Research Question 2: What important developments in technology are missing from our list?

Instructions: Please use these prompts to help you consider what might need to be added to the current list of Horizon Topics. Add your thoughts as bullet points below, using a new bullet point for each new technology or topic. Please add your comments to previous entries if you agree or disagree.

a. What would you list among the established technologies that some libraries are using today that arguably ALL libraries should using broadly?
b. What important developments in technology have a solid user base in consumer, entertainment, or other industries should academic and research libraries be actively looking for ways to apply?
c. What are the important developments in technology do you see developing to the point that libraries should begin to take notice during the next four to five years?

Each new topic entry must include a title, a description similar to the ones that are written now, and, if needed, a rationale as to why it is different from any of the existing topics. The Horizon Project research team will investigate each nomination entered here to see if it meets the criteria set for new topics (eg., that the topic represents a "real" technology, as opposed to a concept, a new idea, or a proposal; that it is sufficiently developed that research, projects, and information about it exist; and that it has a demonstrable link, or strong potential link, to education).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking them with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples.

Added as New Developments in Technology to RQ1

Data-Driven Design/UX
Related to "Adaptive Learning Technologies" and "Learning Analytics", Data-Driven Design in general is becoming more influential. This includes collecting usage data and analyzing that data to make informed decisions on adapting digital services for users of library services. Also allowing data to augment more traditional forms of qualitative data, and taking a "soft" human-centered approach to data-driven design. - erik.stattin erik.stattin Apr 19, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 21, 2015

GIS Tools and Services
Though the technology is not terribly new, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is becoming more heavily used by libraries, are impacting the ways libraries access and use materials, and are an area where users are looking to libraries to provide support. At Stanford, as at many other schools, this means providing support in a GIS lab ( that is strongly tied to our map collection. We're also leveraging GIS to allow users to access material, with a GIS-based search engine ( GIS is a subset of the broader move at libraries to provide support for data collection and data-related services. However, because of its broad application, it is particularly relevant. - mcalter mcalter Apr 12, 2015 - dianeb dianeb GIS is blowing up at our university in terms of usage. Our staff are 2 full time employees and keeping up with the increased demand is almost too much. I see this area growing.- aarontay aarontay Apr 19, 2015
Another example : Georeferencing of hist. map sheets (Messtischblätter) via crowdsourcing ( - Achim.Bonte Achim.Bonte Apr 18, 2015 - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 20, 2015

Added as New Trends to RQ3 (items in this category have been moved to RQ3)

Growth of Digital Scholarship Centers
A number of academic libraries are creating digital scholarship centers or labs or in some cases digital humanities centers; the former often serve social sciences and humanities and sometimes sciences. I would place this under the overall heading of "Learning Strategy" since it is the combination of space, technologies, expertise, and programs that constitutes a center or lab. They focus on high end or extensive digital projects, whether data visualization of archaeological data or text mining of the large collection of materials in HathiTrust or new types of analysis of digitized sound recordings. Most of these centers combine work with research projects (with faculty partners) with a strong teaching and learning element. This includes stand-alone workshops on technologies, courses, certificate programs (in digital humanities, for example), and working closely with faculty on specific digital research projects in which they involve their students. CNI report and description of 20 centers here - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 4, 2015 - oren oren Apr 14, 2015 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Apr 14, 2015 I don't know that this topic is new or emerging. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 15, 2015 I agree that this is not new but there does appear to be a momentum of interest in this topic more recently. - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Apr 17, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 17, 2015 I agree that it's not really new and wonder why there is more interest in this recently.--There definitely is new momentum around these centers, but I see them as setting up services under a broader umbrella to include digital publishing (including student publishing), digital humanities projects, faculty reputation management, and even instructional design.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 18, 2015 Excellent - DaveP DaveP Apr 19, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 Yes, Anthony, I can agree with that 100%. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 20, 2015 I saw an announcement today (4/21) that ALA as formed a Digital Scholarship Center IG: - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 21, 2015 - jdupuis jdupuis Apr 27, 2015 I like the idea of digital scholarship centres in libraries but would like to see them more widely embraced beyond digital humanities and social sciences. There are lots of opportunities to embrace business, science and engineering researchers via GIS, data visualization, metadata, linked open data and many other technologies.

