ATG Trendspotting Lab

by | Nov 6, 2018 | 0 comments

Katina Strauch

Katina Strauch

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Katina Strauch had the vision for this session, and the inital one occurred at last year’s Charleston Conference (click here for a summary). She asked Lisa Janicke Hinchcliffe to lead this year’s followup. Lisa distributed a list of the following nine trends before the Lab and attendees were asked to vote for the three of most interest to them.

  1. All About Analytics and Algorithms (Data, Algorithms, and Move from Descriptive to Predictive)
  2. Who Really Knows Anyway? (Anti-Intellectualism, Cynicism, and Distrust of Institutions Previously Trusted)
  3. Everything is Computational (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
  4. You Call That Content? (Content Redefined – Abundance, Formats, Data, Code, Fragmentation)
  5. The Carbon Imprint (Climate Change and Environmental Impact of Publishing and Libraries)
  6. Securing the Record (Cybersecurity and Threats to Intellectual Property/Content)
  7. The Common Good Dissolves (Defunding of and Eroding Support for Public Goods)
  8. Just for You and Just for Me (Personalization and Customization of Information Environments)
  9. The Researcher’s Way (Researcher Controlled Information Environments, Workflows, and Tools)

The most popular trend was no. 9. Nobody voted for no. 5.

Groups were formed to discuss the following questions related to these trends:

  • How does this trend manifest itself in our information industry?
  • What are its impacts on scholarship, content creation, quality control, publishing, purchasing/licensing, discovery and access, and information use?
  • How would you assess the speed, impact, and desirability of the changes you see coming in 3-5 years?
  • What is the best case scenario?
  • What is the worst case scenario?

Here are some of the attendees’ comments on this exercise:

  • We did not want to discuss the worst cases. But the future is not inevitable.
  • Who defines the “public good”? Administrators are under pressure to talk about their ROI. They want to do something big and have a lot of outside impact.
  • OA is not easy. It must be secured and involves multiple disconnected databases. We are not sure that OA is totally secure, especially with datasets.
  • There are differences between disciplines. Authors in humanities may not think about their work over the years as a dataset.
  • Some countries are suppressing scientific scholarly records. If they do that, what’s next?
  • We have more knowledge about parts of the system rather than the entire path. Maybe the “public good” is not represented by our knowledge. There should be a large nonprofit organization for North America that would decide what the “public good” is. As we expand beyond our understanding of what “content” is, there are a lot of areas where there is no available metadata.
  • Information abundance s contributing to a narrowing of scholarship. If we can make materials navigable by people who want them, that may be an improvement.

Click here to see the trendspotting website. The Twitter hashtag is #atgtrendspotting.

 

Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.

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