A Guide to the Fall 2019
Coalition for Networked Information
The Fall 2019 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC on December 9 and 10, 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 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 policy makers and funders.
As usual, the CNI meeting proper is preceded by an optional orientation session at 11:30 AM for new attendees, both representatives of new member organizations and new representatives or alternate delegates from existing member organizations, and guests and presenters are also welcome; beforehand, starting at 11, there will be coffee and an opportunity to meet some long-time members. Light refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, December 9. The opening plenary is at 1:00 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, December 10, includes three additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, lunch and the closing plenary, 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 7:30 PM on Monday evening, December 9, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in Washington.
We are trying something new with the project briefing breakouts this meeting, in order to optimize our time together and maximize our ability to bring you important updates and short reports in a timely and efficient manner. All rounds will be one hour in duration, but most sessions will be comprised of two or more separate presentations, which may not be related, directly, thematically; we’ve emphasized to our presenters in the half-hour slots that it’s essential that they keep to time, and we invite attendees to feel free to shift from one session to another at the half-hour breakpoint. We’ve also added a new type of breakout we’re calling “Short Updates,” comprised of a series of brief presentations (less than 10 minutes each) on new or ongoing projects, programs, or organizations. In many cases, but not all, these projects have been reported on at greater length at past meetings, and this year’s short updates will be building on, rather than reiterating, those previous reports. Our goal is to provide you with more opportunities to learn about work that impacts the CNI community while maintaining the existing meeting duration. Please do share your feedback with us about this experiment after the meeting; we’ll be asking about your views in the meeting evaluation that we send out.
The CNI meeting program is subject to last minute changes (remember, it’s December, and weather can sometimes surprise us), 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. Information about wireless access in the meeting room areas will be available in your packets and at the registration table; those staying in the CNI hotel room block at the Omni Shoreham should also have free wireless access in their rooms. In addition, we are running the mobile-friendly web app Sched from the meeting website to facilitate online access to the meeting schedule. And we’ll still have printed programs available for everyone who wants one, of course. The printed programs have also undergone changes, primarily to accommodate our new meeting format, but also in response to concerns about paper waste. We know a print option is still important to many of our attendees, so we hope the resulting product will be a suitable balance between these priorities, and, again, we hope you’ll let us know what you think.
The Plenary Sessions
As is now traditional, I have reserved the opening plenary of our winter member meeting for an update. During this session, scheduled to start at 1:00 PM on Monday, I want to look at recent developments and the ways in which the landscape is changing and to identify 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 2019-20 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available on the Coalition’s website). I look forward to sharing CNI’s continually evolving strategy with you, as well as discussing recent events and current issues. 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.
The opening plenary will also give us an opportunity to hear briefly from Associate Executive Director Joan K. Lippincott, who will be transititioning to emerita status at the end of 2019, after an incredible three decades of leadership at CNI.
I’m really thrilled that Professor Kate Eichhorn from The New School will be our closing keynote speaker. Kate recently published a fantastic book, The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media, which crystalized a number of trends and developments that I had been watching closely and put them together in some unexpected and extremely insightful ways. The implications—for the public at large, for our students, for the evolution of social norms, and for memory institutions—are profound, and I am really excited that she will be exploring these issues with us. You can find more information about Kate’s talk, and about her, on the meeting website.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I will not attempt to comprehensively summarize the wealth of breakout sessions here; we offer a great abundance and diversity of material. However, I want to note, particularly, some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2019-20 Program Plan, as well as a number of 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. A list of the breakouts we hope to capture will be posted on the communications board at registration, but please keep in mind that we occasionally have problems with the captures, and that these session captures do not include the discussion part of the breakout. There’s no substitute for being there in person!
We will have a large cluster of sessions focused on various kinds of emerging technologies, most focused on various aspects of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning or data science. These include:
- Keith Webster of Carnegie Mellon and Jason Griffey of NISO will discuss the impacts and roles of AI for libraries.
- Ben Shneiderman of the University of Maryland (and former CNI keynote speaker) will examine very important challenges of autonomy, transparency and control in interactions between AI-based tools and systems and humans, as he envisions a future of “human-centric AI.”
- An OCLC Research-commissioned research agenda to chart library engagement with data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
- Speakers from Notre Dame, Nebraska-Lincoln, and Utah will discuss efforts, opportunities and complexities in using machine learning in research libraries.
- Two presentations will share a session to discuss voice search and smart assistants for library services.
- A team from Rhode Island will talk about opportunities to be gained by exploring data science partnerships with professional development programs, K-12 schools, and other creative collaborations.
- Why libraries are addressing AI, machine learning, virtual reality and other similar services will be the subject of a panel discussion.
- A speaker from UCLA will explore machine-generated annotations.
- We will hear how NCSU has been working to develop and refine data science services offered by the library.