New Ways to Measure and Evaluate Research
Alt-Metrics: Thinking of the limitations of the impact factor (journal rather than article-based, easily gamed, etc) and other research metrics, it might be worth thinking about the library's role in helping faculty and other researchers think about new ways to measure and evaluate research -- traditional and social media mentions, download counts, twitter traffic and all the rest. Lots of issues here too, but worthwhile as a balance to traditional metrics. Impact Story, Altmetric, Plum Analytics are companies in this space doing interesting things. I put together a reading list for a recent presentation here. - jdupuis jdupuis Apr 27, 2015
-This is a very active and important area. Notable trends include a NISO recommended practices effort ; commercial analytic service offerings (and absorbtion of PlumAnalytics and others) by Elsevier, MacMillan and Thomson reuters; and publisher uptake of formal contributorship schemas to augment altmetrics;; [Editor's Note: Great points! This reads more like a trend and is being added to RQ3.]

Using New Forms of Technology to Enhance Accessibility to Library Services and Resources
- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Apr 1, 2015The use of assistive technology as a way of fostering access to library services and resources among those with disabilities is hardly new, but the possibility of adapting newer forms of technology (e.g., wearable technology 3D printing, and mobile devices) into the assistive technology landscape seems to be in the early stages of development. Noting it here and exploring it further in the "Key Challenges" section of the 2015 Library Edition wiki as a potentially new "difficult challenge." - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 Agreed! - dianeb dianeb Apr 17, 2015 Me too! - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
I agree -- particularly that we should explore the accessibility to our resources and services facilitated by wearable technology and mobile devices - melissa.bowles-terry melissa.bowles-terry Amen. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 18, 2015 Yes, 3D printing and mobile devices in particular are already having a significant impact. - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Apr 19, 2015 - jdupuis jdupuis Apr 27, 2015 Text to speech translation on routine devices like tablets or ereaders is something to keep in mind here as well. - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Apr 2, 2015 Related to Paul's idea above, a not-new, but perhaps less known resource for assisting those with reading or visual impairment are the many volunteer created audio recordings on Librivox. About four years ago I volunteered as a reader for Librivox. Here is how it works - you select a work from Project Gutenberg; these are public domain works that include all of the great authors prior to the twentieth century. As a reader, you use free, open-source recording software, and are assigned an Editor and a dedicated, proof listener. In some cases the dedicated listener has specific, relevant skills, as when I made the more than 7 hour recording in Middle English of Chaucer's masterpiece "Troilus and Criseyde". It is a bona fide system that creates good to high quality recordings available for free. Independently of my Librivox work, several people posted my readings of Chaucer and of five of Plato's dialogues (the great Benjamin Jowett translations: Oxford University Press) on YouTube. YouTube thus also carries numerous Librivox readings. On YouTube alone, more than 20,000 people have "viewed" my readings - particularly those of Plato: Critias, Lesser Hippias, Alcibiades I, Protagoras, and Gorgias (Parts one and two). - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Apr 17, 2015What a worthy initiative! I am going to investigate this further. Thanks for sharing, Kevin.

Combined with Existing RQ1 Topics (discussions from here have also been placed in RQ1 section as specified by the editors.)

Of course related to makerspaces, and also perhaps to crowdsourcing, biohacking labs and events are gaining momentum. Here's a quote from the Wikipedia page: "Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements ranging from 'grinders' who design and install do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants to do-it-yourself biologists who conduct at-home gene sequencing. Biohacking emerged in a growing trend of non-institutional science and technology development." - erik.stattin erik.stattin Apr 27, 2015 [Editor's Note: Added to RQ1 discussion for Makerspaces.]

