B  U  L  L  E  T  I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology   Vol. 31, No. 6   August/September 2005

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Editor’s Desktop

In this issue we conclude our special section on Social Informatics with an article on Community Informatics (CI). Ann Bishop and Chip Bruce from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign explain that it is an emerging interdisciplinary field devoted to enabling communities through information and communications technologies. The article reviews current research and projects.

We also have a two-article special section from the Data Harmony users conference. The first article by Marcia Zeng of Kent State University discusses the strengths and weaknesses of various software products for use in teaching thesaurus and ontology development and indexing. Anyone teaching in this area or working with thesauri or ontologies will find her experience valuable. The second article is a case study by Grant Slade, a senior technical information specialist for the American Water Works Association (AWWA). He deals with a very common problem – modernizing an organization’s content management infrastructure in the face of rapidly changing requirements for publication and information use. He discusses AWWA’s solution.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to point out that Data Harmony, one of the products discussed in the mini-special section and sponsor of the users conference, comes from Access Innovations. Marge Hlava, the president of Access Innovations, also chairs the Bulletin Advisory Board. As you can no doubt imagine, it is sometimes difficult to negotiate the line between case studies and vendor promotions. In the case of this issue of the Bulletin, I believe the papers presented – which were written by product users, not the developers – are well written, discuss several different products and are interesting in the information they provide to and for other information professionals. The Bulletin will continue to consider case studies that meet such criteria.

Another type of article we are very happy to receive is a write-up of an ASIS&T-sponsored event. In this case Rafal Kasprowski has provided a report on the 2004 Annual Research Symposium of the ASIS&T Special Interest Group/Information Needs, Seeking and Use (SIG/USE), Funding Opportunities for Research in Human Information Behavior. The symposium was held in conjunction with the 2004 Annual Meeting in Providence. The article provides practical and timely advice on seeking funding from the major agencies that support research in human information behavior.

Finally, we are privileged to have another article of a kind we rarely get – a survey of software, in this case programming languages suitable for LIS applications. Howard Fosdick, an expert in this area, provides an extensive bibliography in addition to his thorough discussion of the requirements for such languages, their history and current status. Even those of us who don’t routinely program can benefit by knowing more about these languages and their use in text-related applications, for example understanding what a “scripting-language” is and how it relates to well known programming languages such a C++.

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