A Guide to the Fall 2023
Coalition for Networked Information
The Fall 2023 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, on Dec. 11–12, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at member institutions, and highlight national and international developments. Here is the “roadmap” to the meeting, which includes both plenary events and an extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current issues in digital information. As always, we have strived to present sessions that reflect late-breaking developments and also take advantage of our venue in the Washington, DC area to provide opportunities to interact with policymakers and funders, including the popular regular fall session “Update from Funders: Priorities and Trends,” which features panelists from several federal agencies. We are delighted that the prospect of a Federal Government shutdown that might complicate participation in some of our sessions seems to be off the table for December.
It has been wonderful to see so many new faces (as well as familiar ones!) at our in-person meetings recently. On behalf of the entire organization, I extend a warm welcome to all those attending CNI for the first time, and I hope that long-time attendees will help to make them welcome. On Monday, Dec. 11, an optional, first-time-attendee introduction and information session at 11:15 will precede the CNI meeting proper. Light refreshments will be available for all beginning at noon; the opening plenary is at 1:00 pm, followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. The day’s presentations will end with a stand-alone, lightning round session immediately preceding our signature evening reception that will run until 7:30 pm, where we encourage you to follow up with lightning round presenters and connect with old and new colleagues. After the reception, attendees can enjoy a wide range of nearby dining options in Washington, DC.
Tuesday, Dec. 12, begins with a few optional discussion tables on a defined topic over breakfast, most (if not all) of which will be lightly facilitated; this program is still new to CNI, first piloted at last spring’s meeting, and we’re still experimenting with different models. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your patience as we experiment. At this meeting, we’re planning about 10 or so of these tables, most with different topics, but rest assured there will still be ample space in the breakfast area for those who prefer unstructured dining and social opportunities. After breakfast, the meeting continues with five additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, a sit-down lunch (provided), and the closing plenary, concluding around 3:30 pm. Like last year, we include generous break time for informal networking with colleagues.
The schedule includes leisurely pacing with increased transition time between sessions, a modest number of parallel sessions, and professional recording of all sessions (unless otherwise requested by presenters) for subsequent public availability. Please continue to keep in mind that many of the project briefings that would have been part of the meeting pre-pandemic are now offered as part of our quarterly edition of video project briefings instead (see https://www.cni.org/resources/pbvs for more about CNI’s Pre-Recorded Project Briefing Series).
Project briefing rounds will be 30, 45, or 60 minutes in duration. The lightning round will be comprised of brief presentations on new or ongoing projects or programs, plus we’ll have a quick roundup of some of the breakfast table topics. Our goal is to provide you with more opportunities to learn about work that impacts the community while maintaining a comfortable meeting pace and structure. The breakfast discussion tables are intended to give attendees an opportunity to engage with each other on issues for which there is strong community interest and/or to learn more about initiatives we believe to be of value. We expect breakfast table discussions to be relatively unstructured, the role of the facilitator to be fairly casual, and that participants will come and go. The meeting agenda contains some of the discussion topics and names of facilitators but more may be added; tables will be designated by topic in the breakfast dining area. Please share your feedback about this pilot (and any other aspect of the event); after the meeting, we’ll send out an evaluation to ask about your views.
The CNI meeting program is subject to last-minute changes—keep in mind that it’s winter, and weather (and hence travel conditions) may be unpredictable, and also don’t rule out a late-breaking addition to the line-up. You can find the most current information, including schedule details, on the event Sched (https://cnifall23mtg.sched.com/) or the CNI website (cni.org). At the meeting, we’ll also have a physical message board near registration that will include any last-minute changes.
The Plenary Sessions
As is now traditional, I have reserved the opening plenary of our fall meeting for an update. During this session, scheduled to start at 1:00 pm on Monday, Dec. 11, I want to look at recent key developments and trends in the networked information and research landscapes—I hope that I’ll provide you with some fresh perspectives and thinking here. With this as context, I will discuss the evolution of CNI’s programs, strategies, and plans for the future. I look forward to sharing CNI’s continually evolving strategy and details about initiatives for the next program year. There’s so much to talk about. The opening plenary will include time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.
We have a great line-up of panelists for the closing plenary, including Rachael Samberg (UC Berkeley), Heather Sardis (MIT), and Richard Sever (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press). I will moderate the discussion. We’ll be looking at issues surrounding the visions, strategies, and goals of open scholarship and open access as they encounter the desires of various parties to use the scholarly literature as training data for machine learning (ML) systems, including large language models (LLMs) and generative artificial intelligence (AI) applications driven by these systems. You can find more about the session, including information about the panelists, on the meeting website (https://www.cni.org/mm/fall-2023/plenary-sessions-f23).
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
We offer a great abundance and diversity of material, and I want to provide some additional context that may be helpful. We’ve requested that presenters share their slide decks with us to put on our website following the meeting, and we expect to make recordings of most, if not all, sessions publicly available on our YouTube and Vimeo channels after the meeting; we hope you will share these resources widely with your communities. Hopefully, this will make choosing among concurrent in-person sessions less difficult.
