A Guide to the Fall 2016 Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Fall 2016 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC on December 12 and 13, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at member institutions, and highlight important 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 developments 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 policy makers and funders.
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 and presenters are also welcome. Light refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, December 12. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, December 15, includes four additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, lunch and the closing plenary, concluding around 3:45 PM. At this meeting, we are experimenting with some breakout sessions of different duration, including half-hour sessions, allowing us to add one more round and provide you with more opportunities to learn about new initiatives. Some of the hour-long sessions are actually pairs of these half-hour sessions that are thematically related. 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 Monday evening, December 12, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in Washington.
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, cni.org, and on the announcements board near the registration desk at the meeting.
We expect to have free wireless access available throughout the meeting; those staying in the CNI hotel room block at the Hilton should also have free wireless access in their rooms. Details will be available at registration.
During the opening plenary, scheduled to start at 1:15 PM on Monday, I want to look at recent developments and the ways in which the landscape is changing and outlining some key developments I expect to see in the coming years. As part of this, I’ll discuss progress on the Coalition’s agenda, and highlight selected initiatives from the 2016-2017 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition’s website, cni.org, in early December). I look forward to sharing the Coalition’s continually evolving strategy with you, as well as discussing recent events and current issues. The opening plenary will include time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.
Due to the special presentation that will be part of the closing plenary, the length of our meeting has been extended slightly, and our closing time on Tuesday will be about 3:45 PM rather that the usual 3:30 PM.
Our closing plenary speaker on Tuesday afternoon will be the renowned computer and information scientist Ben Shneiderman, a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. Ben has published many important books over the years; a particular favorite of mine is the 2002 book Leonardo’s Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies. Most recently, Ben has been focusing on the changing nature of the research process itself, and what will be needed to meet the challenges of the present century. Last year he produced an absolutely wonderful book titled The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations, which I’ll simply say should be required reading for anyone engaged in any aspect of the research enterprise. He will speak to these issues in his presentation.
Ben has also generously agreed to autograph copies of his book if you bring them with you.
In addition to our closing plenary, we will have a special shorter briefing from Dr. Robert Kahn, the long-time president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). For most of the CNI community, Bob needs no introduction; he is known throughout the world for his central role in the creation of the Internet and as co-creator, with Vint Cerf, of the TCP/IP protocol. But he has made a vast number of other high-impact and often prescient contributions; one that has proved quite vital to the CNI community is his work in creating the Digital Object Identifier System (DOI). In fact, the DOI is only one part of a much broader Digital Object Architecture that Bob has been developing over the past several decades. In his presentation, which will precede Ben’s plenary, he will review these developments and bring us up to date on this important work. Bob has been a friend of CNI since it’s founding, and I look forward to welcoming him back to our meeting.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I will not attempt to comprehensively summarize the wealth of breakout sessions here. However, I want to note particularly some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2016-2017 Program Plan, as well as many other sessions of special interest or importance, and to provide some additional context that may be helpful to attendees in making choices. We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and, as always, will try to put material from these sessions on our website following the meeting for those who were unable to attend. We will also be capturing a few sessions for later distribution, some using traditional video capture and some using a voice over visuals capture system.
I am pleased to announce that Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and a recipient of CNI’s Paul Evan Peters Award, will share his vision about creating collaborative digital library collections along with colleagues. In another timely briefing that includes representatives from the Internet Archive along with staff from the Library of Congress and the University of North Texas, we will learn about how the teams are approaching identifying and selecting content for the archive that provides a snapshot of the federal government web at the end of President Barack Obama’s term.
We have a particularly strong set of breakouts on many aspects of digital preservation and curation, including from national strategies in a report from the UK, Canada, and the US and a session on implementing a new electronic records archive at the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). A panel with representatives from the Digital Preservation Network, the Texas Digital Library, Academic Preservation Trust, DuraSpace, HathiTrust, Chronopolis, and MetaArchive will explore the current digital preservation ecosystem.
Other sessions on preservation and curation include:
• Building Tools and Services to Support Research Software Preservation and Sharing, an especially important topic for the actual reuse of large data sets in e-science and digital scholarship.
• Weaving Together Preservation and Active Research, a project whereby Johns Hopkins University and the University of Notre Dame are working within the Open Science Framework (OSF) to integrate preservation into research workflows.
