Collaborative Research on Emerging Technologies

Recommended Reading

Late in the month of March, two worthwhile research reports emerged through the collaborative effort by the Association of Research Libraries, Born-Digital, Coalition for Networked Information, and EDUCAUSE. Below are all-too-brief summaries of the content of those reports. 

(1)  Lippincott, Sarah. Mapping the Current Landscape of Research Library Engagement with Emerging Technologies in Research and Learning: Executive Summary. Edited by Mary Lee Kennedy, Clifford Lynch, and Scout Calvert. Association of Research Libraries, Born-Digital, Coalition for Networked Information, and EDUCAUSE, March 2020.

This collaborative report from ARL, CNI, Educause, and Born-Digital looks at “four cross-cutting opportunities that permeate many or all aspects of research services. Next, specific opportunities are identified in each of five core research library service areas: Facilitating information discovery, stewarding the scholarly and cultural record, advancing digital scholarship, furthering student learning and success and creating learning and collaboration spaces.” In each instance, key technologies that shape user behaviors and library services are noted with specific successful initiatives provided as examples.

The selected four cross-cutting opportunities are interesting. They include:

  • Engage with machine learning to improve research, learning and scholarly communication

  • Bolster services that recognize the centrality of data to the research enterprise

  • Integrate the library’s services and collections with the networked environment

  • Cultivate privacy awareness and privacy services

The time frame suggested in the report for libraries to have the opportunity to seize these opportunities is five years.  

UPDATED NOTE: Segments of the full report are being added on a regular basis. See this announcement from the ARL Blog. 

(2)  Calvert, Scout, and Mary Lee Kennedy. Emerging Technologies for Research and Learning: Interviews with Experts. Edited by Clifford Lynch and John O’Brien. Association of Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, and EDUCAUSE, March 2020.

This second report is a companion publication to the above referenced Executive Summary. It “complements the landscape review by summarizing and synthesizing a series of interviews conducted in late 2019 and early 2020 with experts in research and academic technologies from several allied sectors: associations, businesses, academia, and the nonprofit research sector.”  Among others, the experts interviewed included such luminaries as Lee Rainie, Director of Internet and Technology Research, Pew Research Center, George Strawn, Director, Board on Research Data and Information, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and Michele Norin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 

Themes emerging from the interviews focused on data-intensive science and scholarship, shaping the direction of smart machines, knowledge stewardship, and opportunities for research library leadership. 

NISO NOTE: The Association of Research Libraries is a voting member organization of NISO.