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Bulletin, April/May 2009

Bulletin Editor, Irene TravisEditor's Desktop

Irene L. Travis, Editor

Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

Editor’s Desktop
To repository or not to repository – that is the question. Or, more precisely, that is one of four topics debated in our special section on institutional repositories, edited by Helen Tibbo, Rachael Clemens and Carolyn Hank from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Apart from the issue of whether all institutions of higher learning should create repositories for their faculty and other constituencies, the other points debated are whether libraries should lead such efforts, whether repositories should be based on open source software exclusively and whether their success is dependent on mandates. The editors have found eight knowledgeable people in the field to debate both sides of these issues, although they add that some authors have been persuaded to provide a fair hearing for us on a position they may not hold themselves. In the course of the debate the authors provide a good sense of the current state of the repository movement and its major challenges and concerns.

We do not have an IA Column as such in this issue, but thanks to the efforts of Stacy Surla, our associate editor for IA, we do have an IA feature from the European IA Summit, held in Amsterdam in September 2008. Davide Potente and Erika Salvini, both then associated with the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy, present two case studies on how a company’s information architecture might be generalized to cover both its website and aspects of its retail stores, such as arrangement and signage. This integration provides a “bridge experience” for customers that can facilitate their frequent transitions from one environment to the other.

Our other feature article also concerns the relationship between the web (Web 2.0 in this case) and the physical environment. Alan Oxley discusses the use of geographic and geospatial information in Web 2.0 applications (tagging, mapping and mashups) along with such challenges as standards that support geographic and geospatial applications and the availability of geographic data to non-commercial users.

Finally, we include a What’s New? in this issue, with practitioner-oriented summaries of three recent JASIST articles, while ASIS&T’s Global Alliance is the subject of Don Case’s President’s Page.