• A Story of Preprints and Curation Networks, describing scholar/librarian partnerships involving SocArXiv (a new preprint archive) and SHARE. Curation associates are involved in providing stewardship for the preprint repository.
• An update on the widely deployed LOCKSS project: Lots of LOCKSS Keeping Stuff Safe.
• Documenting the Now, which will discuss supporting scholarly use and preservation of social media content.
• A survey of preservation approaches from the Fedora community.
• Assessing Training for Digital Stewardship, which will report on assessments of four National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) programs and present a tool for examining competencies for components of digital stewardship.
A concern related to digital preservation is the fact that many scholarly articles link to website materials, and those items are particularly vulnerable to reference rot, the combination of link rot and content drift. This is a breakdown of a vital component (referencing) of the scholarly communication system. The always popular Martin Klein and Herbert Van de Sompel of Los Alamos National Laboratory will report on a proposed approach to address this problem.
A core area of CNI’s program has highlighted innovations in repositories of various types. We will have an update on the University of Florida’s program to expand their institutional repository services to facilitate compliance and access to products of publicly funded research; they are working with Elsevier and the Clearinghouse for Open Research of the US (CHORUS) along with some additional universities, research institutions, government labs and publishers in the next phase of the project. We will look at future directions and strategies for the pioneering arXiv repository, which is now 25 years old. Assessing Institutional Repositories, a combined session, will look at approaches by George Washington University and the University of Minnesota, along with a report on undercounting file downloads from institutional repositories by Montana State University. Another session will describe national and international initiatives to build data repositories, that also include other materials, pertaining to archaeological research.
In a session focusing on Islandora, we will learn about the progress of the Islandora community and hear the details of a specific project, developed at the University of Rochester, using Islandora to exhibit a multi-media diary from their special collections.
Many CNI member institutions are developing a range of capabilities and organizational strategies related to data services, large digital libraries, and the support for new scholarly practices (e-research, digital humanities, and digital scholarship).
Additional sessions on data, large digital libraries, and e-research/scholarship include:
• Hathi Trust Research Center, which will describe the research arm of the HathiTrust Digital Library and the kinds of text analysis and data mining opportunities they offer.
• DRASTIC Measures, an open source digital repository platform for performing computation on content (typically large data resources of various kinds) by researchers from the University of Maryland. This is a very important problem that is just now beginning to get serious attention.
• Digital Humanities Collections and Technologies, where Johns Hopkins will demonstrate its humanities data library and University College Dublin will discuss using emerging technologies with a traditional cultural heritage collection.
• Using Big Data, Asking Big Questions, exploring the results of a National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress data challenge to researchers devised to demonstrate the research possibilities of the Chronicling American Historic American Newspapers collection.
• Another session on newspapers will focus on using software such as that produced through the Open Online Newspaper Initiative (Open ONI) and the adoption of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to improve user experience with these collections of local resources.
• From Primary Resources to a Foundation for Programming, describing how a University of Texas Arlington collection of materials on the topic of disability has evolved from primary source material to the basis for a rich set of programs and exhibits.
Two projects employing crowdsourcing for special collections materials, one at the University of California, Davis and one at Yale, will look at trends and outcomes of institutional projects, one for wine labels and one for documents on theater history.
Four sessions will focus on new types of researcher practice and services to support them. CNI was invited to partner with the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) on a working group to develop a paper on supporting digital humanities; the co-leaders, Joan Lippincott of CNI and Quinn Dombrowski of the University of California, Berkeley, will provide a report on findings. Columbia University will examine what model will support a digital initiative initially developed by a faculty member that assumes greater importance and requires more resources. A session with representatives from Stanford, IIIF, and the University of Toronto will look at tools for digitized manuscripts. North Carolina State University will describe the “scholar’s backpack” that uses virtual environments to support research along with an examination of research sharing tools by University of Rhode Island faculty. The University of Illinois will provide an overview of its Research IT program. Georgia State will describe expanded research data services in a combined session with the University of Virginia discussing its integration of research data services in campus-wide research networks. Northwestern and Indiana universities will report on their study of scholarly use of audio and video collections by researchers in multiple disciplines in a combined session with Dartmouth, which is applying some tools to a collection of educational films in order to generate annotations that can be attached to each film.
Scholars@Cornell will describe a data and visualization service whose goal is improving the visibility of Cornell research offering insights into the patterns and structures of scholarly collaboration.
