Bulletin, August/September 2006

Inside ASIS&T

Keynote Speakers Named for ASIS&T 2006
With the 2006 ASIS&T Annual Meeting quickly approaching, two big names in the field of information science and technology are making their plans to address plenary sessions at Information Realities: Shaping the Digital Future for All, November 3-8, in Austin, Texas.

Susan Dumais, senior researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research, and Albert-László Barabási, professor of physics at University of Notre Dame, will share their views of the information realities at their respective plenary sessions.

Dumais, who has been at Microsoft Research since 1997, focuses her work on human-computer interaction. Her work on search engines, in concert with John Platt of the Microsoft Signal Processing Group and David Heckerman of the Machine Learning and Applied Statistics Group, includes both the back end algorithms that make them go and the face that they present to the user. Her designs have been incorporated into the popular msn.com site.

Dumais is widely published in the areas of human-computer interaction and information retrieval. Her current research focuses on personal information retrieval, user modeling, Web search, text categorization and collaborative information retrieval. Her ASIS&T Annual Meeting plenary session is scheduled for Wednesday morning, November 8.

Barabási, author of Linked: The New Science of Networks and co-author of The Structure and Dynamics of Networks, is noted for research into scale-free networks and biological networks. Barabási has been a major contributor to the development of real-world networks. His biggest role has been the introduction of the scale-free network concept and as a popularizer of network theory. Among the network theory topics he has studied are growth and preferential attachment, the mechanisms responsible for the structure of the World Wide Web.

Barabási’s plenary session is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, November 5.

Conference Arrangements
Headquarters hotel for the 2006 ASIS&T Annual Meeting is the Hilton Austin, located at 500 E. 4th Street in downtown Austin. A reduced room rate has been negotiated for ASIS&T attendees, but reservations must be made by October 13, 2006. 

News about an ASIS&T Chapter
The New England ASIS&T Chapter (NEASIS&T) has named two winners of its 2006 NEASIS&T Best Papers in Information Science award. Karie Kirkpatrick was honored for her paper, “OpenCourseWare: An MIT Thing?” Scott Salvaggio was cited for “Enhancing a Digital Sheet Music Collection.” Both honorees are in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. Each of them will receive up to $750 to help defray the cost to attend the 2006 ASIS&T Annual Meeting. The jury for the awards was chaired by Beata Panagopoulos and included Paul Aloisio, Margret Branchofsky, Christine Connors and Ken Varnum.

News about ASIS&T Members
José-Marie Griffiths, former ASIS&T president and currently dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been selected to serve on the National Science Board, pending U.S. Senate confirmation. The 24-member board advises the president and Congress about national science and engineering policy and oversees the National Science Foundation.

Michael Buckland, former ASIS&T president and emeritus professor, University of California at Berkeley, is the author of Emanuel Goldberg and His Knowledge Machine, a 400-page biography of a chemist, inventor and industrialist who contributed to almost every aspect of imaging technology in the first half of the 20th century. According to Buckland and his publisher, history has not been kind to Goldberg, virtually removing his name from the annals of information science. But in Buckland’s incredible telling, we see that Goldberg created the first desktop search engine, developed microdot technology and designed the famous Contax 35mm camera.

ASIS&T Members Tapped by dLIST
dLIST, a cross-institutional, subject-based, open access digital archive for the information sciences, has tapped the ASIS&T membership for its new team of editors. The online archive, whose focus expands the field to include archives and records management, library and information science, information systems, museum informatics and other critical information infrastructures, seeks to positively impact and shape scholarly communication in the field.

ASIS&T members named as editors of dLIST, and their specialty fields for the archive, are Charles W. Bailey, Jr., University of Houston Libraries, scholarly communication; Anita Coleman, University of Arizona; Marija Dalbello, Rutgers University, digital libraries and digital humanities; Fernando Elichirigoity, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, science technology studies; Kristin R. Eschenfelder, University of Wisconsin-Madison, government information and social informatics; Paul Marty, Florida State University, museum informatics; and Soo Young Rieh, University of Michigan, information behaviors.

Wayne State University Named in Distance Education Award
The Wayne State University Library and Information Science (LIS) Program is the winner of the Excellence in Distance Education Award in Sonic Foundry’s 2006 Rich Media Impact Awards. Sonic Foundry recognized 22 organizations across eight categories for their innovative ways of using rich media within their organizations. 

ECHO (Enhancing Courses Held Online) is the LIS program’s online distance learning instructional project which provides distance students with access to course content both live and on demand.

Joseph J. Mika, director of the Wayne State LIS award, says the honor recognizes the faculty’s success in converting its curriculum from a traditional on-site program “to one that provides a blending of on-site, Web-centric and fully online courses to develop library and information professionals for the 21st century.”

Saracevic Honored by Croatian Colleagues
Former ASIS&T president Tefko Saracevic, professor in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers University, traveled to his home country earlier this year for the 2006 Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) Annual Meeting. What he got was an uncommon honor.

