Mailing List Message #115262
From: Clifford Lynch <>
Sender: <>
Subject: Roadmap for CNI Spring 2024 Member Meeting
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2024 10:15:06 -0400
Meeting Roadmap
A Guide to the Spring 2024
Coalition for Networked Information Membership Meeting
The Spring 2024 CNI Membership Meeting, to be held in San Diego, CA, on March 25-26, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI's programs, showcase projects underway at member institutions, and highlight important national and international developments. Here is the "roadmap" to the meeting, which includes both plenary events and an extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current issues in digital information and technologies.
It has been wonderful to see so many new faces (as well as familiar ones!) at our in-person meetings recently. On behalf of the entire organization, I extend a warm welcome to all those attending CNI for the first time, and I hope that long-time attendees will help to make them welcome. On Monday, March 25, the CNI meeting proper will be preceded by an optional, first-time-attendee introduction and information session at 11:15 am. Light refreshments will be available for all beginning at noon; the opening plenary is at 1:00 pm and will be followed by three rounds of parallel breakout sessions. The day’s presentations will end with a stand-alone, lightning round session, immediately preceding our signature evening reception which will run until 7:30 pm, where we encourage you to follow up with lightning round presenters and connect with old and new colleagues. After the reception, participants can enjoy a wide range of nearby dining options in San Diego.
Tuesday, March 26 begins with optional discussion tables on a defined topic over breakfast, most of which will be lightly facilitated; this program is still relatively new to CNI, first launched at last spring’s meeting, and we’re still experimenting. We welcome your feedback as we refine these. At this year's spring meeting, we're planning about ten of these tables on different topics in the main breakfast area, including four for discussions about the ARL/CNI Task Force on AI futures scenarios for the research enterprise and research libraries, facilitated by Task Force members. Rest assured, though, that there will still be ample space in the main breakfast area for those who prefer unstructured dining and social opportunities. 
After breakfast, the meeting resumes with three additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, a sit-down lunch (provided), two more parallel breakout rounds, and the closing session, concluding around 3:30 pm. As with all recent meetings, we include generous break time for informal networking with colleagues.
The schedule includes leisurely pacing with ample transition time between sessions, a modest number of parallel sessions, and professional recording of all project briefing sessions (unless otherwise requested by presenters) for subsequent public availability. Please continue to keep in mind that many of the project briefings that would have been part of the meeting pre-pandemic are now offered as part of our quarterly edition of video project briefings instead (see for more about CNI’s Pre-Recorded Project Briefing Series). Indeed, one of our breakfast discussions will focus on the subject of a pre-recorded project briefing from the February 2024 issue, “Unblocking the Future: Finding ‘Done’ in Open Source” (; Heather Greer Klein of Samvera, who gave the recorded talk, will facilitate the breakfast discussion.
Project briefing rounds will be 30, 45, or 60 minutes in duration. The lightning round will be comprised of brief presentations on new or ongoing projects or programs, plus a quick roundup of some of the breakfast table topics. Our goal is to provide you with more opportunities to learn about work that impacts the community (and potentially connect to projects of interest) while maintaining a comfortable meeting pace and structure. Breakfast discussion tables are intended to give attendees an opportunity to engage with each other on issues for which there is strong community interest and/or to learn more about initiatives we believe to be of value. We expect breakfast discussions to be relatively unstructured, the role of facilitator to be fairly casual, and that participants will come and go. The meeting agenda contains some of the discussion topics and names of facilitators but more may be added; tables will be designated by topic in the breakfast dining area.
The CNI meeting program is subject to last-minute changes—don’t rule out a late-breaking addition to the line-up! You can find the most current information, including schedule details, on the event Sched ( or on our website; at the meeting, we’ll also have program hard copies for those who want them, as well as a physical message board that will include any last-minute changes. 
Opening and Closing Sessions
We have a fantastic opening plenary session lined up on Monday, March 25, at 1:00 pm: Dan Reed, Presidential Professor of Computational Science at the University of Utah and Chair of the US National Science Board. Through the various roles he has had in his career, Dan has an enormously broad and deeply informed view of not just developments in computational science, but also their interplay with the practice and communication of science, the evolution of science policy, and how science policy fits into the broader national political and policy spheres. Dan has also very graciously agreed to do a follow-on breakout in conversation with me later on Monday, which will allow us and the audience to explore a few topics in greater depth and/or examine additional issues of particular interest to the CNI community.
For the closing session (Tuesday, March 26, 3:00 pm), we’re trying something new. We’ve adjusted the overall meeting schedule to accommodate more breakouts and will not be doing a formal closing plenary for this meeting. Instead, we’ll close the meeting with a lightly structured half-hour interactive session for attendees to share their reflections on the meeting. I hope that this will leave conference participants with a greater sense of synthesis and engagement, shared insights, and collaborative purpose. We will be inviting short reflections from all who wish to share them (or at least as many as we have time to accommodate). Please note that this session will not be recorded.
More information about the opening and closing sessions is available at
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
We offer a great abundance and diversity of material, and I want to provide some additional context that may be helpful. We’ve requested that presenters share their slide decks with us, to put on our website following the meeting, and we expect to make recordings of the vast majority, if not all, project briefings publicly available on our YouTube and Vimeo channels after the meeting; we hope you will share these resources widely with your communities.
Inaugural CNI Senior Scholar Donald Waters will present preliminary findings from, and invite discussion on, his research into the information infrastructure that universities need to best address climate change as a grand challenge; Don will also host a breakfast table on this topic in order to hear from more of you as he prepares his final report.
