A Guide to the Spring 2019
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Spring 2019 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held at The Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis, MO on April 8-9, 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 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. Refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, April 8. The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by four rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, April 9, 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 8, after which participants can enjoy an evening in St. Louis.
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. 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-2019), and we’ll still have printed programs available for those that want them.
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 Professor Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. You may recall that, formerly, Kathleen was director of scholarly communication at the Modern Language Association, where she also served as associate executive director, so she really brings an interesting perspective to the issues confronting higher education and scholarly communication. She will be sharing with us some of the theories and findings that she explores in her most recent book, Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Johns Hopkins, 2019); I think you’ll find her talk, “Generous Thinking: Sustainability, Solidarity, and the Common Good,” a fascinating exploration of the competition/collaboration paradox. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an interesting interview with Kathleen, in which she touches on some of these issues: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Does-Higher-Ed-Need-to/245769.
Professor Michael L. Nelson of Old Dominion University will close the meeting with his talk “Web Archives at the Nexus of Good Fakes and Flawed Originals,” which will explore the current and perhaps, for many, surprisingly fragile state of web archives and prospects for the future. Michael is in ODU’s computer science department, where he leads the Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group. He has spoken at CNI several times through the years, and I’m delighted that he’s accepted our invitation to help us take a deeper look at the pressing challenges of the reliability and trustworthiness of web archives.
You can find more information about the plenary speakers, as well as abstracts of their talks, at https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2019/plenary-sessions-s19.
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 2018-2019 Program Plan (https://www.cni.org/program) and also a few other sessions of special interest, and to provide some additional context for certain 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.
Major shifts in the publishing industry and implications for contracts, competition, and access to intellectual property are issues that have captured considerable attention in our community for a long time now, and I’m sure you’ve all been following the news out of the University of California system and their dealings with Elsevier. A team from UC will be here to share the details of those negotiations and to engage in conversation on these questions. We will have a panel to explore the return on investment of open access, and another group of presenters, including Heather Joseph of SPARC, will discuss two projects that aim to streamline and improve efficiencies for open source software projects. Heather will also present a talk about the focus on data analytics taking hold in publishing and the implications for teaching, research, and funding, among other things. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently funded a study focused on the viability of a data trust to share usage data for open-access scholarly monographs, and we will receive a summary of those findings.
Privacy and identity are closely related to the issue of data collection in publishing, and we will have a session that explores this very question, “Collecting, Correlating, Stitching, Enriching: How Commercial Publishers are Creating Value by Profiling Users,” by a team from Temple and Minnesota. A lot of good work on privacy has been coming out of Montana State University recently and they will discuss the National Forum on Web Privacy and Web Analytics, an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded project. Other sessions related to this topic include “Students’ Growing Concern with Surveillance Capitalism” by Jim Hahn of UIUC; Jeremy Frumkin, from the University of Arizona, will present “When Research Data Requires Controls: Institutional Support for CUI and HIPAA.” A panel will discuss a nation-wide consortial approach to ORCID (Open Researcher & Contributor Identifier) membership for research institutions in the US, known as the ORCID US Community. We will also hear about a project that has made some significant progress in its goal to develop an open, unique, high-level identifier for every research organization in the world: the Research Organization Registry.
Scholarly communication is an important linchpin of CNI’s agenda, and we will have several presentations that relate both directly and indirectly to how research and scholarship make their way through the knowledge ecosystem. In a joint breakout, we’ll learn about two scholarly output initiatives, one at the Smithsonian, and the other at Weill Cornell Medicine, which has implemented VIVO Dashboard. Texas A&M and Duke will also report on VIVO implementations. Herbert Van de Sompel and Martin Klein return to discuss the issue of scholarly orphans from an institutional perspective, and a team from MIT will talk about the “Grand Challenges-Based Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication and Information Science.”
Issues relating to institutional repositories will be well represented at this meeting:
• We’ll get an update from the California Digital Library on developments in its new partnership with Dryad.
• There will be a report on the latest release of Islandora, as well as an update on the future of the platform.
• A combined breakout will include reports from Northwestern and the University of Denver on managing digital institutional content.
• The University of Houston will describe the Bridge2Hyku toolkit, to facilitate migrating content from proprietary systems to open source repositories.
• Panelists from several institutions, along with David Wilcox of DuraSpace, will talk about a strategic plan for Fedora.
• From King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST),
there will be a discussion of the role of the institutional repository in university reporting workflows.
• The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has been developing an integrated repository service with the capacity to curate and provide access to multiple types of materials; they will be discussing their efforts.
• Moving from a commercial product to an open-source product with an active community will be the subject of a presentation from Georgia State University.
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 on data and
research services include:
• A presentation from Ithaka S+R, based on their findings of the research practices of scholars, on holistic approaches to RDM.
• A team from Penn State will discuss developing collaborative, faculty-centered services for public access to research data.
• We will have a discussion of alternative RDM models for smaller research libraries from Rensselaer Polytechnic.
• From the University of Minnesota and OCLC, there will be a report on the results from a global survey on research information management systems.
• At Kansas State University, an information professional partnered with a researcher to curate project data; this collaboration will be the subject of a breakout.
• We will have a presentation considering what type of data science support is needed for social science research.
• A team will describe the continuation of the Always Already Computational: Collections as Data project, now called Collections as Data: Part to Whole, which aims to support computationally driven research and teaching and considers the organizational implications of this work.