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) will report on its recent paper recommending practices for altmetrics.
Representatives from presses at Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, and New York University will describe developments in digital long form publishing that leverage the affordances of the digital environment. A session with representatives from the University of Michigan, Emory University, and JSTOR explores the evolution of the digital monograph.
We know our members are always interested in understanding funding opportunities for digital projects, and we will have a session with panelists from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) describing their latest grant programs.
The economics of scholarly publishing has been a mainstay of CNI’s program from the earliest years, and this meeting features the findings of the Pay It Forward Project, a seminal study of article processing charges and associated costs in the context of library journal budgets and publishing costs, conducted by the University of California, Davis and the California Digital Library (CDL). This updates a work-in-progress report that elicited a great deal of interest a year ago at our meeting.
CNI has also had a programmatic focus on authentication and authorization and we published a report on a survey we conducted in 2016 describing the current environment. A session will provide a very brief overview of the CNI survey as well as describe work by the STM Association and NISO, which is exploring how to improve user experience and provide greater control and analytics over network activity related to the publications of their members.
Ken Klingenstein, whose title as “Identity Evangelist” for Internet2 well describes his long career in Internet identify management, will describe the notable progress he has seen in the last year in the landscape of Internet identity.
An important project from Germany, the Deutsche Biographie, is an enhanced digital version of two highly regarded biographical dictionaries that employs encoding, authority data, and linking mechanisms in order to add value to the traditional resources. I think that this is a noteworthy development that serves as a potential model for other similar work, and I welcome our colleagues from Germany to CNI as they share it with us.
Discovery, interoperability, and linked data are topics of interest to many in the CNI community. Sessions will include:
• Migrating Library Collections and Operations to Linked Data, including a roadmap for conversion at the University of California, Davis combined with a briefing on using linked data to better connect special collections to the web at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
• Open Platform, describing an open source discovery layer and enhanced discovery with open linked data in the Alma and Primo systems by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
• A session by presenters from the Getty on The Provenance of Madame Bonnier that will look at linked open data and intra-institutional collaboration. The Getty, as some of you know, has been a pioneer in making scholarly content available as linked open data.
LYRASIS, the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard will discuss CollectionSpace. Funded by The Andrew Mellon Foundation, this open-source platform is being developed and deployed to manage object collections of many types in a cohesive way.
Libraries and university museums often have similar issues related to collection description, discovery and management, but their solutions have developed historically along different paths. This year the University of Miami hosted (and CNI helped co-convene) “The Academic Art Museum and Library Summit” that has produced a report on potential avenues of collaboration between an institution’s library and museum; findings will be shared in this session. In a briefing by Oxford University, we will learn about their program to improve discovery of and access to a wide range of digital assets including garden, museum and library collections, open educational resources, and research outputs and data.
Explorations of how organizations are developing new services and engaging communities are also key components of CNI’s program. We will have a panel with presenters from the University of Rhode Island, Virginia Tech, the University of Oklahoma, and O’Reilly Media, in which they will describe approaches to makerspaces, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. Another session will focus on virtual reality at the University of Oklahoma. A program at Northwestern is using gaming platforms to foster student engagement with the university’s One Book program and other activities. Offering services that depend on emerging technologies requires a staff that is able to work with the user community and develop programming around the tools. In presentations by the Claremont Colleges and the University of Pennsylvania, in a joint session, we will learn about staff development efforts in two libraries. In addition, new types of spaces are often needed to support these programs. In Spaces for Learning and Scholarship, we will learn about new spaces and their associated programs at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan.
Gardner Campbell of Virginia Commonwealth University, along with Christina Engelbart of the Doug Engelbart Institute (the late Doug Engelbart is credited with the development of the computer mouse, hypertext, and many other important breakthroughs) will describe a massive open online course (MOOC) that focused on thought vectors, a phrase coined by Engelbart to describe collaborative inquiry and problem-solving among knowledge workers.
Malcolm Brown of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and Megan Oakleaf of Syracuse University will lead what promises to be a lively discussion about how libraries might investigate the potential of participating in institutional learning analytics programs.
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts, to be added soon, on the CNI website. In many cases you will find these abstracts include pointers to reference material that you may find useful to explore prior to the session, and after the meeting we will add material from the actual presentations, including selected video recordings, when they become available to us. You can also follow the meeting via Twitter, using the hashtag #cni16f.
I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC 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 we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information