’ll hear an update on FOLIO, OLE, and the Open Library Federation. We’ll also learn about the use of linked data for heritage science and related disciplines in a session from Library of Congress. Jeffrey Spies of the Center for Open Science will explore data integrity and what librarians and archivists can learn from Bitcoin, BitTorrent, and Usenet.
We will have some sessions that describe new services, spaces, and new ways of working with faculty and students. CNI’s Joan Lippincott will co-present with Martin Halbert of the University of North Texas and Liz Milewicz of Duke University in a session examining the opportunities and challenges of new types of spaces in libraries, including information/learning commons, digital scholarship centers, and makerspaces. I am very pleased that Jenn Stringer of the University of California, Berkeley will present the IMS Global’s draft of Learning Data and Analytics Key Principles (strongly influenced by some excellent work done at the University of California) and will solicit reactions from the CNI audience; I believe that the ethics, governance, and policies in this area are a massive issue that needs to be much better understood. We’ll learn about an Ohio State University partnership program, the Affordable Learning Exchange, in which the library is involved in a series of faculty grants that have resulted in saving students nearly $1 million. Rice University, a long-time leader in open educational resources (OER), will update us on recent developments and provide suggestions for successful programs at other institutions. In another Rice University presentation, we will learn about how they are using student fellows to research topics related to library priorities. A session on advancing accessibility will feature three initiatives advancing progress in that area. At the University of Connecticut, the library is examining how they may participate in creating new types of scholarly products, working closely with faculty researchers. A session that promises to be thought provoking will examine new types of conversational interfaces for information systems in which the user may not be able to tell whether the entity with which they are conversing is human or a web robot or bot.
Finally, MIT recently released its Task Force on the Future of Libraries preliminary report, which envisions the library as a global entity for a global university. CNI attendees are invited to learn more and to become involved in a discussion about how to collaboratively achieve new kinds of goals for libraries. This conversation will be a nice complement to Amy Brand’s closing address.
A complete list of breakout session abstracts will be added soon on the CNI website. In many cases you will find these descriptions include pointers to web resources that you may find useful to explore prior to the session, and after the meeting we will add materials from the actual presentations as they are available to us. We will be recording the plenary sessions and a few breakout sessions and capture some additional ones using voice over visuals. All these videos will be made available in the weeks following the meeting. There will be a list of the breakouts we plan to capture at the registration table, but please keep in mind that these session captures do not include the discussion part of the breakout, and that we occasionally have problems with the captures. There’s no substitute for being there in person!
You can follow the meeting on Twitter by using the hashtag #cni17s.
I look forward to seeing you in Albuquerque, a new venue for the CNI 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.
Coalition for Networked Information