- A pilot project at the University of Toronto that seeks to facilitate inclusive and equitable opportunities to learn core computational literacy and data science skills.
- George Washington University’s exploration of new Python programming instruction models to address the needs of a broad range of campus constituents.
- A short report on a Book Sprint resulting in the open access publication “Open a GLAM Lab.”
Our community continues to focus much of its attention on the publishing industry, and we will have several speakers addressing the implications for access to intellectual property. Katherine Skinner, David Lewis, and Terry Ehling will focus on the findings from two major, recently issued, Mellon-funded reports on scholarly publishing and knowledge infrastructure: Mind the Gap and the Mapping the Scholarly Commons. A team from Our Research will share the findings from their recent study on the future of open access and how the projections could impact subscription decisions. A panel will explore moving open access away from article processing charges, and, a speaker from North Texas will talk about how the university has become the licensing agent for the archive of the oldest news station in Texas. We’ll also have a presentation on the Temple University library/press collaboration North Broad Press, as well as a short update from Lever Press.
Sessions relating to institutional repositories (IR) will include a presentation about the Repository Analytics & Metrics Portal (RAMP), a web service that has generated a large and unique dataset measuring aggregate use and performance of IRs, and a panel discussion of the themes that emerged from an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded investigation into the barriers that are preventing hundreds of libraries and archives from upgrading to a supported version of Fedora. We will also have short updates on Samvera, open repositories in Canada, shared repository infrastructure, and the service Shareyourpaper.org, which simplifies self-archiving and reduces the cost of mediated repository deposit.
Digital preservation and curation continue to figure prominently in CNI’s agenda and this year I’m particularly happy to be part of a breakout with Carol Mandel to discuss her fascinating work on born-digital preservation at scale, which turns out to be very closely related to thinking I’ve been doing over the past decade about stewardship in the digital world. I’m also really pleased that we will have a presentation on how the University of Florida responded when the state-wide digital preservation system was unexpectedly decommissioned; large-scale support system failures or shutdowns of this sort are a real threat, and one for which I believe our community is terribly underprepared.
Other sessions exploring preservation include:
- Panelists from the Library of Congress, the ISSN International Center, Ohio State, Northwestern, and Educopia will provide national and international preservation updates.
- The University of California will describe their process for formulating a digital preservation strategy across the UC system.
- A presentation about Webrecorder for web archiving, including an overview and a look at future plans.
- The National Archives will discuss its digital preservation framework and action plans.
- A rethinking of the preservation infrastructure at the University of Toronto, which has moved away from a repository model and toward a flexible, microservice-based approach.
- There will be short updates on the Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI) Project, the modern endangered archives program at UCLA, implementing the evidence-based Data Curation for Reproducibility (Data CuRe) Training Program at Yale, and Fedora 6 and the Oxford Common File Layout.
Many CNI member institutions are developing a range of capabilities and organizational strategies related to research data management (RDM), including services addressing data curation, data discovery, and the support for new scholarly practices (e-research). Sessions focused on data and research services include:
- A next-generation RDM and repository system, InvenioRDM, developed as part of a large, multi-organization collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
- Three co-scheduled presentations on related topics:
- How the University of Arizona has approached the need to manage institutional risk by providing support for data control standards such as HIPAA and controlled, unclassified information (CUI).
- How an update to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Data Archive that enables it to host, share, and preserve health sciences data, has illuminated issues such as HIPAA, data use and sharing agreements, user interface, etc.
- How openness can be impractical or impossible when identifiable data about human subjects must be protected.
- A presentation about the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship at the University of Colorado Boulder, which is a campus research center that supports data-intensive research by the campus community.
- We will hear a discussion of how the work of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Portage Network has shaped (and is shaping) the emerging Canadian RDM.
- A program at Auburn whereby the libraries are serving as high-level IT and data-management consultants to faculty researchers who are pursuing external funding.
- An update on the Data Curation Network.
- A team from Duke will reflect on the library’s research data management and curation program since its formation, with an eye toward strengthening and improving services.
A number of sessions will focus on digital scholarship, partnering with faculty on research and teaching initiatives, and data services. CNI’s own Joan Lippincott has been studying digital scholarship for many years now, and she will be discussing some of her thinking on various aspects of programs in this area, including scope, staffing, funding, and space. From the University of Maryland, Katrina Fenlon will describe the collaborative “Sustaining Digital Community Collections” project for the long-term care of digital projects among libraries and research communities. There will also be a short update on piloting digital scholarship support at the Library of Congress.
Other breakouts on digital scholarship, partnering with faculty, and data services, will cover these topics:
- A study by Ithaka S+R on how data sharing happens within “data communities” and how stakeholders, including librarians, information technologists, scholarly communications professionals, and research funders, can support those communities
- Developing a cross-unit program at the University of Michigan where academic IT and the library collaborate to build support and a community of scholars
- Changing needs and expectations of faculty, researchers, and students around research, teaching, and learning require constant re-evaluation to address potential programs and service areas, and we’ll hear about strategies adopted at NCSU to help facilitate this process.
