A Guide to the Fall 2013
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Fall 2013 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Capital Hilton 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 sessions at 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 are also welcome. Refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, December 9. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. As we did last fall, we added an extra round of breakout sessions on Monday in order to take advantage of a large number of very high quality and timely proposals for sessions. Tuesday, December 10, includes three 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 Monday evening, December 9, 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, www.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.
The Plenary Sessions
As is usual at our fall meetings, I have reserved the opening plenary session. I want to look at recent developments and the ways in which the landscape is changing, and to outline the 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 2013-2014 Program Plan. The Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition’s website, www.cni.org by December 12). 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.
The closing plenary, scheduled to start at 2:15 PM on Tuesday, will be given by Eszter Hargittai, Delaney Family Professor in the Communication Studies Department and Faculty Associate of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Over the last few years, Eszter and I have served together on the Princeton University Visiting Committee on Information Technology, and I have learned a great deal from her about information technology adoption, understanding, skills, and practices among university students (actual, prospective, and future). Her work is highly data driven, and stands in sharp contrast to some of the hyperbole and anecdote that have shaped many popular assumptions about technology and higher education in recent decades. She also makes very important connections in the relationship between fluency with technology and what we might call information literacy in its broadest and most powerful sense.
You can read Eszter’s full bio and an abstract of her talk on the CNI website.
I am delighted that Eszter has agreed to come and share her work with our community, and I think that you will find it genuinely thought provoking.
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 2013-2014 Program Plan, as well as a few 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 redistribution, some using traditional video capture and some using a voice over visuals capture system.
Many CNI member institutions are developing an array of capabilities related to “big data” or e-research as well as new services to assist researchers with data curation. Our meeting sessions range from international initiatives to campus programs addressing the needs of researchers in specific disciplines. The Research Data Alliance, a new organization supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the government of Australia and the European Commission to develop research data exchange at a global level, will offer an update on its agenda and plans. Another key recent development is the formation of the SHARE initiative, a cross-institutional coordination framework to insure access to the products of federally funded research, in particular publications and the data underlying published research. SHARE is a collaboration between the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). A panel will highlight developments from some of the NSF-funded DataNet projects.
We will hear reports from studies by OCLC and members of ARL on the status of university-wide data policy planning. We will have an update on the DMPTool, which is becoming increasingly popular as both a way to work with researchers on planning management of their data as they develop grant proposals, and an entrée into a more extended dialogue between researchers and information professionals.
Notre Dame will describe its work to jump start data curation activities on campus, and a project represented by the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri will discuss plans for a federated approach for data management. We will also hear a report from Duke University on a campus-wide initiative to support increasingly important data visualization tools and technologies, including direct support for researchers and development of an instruction program and educational materials.
Some of the projects in which librarians and information technologists work with specific disciplines and sets of resources include work underway at the Smithsonian Institution, which is developing an information architecture and software environment to capture and organize the digital “evidence” of scientists, capturing and supporting the research process as it unfolds. Echoing these themes on a discipline specific basis, we will also have a session on a specialized information system for the documentation and publication of archaeological research projects, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG); this is particularly timely in light of the worldwide efforts to digitally document archeological sites, and the growing convergence between research and underlying data in this discipline.
The New York University led Databrary Project is focusing on controlled and open sharing of research video data in human developmental science; it is tackling issues related to the video format and manipulation tools as well as policy issues such as privacy and restricted access. This is a very significant project and I am not familiar with anything quite like it; the promise here is to make a substantial change in the way science is conducted.
A core area of CNI’s program has highlighted innovations in institutional repositories. We will have a multi-institutional update on Fedora and a session highlighting a partnership by three Canadian universities to develop a software platform that meets the needs of each of their repositories.
A number of sessions will address digital preservation. The Digital Preservation Network (DPN) will launch its Task Force on Audio, Video and Film at our meeting and engage in a community conversation.
Additional sessions on digital preservation are:
o Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation (ANADP) II, reporting on outcomes from a conference held in Barcelona a few weeks ago and attended by representatives from national digital preservation programs.
o A National Agenda for Digital Stewardship, convened by the National Digital Stewardship Alliance led by the Library of Congress, reporting on their work to identify high priority and high impact preservation needs.
o Using Informatics & Visualizations to Understand Digital Preservation Activities, demonstrating some interactive visualizations resulting from a multi-sector environmental scan of projects related to digital preservation.
o Expanding E-journal Preservation, a Columbia/Cornell project that is continuing important work on understanding and improving the coverage of various types of periodicals and journals by major preservation initiatives.
In a session that bridges digital preservation and scholarly communication interests, Herbert Van de Sompel and Martin Klein of Los Alamos National Laboratory will describe the Hiberlink project, which is examining the extent of “reference rot” in references to Web materials in scholarly articles and then suggesting some solutions aimed at identifying and prototyping mechanisms for dealing with the problem.