A meeting of the Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC) has been co-located with the CNI meeting this spring, and we’ve invited our research-computing colleagues to present a few breakouts on their work, as well as a session on CaRCC itself: the Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC) which is a production platform for operations, applied training, monitoring, and research and education support; a speaker from UC Berkeley discusses a framework for a job family classification and advancement system for Research IT professionals—in a real sense, an effort to professionalize and institutionalize research IT roles—to aid in recruitment and retention efforts. In addition, there will be a presentation on the LIS Education and Data Science for the National Digital Platform (LEADS-4-NDP) program, which is addressing the need for practitioners who can apply data science techniques to improve information services and operations.
A number of sessions will focus on digital scholarship, including a presentation from the University of Florida on an international, cross-institutional initiative to identify and digitize published materials pertaining to Cuba. Ryan Cordell, professor of English at Northeastern University, will discuss a report on the state of optical character recognition (OCR) for historical documents, and also share some recommendations for quality improvement. We will hear about three related but different projects at Emory University which engaged non-traditional scholars using similar software and digital components, but that provide very different experiences for users.
We have a strong set of sessions on various aspects of digital preservation, a topic of great interest to our members. We’ll have a joint session exploring digital preservation projects: the University of Chicago will describe the challenges in stewarding digital content without a repository, and the University of Manitoba discusses a coordinated approach to preserving digital assets.
Other sessions on digital preservation:
• Yale University has been tackling software preservation and emulation for some time now, and we will hear about their focus on the development of technology and services that support distributed management, documentation, sharing, and use of emulated software across a broad range of disciplines.
• In another Yale initiative, we’ll learn about data protection
strategies that provide multiple copies of data in multiple formats at multiple locations.
• Panelists from the Internet Archive, UVA, and Stanford will consider the challenges of improving digital preservation, including architecture, the services ecosystem, new technologies, best practices, and other elements.
• Speakers from DuraSpace, Cornell and Emory will describe the Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL), born out of an effort to define an open and application-independent approach to the long-term preservation of digital objects.
• The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will join us to talk about efforts to preserve the historical record of the Federal Reserve System through a centralized digital preservation program for all 12 banks in the system.
• The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a National Leadership grant to address the issues of long-term accessibility, usability and interoperability of digital 3D objects; project leaders will report on the community of practice which aims to produce recommendations for this purpose.
In the area of assessment McMaster University and OCLC will present on a survey of research libraries in Canada, looking at trends, capacities, priorities and collaborations within that community.
Representatives from LYRASIS and DuraSpace will be discussing the merger between the two organizations and its impact. We will hear from the University of Oregon’s virtual teams model to facilitate inter-departmental work. Maurice York will share a compelling approach to the ever-challenging task of technology strategic planning.
We will have some sessions that describe new services, spaces, and new ways of working with faculty and students. “Services & Resources to Support Students” features two projects: the Applied Research in Immersive Environments and Simulations (ARIES) program at Virginia Tech supports applied research that brings together industry partners, faculty, and students; a campus-wide ePoster service introduced at KAUST. A session from the University of Oklahoma will discuss developing a 3D scanning service, and we’ll hear about virtual reality (VR) initiatives at the University of New Mexico. More about user services will be covered in these sessions:
• CNI’s Joan Lippincott joins a panel to report on a roundtable co-hosted by CNI and the Learning Spaces Collaboratory on how new and renovated spaces can better reflect needs and contribute to institutional priorities.
• Johns Hopkins is using its large-scale visualization display to support student wellness in an attempt to deal with the alarming trend of undergraduate students struggling with overwhelming stress and mental health issues.
• At Georgetown University, a thriving community of practice has emerged from the makerspace programs, helping to attract new users and provide a diverse, interdisciplinary, and collaborative environment.
• The Digital Skills Hub (DiSH) at the University of Oklahoma provides all students, staff and faculty, regardless of school or departmental affiliation, with training and access to new technologies including VR, 3D printing, digital media, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.
• The University of Wyoming will share how they are using 3D scanning and augmented reality (AR) to promote digital collections through the development of a content delivery system that utilizes, in part, a smart device AR application.
• The University of Michigan will describe a project between the library and the School of Information to provide authentic learning and research experiences for students, which intersects with broader service design efforts within the university.
Other sessions will focus on collections and discoverability. Presenters from two institutions that implemented very different high-density storage spaces will discuss their respective systems and how they developed their infrastructures to facilitate the integration of tools to promote discoverability. The challenges of implementing Section 508 compliance, to ensure that information and communication technology is accessible to individuals with disabilities, will be explored. Presenters will discuss state digital libraries that are closely tied to the state’s flagship university, and how those institutions contribute to developing and sustaining those platforms. The Archives Unleashed Cloud facilitates scholars’ ability to work with data at scale. Project ReShare is a group of varied stakeholders aiming to create a new and open approach to library resource sharing systems.
Finally, we will have a provocative session addressing issues of equity and diversity in access: we’ll hear about Louisiana State University’s efforts to devise anti-racist digitization prioritization policies. Recognizing that, by choosing what is digitized, institutions make choices about what narratives to promote, what history to highlight, and what legacies to further, LSU is closely examining its position as a collecting repository at a historically white university in the South, and what role racism has played in its collecting and digitizing policies and practices.
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions at the meeting website: https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2019/. In many cases, you will find that the 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 made available to us. We will be recording the plenary sessions and a few breakout sessions 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! The videos will be made available in the weeks following the meeting. You can follow the meeting on Twitter by using the hashtag #cni19s.
I look forward to seeing you in St. Louis for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me (email@example.com) or CNI Associate Director Joan Lippincott (firstname.lastname@example.org) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Coalition for Networked Information