A Guide to the Fall 2015 Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Fall 2015 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC on December 14 and 15, 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 14. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, December 15, 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 7:15 PM on Monday evening, December 14, 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 will 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 outline some key developments I expect or hope 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 2015-2016 Program Plan. The printed Program Plan will be distributed at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition’s website, cni.org, by December 14). 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.
Julie Brill will be giving the closing keynote, which will take start at 2:15PM Tuesday. Julie is a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who has been doing some absolutely extraordinary work on privacy and security in the digital world. I’ve had the opportunity to hear her speak on these issues several times over the past year and she has a very deep understanding of the implications of “big data” and algorithmic decision-making and classification, particularly in the consumer context. There’s more biographical information about Julie on the CNI website. One particular bit of background that I want to point out is the groundbreaking study that the FTC issued in 2014 on data brokers in consumer marketplaces (see the announcement at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/05/ftc-recommends-congress-require-data-broker-industry-be-more); I invite you to also read Commissioner Brill’s individual comments linked in the right-hand column to gain a sense of her sophisticated insights about the privacy landscape.
Julie has very graciously agreed to join us and share some of her thinking about privacy and analytics in some of the junctures between consumer and higher education contexts. She’s titled her talk “Transparency, Trust and Consumer Protection in a Complex World.” Here is her abstract:
In a world that is becoming increasingly complex and data-intensive, trust is becoming ever more important. If consumers do not trust organizations and the systems that they use to collect, analyze, and use their personal data, consumers may reject technologies that could offer significant social and individual benefits. Transparency is a key element of building and maintaining consumer trust. Providing effective transparency, however, is a challenge for companies that are developing new connected devices and apps and predictive analytics services. Using a series of illustrations based on the Internet of Things and big data analytics, Commissioner Brill will discuss strategies for providing transparency in our interconnected, complex world, with a particular focus on the roles that researchers and consumer protection agencies like the Federal Trade Commission in putting these strategies into practice.
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 2015-2016 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 both plenaries and a limited number of sessions for later distribution; some using traditional video capture and some using a voice over visuals capture system.
Research data management has been a long-standing CNI theme. Many of our 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 and preservation and the support for new data intensive scholarly practices). Our meeting sessions range from multi-institutional initiatives to ethical concerns. I am very pleased that we will have a presentation by Bonnie Tijerina and Emily Keller of the Data & Society Research Institute discussing emerging ethical issues related to data collection, storage, sharing, and reuse, and the unique role that research libraries can play in working with researchers to navigate these concerns.
Additional sessions on data and e-research include:
• Organizational Implications of Data Science Environments in Education, Research, and Research Management in Libraries, discussing a new multi-campus program funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore and Alfred P. Sloan Foundations to provide resources to help universities develop collaborations between researchers, develop tools, and create new career paths for data scientists. Representatives from the three partner universities – University of California, Berkeley, New York University, and the University of Washington – will provide their perspectives.
• The Open Science Framework, in which representatives from the Center for Open Science and the University of Notre Dame will describe a campus implementation of the Open Science Framework (OSF).
• Establishing a Shared Research Data Service in the UK, where Rachael Bruce, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer at Jisc, will describe how Jisc is working to help universities manage research data through the development of some shared solutions for national infrastructure services.
• Evolving a Community Digital Repository, which will feature Bill Michener discussing the Dryad Digital Repository, a resource that makes the data underlying scientific publications discoverable, freely reusable, and citable.
• Libraries Will Be an Asset for Us, which will describe an aspect of big data that we at CNI are closely monitoring as an important trend – partnerships between universities and their local government jurisdictions to assist with gathering, facilitating access to, and encouraging use of civic data; this partnership is hosted at University of Pittsburgh.
• Between a Microscope and a Museum, a thought-provoking consideration of whether the institution should treat a born-digital collection (in this case Saudi desert microbes) as a data collection or a museum/library special collection.
A session from Johns Hopkins University and University College London will highlight the Archaeology of Reading project and the tools being developed for transcription of digital manuscripts and for understanding the interventions readers made in their books.
Another core area of CNI’s program has highlighted innovations in institutional repositories and we will feature repository platforms as well as tools. We will have a multi-institutional update on the deployment and capabilities of the new Fedora 4 platform.
Additional sessions on repositories and tools include:
• Hydra-in-a-Box, which describes a project to make the Hydra repository software into a turnkey solution (or cloud-based service) that can be easily be adopted; this was prompted in large part by needs expressed by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) regarding their data providers.