Commodity Storage
This isn't new or all that flashy, but the question above asks about technologies that some libraries are using that all libraries might consider using. Cloud providers such as Dropbox, Backblaze, et al. are in part so successful because they have mastered the art of having incredible amounts of disk space at very modest costs. Meanwhile, most libraries sit on campuses where there is a strong preference for and tradition of enterprise-class storage, which provides the necessary muscle for core business software at the university, but is overkill for most library needs, particularly preservation storage. We should be emulating the cloud providers so that we can continue to digitize, ingest, and preserve massive amounts of data; if we continue to try to meet those challenges with enterprise storage, we will create severe financial problems. Library space providers such as the Digital Preservation Network and DuraCloud offer great service, but at prices that do not scale well as we accumulate more TB. This is a major issue in the next decade. In Ontario we just built a 1.25 PB preservation cloud (Ontario Library Research Cloud) using just such inexpensive hardware and disks, at a per TB price that is a fraction of DPN or DuraCloud. - askeyd askeyd Apr 20, 2015 Great point! - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 20, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 21, 2015 Cloud-based research tools. We are seeing a proliferation of free-to-the-end-user information tools - typically cloud-based (Mendeley is an easy example, as is Figshare). There are hundreds of these services, and they are attracting a growing audience of researchers. My concern is that the scholarly record (data sets and other artefacts of the research process) are being stored outside the academy. It reminds me of the old maxim - convenience trumps quality every time. How do libraries point to good practice in this area - to ensure convenience whilst also curating institutional output. - cmkeithw cmkeithw Apr 28, 2015 [Editor's Note: Great points. Added to existing RQ1 topic Cloud Computing.]

Credentialing via Badges
This is a development in educational technology that will be important in the next 4-5 years. Credentialing via badges or other systems such as the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI) will create opportunities for individualized outside of the classroom learning. - janice.welburn janice.welburn Apr 20, 2015 [Editor's Note: Added to existing RQ1 topic Badges.]

Online Scholarly Presence or Identity
ResearchGate,, ORCID, Mendeley, Google Scholar, etc. all present the opportunity to represent one's scholarly identity online. Increasingly graduate students and even undergraduate students are being challenged to take control of their identity and begin to present themselves online in that role. Libraries are offering workshops and training, e.g., Create and Manage an Online Scholarly Presence ( and
If You Wrote a Book – Own Your Amazon Author Page and More ( to assist with this sometimes daunting task. - lisahinchliffe lisahinchliffe Apr 11, 2015 - oren oren Apr 14, 2015 - aarontay aarontay Apr 19, 2015as well as an opportunity for libraries to help faculty and students create their scholarly profile/Vitae based on their academic activities (research, teaching,...). such as U of Arizona's Vitae Great topic - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 15, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 I agree that this is important -- I just made notes about it on the "Social Networks" section of Research Question #1 - melissa.bowles-terry melissa.bowles-terry Apr 17, 2015 - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 18, 2015 Excellent topic. Here is another example: Absolutely agreed. We should consider that topic - Achim.Bonte Achim.Bonte Apr 18, 2015 - edlef edlef Apr 18, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 18, 2015 I remember a lot of discussion about this last year during this process and not sure where it fell out but it is increasing in significance. - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 Yes! Yes on this one! - anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 18, 2015
I like this addition. I think this has really taken off and provides some interesting opportunities for academic libraries. - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Apr 19, 2015 - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 20, 2015 This is a strong and interesting trend. I'd add teaching about conducting oneself appropriately across various networks. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 20, 2015 Interesting opportunity to combine and unify all kinds of different services in a suite a products -- authoring, citation management, identity management, research metrics and alt-metrics. A vendor that could provide this kind of solution would be great.
- This is a very important trend. There is broad adoption of identifiers by scholarly publishers, and significant uptake by funders. OCLC published a review of this recently: - escience escience Apr 27, 2015 [Editor's note: Great points! This topic will be used to enhance existing RQ1 topic: Online Identity.]

Open-Source Software
An established technology that all libraries should be using widely is open source software. As students increasingly use open source software for low cost projects in the curriculum, it seems that all academic libraries will eventually need to be able to support students’ use at the very least. Also, many academic libraries are leveraging open source software for their own innovative projects and services, and their success could stand as a model to others with similar ambitions. - janice.welburn janice.welburn Apr 20, 2015 [Editor's Note: Combined with existing RQ1 topic Open Hardware and will update name to encompass software, too.]

