Bulletin, December/January 2012
2011 ASIS&T Award Winners
One of the highlights of each year’s ASIS&T Annual Meeting is the presentation of the prestigious ASIS&T Annual Awards. This year’s winners are featured in this section.
Award of Merit
Gary Marchionini, dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SIL) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the 2011 recipient of the Award of Merit, the highest honor presented by ASIS&T. The award goes to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to the field of information science, including the expression of new ideas, the creation of new devices, the development of better techniques and outstanding service to the profession.
Gary is an internationally renowned scholar who has contributed a lifetime of extraordinary accomplishments to the field of information science. He excels in a number of research areas, including digital libraries; information seeking in electronic environments and interactive information retrieval; human-computer interaction and design; health information technologies; information policy; and, more recently, social media such as YouTube. His contributions have resulted in further development of thought, better techniques and outstanding service to the field of information science through sharing the results of his substantial research throughout the world.
Gary has published more than 200 articles, book chapters and technical reports on these research topics as well as publishing results of his research on the usability of personal health records, multimedia browsing strategies, personal identity in cyberspace and other areas of research. Several of his publications have been cited hundreds of times. He continuously shares the results of his research at home and around the world, most recently as an invited presenter of the prestigious Ranganathan Lectures in Bangalore, India (three lectures). Earlier this year, Gary was appointed to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Health Information Technology (HIT) Report Workgroup.
Through a combination of research, teaching and service to the community, Gary has demonstrated his passion for improving the ways in which people use computers to find and use the information they need. At every step, he has demonstrated that he is an expert in this field of information science, standing above others by envisioning a need and then attacking problems with fervor and an enthusiasm unlike most researchers. He focuses on the impact of his work and reaches for the ultimate benefit to users of the projects and products of his efforts, changing the world for the better.
Because of his extraordinary range of contributions to the field, the 2011 ASIS&T Award of Merit goes to
Watson Davis Award
ASIS&T’s Watson Davis Award recognizes the contributions of someone who has shown continuous dedicated service to ASIS&T. It is hard to think of one more worthy of it than Bob Williams. Apart from his uninterrupted membership of more than 20 years and his regular participation in the Annual Meetings of the Society, he has served on a range of the Society’s committees and juries. He was one of the prime movers in the addition of “history” to the charge for SIG/ History and Foundations of Information Science. He has served several terms as chair of SIG/HFIS and almost continuously as a member of the planning group for the presentation of its sessions at the Annual Meetings. The creation and work of SIG/HFIS underpins his interest in promoting both the history of the field within ASIS&T and the history of ASIS&T itself.
With a small grant from ASIS&T, Bob developed the Pioneers in Information Science website which continues to be updated and contains entries for over 100 pioneers. Bob is always on the search for more oral histories to add to this valuable resource. He never misses an opportunity to recruit a new professional to the field or to encourage someone to be part of the Society that he calls his home.
Bob has been a champion and advocate for information science throughout his career. He has been instrumental in the design and development of University of South Carolina’s undergraduate program in information science and continues to teach and contribute to the BSIS program at the University of South Carolina. He also has worked on the institution’s doctoral program, writing grant proposals, mentoring students and teaching the information science courses. Perhaps most important are the thousands of students that he has mentored into ASIS&T. He is a beacon for knowledge and continues to shine on everyone with even a glimmer of interest in information science.
In addition, Bob is a true scholar, a gentleman and an absolute joy to work with. He brings ethics and professionalism to new meanings in his everyday communications with students and his professional communities. For his long, active and highly productive service to the Society, Bob Williams well merits the 2011 ASIS&T Watson Davis Award.
