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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes - September 23/24, 2010

HathiTrust Executive Committee Minutes - September 23/24, 2010

Present:  Courant, Farley, Johnson, Kaufman, King, Kaufman, Schottlaender, Van Gemert (ex officio), Wheeler, Wilkin

1. Minutes:  The August 2010 minutes were approved. 

2. Organizational issues

  • SAB update: Van Gemert reported on SAB work done to-date and noted that the SAB would soon turn its attention to near-term goals for the following year. Van Gemert commended the work of the Discovery Working Group, which has worked capably in collaboration with OCLC on the launch of the HathiTrust catalog, and which is now turning its attention to refining the HathiTrust fulltext search. He also noted the importance of the newly formed Collections Committee and the likely impact on collaborative collection work (e.g., government documents.) Van Gemert discussed the impending 3-year review and its relationship to the Constitutional Convention, noting the importance of the review as a key work item for the SAB. Led by Van Gemert, the Executive Committee had an extensive discussion about the challenge of maintaining a strategic focus (rather than an operational focus) in the SAB, which several noted is a common problem in an evolving governance system.  It was also suggested that as HathiTrust evolves, the organization should continue to consider expanding representation (e.g., with CIO representatives) to bring in other perspectives.  
  • Both the Contributing Partner agreement and the Sustaining Partner agreement are in their final forms and available on the HathiTrust website. Approximately fifteen institutions are in various stages of completing contracts in order to meet the October 31st deadline.
  • The Communications Working Group (chair: Christenson) has focused on new partner announcements and workflow for creating them; the group successfully collaborated on several announcements under short deadlines. Out of that work the CWG has begun a draft template for new partner press releases and a style guide. The group made some progress on the October website redesign; however, the CWG looks forward to welcoming a liaison from the Usability Working Group, Jenny Emanuel, at our in-person meeting this week and to getting better coordinated on that work. A major part of the CWG’s September 24 discussion will be the communications and marketing plan.  Two "HathiTrust 101" webinars were held on August 27 and September 9, and were well received. Also, Kim Milford (Indiana University) has joined the CWG group, replacing Josh Greenburg (NYPL).
  • The HathiTrust Usability Working Group (chair: Chapman) held a series of weekly meetings to discuss the intricacies of the various interface components and potential usability projects. Every member of the Usability Working Group has now been assigned to other HathiTrust Working Groups to act as a Usability Liaison. Chapman will continue to work with the Discovery Interface Working Group on the OCLC catalog project, Emanuel will work with the Communications Group, and Poe and Sheehy will work with the Full Text Search Working Group.
  • The Executive Committee began planning for the Constitutional Convention, scheduled for October 2011. Each contracting organization will have a single voting representative, with votes weighted according to the HathiTrust voting model (see Voting Model description and Voting Model tables). Each voting representative should be accompanied by a delegation. The Executive Committee proposed Chicago as a venue and will confirm a specific date in early 2011. Reminders and a description of voting and representation will be sent to organizational representatives at that time.

3. Repository and related technology

  • The HathiTrust repository continues to be very robust, with limited interruptions in service to end users. Ingest in August was strong, with approximately 200,000 volumes added.
  • A draft report on the TRAC audit is expected from CRL in late September or early October.
  • Wilkin reported on progress on the Short- and Long-term Functional Objectives. Work meeting the minimum requirements for these objectives has been completed or is nearly complete for nearly all of the original objectives. Major work remains the following:
    • Access mechanisms for persons with print disabilities
      • A CIC group is convening to work on policies and conventions to be used within Shibboleth to permit access for users with print disabilities. HathiTrust technology (e.g., Shibboleth and an early iteration of a holdings framework) to support this is essentially complete. We may also be able to use this same technological framework for works that qualify for Section 108 provisions.
    • Mechanism for direct ingest of non-Google book and journal content
      • Ingest of Internet Archive content from partner institutions is now routinized. For locally-digitized content, a review of sample materials from Iowa, Illinois and Northwestern has taken place in order to shape draft guidelines. These guidelines have been shared with California, Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern and an RFC will be announced in Update.
    • Support for formats beyond books and journals
      • Minnesota is exploring the possibility of a significant effort designed to support ingest and display of image resources. An audio pilot is underway (Michigan). An effort focused on “born digital” and specifically ePUB has been initiated (Michigan).
    • Development of data mining tools for HathiTrust and use by HathiTrust of other analysis tools from other sources.
      • HathiTrust is undertaking a three-part strategy, including (1) data distribution (now available), (2) exploration of the utility of SEASR or a similar publicly accessible mechanism (recently begun in shared development environment), and (3) development of a research center.  A proposal for the establishment of a HathiTrust research center has been received.  See below for further discussion.
  • Work on Shibboleth continues, with the following institutions configured as of the Executive Committee meeting: Columbia, Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Chicago, Illinois (Chicago), Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin. Shibboleth-enabled services include full book download and creation of personal collections.  

4. Finances

  • The HathiTrust budget continues to meet projections. Funds are being set aside for replacement costs as budgeted.
  • A draft FAQ regarding the new financial model was distributed to the Executive Committee and further discussion will take place in email.

5. General discussion items

  • Establishing an initiative to open access to in-copyright materials: We continue to receive unsolicited requests from rights holders to open access to materials. The Executive Committee discussed the value of establishing an initiative to contact rights holders and promote broader access. No action was taken.
  • HathiTrust Leadership: HathiTrust should continue to explore the value of a full-time executive director. The Executive Committee concluded that this topic, including the desired characteristics of an executive director, should be explored at the Constitutional Convention.
  • Collaboration with Proquest/Serials Solutions regarding integration of HathiTrust fulltext search in Summon: Partners would benefit from a web-scale delivery service that integrates HathiTrust full text searching. Summon offers such a service and uses the same indexing technology (Solr) as HathiTrust. John Law (Summon) has proposed deep integration of HathiTrust full text indexes in the Summon product. The Executive Committee concluded that HathiTrust should explore the possibility of a non-exclusive, limited term (e.g., 3-year) agreement with Summon that ensures that HathiTrust partner interests are well-served.
  • HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) Proposal: The Executive Committee received a proposal from Beth Plale (Indiana) and Marshall Scott Poole (Illinois) for the establishment of a HathiTrust Research Center. The proposal was positively reviewed. Wilkin will communicate with Plale and Poole regarding necessary revisions.