Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

FYI: ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure


Author: Joan mailing

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

FYI Body: THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF LEARNED SOCIETIES (ACLS) ANNOUNCES THE
FORMATION OF A COMMISSION ON CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE HUMANITIES
AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
HTTP://WWW.ACLS.ORG/CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE/CYBER.HTM

(AT THE URL ABOVE, YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO A ONE-WAY, SPAM-FREE EMAIL LIS
FOR UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS CONCERNING THE MEETINGS AND OTHER WORK OF
THE COMMISSION. INPUT FROM THE SCHOLARLY COMMUNITY IS INVITED, AND MAY
BE SENT TO: CYBERCHAIR@ACLS.ORG)


THE CHARGE TO THE COMMISSION

AS SCHOLARS IN THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES USE DIGITAL TOOLS
AND TECHNOLOGIES WITH INCREASING SOPHISTICATION AND INNOVATION, THEY
ARE TRANSFORMING THEIR PRACTICES OF COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION.
NEW FORMS OF SCHOLARSHIP, CRITICISM, AND CREATIVITY PROLIFERATE IN
ARTS AND LETTERS AND IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, RESULTING IN SIGNIFICAN
NEW WORKS ACCESSIBLE AND MEANINGFUL ONLY IN DIGITAL FORM. MANY
TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN PROJECTS IN THESE AREAS HAVE BECOME ENORMOUSLY
COMPLEX AND AT THE SAME TIME INDISPENSABLE FOR TEACHING AND RESEARCH.

FOR THEIR PART, SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS NO LONGER SEE DIGITAL
TECHNOLOGIES MERELY AS TOOLS ENHANCING ESTABLISHED RESEARCH
METHODOLOGIES, BUT AS A FORCE CREATING ENVIRONMENTS THAT ENABLE THE
CREATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE. THE RECENT NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
REPORT, "REVOLUTIONIZING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING THROUGH
CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE," ARGUES FOR LARGE-SCALE INVESTMENTS ACROSS ALL
DISCIPLINES TO DEVELOP THE SHARED TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WILL
SUPPORT EVER-GREATER CAPACITIES. THOSE CAPACITIES WOULD INCLUDE THE
DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF NEW TOOLS; THE RAPID ADOPTION OF BES
PRACTICES; INTEROPERABILITY; THE ABILITY TO INVOKE SERVICES OVER THE
NETWORK; SECURE SHARING OF FACILITIES; LONG-TERM STORAGE OF AND ACCESS
TO IMPORTANT DATA; AND READY AVAILABILITY OF EXPERTISE AND ASSISTANCE.

THE NEEDS OF HUMANISTS AND SCIENTISTS CONVERGE IN THIS EMERGING
CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE. AS THE IMPORTANCE OF TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED
INNOVATION GROWS ACROSS ALL FIELDS, SCHOLARS ARE INCREASINGLY
DEPENDENT ON SOPHISTICATED SYSTEMS FOR THE CREATION, CURATION, AND
PRESERVATION OF INFORMATION. THEY ARE ALSO DEPENDENT ON A POLICY,
ECONOMIC, AND LEGAL ENVIRONMENT THAT ENCOURAGES APPROPRIATE AND
UNIMPEDED ACCESS TO BOTH DIGITAL INFORMATION AND DIGITAL TOOLS. IT IS
CRUCIAL FOR THE HUMANITIES AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES TO JOIN SCIENTISTS
AND ENGINEERS IN DEFINING AND BUILDING THIS INFRASTRUCTURE SO THAT I
MEETS THE NEEDS AND INCORPORATES THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF HUMANISTS AND
SOCIAL SCIENTISTS.

ACLS IS SPONSORING A NATIONAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE AND REPORT ON
THESE ISSUES. THE COMMISSION WILL OPERATE THROUGHOUT 2004, AND IS
CHARGED TO:

I. DESCRIBE AND ANALYZE THE CURRENT STATE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL
SCIENCE CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE

II. ARTICULATE THE REQUIREMENTS AND THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF
THE HUMANITIES AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES IN DEVELOPING A
CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE FOR INFORMATION, TEACHING, AND RESEARCH

III. RECOMMEND AREAS OF EMPHASIS AND COORDINATION FOR THE VARIOUS
AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE, THAT CONTRIBUTE TO
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE


AMONG THE QUESTIONS TO BE EXPLORED IN PURSUING THESE THREE GOALS ARE:

I. DESCRIBE AND ANALYZE THE CURRENT STATE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL
SCIENCE CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE.