Christine Borgman, presidential chair and professor of information studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and fellow of the AAAS, is the 2011 recipient of the ASIS&T Research Award. Professor Borgman has contributed to information science research on a number of fronts. Fundamentally and quite uniquely, Christine Borgman covers four essential dimensions of information research: 1) user-oriented and usability aspects of information searching and behavior; 2) the evolution of scholarly communication and scholarly publishing; 3) information technology, library automation and digital library development; and 4) the East European information science scene. The quality of her research and the resulting publications in all these scholarly dimensions of information studies has had, and currently provides, a powerful and worldwide influence on information science in general and information searching and information history research in particular. Besides her more than 175 written contributions in the form of journal articles, books, proceedings and invited keynotes, Professor Borgman is highly influential as a coach and research supervisor in many parts of the world. She has had several long-term visits as an invited scholar and researcher at universities and research agencies in the United Kingdom, Italy and Hungary.
During her scholarly career she has been cited more than 1000 times, mainly as first author, excluding self-citations. It is also significant that a substantial portion of citations to her work derives from non-U.S. authors and journals worldwide. This demonstrates her ability to penetrate the information research landscape at a truly international scale. This international recognition is further shown on the well-known maps of information. She has won the ASIS&T Best Information Science Book award twice -- for her 2007 book, Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet and her 2000 book From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World, both from MIT Press.
Professor Borgman has led many collaborative research activities over the years. Currently, she leads the data practices team at the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, a U.S. National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center based at UCLA.
Her major contributions internationally lie in the user-oriented sphere of information studies, foremost concerned with library catalogue use and usability – for both adults and children. Her bibliometric and scientometric achievements are mainly on the analytic and theoretical levels in the area of digitized scientific communication. In this connection she has also made major research achievements in digital infrastructure, e.g., in the form of digital library developments, and she is recognized as an expert on East European developments in information and information technology for information services and libraries. In many senses Professor Borgman represents the best of information science scholarship, thus earning her the well-deserved ASIS&T Research Award for 2011.
Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award
The 2011 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award goes to Howard Rosenbaum, associate dean and associate professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University. The award is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching information science with evidence of sustained excellence and innovative and imaginative teaching materials and methods.
During Professor Rosenbaum's career, he has designed and re-designed his courses, demonstrating, as one jury member said, a "commitment to combining classic and current theories and studies, to connecting theory and practice, and to challenging students to grapple with issues and problems and defend their ideas and proposed course of action." His nominator commented on the service-learning components of his courses, which have included the redesign of websites for local businesses, as well as creating and operating online businesses. One student described his approach as embodying "the idea of teacher-as-guide, as he ensures access to knowledge rather than serving as the source of knowledge."
Professor Rosenbaum's influence as a scholar, teacher and mentor are far-reaching and long-lasting. His writings range from conceptual contributions on social informatics and structuration theory to more applied work describing his problem-based approach to teaching and learning. His articles are assigned reading for many information science courses. Current and former students comment on his accessibility for consultation and take him as their model of a mentor and advisor.
Throughout his career, he has demonstrated what one student calls "deep engagement, pedagogical and scholarly creativity and sustained excellence." For his contributions as scholar, mentor, advisor and above all, teacher, we are pleased to name Professor Howard Rosenbaum as the 2011 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher.
Best Information Science Book Award
The 2011 ASIS&T Best Information Science Book Award, for a book published in 2010, goes to Katy Börner for Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know, published by MIT.
In the Atlas of Science, Katy Börner has generalized a key component of information science, drawing on all the relevant work in many fields, and brought it into the broader world of science in a particularly thorough and beautiful way. Börner's fundamental interest is in informetrics, one of the three basic branches of information science, and the “atlas” is a series of representations of science through bibliometric means. She ranges across efforts made in many fields, but all from a scientometric perspective, and she gives full recognition to major scholars in information science who have contributed to that development. Börner has brought scientometrics fully into the spotlight of the 21st-century world of multimedia visualization. This is the sort of representation of informetrics that will get the attention of the wider world for information science. The author’s own agenda for visualization in the introduction and in the overall organization of the book makes it unique and distinct among comparable efforts. The Atlas is impressively designed and produced -- a triumph of scholarship and a reader’s delight.
