US National Strategic Computing Initiative

Last week, the Obama administration issued an executive order creating a National Strategic Computing Initiative to “maximize the benefits of high-performance computing research, development and deployment”. The executive order, which is not lengthy, is well worth reading; it both establishes a series of  objectives and defines roles and responsibilities among a large number of government agencies involved in the program.

The executive order is here:

And there is also a blog post from Tom Kalil and Jason Miller providing additional context here:

One point I found particularly interesting. While the “objectives” section of the order speaks, as one might expect, of exascale computing systems, it also specifically identifies as an objective “Increasing coherence beween the technology base used for modelling and simulation and that used for data analytic computing.” This is a disconnect that has been growing increasingly evident with the rise of”big data” and “data analytics” in recent years.

Clifford Lynch

Director, CNI

Jisc work on learning analytics code of practice

In the UK, the Jisc has been doing some great work on learning analytics that doesn’t seem to have gotten wide visibility beyond the UK yet; I wanted to particularly share their “Code of Practice for Learning Analytics” which addresses privacy and other ethical issues involved in the deployment of learning analytics. While of course some of this work is adapted for specific UK legal requirements, the broader principles are highly relevant. See

There’s also a very helpful literature review that they developed as part of the effort, which is at:

For a broad overview of Jisc’s work in the learning analytics area, and pointers to other material, see

Clifford Lynch

Director, CNI

Designing Libraries IV Program and Speakers Available

The program and list of speakers are now available for the 4th Designing Libraries for the 21st Century Conference, which will be held at the James B. Hunt Library in Raleigh, NC on September 20-22, 2015.  North Carolina State University Libraries will host the conference, and CNI is very pleased to be a co-sponsor along with the University of Calgary. We have a stimulating program planned and attendees will be able to tour the Hunt and Hill Libraries at NCSU. I encourage you to visit the conference website at for registration and additional information.

We are nearing the maximum number of attendees we can accommodate so if you are interested, I urge you to register as soon as possible. We will have a waiting list when the registration numbers have exceeded capacity.

–Joan Lippincott, CNI

4th Designing Libraries Conference Registration

NMC Survey on Online Professional Development Needs

The New Media Consortium (NMC) was recently awarded a planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. For this Collaborative Planning Grant, the NMC is to assess the need for online professional development for academic and research library professionals. The goal is to identify sector-wide needs for in-service training for academic and research libraries that could be met with with high-quality online offerings. If the need is clear, the next steps are to develop a plan to deliver such training, and seek funding to design curricula and approaches that can be delivered to participants in any US academic or research library for free. CNI is actively involved in this work.

We hope that you will lend your perspectives to this survey and give us feedback about your professional development needs. The survey is available at

We encourage you to complete the survey whether you personally have needs for professional development or whether you can identify needs for your professional staff if you are a library administrator.

Please complete the survey by Friday, August 14.

If you would prefer to review the survey questions in a separate document before diving into the official survey here online, please view this link:

We estimate that it will take about 20-25 minutes to complete this survey.


Joan Lippincott, CNI

Personal Digital Archiving 2015 Videos and Presentations

Personal Digital Archiving 2015 was held in New York City April 24-25, 2015. The presentations from this meeting are now available at the conference web site, where they are linked to the individual day agendas, at

Video from the sessions can be found at the Internet Archive, at

CNI was delighted to serve as a collaborating organization for this latest in the series of Personal Digital Archiving Conferences, and we hope to continue to do so in future; I’ll share a hold the date message for the 2016 meeting when that information is available.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

"Making Sense of the Science of Cities" report on Urban Informatics Centers

For the last few years, I have been tracking the growth of an exciting series multi-disciplinary research programs at some of our member organizations (and a number of other institutions) dealing with what I’ll call for want of a better term “Urban Informatics.” This deals both with the design of smart cities through information technologies (and other developments such as new lighting and power systems that integrate with information systems), and the use of telemetry from various systems that can be used to better understand and to improve urban life. The particular range of disciplines and balance between design and analysis varies widely from institution.

The Cities of Data project (see, which as I understand it is part of the overall Data and Society program (see has just issued a very useful report surveying these developments titled “Making Sense of the Science of Cities” which is available at:

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Video from Radcliffe Institute "University as Collector" Conference

On April 24, 2015 Harvard hosted a very interesting conference titled “University as Collector” at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (which, sadly, I was unable to attend personally). Video recordings for all of the sessions at this meeting are now available at:

There are some fascinating materials here about ways in which various “collections” (in the broadest sense, certainly including but going beyond library or museum materials) amassed by Universities over time interact with institutional missions of teaching and research and can contribute to scholarship.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Bucknell Collaborating Digitally conference – call for proposals

I’m posting this on behalf of Bucknell University, which will be hosting a digital scholarship conference. I know many of you are both interested in this topic and doing innovative work. This call for proposals encourages presentations highlighting collaboration in digital scholarship. Please see below for details.