• New Tools for Providing Access to Digital Image Collections, which will describe Mirador and Spotlight, new tools based on the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF); we’ll also have a session on the underlying framework itself (see below).
• ePADD, which highlights a new tool that uses natural language processing to appraise, process, discover and deliver e-mail from archives; this is becoming an increasingly important form of content in many types of digital archives (including personal digital archiving), and an area where more effective approaches are badly needed. ePADD is also, as I understand it, doing some very interesting work developing integration with the emerging archival name infrastructure project (see below for a session on this infrastructure project).
• Hybrid Online/Offline Scholarly Information Resources, which will discuss an approach to building scholarly infrastructure that provides constant availability and speed of working with resources locally while providing the user-friendliness and provenance tracking of a centralized remote repository.
A variety of sessions will discuss topics related to scholarly communication and digital libraries. Producing a dissertation serves as the training ground for new scholars, and in many cases, graduate students still produce documents that do not take much advantage of the digital environment. In Digital Dissertations in an Increasingly Welcome Landscape, we will learn from one author about a humanities dissertation that incorporated a social reading interface and blogging.
Additional sessions on scholarly communication and digital libraries include:
• Documenting Ferguson, which describes the building of a repository to gather digital media related to recent events; this is hosted at Washington University in St. Louis.
• 3D Scanning for Small Budgets, which discusses a library’s exploration of workflows and processes as they work with 3D artifacts and the applications for smaller memory institutions.
• Archivportal-D, a central and comprehensive portal for access to records of all kinds held by German archives, financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
• New Partnerships in the Scholarly Communication System, which describes how the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) at Columbia University Libraries has worked with the Modern Language Association to produce a society-supported, disciplinary-focused community hub and has also worked with Columbia University Press to refresh the interface for the Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) database.
• Rightsstatements.org, which will discuss an important ongoing international collaboration among the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Europeana, and the Creative Commons community to develop a list of standardized internationally interoperable rights statements, an important aspect of digital library infrastructure.
An area that has been of long-standing interest to CNI is the challenge of managing names, biography, and bibliography to support the attribution of scholarship and the management of the scholarly record. We will have a presentation on a program that will be launched as an international archival description cooperative hosted at the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); members will work on curating a corpus of reliable biographical descriptions of people linked to and providing contextual understanding of historical records. This updates related earlier work funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation developing prototype archival name databases (the Social Networks and Archival Context [SNAC] project) and reported at an earlier CNI meeting, moving towards the long-term goal of creating a sustainable and robust critical infrastructure component.
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, the National Historic Records and Publications Commission, 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 a particularly rich group of sessions that present in-depth studies on this topic. Librarians at the University of California, Los Angeles, are seeking to understand the value of articles published by commercial publishers versus their open access preprint versions. In their session How Much Does $1.7 Billion Buy You? they will describe their comparative study of pre-print and post-print counterparts. In Is Gold Open Access Sustainable? we will hear about the University of California’s study of article processing charges and associated costs in the context of library journal budgets and publishing costs. Can Cooperatives Provide a More Sustainable and Effective Path for Open Access? will describe a MacArthur Foundation-funded study that will examine viable financial models for transitioning from subscription to open access models for scholarly publication. Financial models for monograph publication have been the topic of several important recent studies, which will be summarized and synthesized in Findings from a Suite of Studies on Open Access Monograph Publishing.
An issue gaining increased emphasis in CNI’s program is privacy, focusing on how institutions and broader community collaborations are addressing privacy issues related to research, education, publications, and communications at both technical and policy levels. As well as coverage in the plenary sessions, we will have an update on a National Information Standards Organization (NISO) project that is working to develop a consensus framework around patron privacy in library systems.
Support of digital scholarship from various perspectives will be featured in several sessions. An increasing number of our member institutions are involved in providing infrastructure, tools, and services for faculty and students working on innovative digital projects. Some develop physical facilities, often located in libraries, where faculty and students can have access to specialized equipment, tools, and expertise. These spaces also often serve as a mechanism for developing informal communities of practice. CNI has hosted two workshops and an executive roundtable on this topic and will be offering (in collaboration with the Association of Research Libraries [ARL]) a 2016 workshop for those interested in developing digital scholarship centers. CNI’s Joan Lippincott will give a brief update on those activities in a session where representatives from evolving programs at University of California Santa Cruz and North Carolina State University will present their activities in this area.
