A Guide to the Spring 2016
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Spring 2016 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at The Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas, on April 4 and 5, 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 Monday, April 4. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, April 5, 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 Monday, April 4, after which participants can enjoy the San Antonio Riverwalk or other attractions.
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 an experimental deployment of a meeting app called Whova; information about this will be sent to each registrant by email, and will also be available at the meeting registration desk. 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.
Professor Victoria Stodden of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will give the opening talk on April 4, exploring how to define and ensure the integrity of the scholarly record in an age of computationally enabled research. This presentation will explore some of the key emerging issues of what it means to fully document scholarly work that relies extensively on data and/or computation, with a particular focus on enabling the replication or reproduction of research findings. These are increasingly critical as we develop new norms for good scholarly practice and for our system of scholarly communication, and as our stewardship institutions work to manage this evolving scholarly record. Clearly, these challenges are deeply intertwined with research data management and software sustainability and preservation.
Victoria, who has both a PhD in Statistics and a law degree, is one of the genuinely foundational thinkers about reproducibility in scholarship and how this is changing as information technology becomes pervasive in research practices. I am delighted that she is able to join us.
CNI has been exploring issues involved in the stewardship of various aspects of the broad cultural record as a foundation for scholarly work as well as in its broader social role as a memory of our society. Our closing plenary session continues this exploration.
Todd Grappone, Elizabeth McAulay and Sharon Farb of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will examine a central mission challenge for research libraries as they continue to collect and manage contested and controversial parts of the broader cultural record that represent essential evidence to support scholarly work today and into the future. It seems that the scope of such materials is becoming more extensive, and in a digital world collections of such materials are often much more visible, with potentially global reach. Further, the challenges and attacks on such collections have increased in intensity and taken on technical as well as legal and policy dimensions. The UCLA team will look at issues here from both the operational and policy perspectives, drawing upon extensive experience in collecting and stewarding such collections.
I am very grateful to Todd, Elizabeth and Sharon for helping us to understand these fundamental challenges in stewardship of the cultural record and advancing the conversation about how we address them.
You can find official abstracts, information about the speaker, and pointers to background information for both plenaries on the CNI website.
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 2015-2016 Program Plan 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.
Many CNI member institutions are developing a range of capabilities and organizational strategies related to research data management (including strategies for dealing with big data and services addressing data curation, data discovery, and the support for new scholarly practices (e-research). I am delighted that we will have Michael Conlon, Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida and project director for VIVO, presenting his thoughts on the landscape of scientific data sharing and reuse, and the efforts that may be needed to create a desirable future environment. I know that many of you will be interested in the initial findings from a Sloan-funded study, led by Myron Gutmann, now at the University of Colorado Boulder, that seeks to measure the amounts and characteristics of research data that is being produced through sponsored projects in the US, with a particular focus on understanding the proportion of this data that is actually being placed under organized stewardship through mechanisms like repositories.
Additional sessions on data and e-research include:
* da|ra: Solutions to the Challenges of Data Registration, Access and Exchange by two researchers funded through the German science agency (DFG), which will describe a data registry and an integrated search index that enables searches of references with links to data holdings.
* An Open Science Framework for Solving Institutional Challenges, which will examine the Open Science Framework (OSF), which is an open source scholarly commons and workflow management service, from the viewpoint of research institutions.
* The Role of Next Generation Libraries in Enhancing Multidisciplinary Research, reporting on a set of workshops at the University of Calgary, in which three teams of interdisciplinary researchers discussed common research infrastructure and support needs.
* Expert Curation of SHARE Data Set, which will describe a pedagogy and community engagement initiative that creates digital curation training partnerships.
* A Campus Master Plan for Research Storage, describing a project at New York University (NYU) to look at the research storage needs and solutions at the university through all stages of the research data lifecycle.
* Working with a Community-based Organization to Support Ontology Infrastructure, focusing on managing mappings between ontology entities in the complex data and metadata ecosystem of Earth Science in order to enhance interoperability.
* A Multiple Institutional Collaboration Project toward Geospatial Data Discovery, focusing on the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s (CIC) project to create a portal for discovery and access to the geospatial resources of eight states.
* An Ocean of Data, which will describe a metadata and digital object identifier (DOI) strategy for a large, dynamic collection of research data about the world’s oceans.
Developing systems to manage faculty research are taking a variety of forms, and a session on faculty profile systems will highlight Boise State University’s implementation of a newly overhauled platform from bepress, which allows the library to develop readership metrics for faculty as well as showcase their scholarship. The University of Arizona will report on their experiments with graph database technologies to maximize the utility of data being collected in various campus systems.
Also important for management of the output of scholarship are organizational identifiers, and representatives from ORCID, Crossref, and DataCite will provide an overview of current and potential uses of those identifiers and the need for a system to serve the community’s needs in this area. This is a hugely complex area, particularly as one considers the full range of potential functional requirements and the social and political context, and it has only very recently begun to receive the attention it requires.
A core focus of CNI’s program has highlighted innovations in digital library content development and digital scholarship in the humanities. At the Yale University Library digital humanities lab, working with ProQuest, they developed an effort to build tools on top of a large archive of materials restricted by copyright and licensing agreements. In another briefing, we’ll hear about a group of multi-type libraries and cultural heritage institutions in the Chicago area that have developed the Chicago Collections, which now hold more than 104,000 digital images and more than 4,000 finding aids; intended users include students, citizens, and scholars. Clemson University collaborated with the US National Park Service to develop the Open Parks Network, which has resulted in the digitization of over 350,000 items from many sites, including national parks, historic sites, libraries, museums, and archives.
