FYI: new NIDR initiative from CNI Mon, 21 November 1994 08:50 UTC

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Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 08:34:24 +0000
Subject: FYI: new NIDR initiative from CNI
Precedence: list

I don't think these lists have seen this. Jill

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Date:    Mon, 07 Nov 1994 11:27:21 -0500
From:    Paul Evan Peters <>
To:      Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: New Coalition Initiative: NIDR White Paper

Dear cni-announce subscribers:

I am very pleased to attach the "Call for Input" to a new
Coalition initiative that will lead to a white paper that
will explore architectures and standards for advancing net-
worked information discovery and retrieval (NIDR) in highly
distributed heterogeneous environments



Paul Evan Peters
Executive Director
Coalition for Networked Information
21 Dupont Circle
Washington, DC 20036
Voice:  202-296-5098
Fax:  202-872-0884

Coalition for Networked Information



On October 1, 1994, the Coalition for Networked Information
launched a new research initiative to explore architectures and
standards for advancing networked information discovery and retrieval
(NIDR) in highly distributed heterogeneous environments.  Avra
Michelson of The MITRE Corporation will be available full time during
the next year to work on this project in conjunction with Clifford
Lynch, University of California Office of the President and Craig
Summerhill, Systems Coordinator at the Coalition.  Cecilia Preston will
serve as the project's research associate.  The team will author a white
paper on NIDR technologies and their relationship to existing and future
networked data architectures, standards, and structures.

                            BASIC APPROACH

Among the reasons the Coalition envisions a need for this paper are:

   o  to explore the suitability of existing networked information
      discovery and retrieval methods for handling large digital

   o  to provide a cross-domain examination of the technical and
      information management issues involved in the
      development of robust information retrieval systems that
      are designed to handle large volumes of production digital

   o  to develop a research (and hopefully development) agenda
      that can be used to advance NIDR work, and

   o  to strengthen the theoretical foundations that currently
      inform standards and tools development.

The white paper will focus on technical as opposed to policy issues.
The scope will be limited to exploring problems associated with
identifying, selecting, and retrieving resources and objects in a large
distributed network.  These problems include classic information
retrieval issues, as well as new sets of issues related to performance
management and retrieval in the distributed environment, the support
of complex multimedia objects, large data archives, in addition to those
posed by traditional text-based information resources.

Metadata, loosely defined as "information about information" is one of
the basic unifying concepts and tools that can be used for improving
networked information retrieval.  One of the goals for the white paper
will be to establish a theoretical framework for considering the
relationship between metadata structures and content, the organization
of network objects, and NIDR within a distributed environment.  The
authors will consider these issues from the Internet perspective
assuming that resources are available both for free and fee and can be
both public and access-controlled.

                           A CALL FOR INPUT

The Coalition anticipates that an initial draft of the paper will be
released for public comment in April 1995.  Prior to that time the
authors seek suggestions from the Coalition membership and the larger
network community on sources, projects, and scholarship related to the
scope of this research initiative.

Comments and suggestions may be submitted to the entire project team
via e-mail using a mail reflector designed especially for the public-
input portion of the project.  By using the e-mail address below, the
project team will receive your input.  These submissions for
consideration will be reviewed by the entire project team, and the
sender(s) will be contacted for additional information as needed.  To
communicate with the project team send your e-mail to:

NOTE:  this is not a discussion list, so we will not be accepting
requests for subscription to this list.

                       FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Alternately, Avra Michelson, the initiative's full-time investigator,
may be contacted via voice at 703-883-6379, or via e-mail at:

                         ABOUT THE COALITION

The Coalition for Networked Information was founded in March 1990 to
help realize the promise of high performance networks and computers for
the advancement of scholarship and the enrichment of intellectual
productivity.  The Coalition is a partnership of the Association of
Research Libraries (ARL), CAUSE, and EDUCOM.  The Coalition pursues its
mission with the assistance of a task force of over two-hundred
institutions and organizations that provides focus and resources which
are crucial to the ability of the Coalition to articulate and explore
shared visions of how information management must change in the 1990s to
meet the social and economic opportunities and challenges of the 21st
century.  Members of the Coalition Task Force include higher education
institutions, publishers, network service providers, computer hardware,
software, and systems companies, library networks and organizations, and
public and state libraries.

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