A Guide to the Spring 2018
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Spring 2018 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, CA on April 12 and 13, 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 Thursday, April 12. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by four rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Friday, April 13, 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 Thursday, April 12, after which participants can enjoy an evening in San Diego.
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 is available in your packets and at the registration table. In addition, we are running the mobile-friendly web app Sched to facilitate online access to the meeting schedule; Sched is available from the meeting website (https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2018), and we’ll still have printed programs available for all.
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 speaker will be Dr. Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Executive Director. Joan has been with CNI since the earliest days and in the last decade or so has been doing a range of unique, innovative work on issues such as how to support technology-intensive scholarship at scale within our higher education institutions, the issues involved with assessment of programs and services to support teaching and research, and the very complex relationships among space, organizations, and services within the campus community. While many in the CNI community will certainly be familiar with her in-depth work, particularly those with specific interests in one or another of these areas, in her keynote, “Where All Roads Lead: Keeping the User at the Center,” she’s going to try to offer a synthesis of developments and future prospects and priorities that I believe will be tremendously valuable to the broader community.
I’m delighted that Larry Smarr, the Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), will be giving the closing plenary at the meeting. I’ve followed Larry’s work for some 30 years; he has been one of the great drivers behind the development of high performance computing and communications networks and cyberinfrastructure to support research for three decades. He has an uncanny ability to identify important developments on the horizon and also to place them in historical context. Most recently he has been spending a great deal of time on the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), which offers a look into the next-generation computational environment that will yet again transfigure science and scholarship; he will be discussing the PRP in his keynote, “Towards a High-Performance National Research Platform Enabling Digital Research.”
Larry is also stunningly versatile, with an amazing range of interests. The March 2018 issue of The Atlantic includes a discussion of his work in taking control of his personal health using cutting-edge technology (medically squeamish readers are cautioned): https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/larry-smarr-the-man-who-saw-inside-himself/550883/.
You can find biographies of the speakers, and their abstracts, at https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2018/plenary-sessions-s18.
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 2017-2018 Program Plan (https://www.cni.org/program) 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.
Research workflows and scholarly communications are important linchpins of CNI’s agenda, and we’re fortunate to have Don Waters of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka S+R provide us with an overview of the development of research workflow platforms and the strategic implications for the academy. In another session, Collaboration to Advance Open Scholarly Communication Infrastructure, a panel will consider open scholarly communication, as well as the commercial and community players in the current system.
Issues relating to institutional repositories will be well represented at this meeting. A panel will discuss a report on recommendations for next generation repositories, which positions repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. Other sessions include:
• Tom Cramer of Stanford University will describe a research information ecosystem, RIALTO, to systematically capture and relate research outputs to people, groups and projects.
• The University of Florida will give an update on their pilot project to enhance the IR and maximize visibility, impact, and dissemination of articles.
• A presentation from the University of New Hampshire will introduce a project to link the library’s digital collections repository with an open source geospatial search interface.
• We’ll have an update on the latest iteration of Fedora.
• The University of Connecticut will describe their process for examining collections and technology systems while considering whether to have one platform for all digital collections.
• Montana State University will report on a dataset compiled with the Repository Analytics & Metrics Portal, which suggests that IRs offer significant value when optimized for search engines and when user activity is accurately reported.
Many CNI member institutions are developing a range of capabilities and organizational strategies related to research data management (RDM), including strategies for dealing with big data and services addressing data curation, data discovery, and the support for new scholarly practices (e-research). Sessions on data and research services include:
• A presentation describing a data-sharing model for decentralized RDM.
• The findings of The Realities of Research Data Management, an OCLC Research project, which explores the context and choices research universities face in building or acquiring RDM capacity.
• An overview of how the Duke University Libraries and the University of Minnesota Libraries have scaled up RDM and curation services to better serve their communities.
• A session from the University of California, San Diego on setting up a staging server to capture research data and assist researchers and curators to collaborate on a shared platform.
• A German project to create an interactive online platform for the discussion and quality assessment of research data, Discuss Data, which will serve as a layer between distributed repositories and scholars.
• The University of New Mexico will discuss how they are building communities of practice through a series of monthly workshops focused on integrating lifecycle data management concepts into common use cases.
• A presentation providing overviews of development, implementation and infrastructure considerations for institutions or consortia considering an online research data repository, based on lessons learned from the launch of the Texas State Research Data Repository.
• A discussion of open data in archives and special collections and concerns related to privacy and empathy.
A number of sessions will focus on the digital humanities (DH), including a San Diego State University DH initiative that has grown from a grass-roots initiative into a strategic “Area of Excellence” with a unique focus on global diversity. A panel of speakers will describe an NEH-funded project aimed at understanding how various DH stakeholders discover, create, and reuse digital scholarship, as well as the workflows and tools they use throughout the research process. Duke University will discuss DH publishing, focusing on expansive and dynamic projects. 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 evolution of digital libraries for medieval manuscripts, and a talk that examines how “machine vision” techniques can be used to analyze and organize large visual collections with tens of thousands of images. We’ll also have a talk on text data mining copyrighted and use-limited data sets.