- From a research project out of the University of Calgary, we will hear about essential elements and checklists for assessing, redesigning, and repositioning the library’s presence in campus research.
- An open-source digital scholarly ecosystem at Texas State
- Short updates on the Research Commons at Ohio State and the Public Access Submission System (PASS) at Hopkins.
In a related area, several sessions will focus specifically on e-research/e-science:
- The University of Utah and the University of Cincinnati will share their experiences with electronic lab notebooks (ELN) as a follow-on to the fall 2019 CNI Executive Roundtable on that topic.
- Presenters from the University of Michigan will cover efforts to share computer algorithms on a large scale to allow for the use of machine-executable biomedical knowledge in clinical and public health contexts.
- We will hear about the Texas GeoData portal at the University of Texas, which has been designed to enhance discoverability of the geospatial data contained in the Libraries’ collections and facilitate use of the datasets in geographic information system (GIS) software.
- A pilot study at the University of Chicago between the Library and the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics has been developed to determine how to scan a large collection of glass plate slides of astronomical images in a way that will facilitate meaningful scientific inquiry.
Other sessions will focus on privacy and identity management. A shared session will feature two presentations on privacy in learning analytics: speakers from Indiana-Bloomington and Northwestern will discus the Data Doubles research project, to understand student perspectives on privacy issues associated with academic library participation in learning analytics, and then Lisa Hinchliffe and Kyle Jones will present on Prioritizing Privacy, a professional development program that addresses the need for training on privacy in learning analytics. There will be short updates about ORCID and the Research Organization Registry (ROR) at the California Digital Library.
Discovery and interoperability are topics of interest to many in the CNI community, and much of the work being reported on in this area at this meeting involves archives and special collections. Some sessions dealing with these issues will include presentations on the following topics:
- Panelists will discuss the Stanford-facilitated, IMLS-funded Lighting the Way project, focused on developing an agenda for access to and use of archives and special collections that is sensitive to the communities that use and are represented in them.
- A framework for annotation interoperability that’s being developed by Hopkins and Tufts, together with a group of partners, and funded by Mellon.
- Implementation of a data catalog by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to provide in-depth curation for institutional datasets, to optimize findability and access, and to facilitate sharing.
- Computational access to book-length documents is the focus of a collaborative effort between the computer science departments at Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University; the pilot involved using electronic theses and dissertations.
- Co-scheduled presentations on community archives: one an IMLS-funded project that addresses a gap between community collections and research library infrastructure, and the other from Lafayette College on a Mellon grant to foster collaboration across campuses, libraries, cultural institutions, and community partners.
- A Virtual Reading Room at UC San Diego that provides access to digital collections with use restrictions that did not fit into the existing digital asset management access model.
- How JSTOR is working to make it possible for libraries to host their special collections on the platform, thereby improving accessibility and reach.
- A digital asset management system ecosystem at UT Austin, which provided a new platform to ingest, manage and preserve digital assets, allowed researchers and the general public to view special digital collections online, and modernized the underlying technology.
- Short updates related to information access will include discussions on using geographic and chronological metadata to facilitate access to new acquisitions; the community-owned tool InstantILL that allows students and researchers to get free, fast, and legal access to articles; crowdsourcing a historic, community, digital photo archive at the University of Northern Iowa; and an update on the Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) for access to image-based resources.
Assessment will be a common theme in several briefings, considering various aspects of the work in which our community is engaged, including services, organizations, and resources. These sessions will include:
- An analysis from UIUC to assess the impact that digital availability of items through HathiTrust might have on local circulation and lending rates, in an attempt to better manage these collections in the future.
- A team from Harvard will report on the university’s campus-wide digital accessibility policy and how the library has been assessing its myriad systems and digital offerings to ensure ongoing compliance.
- We will have a presentation on the recent review of mission, goals and achievable outcomes of two programs under the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) program umbrella: the Digital Library Federation and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance.
- There will be a short update on the assessment of CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Collections Program.
The Library of Congress will present an update on its digital strategy, and we will offer a popular annual session where representatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities, CLIR, the National Historical Publications & Records Commission, and IMLS will discuss funding priorities and trends.
Finally, while I will cover some highlights in my plenary remarks, Joan and I will report in depth on the findings of our “Refreshing the Collaboration Agenda” initiative, which has conducted a series of small, focused invitational meetings bringing together library and IT leaders from our membership to discuss the landscape of current issues and the most promising and urgent areas for collaboration and focus going forward. We have already issued one report (available on our website) from the first meeting, and two more should be available very shortly, with the fourth to follow in early 2020.
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-2019. In many cases you will find 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 #cni19f.
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), Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Executive Director (email@example.com), or Diane Goldenberg-Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org), Assistant Director Designate, if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information