Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring CNI Membership Meeting, Baltimore

I attended the Spring Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Membership Meeting here in Baltimore on April 12 and 13. On April 13 David Reynolds and I gave a presentation, "Curating Published Data", about our DataPub project. It went swimmingly.

Luckily, presenters get to stay for the whole conference, so I did, and I had the pleasure of attending some really worthwhile presentations. I've included my notes below, for what they're worth -- I take skimpy, keyword-based notes: "Hey, they said the word 'interoperable' again!". They are valuable to me as aide-mémoires.

I'd say the main themes of the conference were "interoperability" and "data". The highlights for me included:

1. Hearing Clifford Lynch speak. When he speaks, everyone should stop and listen. It has long been my feeling that if you want to locate the one guy who knows exactly what's going on this very minute at the intersection of the library world and the academic computing world, you've found him in Cliff Lynch.

2. Learning about Indiana University's collaboration with Canada's Public Knowledge Project, Rice's Connexions project, and Duraspace to link together the PKPs Open Journal System publishing system with the Connexions learning object management system with Duraspace's cloud-based repository service.

3. Learning about MIT's Simile software for data visualization and how our colleagues and co-presenters from the Netherlands are using it to create "enhanced" publications. Specifically, they are using various Simile widgets to enhance the Journal of Archaeology of the Low-Lands, using it for GIS visualization, sortable data grids, etc. (As a side note, did you know?: All government-sponsored researchers in the Netherlands are required to submit their datasets to a central repository. I did not know that. Interesting...)

4. Learning more about George Mason's Omeka software, hearing about Columbia's use of it, pushing Web publication of exhibits out from the Tech staff to the Curatorial staff, and how they've gone from 1.5 online exhibitions a year to 13 using this software. We should look into this here. I've already installed Omeka on my workstation. I look forward to the release of various useful Omeka plugins by Columbia and UVa, most notably a plugin allowing persistent storage for Omeka to point to objects in a Fedora repository.

5. I was interested to learn that UVa employs two full-time GIS trainers for their popular "GIS and the Humanities" track. This is a short course I would like to take.

6. I was interested to learn that the Connexions software has the facility for creating a monograph, complete with table of contents, pagination, orphan/widow control, typography, page layout, indexes, etc. Very impressive. Something to look into and compare with PKP's upcoming Open Monograph Press.

Overall, the CNI conference was a worthwhile day and a half. And did I mention, the Marriott Waterfront overlooking Pier Six and Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a wonderful place for a conference, and lunch on Tuesday was fantastic?!

Mark Cyzyk


Harvard, MIT, NCAR
KU's (Kansas) experience with Open Access, repositories, etc.
Cliff's query about the position of society publishers. Prospects of disciplinary IRs.
MIT making progress with those publishers who "pass the IQ test"

UVa's Scholar's Lab
Gateway, showcase, find way through services, support for teaching and technology
History of setting up this Ed-Tech group at UVa
Library as lab for humanities research
Electronic centers
Literally, a history of ed-tech at UVa, including buildings, moves, renovations, architects
Budget lines, accountability, intraorganizational, er, organization
Essentially describing CIAT at Towson, CER at Hopkins
Physical space, like BLC
History of staffing
Skunkworks. Incubator projects
NEH grants
Spatial and location-based digital humanities
Omeka plugins, Blacklight
NEH grant for GIS and the Humanities
321 classes in the past month
GIS training is booming
Two full time GIS specialists in the Scholar's Lab
"GIS for Humanists" course

Our presentation. Netherlands. Narsis. Simile from MIT data visualization software

Big Digital Machine
Indiana. Collaboration between Duraspace, PKP/OJS, Connexions. Integration
A fabric of technologies. Provide durability layer
DSpace as frontend, Fedora as deep archive, DuraCloud for storage
OJS use of SWORD
Connexions "lenses" [views]. Selective archiving of content
Islandora mentioned on one slide
Overview of Connexions. Instructional modules. Collections of modules
Learning objects. "Lenses" as an endorsement, imprimatur
Book publishing with Connexions. Table of contents. Pagination. Page layout. Orphan/widow control.
Lightweight branding/full branding
Enterprise Rhaptos -- standalone version of Connexions
Connexions Consortium
OJS/Connexions integration
OJS admin can add OJS journal to Connexions via SWORD

Turning Curators into Web Publishers at Columbia
Exhibitions, gallery services
Omeka plugins
Online versions of physical exhibitions
Online-only thematic galleries
Less mediation by technology staff
Empower curators to become Web publishers
Aquifer MODS format
Fedora for centralized digital asset management
Multiple tracks relative to the difficulty of the exhibition
1. Digital project track for complex projects
project proposal to AULs. AULs signoff
2. Brick and Mortar plus digital component
Curators choose from preexisting templates to support physical exhibition
Exhibition Support Tool plus Omeka
Online exhibition planning form, protocol for planning and implementation of the exhibition
3. Brick and Mortar only
Exhibition Support Tool used here too
4. Online Gallery track
short term, streamlined planning, limited metadata, adequately served by Omeka
Digitization workflow
Omeka Rich Internet Application features
Omeka Dublin Core
But not MODS compliant
Local storage only, out of the box
No workflow or physical exhibition support
ESTO Exhibition Support Tool
Omeka MODS plugin forthcoming
Columbia has produced 13 exhibits in the past year with this! quick and efficient
UVa Fedora to Omeka plugin. Fedora as backend to Omeka frontend
UVa EAD to Omeka plugin (import), Solr search plugin

Closing Plenary
Codes, Clouds and Constellations: Open Science in the Data Decade
Liz Lyon: UKoln, University of Bath
"Open Science Report" commissioned by JISC, last November
Scaling to share
Cloud computing, Amazon elastic cloud services, Prosper software for genome sequencing
Genome scale biology. Genome data as a commodity
Need for data sharing
Need for data attribution. Data citation
The curation gap
Tapping into citizen science
How are our institutions responding to all of this?
High throughput biology. Mentioned Johns Hopkins' center
Research triangle cloud computing project
Need for data informatics in Information Schools
Illinois, course in data curation

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