Faculty in the Department of Information Sciences at the University of Osizjek, Croatia, presented Saracevic with a book that they produced containing Croatian language translations of nine of his highly cited articles. The presentation was made by LIDA co-director Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic, who has chaired the LIDA meetings with Saracevic since their beginning in 2000. Saracevic has assisted in a variety of library and information science projects in Croatia and surrounding countries since the mid-1970s, twice as a Fulbright scholar. He left Croatia in 1957.

The book, Contributions to the Creation of a Theory of Information Science, divides Saracevic’s work into three parts plus his bio-bibliography:

  • On Information Science and Its Basic Notions and Problems contains five articles: “Relevance” (1975), “Evaluation of Evaluations in Information Retrieval” (1995), “Relevance Revisited” (1996), “Stratified Model of Interaction in Information Retrieval” (1997) and “Information Science” (1999)

  • Evaluation of Library and Information Services: Importance of the Methodology contains an article published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) in 1997 with Paul Kantor, “Studying the Value of Library and Information Services. I. Establishing a Theoretical Framework; II Methodology and Taxonomy”

  • What Do Digital Libraries Bring? contains “Evaluation of Digital Libraries: Evolution of Concepts” (2000) and “A Survey of Digital

  • Library Education” (2001), co-authored with Marija Dalbello, Rutgers University

ASIS&T participated in the LIDA program through sponsorship of a wine and cheese party, and awarding memberships to winners of the poster session. The ASIS&T Student Chapter, chaired by Koraljka Golub, Lund University, Sweden, held a meeting at the conference.

Tefko Saracevic, center, is flanked by Kornelija Petr, left, and Sanjica Faletar Tanackovic, right, two of three translators who helped create the Croatian language book Contributions to the Creation of a Theory of Information Science. The third translator, Jelica Lescic, is not shown.

SIG/III Names Winners of 6th Annual Paper Contest
ASIS&T Special Interest Group/International Information Issues (SIG/III) has named the winners of the 2006 International Paper Contest, the sixth annual competition featuring researchers from around the world.

The following are this year’s winners:

  • Aditya Nugraha, Indonesia, for "Desa Informasi - The Role of Digital Libraries in the Preservation and Dissemination of Indigenous Knowledge"

  • Chengyu Zhang & Li Li, China, for "Digital Teaching Reference Book Service: A Case Study on Knowledge-Object-Based Microstructure of Digital Resources"

  • Bharati Sen & Nahid Khashmelmous, India & Sudan, for "Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge Materials: Preliminary Efforts at Elhafeed Library, Ahfad University, Sudan"

  • Pradip Upadhyay & Madaswamy Moni, India, for "e-Granthalaya: Moving Towards Rural Digital Library for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods"

  • Yashwant Kanade & K.S Chudamani, India, for "A Discourse on Promotion of Reading Habits in India"

  • P. Jain & Parveen Babbar, India, for “Digital Library Initiatives in India"

The theme of this year’s contest was Information Realities: Shaping the Digital Future for All? The six winning papers were selected from 31 submissions by 42 authors from 12 developing countries. 

The principal authors of each of the six winning papers will be awarded a two-year individual membership to ASIS&T. In addition, the first place winner, Aditya Nugraha, will be awarded a minimum of $1,000 to attend the 2006 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, in Austin, Texas. 

These winning papers and other submitted papers for the competition will be considered for publication by Elsevier's International Information and Library Review, which is edited by Toni Carbo

SIG/III acknowledges generous donations from the Eugene Garfield Foundation, Elsevier, the Chicago chapter of ASIS&T, University of Western Ontario, Drexel University, Kent State University, LACASIS, and many other organizations and individuals. 

The 2006 International Paper Contest was organized by chair Duncan Omole, The World Bank Group, and co-chair Jonathan Levitt, Open University and University College London. This year’s judges were Duncan Omole; Miriam Vieira da Cunha, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil; Yunfei Du, Wayne State University; Yin Zhang, Kent State University; Nadia Caidi, University of Toronto; Sue Johnson, consultant, National Library of Medicine; Liwen Vaughan, University of Western Ontario; Nathalie Leroy, United Nations; Merlyna Lim, Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California; and J.K. Vijayakumar, American University of Antigua, West Indies.
For more information about the paper competition and the winning authors, visit the SIG/III website at www.asis.org/SIG/SIGIII/.

Vladimir Slamecka

Vladimir Slamecka, 78, died in mid-June, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was known to many information scientists as the founder and long-time director of a pioneering program combining information science and computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a program that is now the Institute’s College of Computing. 

Slamecka was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), but left when the Communist takeover barred him from continuing his education. He went to Australia and then to Europe to seek an education, and eventually to the United States where he earned his doctorate in library science from Columbia University in 1962. He founded the Georgia Tech program two years later and was its director for nearly 20 years. 

Michel Menou writes of Slamecka: “Vlad has played a prominent role in the development of our field nationally and internationally. He was a true pioneer, a visionary and a humanist. He combined the sharpest intellect with humility, empathy and high sense of social responsibility.”