Over the past several months, CNI has been deeply engaged with partners at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and a task force of volunteers from among our members to develop a set of scenarios to explore possible futures for the research enterprise and research libraries as the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies unfolds over the next decade. We will have a session to introduce the draft scenarios and discuss their potential uses. (Note that there are several additional opportunities to engage the task force; there’s a separate registration focus group on Monday morning and breakfast discussion tables on Tuesday morning as discussed above. We’ll also have a virtual event after the San Diego meeting.)
Several other sessions also illustrate how our community continues to grapple with the potential implications of generative AI on multiple aspects of our work, including information access and retrieval and teaching and learning. A panel will discuss how generative AI is impacting traditional search methods and scholarly information-seeking behaviors in “Navigating the New Era: The Impact of Generative AI on Information Discovery and Literacy,” and we’ll hear about some preliminary findings from research by ITHAKA in “Navigating Generative AI: Early Findings and Implications for Research, Teaching, and Learning.” A panel will discuss a campus collaboration to deploy a suite of initiatives in “Academic Applications of AI: Building Collaboration Among Libraries, IT, Faculty, and Students at San Diego State University.” Jonathan Band and Timothy Vollmer will discuss intellectual property issues related to AI in “Handling Academic Copyright and AI Research Questions as the Law Develops.”
Possible applications of emerging technologies for digital libraries and special collections will be explored in the sessions “The T in GPT: Transformers for Cultural Heritage Work” and “3D Digital Herbarium and 3D Exhibits4Learning.” 
“Opening Collections of Marginalized Voices through Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing” will discuss strategies for making often hidden primary source materials more visible and accessible. A panel will discuss a project to explore issues and opportunities for change in descriptive practices and existing systems and workflows in the session “Reimagine Descriptive Infrastructure: Dreaming and Enacting Change.” 
A cluster of breakouts will focus on various aspects of research data management (RDM) and support, including:
  • “Future-Proofing Research Data Repositories: Keeping Up with the Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence Revolution” looks at some important issues about how repositories can be more hospitable to machine learning. 
  • “Making Research Data Publicly Accessible: Estimates of Institutional & Researcher Expenses” considers an ARL-led, National Science Foundation-funded effort to understand the institutional financial impacts of current data sharing mandates. 
  • “Models of Support for Data Science: The Perspective of Two Libraries” is an interesting comparative case study of a US and a European university. 
  • “A New Approach to Data-Intensive Research Support: Computational Methods and Data at Yale University Library” is a fascinating and innovative organizational development. 
  • “So You Made an Institutional Strategy, Now What? A Canadian Approach to RDM Strategy Implementation”: we’re very pleased to have this session, which looks closely at the interplay between institutional and national strategies for RDM in Canada. There are valuable insights here for US institutions. 
  • “Unveiling Whale Wisdom: Digitizing the Patagonian Right Whale Dataset” is a wonderful look at the challenges of stewardship of older but important scientific data, which is a too often overlooked topic. 
We have a number of briefings that focus on developments in technical research infrastructure; CNI is unique in highlighting these strategic efforts for the broader research and higher education community:
  • “Cloud Labs and Self-Driving Laboratories Update and Futures,” which will include a discussion of a series of NSF-sponsored workshops. 
  • “National Research Platform: Open Cyberinfrastructure for Research,” which I believe will include updates from the 5th NRP workshop that’s being held the week before CNI. 
  • “Scaling Instrument Science in the FAIR Age” looks at another approach to the challenge of automating research data management processes for data derived from instrumentation.
In “Combining Micropublications into a Sustainable Back End and an Integrated Reading Environment,” Gregory Crane will report on updates to the digital humanities project the Perseus Digital Library, involving an initiative aimed at integrating as many different categories of data as possible about cultural spaces. We’ll have two important talks on key content infrastructure that many of our institutions rely upon. “Linked Data in Production: Moving Beyond Ontologies” will describe how Getty has been working to transform and unify its complex digital infrastructure for cultural heritage information. We’ll also get a report on HathiTrust’s future plans in “Recommitment and Recalibration: HathiTrust’s Strategic Vision.”
Finally, we expect the lightning round will include these talks (at least):
  • “Catalyzing African Community Archives for Social Good” (Chris Prom, UIUC)
  • “The Digital Preservation Coalition’s New US-based Program” (Jon Dunn, IU Bloomington)
  • “Infrastructure for Open Scholarship” (Ken Klingenstein, Internet2)
  • “Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom: An Organic Funding Model to Incubate Library Transformation” (Zhiwu Xie, UC Riverside)
  • “Transforming Libraries for the Future: Elevating Service Innovation with Generative AI and Prompt Engineering” (Yinlin Chen, Virginia Tech)
Following immediately on the heels of the lighting talks, before breaking for the first-day reception, we’ll have a brief round-up of some of the breakfast discussion topics, to provide you with a quick overview of what to expect. 
I invite you to browse the complete list of breakout sessions and their full abstracts on the CNI website: In many cases, you will find pointers to reference material that you may find useful to explore before the session, and after the meeting we will add material from the actual presentations, including video recordings, if and when they are available.
On behalf of the CNI team, I look forward to welcoming you to San Diego for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. Please contact me ( or Assistant Executive Director Diane Goldenberg-Hart ( if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.
Clifford Lynch
Executive Director
Coalition for Networked Information

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