The international jury of scholars was unanimous in its evaluation of this book as an extraordinary achievement of scholarship. They describe the book as a spectacular achievement not only because it is the result of a prodigious amount of scholarly work of the highest quality and because its subject matter is absolutely central to the interests of ASIS&T and its community, but also because of the work's visual qualities and high production value, which will ensure that it will be widely read beyond the information field.
John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award
The 2011 John Wiley & Sons JASIST Paper Award goes to Bernard J. Jansen and Soo Young Rieh for their article, “The Seventeen Theoretical Constructs of Information Searching and Information Retrieval,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61, 8, pp. 1517-1534.
The paper contributes to the theoretical basis of information science by giving an overview of two important fields and a better understanding of the relationships between their underlying theoretical constructs. The study is based on a thorough review of the literature resulting in the identification of the 17 theoretical constructs. It discusses the relations between two related subfields of information science: information searching and information retrieval. Information searching is human centered while information retrieval is technology centered but of the 17 theoretical constructs identified by the authors four are cross-cutting, i.e., relevant to both subfields. The authors also discuss whether the two subfields tend to converge or diverge in relation to the specific constructs. Convergence and the cross-cutting constructs allow collaboration between the two subfields. Such collaboration will contribute to enhanced user experience when seeking information and to increased research activity.
In the words of the authors, “An understanding of the foundational elements at the core of each field is essential to the objective evaluation of the field’s contribution and the perception of each field’s goals and objectives.” (p.1531)
Thomson-Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship
Amber Cushing, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is the winner of the 2011 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship for Possession and Self-extension in Digital Environments: Implications for Maintaining Personal Information. Research on this topic will extend our knowledge of how people relate to their digital files. It may lead ultimately to development of policies and programs that will benefit individuals in deciding what to preserve and archivists tasked with curating contributions. Amber will apply Q-method to her analysis. While Q-method has been used widely in business, marketing and other fields, it is largely unexplored in information and library science. The method will allow her to focus on the factors that influence how people relate to the various types of information that they maintain in digital form. Amber has tested and refined the method in a pilot study, and she has made successful presentations of her work at several professional conferences.
ASIS&T/ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award
The 2011 ASIS&T/ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented to Shelagh Kathleen Genuis, student in the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, for Making Sense of Evolving Health Information: Navigating Uncertainty in Everyday Life. This study spans boundaries among many areas within health services including nursing research, medical anthropology, women’s health, health literacy, consumer health and emerging phenomena such as digital health or e-health information, the rise of the e-patient, shared decision-making and participatory medicine.
This research crosses the multiple fields of information science, including information-seeking behavior, information decision-making, information resource management and information technology, and it brings fresh discovery to information science research. The findings raise new considerations related to knowledge translation as an ongoing process of social construction which takes place within everyday life contexts. The results highlight important implications for both information professionals and health professionals, particularly in the areas of health information literacy and shared information decision-making.
This research successfully employs qualitative techniques to explore formal and informal sources of health information and to facilitate response to uncertain health information from various sources, including health professionals, the media, the Internet and interpersonal contacts. Using a social constructionist approach and social positioning theory to guide semi-structured interviews (narrative and “elicitation” approaches) with information seekers and health professionals, the author investigates women’s information worlds and their engagement with information sources.
Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper
Evaluated by the same rigorous standards as papers submitted for the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the best student research paper is judged on technical competence, significance of findings, originality and clarity of expression. The 2011 Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award, recognizing the outstanding work of a current student in a degree-granting program in the information field, goes to Brooks J. Breece, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for “Local Government Use of Web GIS in North Carolina.”
The paper explores the impact of web-based geographic information systems tools on North Carolina county governments. As one juror noted, "This is excellent work for someone at the master's level, showing a good grasp of the relevant literature from the various fields that contribute to this kind of interdisciplinary work." Another reviewer stated that "it is an interesting and well-done research project in the intersection of information science and public administration." "The literature review demonstrates a high level of competence in and familiarity of the GIS area. The use of various methods is welcomed. The analysis and discussion are thoughtful," according to a third juror.
