CNI continues to be engaged in key areas of standards and infrastructure development. The Coalition is particularly concerned with facilitating the difficult and delicate transition of standards and technologies into operational infrastructure for the research, higher education and library communities. For example, federated identity management is becoming a key infrastructure component to support research using resources beyond a single campus. Another example: while there has been good work recently on linked data and on annotation, there are practical deployment questions, regarding where data is actually hosted and where computation occurs, that still need to be fully explored.
In addition to the specific program initiatives described here, CNI participates in and tracks a wide range of developments in areas as diverse as identifiers, digital books, metadata standards, distributed and federated network services, harvesting technologies, recommender systems, and personalization technologies. As we look at an evolving landscape that includes commercial web search engines, traditional library automation tools such as online catalogs, stand-alone abstracting and indexing databases, systems deployed by scholarly publishers, museums, and other content providers, and learning management systems, the Coalition is concerned with architectural and standards frameworks that can facilitate integration and interoperation. This perspective has motivated much of our work over the last few years on cyberinfrastructure, IRs, the various components of the Open Archives Initiative (including the protocol for metadata harvesting, the object reuse and exchange protocol, and, most recently, the Open Annotation work), and learning management systems. One of our most important contributions is the ability to promote discussions across project and technology silos that help to reduce redundancy, increase coherence, and facilitate scalability.
Currently, we see a number of trends that we believe will drive a renewed focus on standards and infrastructure, including the proliferation of mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, e-book readers, etc.), the move towards data resources as part of the infrastructure (changes in identity management, bibliographic control, etc.), and the move towards cross-institutional systems (web-scale discovery and resource sharing, cloud computing, and distributed storage). Many of the latest developments couple technical issues with policy challenges in novel ways.
We also continue to track and inform our members about developments in technologies that promise to change the way we can capture or document objects and events digitally (for example, through developments in computational digital photography and image capture), and the way we can share or reproduce them (for example, through 3-D printing technologies).