A circumstance that may be more prevalent than we realize comes about when two institutions are working on projects with similar scope and content but are developing different approaches. This happened when both the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Cornell University found that they were working on developing large databases of runaway slave advertisements; we’ll learn how they worked together to complement each other’s projects.
At an increasing number of universities and colleges, staff teams are partnering with faculty and students working on high-end digital projects in a variety of fields, often through the framework of a digital scholarship center. In a joint session, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Emory University will report on their programs to support and partner with faculty in new areas of research and will map the cycle of evolution of centers that offer this support. We will also learn about the planning for the recently opened Research Commons at The Ohio State University, and the principles that informed its development.
Several sessions will address issues related to scholarly communication and publishing, in some cases proposing new models to disseminate the products of scholarship. Martin Paul Eve of the University of London will describe the Open Library of Humanities, a model that employs library partnership subsidies for publication of humanities content in an open scholarly platform. Additional sessions include:
* Publishing Programs in Academic Libraries, in which we’ll learn about the new liberal arts colleges initiative to launch the Lever Press, an open-access publishing venture as well as some thinking from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Kansas on an emerging model for an effective, at-cost publishing program in academic libraries.
* On the CUSP: Canadian Universities and Sustainable Publishing, which will address national strategies and models to effectively sustain open access publishing in Canada.
Following on the topic of our spring 2016 CNI executive roundtable on institutional strategies for open educational resources (OER), we will have a panel from Temple, Ohio State, and Simon Fraser universities describing their work on open educational resources at their institutions.
Digital preservation, a topic of great interest to our members, will be explored in several sessions:
* National Web Archiving Programs in the US, where presenters will describe a number of important and innovative programs addressing federal government information and tools for storytelling using social media archival content. Representatives from the University of North Texas, the Internet Archive, and Old Dominion University will be presenters.
* The Software Preservation Network Project, which will describe a study and upcoming forum to explore building a community infrastructure to support software preservation at scale.
* Digital Curation in Art Museums, which will report on a convening by the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies and Digital Curation Programs of cultural heritage professionals for a summit on digital curation in art.
* Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage, which will describe a research and policy agenda for preservation of intangible cultural heritage in North America.
Libraries are rethinking their overall information management systems as well as mechanisms for information organization, access and retrieval. As libraries develop large collections of digital materials, they may find that they need new perspectives and solutions, particularly as the ecology of discovery and access systems continues to shift and evolve. We will hear a report of how the California State University Council of Deans procured a unified library management system for 23 campuses that had operated independent systems in the past. They hope that their new model will aid discovery, unite resources, empower analytics, and simplify workflow. A representative from Index Data will discuss his views regarding rethinking the current typical integrated library system enterprise software. He believes a more flexible, collaborative approach for an open source, scalable software infrastructure together with a set of core library services, will stimulate innovation and collaboration.
Two sessions will address how libraries are seeking to do a better job of connecting users with information. At Montana State University, they are working on search engine and social media optimization to surface the library’s paid databases to users when they search the open web. At the University of Texas at San Antonio, they are implementing a pro-active, context-sensitive chat system that has significantly increased the number and sophistication of questions from users when they are searching for databases or other information.
We continue to track developments in linked open data, with a particular focus on concrete projects. An important tool in the study of art, the Getty Provenance Index, which was converted from print to an online database in the mid 1980’s, has now undergone another significant transformation, incorporating linked open data; we’ll learn about the background for the project and its progress. Karen Smith-Yoshimura from OCLC will summarize the results of a 2015 linked data survey of 89 institutions in 20 countries.
A selection of project briefings addresses a variety of themes regarding platforms, tools, and services. Herbert Van de Sompel of Los Alamos National Laboratory, who was recently honored by his institution with the Fellows Prize for Outstanding Research, and his colleague from Ghent University, will describe their work with Memento, DBpedia (the linked data version of Wikipedia) and the added capabilities of linked data fragments, triple pattern fragments, and HDT. A representative from the New York Public Library will describe the use of microservices architecture in building scalable library software solutions. We’ll have an update on the Avalon Media System, an open source system based on Fedora and Hydra technologies that is used to provide access to digitized and born-digital audio and video collections.
In a potentially provocative session in which presenters will discuss their concern that information technology has not been successfully integrated into library organizations, presenters from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and McMaster University will provide some examples that illustrate their concerns and also suggest some ways to rethink how libraries approach information technology leadership, culture, and structure.
We will have some sessions that describe new services, spaces, and maker space initiatives. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the libraries and the Center for Faculty Excellence have developed a collaborative support model as part of a maker initiative. At the University of Oklahoma, the library is developing tools and technologies such as virtual reality and websites to bring collaborators together across distributed innovation spaces in order to support collaboration and leverage expertise. We will learn about a suite of experimental learning environments at Clemson University that include a center for geospatial technologies, a digital studio, and a digital resources lab.
Finally, Roger Schonfeld and Christine Wolff will release results from the new Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2015. This survey, which has been done every three years, now represents a substantial database measuring evolving faculty views and behaviors in many areas of interest to the CNI community. Roger tells me that this year’s survey documents some very substantial shifts from the 2012 results.
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions at the CNI website: https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2016/s16-project-briefings-breakout-sessions. 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, although to facilitate open discussion we will not be capturing the question segment of the closing plenary. We’ll record 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 #cni16s.
I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio. 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. Also, Victoria Stodden has alerted me that it will be peak season for Bluebonnets, the Texas state flower, so you might be on the lookout for these.
Coalition for Networked Information