Professor and Associate Dean for Research J. Stephen Downie was the keynote speaker for The Future of the Scholarly Book conference, which was held July 31 at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. The event, sponsored by Springer Nature and organized by the ANU Library, was designed to address challenges, issues, and trends in the modern scholarly monograph, particularly in social sciences and humanities.
In his keynote presentation, "The Future Production and Consumption of the Scholarly Monograph: A View from the Cornfields of Illinois," Downie discussed projects currently underway at the University of Illinois and collaborating institutions that have helped shape his vision of the future of the scholarly monograph. One such project, Publishing Without Walls, aims to build open-access and sustainable digital publishing models "that can be supported locally by a university's library, while also opening new avenues toward publication through university presses and other publishers."
Downie is codirector of the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), a collaboration between the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and the HathiTrust to enable advanced computational access to text found in the HathiTrust (HT) Digital Library. He leads the HT+BW text analysis project, which is creating tools to visualize the evolution of term usage over time. He also is principal investigator on the Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis + Data Capsules project, and he represents the HTRC on the Novel(TM) text mining project as well as the Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis project. All of these projects strive to provide large-scale analytic access to copyright-restricted cultural data.
In addition to his contributions to digital libraries and digital humanities research, Downie is known for helping to establish a vibrant music information retrieval research community. He is founder and first president of the International Society of Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR). He holds a bachelor's degree in music theory and composition, along with master's and doctoral degrees in library and information science, all from the University of Western Ontario.