Brooks is commended on a well-executed project.
New Leaders Award
Eight ASIS&T members have been awarded 2011 New Leaders Awards, recognizing their potential for future leadership in the Society. Winners this year are Caroline Whippey, doctoral student, University of Western Ontario, Canada; Vivienne Houghton, MLIS student, University of Denver; Eugenia Kim, data services specialist, Purdue University; Julia Martin, EdLab, Teacher’s College, New York; Chysta Meadowbrooke, doctoral student, University of Michigan; Chaoqun Ni, doctoral student, Indiana University Bloomington; Jacob Ratliff, Archivist/Taxonomy Librarian, National Fire Protection Association; and William Senn, doctoral student, director of decision support, University of North Texas.
The 2011 Chapter-of-the-Year Award goes to the New England Chapter of ASIS&T, recognized for its extensive program of well-attended book clubs, social events and presentations, among other activities. These events are made possible by the conscientious and continuous participation by committed members at regular business meetings. The detailed meeting minutes provide an excellent example to other chapters. The chapter engages in outreach activities, targeted at members and non-members alike. Such initiatives include a travel award geared to students. The support of students in all chapter activities was noted by one reviewer as the chapter’s investment in the future of our Society. The chapter is also commended for its involvement in national governance and events. The energy of the chapter is visible in their use of social media, which serves as an excellent vehicle for outreach and recruitment. For these well-executed outreach, recruitment and support activities, we honor the New England Chapter of ASIS&T with the 2011 Chapter-of-the-Year Award.
Student Chapter-of-the-Year Award
The 2011 Student Chapter-of-the-Year Award goes to the Simmons College Student Chapter. The chapter hosted a number of heavily attended events with some well-known names among the speakers, including Peter Suber and Nicole Hennig. Working with the New England Chapter of ASIS&T, the student chapter hosted an event on Content Management Systems which enjoyed a large turnout of current GSLIS students, faculty and staff, as well as NEASIS&T members. Simmons recorded and podcasted many of their events, keeping them available on the GSLIS podcast website. The chapter also maintains an active listserv with more than 300 GSLIS community members, including current and former students, faculty and staff. The chapter also created a listserv for its board so that student leaders can come together in a virtual environment to plan future events. The strong chapter leadership and the chapter’s close bond with the GSLIS community make the Simmons College Student Chapter the Student Chapter-of-the-Year for 2011.
The 2011 Chapter Member-of-the-Year award goes to Sarah Buchanan of the Los Angeles Chapter of ASIS&T (LACASIST). Nominating letters emphasize consistently the significant amount of work that Sarah does to keep the chapter active and running. Her knowledge of the history of both ASIS&T and LACASIST, as well as her ongoing involvement as a member of the chapter’s board, are further evidence of her commitment. Sarah’s contributions range from extended service as the chapter secretary to the planning of programs and developing LACASIST’s milestone 50th Anniversary celebration to the creation of a website devoted to the history of LACASIST. She has also worked with Robert Hayes to complete an oral history project that will be published. For this work and more, Sarah Buchanan is awarded the 2011 Chapter Member of the Year award.
Two awards for Chapter Event-of-the-Year are given to two different chapters for their individual events: one to the Potomac Valley Chapter and one to the European Chapter.
The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T is awarded the 2011 Chapter Event-of-the-Year award for “An Evening with National Public Radio.” The event enjoyed a good onsite attendance, but greater benefit was achieved when the event organizers reached beyond the chapter borders to broadcast the session as a webinar viewed by over 100 online participants. Speakers described how a story is born and discussed the integration of the librarian role into the work of broadcast program staff members. Topics presented the perfect combination of information science and technology, and the event was relevant, informative and fun. For these reasons, the Potomac Valley Chapter earns the 2011 Chapter Event-of-the-Year Award.
