Mailing List Message #114915
From: Cliff Lynch <>
Sender: <>
Subject: Collecting up some interesting reading pointers
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2021 09:45:30 -0400
I'm a bit behind on material that I've intended to share with the CNI-announce list, apologies. Rather than sending out a whole series of individual messages, I thought that I would share a half-dozen or so links to materials of potential interest to readers of this list.

Many of you will know Alison Head, who gave a wonderful plenary session at CNI in 2017, and Project Information Literacy (PIL), which she leads. PIL has been running an excellent series of short essays called "Provocations", and Alison has just contributed one titled "Reading in the Age of Distrust" which I highly recommend. See  (which includes a link to the full series).


SPARC has put out an interesting piece titled "Addressing the Alarming Systems of Surveillance Built by Library Vendors" which focuses attention on various large scale data collection and analysis systems build by the parent companies of key scholarly publishing and library systems vendors. To my mind, though, the one really crucial question that SPARC's piece doesn't raise and we should be very mindful of is this: to what extent is data gathered from actual scholarly publishing and library platforms being captured and transferred into these much broader data collection and analysis platforms? We know that it's relatively unusual for contractual provisions in library contracts with these vendors to actually prohibit this transfer, at least based on some surveys that CNI has done a few years ago, but I have no data that suggests it's actually happening. I would welcome information on this.

For the SPARC piece, see


Last week, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) came out with a call for funding applications to strengthen the discoverability and interoperability of biomedical data repositories that may be of interest to some CNI institutions. See


Finally, we have two large pieces of future visioning for those interested in that. The first, from the Future Today Institute, is their 2021 Tech Trends Report. This is organized in a set of about a dozen topical reads, each taking around an hour to go through. There's a short overview that collects the highlights from all areas which is a very manageable read. See

The second report is the quadrennial report on Future Trends from the US National Intelligence Council sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This report, which has been issued periodically since the late 1990s, is a major analysis of geopolitical developments; it include but does not necessarily focus on technology trends. These reports emphasize possible scenarios rather than firm predictions. There's a huge amount of material here, which is well worth browsing. The title of this particular report is Future Trends 2040: A More Contested World. See

I hope that some of these materials are new to you, and are helpful.

Clifford Lynch
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