Mailing List Message #113342
From: Clifford Lynch <>
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Subject: Roadmap for CNI December 2008 Meeting
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 12:05:03 -0500
Roadmap for CNI December 2008 Meeting
A Guide to the Fall 2008
Coalition for Networked Information Task Force Meeting

The Fall 2008 CNI Task Force meeting, to be held at the Renaissance  Washington Hotel in Washington, DC on December 8 and 9, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI's programs, showcase projects underway at Task Force member institutions, and highlight important national and international developments. Here is the "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 always, we have strived to present sessions that reflect late-breaking developments and also take advantage of our venue in Washington DC 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 are also welcome.  Refreshments are available for all at 12:15 PM on Monday, December 8.  The opening plenary is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by two rounds of parallel breakout sessions.  Tuesday, December 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 till 7:00 PM on the evening of Monday, December 8, after which participants can enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities in the Washington area.

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 Web site, and on the announcements board near the registration desk at the meeting.

The Plenary Sessions

I have again this year reserved the opening plenary session to explore key developments in networked information, discuss progress on the Coalition's agenda, and highlight selected initiatives from the 2008-2009 Program Plan.  The Program Plan will be distributed in hardcopy at the meeting (and will be available electronically on the Coalition's Web site, around December 10).  I look forward to sharing the Coalition's continually evolving strategy with you, as well as discussing current issues.  The opening plenary will include time for questions and discussion, and I am eager to hear your comments.

The opening plenary will also include the presentation of the 2008 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards for Technology Collaboration.  These awards recognize non-profit organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the collaborative development of open source software through the contribution of substantial self-funded organizational resources.  You can find out more about the awards, and the stellar award jury (which includes several recipients of CNI's Paul Evan Peters award) at  The awards will be presented by Google's Vint Cerf.

The closing plenary, scheduled to start at 2:15PM on Tuesday, will focus on the report of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) recent task force on cyberlearning, "Fostering Learning in the Networked World:  The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge" (  This task force, chartered jointly by NSF's Office of Cyberinfrastructure and its Education and Human Resources Directorate, explored many aspects of the opportunities created by cyberinfastructure investments to transform teaching and learning at all levels; these have received little attention compared to the focus on cyberinfrastructure in support of research.

The plenary will feature a presentation by Professor Christine Borgman of the University of California Los Angeles, who served as chair of the task force.  Chris is a well known and prominent information scientist who has worked across a wide range of policy and technical areas; recently she has been a co-founder of the Center for Embedded Network Sensing at UCLA, and also authored the book Scholarship in the Digital Age:  Information, Infrastructure and the Internet (MIT Press, 2007), a detailed look at the evolution of scholarly communication and scholarly practice in the era of e-science, which just received the American Society for Information Science and Technology Book of the Year award.

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 2008-2009 Program Plan and also a few 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.  We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and as always, we will try to put material from these sessions on our Web site following the meeting for those who were unable to attend.  I am particularly pleased that we have a large number of sessions in which the presenters are explicitly seeking input on next steps from the CNI meeting attendees; these opportunities for direct involvement in shaping projects that will often benefit the community at large are a hallmark of CNI meetings.

Work on issues related to institutional repositories, discipline-related repositories, and management of locally produced scholarship is becoming more mature and responsive to disciplinary needs.  Initiatives related to the management of large data sets in repositories are also of great interest this year.  Sessions on topics in these areas include two briefings on national initiatives related to data management- in Australia and in Canada.  An initiative at Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis is building a permanent digital repository in partnership with public policy experts at a nonprofit organization; they will describe their process and collaborative relationship.  At the University of Rochester, the library is attempting to understand the needs of the next generation of academics for repository services by studying graduate students writing dissertations; they will describe their results and the new authoring and collaboration tools they have developed as a result of their study.

Recently, Herbert van de Sompel, Carl Lagoze, and their colleagues issued the production version of the specification for the Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) protocols developed under a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  These will be important both in inter-repository applications and in integrating repositories into broader scholarly and scientific workflow; we will have a session describing developments in this area.

Librarians have been rethinking the future of their integrated library systems (ILS) and, more broadly, their capabilities for connecting users with a broad array of information resources and services for a number of years.  We will have presentations from a number of these initiatives.  The eXtensible Catalog initiative provides libraries with new user interfaces and tools, particularly those that will bring library metadata into Web environments natively.  The Mellon Foundation is funding the Open Library Environment Project to plan a community-designed open source alternative to the traditional ILS.  A project at the University of Konstanz in Germany has developed a visual interface for searching multimedia digital objects.  At North Carolina State University, a number of initiatives have been implemented to improve access to library collections and services beyond the traditional catalog, for example through course management system Web sites or via users' mobile devices.