–Joan Lippincott, CNI


Call for Proposals #BUDSC15

Bucknell University, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will host its second annual digital scholarship conference on November 6-8, 2015. The theme of the conference is “Collaborating Digitally: Engaging Students in Public Scholarship.”

This conference will bring together a broad community of practitioners–faculty, researchers, librarians, educational technologists, and students–engaged in digital scholarship in research and teaching who share a focus on public scholarship. The topic acknowledges the importance of expanding learning experiences beyond the University. Whether privileging research that is public in scope or topic, encouraging work that pursues public impact, or fostering digital literacy skills necessary to create multi-modal projects for public audiences, digital scholarship provides many avenues to consider and reconsider multiple publics.

We encourage presentations that highlight forms of collaboration: between institutions of higher education; across disciplines; between faculty, librarians, and technologists; and between faculty and students. We welcome contributions from scholars, educators, technologists, librarians, administrators, and students who use digital tools and methods, and encourage submissions from emerging and established scholar-practitioners alike, including those who are new to digital collaboration.

Presentations may take the form of interactive presentations, short papers, project demos, electronic posters, panel discussions, work-in-progress sessions, workshops, or lightning talks.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please submit a 250 word abstract including the title of your presentation, the name of your institution as well as those of presenters via EasyChair.

The deadline for proposals is August 15, 2015.

If you have questions or would like more information about the submission process, please email Emily Sherwood

Bucknell is a private liberal arts university located alongside the historic Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. At Bucknell “Digital Scholarship” is defined as any scholarly activity that makes extensive use of one or more of the new possibilities for teaching, learning and research opened up by the unique affordances of digital media. These include, but are not limited to, new forms of collaboration, new forms of publication, and new methods for visualizing and analyzing data.


Param Bedi

Vice President

Library and Information Technology

Bucknell University

(o) 570-577-1557

NHPRC Strategic Plan call for input

I wanted to share this request I recently received broadly with the CNI community. The National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) is working through a strategic planning process, and is reaching out to various groups, including the CNI community, for input and comments. The announcement that I’ve reproduced below includes information on how to submit responses to the NHPRC.

Clifford Lynch

Director, CNI


For the past 50 years the National Historical Publications and Records Commission has been awarding grants from the National Archives to projects that preserve and publish historical records. As we look to the future, we have begun the process of creating a new Strategic Plan, and we would like your help in setting a new course. We’re hoping to craft our programming to meet the current needs of the field and to best serve the American people.

After internal discussions at the National Archives and with the members of the Commission, we have drafted a preliminary set of goals, as follows:  to make access happen, to involve more citizens more directly in the work of archives, to provide leadership through the National Archives, and to change our processes to increase our reach and leverage.

We are contacting several organizations to invite their ideas and input.  I ask you to share my email and the links below with appropriate members of the CNI community and consider sending us your feedback.

You can read this draft framework for the NHPRC Strategic Plan as well as view a short presentation on the NHPRC and the draft goals we’ve put together at the following you tube presentation:

We welcome input from your organization and those you represent. There are several ways to share your thoughts:

ALL comments will be considered by the staff and the 15-member Commission. Our goal is to revise the current draft in September, so we will need your comments by September 15, 2015. 

Thanks in advance for assisting the Commission in this important undertaking. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kathleen Williams, Executive Director

Natl Historical Pubs and Records Commission (NHPRC)

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 114

Washington, DC 20408

202-357-5263 (office); 240-338-2985 (cell)

National Library of Medicine Strategic Vision

I had intended to send this out earlier, but it’s still very relevant, and I suspect that many members of the CNI community may not have had an opportunity to see the report. My apologies for the delay, and to any readers for whom this is “old news”.

In mid-June the US National Institutes of Health approved a new strategic vision report for the National Library of Medicine as part of the organization’s leadership transition following the retirement of the long-time director, Dr. Lindberg. There’s an announcement here:

and the report, which is well worth reading from a number of perspectives, including thinking about disciplinary informatics strategies for different disciplines, can also be accessed directly at:

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI

Last updated:  Friday, February 1st, 2013