Additional sessions on approaches to supporting digital scholarship are:
• Digital Scholarship Centers: Two Models, describing programs at the libraries of the University of Iowa and Case Western Reserve University.
• Preparing for New Roles and Transformed Libraries, where Deanna Marcum from Ithaka S+R and Greg Raschke from North Carolina State University will discuss the need for transformation of library subject specialists and technologists to support deeper collaboration around emerging services. They will be joined by a new team of “informationists” and specialists in research data services at University of Cincinnati, which will provide a model of new types of roles for library professionals.
• Experiences with High Resolution Display Walls in Academic Libraries, which will feature case studies from three libraries; these screens, and the staff who work with them, support a variety of research and learning through data visualization and digital scholarship.
• Design Labs at the Intersection of Engaged Learning and Digital Scholarship, which will feature a creative learning environment at the University of Michigan library, and describe the way they are focusing on engaged learning, knowledge creation, and bridging research and learning.
A number of sessions will address digital preservation and stewardship of the cultural record, a central part of CNI’s program. As always, I am delighted to have David Rosenthal of Stanford University return to CNI; he will share the findings of his recent Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded study on the capabilities and potential roles of the newly emerging emulation environments in the preservation of various kinds of digital content. We will also welcome Peter Burnhill of the EDINA project in the UK, who will discuss the Keeper’s Registry, which monitors what materials are being preserved by key institutions or major shared digital preservation infrastructure like LOCKSS or Portico; the registry is an essential (and largely unrecognized) piece of the overall preservation infrastructure, particularly for scholarly journals. Peter will also share some recent data analyzing trends in preservation coverage derived from Keeper’s data.
We will also learn about the transition of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) from its former home at Library of Congress to its new home in the Digital Library Federation (DLF) at CLIR. Cal Lee from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will describe the BitCurator project, which has now grown into a mature collection of open-source digital forensic tools for preservation, and share plans for its next phase, focused on supporting the provision of access to disk images.
Discovery, interoperability, and linked data are topics of interest to many in the CNI community, and we have come to value the insights of Herbert Van de Sompel and Michael Nelson, who will describe the evolution of their perspectives on information interoperability problems for Web-based scholarship, tying together work on a range of interconnected efforts.
Additional sessions on discovery, interoperability, and linked data include:
• Portland Common Data Model, a recent initiative from representatives from a wide range of developers from Hydra, Islandora, Fedora, and the Digital Public Library of America, to develop a common understanding of representation of digital objects to encourage their reuse.
• All for One and One for All, where Stanford’s Tom Cramer will describe a global approach to image interoperability via the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). It’s notable how quickly IIIF seems to be gaining traction as a way to gain interoperability and deploy common tools across disparate and distributed image collection.
• The Future of Linked Data in Libraries discusses a Library of Congress/Stanford University initiative to assess the BIBFRAME ontology to inform future developments in new bibliographic control strategies.
• Linked Data for Libraries and Archives, highlighting a multi-institutional project to use linked open data to leverage the intellectual value of resource descriptions, and a University of Chicago lightweight approach to processing university archives employing linked data.
Explorations of how organizations are developing new services and engaging communities are also key components of CNI’s program. We will have a session with presenters from Union College, in which they will describe their unique, college-wide approach to MakerSpaces. Gardner Campbell from Virginia Commonwealth University will provide insight into an innovative set of short courses where students published their work to the Web, and also developed a book, as the result of unusual circumstances requiring the suspension of the normal “reading days.” Carl Grant will tell us about a wide-ranging exhibit called “Galileo’s World” that included 20 exhibitions in a variety of locations; all exhibits were digitized and loaded into the institutional repository. Some interactive features and events engaged users and encouraged use of library special collections and new technologies.
An increasingly important issue for institutions is providing accessible resources for the community. At University of Texas at Austin, a collaboration between the libraries and campus disability services is resulting in a large-scale video captioning program; the briefing will describe infrastructure, funding, and expertise.
Since the initial founding of the Coalition, we’ve been interested in the ever-evolving thinking about how best to structure relationships between library and information technology (IT) organizations in academic institutions. At this meeting, a session involving representatives of three institutions will discuss the pros and cons of merging and un-merging library and IT organizations.
As part of CNI’s strategy to support leadership development within our community, we have had long-standing engagements with fellows programs sponsored by both CLIR and ARL. Recently, CLIR has conducted a very careful and welcome assessment and analysis of its fellows program and prospects going forward and several of the fellows will describe a new report they have created to document this work.
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 #cni15f.
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