Sessions on digital library initiatives range from those that focus on large-scale digitization projects to specialized collections of interest to researchers, students, and the public.  The HathiTrust is a newly announced digital repository for research libraries that will bring together content from large-scale digitization efforts under the principles of long-term archiving required by research libraries.  A number of partners, including the Internet Archive, are working to establish a digital library that will capture and store information related to major crises.  An international initiative is working to find innovative ways to provide access to the literature of biological diversity, focusing on a schema to expose the rich data inside existing publications.  The Roman de la Rose digital library project is entering a new phase, shifting from a focus on digitized manuscripts to a new data-centric view to provide content for e-scholarship in the humanities.  The Society of Architectural Historians is developing a resources archive as a collaborative effort to build a large repository of images for architecture-related research and teaching.  The American School of Classical studies at Athens is developing a repository for data associated with long-term archaeological projects.  RLG Programs has been investigating library, archive, and museum collaboration and will present findings from their report on the topic as well as feature initiatives from the Smithsonian and Princeton University that focus on management of digital assets of a variety of types.

The promise of interactive publications has been frequently discussed but has been elusive to achieve.  A team from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), led by NLM's Director, Dr. Donald Lindberg, will present their initiatives related to interactivity in publications and its impact on users.  Also in the area of scholarly publication, we will have a discussion of the recently released report that the Association of Research Libraries commissioned from Ithaka exploring emerging genres of digital scholarship, and faculty practices in employing these new genres.  A session by John Wilbanks of the Creative Commons/Science Commons will look at knowledge representation and scholarly communication, and ask participants to think about the ways in which technology, particularly computable graphs, enable us to do research in new ways, resulting in new types of technical, legal, and social challenges.

We will have strong coverage of digital preservation, including a presentation of the Data Audit Framework, which can be used by any organization to identify, locate, describe and assess how they are managing their research data assets; it was developed by the HATII group at University of Glasgow and funded through the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).  Two briefings will focus on aspects of preservation related to Web resources-one on the very timely issue of preserving US government Web sites and the other on developing a collection-building model for harvesting and preserving Web content.  We will have a session highlighting the work of a partnership for preservation-the MetaArchive Cooperative- that now includes members in the US and the UK.  We will also have a talk on the notion of "effectiveness" in digital preservation, challenging the participants to analyze the characteristics of digital preservation and offering a model and strategy for its implementation.  A project developing a multi-institutional open source platform for distributed replication of archival content, employing a type of LOCKSS technology, will be described.

A number of sessions will explore what types of services today's information users, seekers, and creators need and how libraries and information technology providers are innovating to meet those needs.  CNI's Joan Lippincott will report on how some libraries are offering content and services configured for mobile devices and suggestions for launching a planning process in this area.  Syracuse University employed ethnographic methods to study the use of tools and information access behavior of faculty, students, and librarians and identified a number of differences that could lead to barriers to delivering information services.  At George Mason University, an administrative mandate has led to development of a richly featured portal environment for graduate programs.  Project Bamboo, led by UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago, is exploring how shared technology services for the humanities can enhance research, learning, and scholarship; CNI participants will be asked to assist with planning the evolution of this project. 

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative will invite attendees to participate in an interactive session to identify key challenges in teaching and learning with information technology.  Susan Metros of the University of Southern California will describe a contingency plan for offering a general education project, developed by IT staff working with librarians and faculty, for students who are affected by events that close a campus for an extended period of time.  In a project that is receiving attention in the national news, the University of Richmond is developing two student-focused projects that combine digital information with teaching and learning:  one is the Voting America project, and the other project aggregates the work of students to produce a large resource related to American history.  The Digital Bridges project, developed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, is dedicated to connecting classroom study to curated digital collections.  At the ResearchChannel, researchers and academics are able to use a collaborative environment, Research1, that can also assist in fulfilling public outreach requirements and foster communication among scientists, educators, students, and the public.

Finally, our colleagues from American University will present their important work on copyright balance and fair use in networked learning, including a discussion of some codes of best practices in fair use developed by various organizations.  Ken Klingenstein of Internet2 will discuss initiatives related to federated identity and encourage librarians in particular to become involved in this area, especially in regards to human interface development, privacy management, and metadata.  In what promises to be an enlightening and entertaining session, Bryan Alexander will describe how the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) is using a Web-based prediction market to understand emerging trends in teaching with technology.

There is much more, and I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts at the CNI Web site.  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 when it is available to us.

I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC this December for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting.  Please contact me (, or Joan Lippincott, CNI's Associate Director ( if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.

Clifford Lynch

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