The European Chapter of ASIS&T is awarded the 2011 Chapter Event-of-the-Year award for the “ASIS&T European Workshop 2011.” Event organizers reached out across Europe for attendance from professionals from eight countries. This outstanding event brought together members and non-members of ASIS&T, and it served to promote the entire society throughout Europe. Students, faculty and industry experts talked on a variety of relevant topics, including knowledge organization, information retrieval, social media, digital cultural heritage and technology applications. Additionally, organizers were able to get industry sponsors to help with expenses for student attendees. The European Chapter is to be most highly commended for the dedication and drive needed to produce a two-day workshop of this caliber and merits the award for 2011 Chapter Event-of-the-Year.
The 2011 Chapter Innovation-of-the-Year award goes to the New England ASIS&T Chapter (NEASIST) for their meet-up, “All Things e-Readers.” Participants gathered to share their experiences of reading on Kindles, iPads, Nooks, smart phones and other devices, and they shared ideas on how to negotiate licenses, catalog books on Kindle and manage patron expectation for using devices and accessing material. As librarians struggle to develop e-content policies and deal with an assortment of issues surrounding e-reading, the New England Chapter provided a way for participants to test available technologies and discuss implications and ideas for implementation in their diverse organizations. This inventive gathering earns NEASIST the 2011 Chapter Innovation-of-the-Year Award.
SIG/Digital Libraries (SIG/DL) is the 2011 ASIS&T SIG-of-the-Year. SIG/DL presented an impressive array of year-round programming, membership recruitment and retention, and leadership development activities. This SIG not only presented panels and a workshop at the 2010 Annual Meeting, but also planned and sponsored two webinars during 2011. This programming represented a range of interests, particularly in the institutional repository community.
SIG/DL used an online election process for its 2010-2011 officers, the result of which was dramatic improvement in SIG member participation and identification of new officers prior to the 2010 Annual Meeting. After the meeting, SIG officers kept in contact with members and interested non-members through their Facebook and LinkedIn pages and Twitter feeds, and the officers followed up by email after the Annual Meeting with attendees of their business meeting. Officers and interested members held planning meetings online multiple times during the year; one of these was archived so non-attendees could view the discussion after the fact.
The SIG notes the ongoing relationship between the SIG leadership and the SIG’s New Leaders Program awardee, Tina Jayroe, highlighting the role she has played in outreach and the use of social media for SIG activities. Finally, SIG/DL is working to develop members and potential members through an analysis of the membership lists of the SIG, the SIG listserv and the Facebook and LinkedIn pages. SIG/DL is a role model for other SIGs looking to develop its membership, particularly among members unable to attend Annual Meetings. SIG/DL is a worthy winner of the 2011 SIG-of-the-Year Award.
Diane Neal of SIG/Classification Research (SIG/CR) is the 2011 SIG Member-of-the-Year. Diane was instrumental in the rejuvenation of SIG/CR, including acting as its first chair for several years. Under Diane’s leadership the SIG recruited new members, continued the popular SIG/CR Workshop at the 2010 Annual Meeting and helped plan a popular session for that meeting. Diane’s recommenders write about her impressive ability to bring together multiple voices in fruitful discussion, particularly at the workshop. One reviewer of her efforts with the SIG/CR Workshop says “… she designed a program that was provocative and stimulating in its format. . . which led to one of the most honest, open and insightful discussions I’ve ever encountered. . . .” For her work rejuvenating SIG/CR, and particularly for her work to expand and grow the SIG to include a broad range of members, Diane Neal presents an example to leaders of all levels in ASIS&T and earns the 2011 SIG Member-of-the-Year award.
SIG Publication-of-the-Year honors for 2011 go to SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) for its SIG/III Newsletter. This PDF newsletter contains a welcome from the chair, minutes from the last meeting, reports from the 2010 Annual Meeting sessions and information about sessions proposed for 2011, bios of the InfoShare awardees, contact information for officers and other information about the SIG that is of interest to members. This well-written and comprehensive communications tool is a model for a SIG newsletter. Congratulations to SIG/III for the hard work and great results.