1. WHAT CAN BE GENERALIZED FROM THE ALREADY SIGNIFICANT DIGITAL
PROJECTS IN THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES? WHICH HUMANITIES
AND SOCIAL SCIENCE COMMUNITIES ARE MOST ACTIVE AND WHY? OF THOSE
THAT ARE NOT, WHICH MIGHT SOON, EASILY AND/OR PROFITABLY, ENGAGE
MORE DEEPLY WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY? HOW HAVE THOSE SCHOLARS
DEVELOPED COMPUTING APPLICATIONS TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR SCHOLARLY AND
EXPRESSIVE GOALS? WHERE HAVE THEY FAILED TO DO SO, AND WHAT CAN BE
LEARNED FROM THOSE FAILURES?

2. WHAT NEW INTELLECTUAL STRATEGIES, CRITICAL METHODS, AND CREATIVE
PRACTICES ARE EMERGING IN RESPONSE TO TECHNICAL APPLICATIONS IN THE
HUMANITIES? TO WHAT EXTENT ARE DISCIPLINES IN THE HUMANITIES
TRANSFORMING THEMSELVES THROUGH THE USE OF COMPUTING AND NETWORKING
TECHNOLOGIES? WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THAT TRANSFORMATION?

3. WHAT ORGANIZATIONS AND STRUCTURES HAVE EMPOWERED OR IMPEDED THE
DIGITAL HUMANITIES? WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL AND DURABLE
COLLABORATION BETWEEN TECHNOLOGISTS AND HUMANITIES SCHOLARS? WHERE
AND HOW ARE PEOPLE BEING TRAINED TO SUPPORT AND ENGAGE IN SUCH
COLLABORATIONS? WHAT HAS BEEN THE ROLE OF LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES, AND
PUBLISHERS IN THESE PROJECTS?

II. ARTICULATE THE REQUIREMENTS AND THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF
THE HUMANITIES AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES IN DEVELOPING A NATIONAL
CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE FOR INFORMATION, TEACHING, AND RESEARCH.

1. WHAT ARE THE "GRAND CHALLENGE" PROBLEMS FOR THE HUMANITIES AND
SOCIAL SCIENCES IN THE COMING DECADE? ARE THEY TRACTABLE TO
COMPUTATION? DO THEY REQUIRE CYBERINFRASSTRUCTURE IN SOME OTHER WAY?

2. WHAT TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS CAN WE PREDICT THAT WILL HAVE
SPECIAL IMPACT IN THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES IN THE NEAR
FUTURE?

3. WHICH ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTIONALITIES NECESSARY FOR NEW
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE GENERALLY? WHA
KINDS OF HUMANITIES OR SOCIAL SCIENCE PROBLEMS ARE THEORETICALLY
DIFFICULT OR EXPRESSIVELY COMPLEX, OR CHALLENGE OUR ABILITY TO
FORMULATE A COMPUTABLE PROBLEM IN SOME OTHER WAY? WHAT KINDS OF
HUMANITIES OR SOCIAL SCIENCE PROBLEMS ARE COMPUTATIONALLY
INTENSIVE, REQUIRE ESPECIALLY HIGH BANDWIDTH, OR PRESENT RESOURCE
CHALLENGES IN OTHER WAYS?

4. WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS THAT CONFRONT HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
USERS WHO WISH TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF STATE-OF-THE-ART COMPUTATIONAL,
STORAGE, NETWORKING, AND VISUALIZATION RESOURCES IN THEIR RESEARCH?
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REMOVE THESE BARRIERS?

5. WHAT IMPACT WILL THE AVAILABILITY OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE
INFRASTRUCTURE HAVE ON ENABLING CROSS-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH? WHA
WILL HIGH-PERFORMANCE INFRASTRUCTURE MEAN FOR THE BROADER SOCIAL
IMPACT OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES?

6. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES IN
THE COMPUTER-SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING COMMUNITY TO BROADEN ACCESS TO
HIGH-END COMPUTING? HOW CAN COMPUTING EXPERTISE IN THE HUMANITIES
AND SOCIAL SCIENCES THEMSELVES BE INCREASED?