New developments in publishing and innovations in scholarly communication will be topics of a number of sessions. Prior to the start of this membership meeting, we will have held a pair of Executive Roundtables on “E-book Strategies,” bringing together a number of institutions who are involved in an array of issues related to e-books, including buying and licensing, e-textbook pilots, and consortial arrangements. I’ve scheduled this project briefing in order to provide an update to any CNI attendees who are interested in this topic; we had very high demand to participate in the Roundtable, which is limited in attendance, and we had to turn away many interested parties. I’ll summarize the major themes that emerged from the Roundtable during that session.
Other sessions focusing on publishing and scholarly communications include:
o Reclaiming STEM Journals for the Academy, in which representatives from four university presses will propose a project to begin publishing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) journals under an open Web scheme; the presenters are seeking input and potential participation from CNI attendees.
o Toward a Sustainable Approach to Open Access Publishing and Archiving, presenting a strategy for a new economic model for scholarly society publication; input from attendees will be welcome in this session.
o Leveraging Shared Publishing Platforms, presented by bepress and reporting on data from their extensive offerings of library-published journals.o A session focusing on the innovations possible with electronic publication, shared by Northwestern University, describing a revamped publishing platform for their historic literary journal TriQuarterly and Montana State University, focusing on using HTML5, linked data, and APIs to build digital books.
o Developments in Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), reporting on a survey of ETD practice, a new Lifecycle Management of ETDs project, a discussion of growing a campus ETD program, and a new tool that will be released by ProQuest that will shed light on productivity and usage of dissertations.
Cultural memory organization such as libraries, archives, and museums have new challenges in collecting, organizing, and preserving materials for future scholarship, both born-digital and digitized material. We have a number of projects at this meeting that marry specialized content with new tools for access and analysis. At George Washington University, a team is systematically collecting subsets of Twitter in order to provide content for researchers on specific topics, and they are also collecting tweets related to the University for the university archives. In addition, they are developing tools to assist with the analysis and curation of the records. This is an exciting project and is likely to be replicated in other contexts.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is working with activists in the Iranian Green Movement to capture a variety of media and technologies documenting the technological history of this movement. HathiTrust will discuss its latest tools that will allow scholars to create worksets for analysis of various aspects of this massive digital library. Dan Cohen, Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of American (DPLA) will provide an update, focusing on future plans and DPLA’s technical infrastructure. Two projects from Columbia University will address enhanced features possible through digital publication and tool development; one project has content related to jazz musicians and the other provides access to information about women film pioneers.
The session Visualizing the Temporal Narrative explores narrative structure of various media and involves visualization techniques and a faculty-librarian collaboration in teaching. Additional sessions will provide insights into developments related to teaching and learning and new models for educational materials. We will hear a report of a study of perceptions of library support for formal undergraduate research programs, learn about a case study using accreditation standards to promote library and computing services, and hear a briefing from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, The App as a Metaphor for Learning Objects and Tools.
Explorations of how organizations are developing new services and how professional roles are changing are also key components of CNI’s program. We have been examining digital scholarship centers, spaces with high-end technologies and specialized staff that provide services to faculty and graduate students and undergraduates working on significant projects, and CNI’s Joan Lippincott will provide an overview of trends in this area; Harriette Hemmasi of Brown University and Vivian Lewis of McMaster University will provide information on their campus initiatives and a new study of digital scholars.
A session from the University of Guelph will look at issues related to supporting researchers in the field who are accessing information and collecting data on mobile devices. NYU and the University of California, Berkeley will report on some interesting synergies in their efforts to plan and benchmark services for researchers, teaching, and learning. At the University of Texas, San Antonio, librarians have implemented a context-sensitive chat widget into online databases and have dramatically increased the number of questions they receive from users. The University of Waterloo and ExLibris will describe a new initiative to institutionally brand electronic information resources. Elsevier will report on work it has done in partnership with an academic institution to develop a new recommendation engine.
An area that has been of long-standing interest to CNI is the identity and name management challenge in the attribution of scholarship and the management of the scholarly record. Ken Klingenstein from Internet2 will provide an update on Internet identity and its interactions with the research and education community; there’s a lot that has been happening in this area. Dean Krafft of Cornell will discuss the VIVO-led initiative to provide information about researchers in the context of their research activities; he will describe an ontology that is intended to work in a rich semantic data environment. As I have learned more about VIVO, it has become clear to me that it is really both a system and a set of interoperability standards or agreements that will find application in a wide range of different systems. I believe that this work coming out of VIVO merits close attention and may form an important part of the long term infrastructure for scholarly biography, bibliography, and social networking.
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, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Historic Records and Publications Commission describing their latest grant programs. The session also will address new approaches to evaluation and assessment of impact.
A team from Montana State University, OCLC, and ARL will report on their multi-institutional analysis of the accuracy of Web analytics reporting on the use of digital collections and websites. There are some significant problems here that call for understanding and attention.
Ithaka S+R will lead a session focusing on the more effective use of data from a wide range of sources (national and institutional surveys, statistics and analytics, and qualitative data) in library strategy development and decision making, both at the levels of individual institutions and collectively.
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) will provide an update on its Alternative Metrics (Altmetrics) Project along with an update on its Open Access Metadata and Indicators Working Group.
There is much more, and I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts 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 #cni13f.
I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC this December for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (cliff), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (joan) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting. Safe travels.