We’ll have a session by McMaster University on how the implementation of a campus-wide research information management system provided a means of compiling the institution’s research information into a standardized format. The University of Cincinnati will discuss enhancements to their ecosystem focused on research, scholarship, and knowledge management.
Ken Kingenstein from Internet2 will look at the transition of privacy and Internet identity issues, and current related developments and concerns. We’ll also have two sessions dealing with the soon to be effective European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): one on securing institutional repositories, and another that will discuss questions about privacy and information transfer that arose as DuraCloud pursued an international partnership program. GDPR and its implications for institutions outside of Europe is a confusing issue that has garnered a lot of attention recently.
Other sessions will focus on collections and discoverability. The Claremont Colleges Library will describe their process in trying to provide access to collections in ways that are informed by how the community uses those resources. A digital repository from the University of Albany for both archival description and digital content will make its collections usable to a broad audience. A panel will consider the issues and implications for platforms and libraries of choosing to link to open access articles, version of record copies, licensed materials, etc.
We have a very strong set of sessions on various aspects of digital preservation, a topic of great interest to our members. Email preservation and related issues is an important theme this year: prior to the opening of the membership meeting, we will hold two rounds of a limited attendance Executive Roundtable on the topic Strategies for Preserving Institutional and Researcher Email. We’ll also have a report on an initiative supported by The Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Digital Preservation Coalition to look at strategies for preserving email: Email Archives: Issues, Tools, and Gaps. Another breakout session will discuss ePADD, open source software funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), that enables institutions to collect email of potential historical or cultural value, screen it for sensitive, confidential, or legally-restricted information, and make it discoverable and accessible by scholars.
Other sessions on digital preservation include:
• Building Digital Coherence Through Collective Action: Creating DURAble Trust and DPNing Scholarship by Moving Together, where presenters from the University of Michigan (UM), DuraSpace, the Digital Preservation Network (DPN), and APTrust will describe their process for a shift of all of UM Library’s major digital collections, preservation, bibliographic, and information discovery platforms.
• Cobweb: Collaborative Digital Collection Development for Web Archives, which will describe a joint project of the California Digital Library, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard that supports key functions of collaborative collection development.
• Preservation: An Opinionated Approach, which will present principles and recommendations that form a strategy for decision making for selecting digital asset management and preservation solutions.
• Preserving Digital Content at Scale: Meeting the Challenges of AV and Big Data, which will provide information about a preservation node for audio and moving image content (and for other very large data collections) that addresses the most significant challenges of preserving this type of content.
• Supporting 3D/VR Technologies in Academic Libraries: Curation and Preservation Challenges will discuss work being conducted at the University of Oklahoma to develop strategies and best practices for supporting 3D and virtual reality technologies in research and instruction.
• PRESQT: Assessing Researcher and Library Needs for Research Data & Software Preservation Quality Tools will describe a year-long outreach effort to address gaps in consistently preserving research data and software in the academic, publishing, and software development communities.
• On a related note, Sunsetting: Strategies for Portfolio Management and Decommissioning Projects, will present strategies for decommissioning projects and greatly reducing the maintenance burden.
A selection of project briefings addresses a variety of themes regarding platforms, tools, and services. We’ll hear about the Audiovisual Metadata Platform to support mass description, and receive an update on the Avalon Media System. We will also learn about the prototyping of a linked data platform for production cataloging workflows. Jeffrey Spies will explore some of the decentralized and distributed technologies and protocols (e.g., BitTorrent, blockchains) that are being discussed as mechanisms by which to reconfigure scholarship. Presenters from LYRASIS and the Digital Public Library of America will discuss assessing the viability and sustainability of open source software programs. A new integrated library system (the first major application of a new open source library services platform), developed by the FOLIO community, will also be discussed.
A session will detail a new Association of Research Libraries assessment program to help research libraries translate their values into measures. Another presentation will report on the University Futures, Library Futures project, examining how changes in the higher education are informing library services, and how it is being used by Georgia State University.
We will have some sessions that describe new services, spaces, and new ways of working with faculty and students. Makerspaces in the Academic Library features two projects: examining the return on investment and sustainability of San Diego State University Library’s program, and makerspace programs to support arts and design curricula at Berkeley. DePaul University will talk about building a maker community. A team from the University of Houston Libraries will discuss the establishment of the Digital Research Commons. We’ll also hear about UC Merced’s LibraryCAVE. North Carolina State University will discuss their digital and data science skills workshops. A session from the University of Oklahoma will discuss a method for quickly launching engaging library/museum exhibits. From the University of Victoria Libraries, a suite of services for grant funded projects, a “menu” of services for researchers as they develop their grant applications. The University of Arizona will describe an initiative to develop services and position the libraries as the natural hub for digital scholarship and data science.
Finally, we will have sessions addressing issues of equity and diversity in access. We’ll hear about the challenges of accessing information resources for independent and unaffiliated researchers. Another session will explore the issue of linguistic diversity on the Internet. Char Booth will examine academic library practice through the lenses of information equity and economic justice.
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions at the CNI website: https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2018/project-briefings-breakout-sessions-s18. In many cases you will find these abstracts 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 #cni18s.
On behalf of the CNI team, I look forward to welcoming you to San Diego. 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