III. RECOMMEND AREAS OF EMPHASIS AND COORDINATION FOR THE VARIOUS
AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE, THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE
DEVELOPMENT OF HUMANITIES CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE.

1. WHAT INVESTMENTS IN CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE ARE LIKELY TO HAVE THE
GREATEST IMPACT ON SCHOLARSHIP IN THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL
SCIENCES?

2. WHAT RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE SHOULD BE COUPLED WITH
CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE?

3. HOW CAN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC FUNDING AGENCIES COORDINATE THEIR
EFFORTS AND COOPERATE WITH UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH LIBRARIES,
DISCIPLINARY ORGANIZATIONS, AND OTHERS TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS OF
CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES?

4. HOW SHOULD NEW INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGIES BE
ADMINISTERED SO AS TO INCLUDE THE HUMANITIES?


THE SCOPE OF WORK AND METHOD

OVER THE COURSE OF 2004, THE COMMISSION WILL INVESTIGATE THE QUESTIONS
RAISED ABOVE, AND OTHERS AS THEY BECOME RELEVANT, BY:

* INVITING EXPERT TESTIMONY IN PUBLIC MEETINGS, IN WRITING, OR IN
PERSONAL INTERVIEWS;
* EXAMINING AND DOCUMENTING ONGOING PRACTICES AND PROJECTS;
* ADMINISTERING A WEB-BASED SURVEY;
* READING BROADLY IN RECENT LITERATURE ON SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING,
LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, AND OTHER RELEVAN
TOPICS;
* CONSULTING WITH FOUNDATIONS AND FUNDING AGENCIES.

THE COMMISSION WILL HOLD A NUMBER OF PUBLIC FORUMS DESIGNED TO
ENCOURAGE THOUGHTFUL, WIDE-RANGING REFLECTION AMONG STAKEHOLDER
COMMUNITIES:

1. MONDAY, APRIL 27TH (AT THE RESEARCH LIBRARIES GROUP ANNUAL MEETING)
2. SATURDAY, MAY 22ND, CHICAGO
3. SATURDAY, JUNE 19TH, NEW YORK
4. SATURDAY, AUGUST 21ST, BERKELEY
5. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH, LOS ANGELES
6. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9TH, HOUSTON
7. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26TH, BALTIMORE (AT THE DIGITAL LIBRARY
FEDERATION'S FALL FORUM)

THE COMMISSION EXPECTS TO PUBLISH ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
EARLY IN 2005.


COMMISSION MEMBERS:

PAUL COURAN
PROVOST & PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

SARAH FRASER
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND CHAIR
ART HISTORY, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

MIKE GOODCHILD
DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR SPATIALLY INTEGRATED SOCIAL SCIENCE
PROFESSOR, GEOGRAPHY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA

MARGARET HEDSTROM
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF INFORMATION
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

CHARLES HENRY
VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
RICE UNIVERSITY

PETER B. KAUFMAN
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES, INNODATA ISOGEN
PRESIDENT, INTELLIGENT TELEVISION

JEROME MCGANN
JOHN STEWART BRYAN PROFESSOR
ENGLISH, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

ROY ROSENZWEIG
ARTS AND SCIENCES DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR
HISTORY, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

JOHN UNSWORTH (CHAIR)
DEAN AND PROFESSOR
GRAD SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

BRUCE ZUCKERMAN
PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF RELIGION
DIRECTOR, ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH COLLECTION
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


ADVISORS TO THE COMMISSION:

DAN ATKINS
PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF INFORMATION
DIRECTOR, ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

JAMES HERBER
SENIOR NSF/NEH ADVISOR
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

CLIFFORD LYNCH, DIRECTOR
COALITION FOR NETWORKED INFORMATION

DEANNA MARCUM
ASSOCIATE LIBRARIAN FOR LIBRARY SERVICES
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

HAROLD SHOR
DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR COMPUTING IN THE HUMANITIES
KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON

STEVE WHEATLEY
VICE-PRESIDENT, AMERICAN COUNCIL OF LEARNED SOCIETIES


SENIOR EDITOR:

ABBY SMITH
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
COUNCIL ON LIBRARY AND INFORMATION RESOURCES
WASHINGTON, DC


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