Fostering collaborations and partnerships is central to CNI’s mission, and these sessions in particular will highlight various aspects of high-level inter- and intra-organizational networking at scale:
- “Duke University’s Research Support Initiative: Assessment, Recommendations, and Implementation”
- “Models for Sustainable and Inclusive Data Science Consulting and Collaboration in Higher Education”
- “Partnerships in Research and Data Services: High Performance Computing, Collocation, and Facilitation”
- “University of California, San Diego Library and Göttingen State and University Library: Update on a Long-Term Collaboration”
- “The Ecosystem for Research Networking (ERN): Exploring Democratized Access to Research Instruments”
- “Research Data Alliance US (RDA-US) Pilots the Targeted International working GRoups: US (TIGRUS) Program”
Several breakouts will discuss emerging technologies, most notably a variety of issues related to AI, including the session “GPT Tools That Provide Source Information,” which will focus on tools that provide source and citation data, unlike some of the more popular (and infamous) generative AI tools that are prone to invent both facts and sources (or “hallucinate” to use the polite term) and are notoriously incompetent at providing sources for their claims.
A team from MIT will explore how, if properly leveraged, generative AI could enhance public trust in the session “Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Research Integrity.” In “Navigating the Artificial Intelligence-Driven Academic Frontier: Tools and Initiatives,” presenters from four different institutions will discuss AI-based tools and services that have been implemented on their campuses. We’ll also hear about using ML to extract references to underlying data from journal articles and preprints, without the need to rely upon structured data citations, in “A Radical New Approach to Data Citation: Cook the Carrots, Burn the Sticks,” as part of a broader re-thinking of how to map the impact of data sharing.
The central theme of digital scholarship will be explored anew at this meeting, including an update to last spring’s plenary panel on the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Commission on Fostering and Sustaining Diverse Digital Scholarship (the spring 2023 plenary is available here: https://youtu.be/o5ksWSmxKa4). “Legal Literacies for Text Data Mining – Cross-Border (LLTDM-X)” will discuss the legal and ethical issues involved in cross-border text data mining (TDM) research and strategies to reduce barriers to domestic and cross-border TDM research.
Several briefings will focus on issues related to scholarly communication, public or open access, and publishing:
- “The Federal Year of Open Science”
- “The National Science Foundation Public Access Initiative, Projects Funded, and Catalytic Aims of the Program”
- “Open Book Collective: Collective Paths Toward an Open and Sustainable Ecosystem for Monographs”
Jefferson Bailey (Internet Archive) and Gaëlle Béquet (ISSN International Centre) will discuss the digital preservation challenge of ensuring persistent accessibility of open access scholarship, especially of at-risk scholarly publications. We’ll hear from ITHAKA about the outcomes of a three-year pilot to test whether the infrastructure created to support JSTOR and Portico could provide more cost-effective and impactful access to and preservation of special collections. “Researcher and Institutional Impact of Data Management and Sharing Policies” will discuss the Realities of Academic Data Sharing (RADS) Initiative and how data management and sharing policies among federal agencies in the US and Canada have impacted the research practices of funded researchers and the services and infrastructure provided by institutions.
The need for secure environments to analyze datasets containing sensitive information, such as patient health data, is posing an enormous challenge across our community, and I’m hearing more and more institutions struggling with solutions in this area. I’m really pleased that Sarah Ben Maamar of Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) will be with us to describe the secure computational data enclave WCM has set up in response to their researchers’ needs.
From Tom Cramer (Stanford) and Simeon Warner (Cornell), we’ll hear about efforts to establish a shared BIBFRAME data store to advance linked data for libraries at scale.
In “To Increase or Decrease Capacity: The What, How, and Why of 21st Century Library Skill Development,” two library deans will discuss their perspectives on managing organizational development in today’s challenging staffing environment and their experiences pursuing alignment with institutional goals.
Finally, we expect the lightning round will include these talks:
- “Cyberinfrastructure to Support the Scalable Exchange of Sensitive and Proprietary Usage and Impact Metrics Across Public and Private Stakeholders” (Christina Drummond, University of North Texas)
- “LEADING Next Steps: Evaluating the Sustainability and Impact of Post-graduate Professional Development and Mentorship Programs” (Erik Mitchell, University of California, San Diego)
- “Ecosystem for Next Generation Infrastructure (ENGIN)” (Sayeed Choudhury, Carnegie Mellon University)
- “The Research Data Support Landscape: Findings from a National Inventory of University Services” (Dylan Ruediger, Ithaka S+R)
- “The Stacks Platform: A System for Onsite Access to Rights Restricted Digital Content at the Library of Congress” (Trevor Owens, Library of Congress)
- “Unexpected Opportunities Illuminated by Yale’s LUX Project” (Robert Sanderson, Yale University)
- “LIBER – Association of European Research Libraries” (Julien Roche, LIBER)
- a brief overview of some breakfast discussion tables by facilitators
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts on the CNI website: https://www.cni.org/mm/fall-2023. In many cases, you will find pointers to reference material that may be useful to explore prior to the session. After the meeting, we will add material from the actual presentations, including video recordings, if and when they are available.
On behalf of the CNI team, I look forward to welcoming you to Washington, DC, for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (email@example.com) or Assistant Executive Director Diane Goldenberg-Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information