Internet of Things
Maybe I have overseen this in the list? Of course, Internet of Things is one important technology that will have an impact also on libraries (see the discussion in the Desktop Research section). The OCLC publication gives an idea of how this technology will have impact on libraries.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015 Fascinating opportunities for libraries NFC etc- DaveP DaveP Apr 19, 2015 - rurik.greenall rurik.greenall Apr 19, 2015 Agreed---will have a tremendous impact on many areas including higher education and academic libraries. - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Apr 19, 2015 - mkloes mkloes Apr 19, 2015 A year ago, I thought--on this topic--that its impact would be minimal in the next few years. One year later, I laugh at my 2014 self. It's here now, and it's a bit daunting already. We have faculty and students who are generating massive amounts of data with exercise equipment, sensors, their phones, etc. and are beginning to see the exploitative possibilities with their own data. This seems like a trend that's about to go nuclear, and in libraries we should be asking ourselves about whether we provide the right support, which could include the software environment necessary to analyze and visualize such data, storage for the data, public displays where it can be showcased as either data visualizations or data art, and so forth. - askeyd askeyd Apr 27, 2015 [Editor's Note: This will be combined with existing topic "Networked Objects" in RQ1.]

Augmented intelligence
Programs like IBM Watson, a cognitive system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, will radically change the skills needed by students to search effectively, as well as providing the capacity to search "big data" sets thoroughly (eg. Student services at Deakin University This technology is likely to be transformative in a number of fields of study supported by academic libraries including law and health - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 [Editor's Note: This will be combined with existing RQ1 topic Machine Learning.]

Other Key Points

Collaborative Environments
...for researchers that can boost their productivity and encourage best practice research data management and publication. Increasingly researchers are being compelled to place in the public domain the research data sets on which their traditional research publications rely. Tools are needed that assist researchers to capture research data in ways that facilitate good data management practices, support collaboration and facilitate curation, discovery, re-use and/or repurposing once a data set is is published. Libraries need systems to support these services. Projects tackling this as a data lifecycle rather than collecting data at the end of a research project include SIdora at the Smithsonian Institution and Hubzero - g.payne g.payne Apr 14, 2015 - oren oren Apr 14, 2015 agree. other examples: Canadian assoc. of research libraries's PORTAGE, purdue university:, ETH: Before looking at the wiki, this was one of the 5 topics I identified to myself as emerging. I agree with the comments above. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 15, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 18, 2015 I agree with this but not only is it a library issue but a campus issue. The library needs to play an active role in the research data management but we can't do it alone. This is an area for deep collaboration across campus.- mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 - mkloes mkloes Apr 19, 2015 [Editor's Note: Great points, and aspects of this topic are already inherent in multiple trends and important developments in technology. We have previously retired the topic Collaborative Environments as a result.]

Digital Signage
On one hand, I'm reluctant to put this here as new, but on the other it seems to be a prominent feature of more library renovation projects (especially in the form of video walls), and encompasses several other emerging technologies, such as augmented reality, information visualization, makerspaces, flexible displays and other enabling technologies. A digital signage strategy takes advantage of technology to communicate with patrons about our collections, it invites contributions from the community (to create content) and informs about community events, it highlights library services, it may include wayfinding technologies, it provides a platform for information visualization, and it may serve as the screen upon which content is consumed or accessed. Products like the Christie Microtiles open up even more creative possibilities. Digital signage in the library help us to tell our story and serve our patrons.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 18, 2015 Agree except I would characterize this as Digital Displays since ideally used for more than signage, as you indicate in your description. - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 20, 2015 I agree with Joan that you are talking beyond signage. Anthony, any chance that renovation project you've been working on includes - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 20, 2015 [Editor's Note: Great idea, but does not feel substantial enough to stand on its own as a distinct topic.]

Lecture Capture and Video
Growth of lecture capture and video content generally huge implication for OER, storage, recall, metadata etc - DaveP DaveP Apr 19, 2015

Various established technologies that should be used broadly in all libraries now
Linked data, BIBFRAME, RDFa, APIs. - janice.welburn janice.welburn Apr 20, 2015 I might disagree a bit about BIBFRAME. At a recent CNI conference, I heard someone pithily note--upon exiting a talk on the topic--that BIBFRAME as something we 'do' is a decade away. That might be overstating it, but as with linked data, the hype may be preceding the ability to do work at scale. In general, though, I get the gist of what you're saying and tend to agree, but would narrow the scope and say that we should emphasize the technologies that actually demonstrably interact with the broader Web. We've been known to cook up and/or support standards that the Web ignores or at the very least has concerns about (e.g.- Dublin Core).- askeyd askeyd Apr 27, 2015