B  U L  L E  T I  N


of the American Society for Information Science and Technology         Vol. 29, No. 3        February/March 2003

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From the Editor’s Desktop

Irene Travis

This issue focuses on the ASIST 2002 Annual Meeting. Like all attendees, I could only sample the conference fare, but the plenary sessions were both memorable, and most of the other sessions I attended conveyed a lot of information – state-of-play sessions, like The Role of “Unpublished Research” in the Scholarly Communication of Scientist, the very-well attended session on standards for the Semantic Web, project updates like the session on InterPARES (electronic records management) or even just-plain-fun (JPF) at SIG/CON, where we were introduced to the mysteries of Just-In-Time research (JIT). JIT research is in fact echoed more seriously in the thinking of our second plenary speaker, Dave Snowden, who advocates “just-in-time knowledge management.” We hope to carry a Snowden article in a later issue, but for those who would like a sample of his ideas, I recommend his “Complex Acts of Knowing: Paradox and Descriptive Self-Awareness” from the Journal of Knowledge Management, which is available on the Cynefin Centre Website at (www~1.ibm.com/services/cynefin).

In our coverage of the Annual Meeting, we take a look at the first plenary session, which was a debate on civil liberties and national security between Lee Strickland, a government attorney who is currently a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, and Thomas Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archive. In another article, Lee supplies his analysis of the significance of the decision by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review interpreting the USA Patriot Act. This decision was handed down the day after the debate and also relates to Strickland’s previous article in the December/January 2003 Bulletin: “Spying and Secret Courts in America: New Rules and New Insights.” In addition, we have the acceptance speech of Award of Merit Winner Karen Sparck Jones, a distinguished researcher in information retrieval and linguistics, and the winning paper from the SIG/III 2002 competition by Lu Ji, which discusses digital library projects in Western China.

Andrew Dillon delivers another in his series of challenging IA columns, and we have an article by James Kalbach reviewing the differences between IA and librarianship. On the President’s Page, Trudi Bellardo Hahn makes a stirring case for your participation in the variety of ASIST SIGs. I echo her sentiments: if you are not active in a SIG you are missing a great opportunity for gaining JIT professional knowledge and leadership experience as well as the previously referenced JPF.

Finally, we introduce a new feature – structured abstracts of selected JASIST articles that are tailored to inform you succinctly about the bottom line of the reported research and what it means to you. Please let us know if you think “What’s New?” will be a worthwhile service.


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