Ronald L. Larsen
Dean and Professor
University of Pittsburgh
Program Officer for Scholarly Communications
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign
Digital libraries are transforming research and scholarship. Vast quantities of information are being collected and stored online and organized so that they are accessible to everyone. Substantial improvements in scholarly productivity are already apparent. Digital resources have demonstrated the potential to advance scholarly productivity, easily doubling research output in many fields within the next decade. These resources may also become primary resources for education, holding the potential for advances in life-long learning that have been sought for many years. Productivity is increasing because scientists can test new hypotheses against already stored data, instead of performing additional experiments. Key data are increasingly gathered by automated sensors and recorded in large databanks. But the potential advances in knowledge are at risk without a comprehensive program of federal research to manage the ever-increasing flood of information.
In June 2003 the NSF sponsored a workshop in Chatham, Massachusetts, involving recognized national and international scholars and researchers to frame the long-term research agenda necessary to realize such a scholarly communication infrastructure. This session will present an advance look into the upcoming report and conclusions of that workshop.
Knowledge Lost in Information