ASIS&T 75th Annual Meeting
Get Ready to Celebrate All Things Information
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the 2012 Annual Meeting will focus on Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present and Creating the Future. Weaving together all the threads that make the tapestry of information science, this landmark conference provides a great opportunity for practitioners and researchers to reflect on our past accomplishments and current activities and to chart potential pathways for the future.
Conference planners will utilize three reviewing tracks to ensure high standards and quality, as well as broad coverage of the field. The three tracks and their emphases are
- Information: topics related to metadata, information retrieval, organization of information, knowledge management, information architecture and more
- Interaction: topics related to information behavior, information sharing, human-computer interaction, gaming, visualization and more
- Innovation: topics related to emerging technologies, Web 3.0, innovations in digital libraries, cloud computing and more.
The 75th ASIS&T Annual Meeting will be October 26-31, 2012, in Baltimore, Maryland. For full details about the Call for Papers and deadlines for submissions, please visit the ASIS&T website at
News about ASIS&T Members
Former ASIS&T president Debora (Ralf) Shaw, longtime faculty member at Indiana University (IU), has been named dean of the university’s School of Library and Information Science. IU executive vice president and Bloomington campus provost Karen Hanson made the announcement, noting that Ralf “has received strong support from SLIS faculty and staff as interim dean. She has served with distinction as interim, providing energetic and effective leadership of the school.”
News from ASIS&T Chapters
The Northeast Ohio ASIS&T chapter (NORASIST) has an innovative weapon in its membership recruitment bag: a membership sale, providing discounted membership rates for student and regular members living in Northeast Ohio. For the second year, the chapter invited new members to join at a discounted rate and to attend the annual fall social mixer in September. New student members could join ASIS&T and the local chapter for $32 – just $2.50/month – during the membership sale period.
The chapter further encouraged new members by offering the first five people to join at the mixer free books from Rosenfeld Media, personally donated by Lou Rosenfeld, one of the fathers of Information Architecture, and co-author of
Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web
News about ASIS&T Institutional Members
The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and Information International Associates (IIa) have formed a joint venture to develop an institutional repository (IR) service for federal agencies. Institutional repositories are collections of digital scientific and technical information documents and other content. This repository will be hosted by NTIS and supported by content managers and technical experts from IIa and NTIS. The program will make federal agency content available to users with increased ease of access and provide cost savings to the agencies. Representatives of both organizations will provide more details to the Bulletin as the project develops.
The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) announces that professor Richard Marciano, co-founder and former executive director of the Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) Center, affiliated professor in American studies and director of Sustainable Archives and Leveraging Technologies (SALT), is now co-founder and co-director of a new virtual lab that will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative digital humanities projects.
The Digital Innovation Lab, affiliated with the American studies department in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, will encourage the production of digital "public goods": projects and tools that are of social and cultural value; can be made publicly available; are scalable and reusable; and/or serve multiple audiences. One immediate focus will be the use of large-scale data sources - maps, newspapers, city directories, public records - by scholars and the public in understanding the history of communities. The lab (http://digitalinnovation.unc.edu) was created with a startup grant from the college.
The lab will build on the nationally funded digital humanities work of Marciano and
Robert Allen, co-founder and co-director of the lab. Allen is the James Logan Godfrey Distinguished Professor of American studies, history and communication studies.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has received a $390,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project entitled Music Information Retrieval Evaluation eXchange: Next Generation (MIREX: NG). Led by J. Stephen Downie of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the project runs from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013. MIREX, which Downie has directed since 2005, allows music information retrieval (MIR) researchers to come together to investigate how well their innovative MIR algorithms perform. MIREX has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the MIR research community, having performed more than 1200 evaluations of algorithms across 23 unique task categories.
In partnership with experts from Ithaka S+R, the MIREX: NG project will allow Downie to develop formal models for the financial and administrative sustainability of MIREX. Once the organizational structures have been created, the partners will work with the MIR community to finalize and then implement a sustainable business plan model to ensure the long term vitality of MIREX.
Articles in this Issue
2011 ASIS&T Awards Winners