Bulletin, February/March 2006
The 2005 ASIS&T Awards:
The Best and the Brightest
Each year at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, the Society honors the winners of the prestigious ASIS&T Annual Awards. This year’s winners received their accolades at the Awards Luncheon and at other venues during the meeting. Nominated by practitioners and scholars throughout the information field and selected by juries of their peers, dozens of outstanding representatives of the field were cited for the highest levels of contributions in their selected specialties.
AWARD OF MERIT
Marcia Bates, winner of the 2005 ASIS&T Award of Merit, has built a coherent lifetime record of research. While much of her work appears at first glance to come straight from the library tradition, her findings have influenced the design of automated information systems for the past several decades. Because her findings are so seminal, they have become part of the received wisdom and are not always attributed to her.
Marcia has had strong influence on several key facets of information science and is one of the few people to have produced breakthrough efforts. Her work two decades ago on search strategies and tactics provides a framework that guided a generation of research and development on electronic search systems.
She is one of only three scholars to have received the JASIST Best Paper Award twice, and at least three of her articles are among the 20 most highly cited LIS papers of all time. Her work was the subject of a symposium held at the Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, in 2003. Her papers are used worldwide as required class readings. Among the many awards she has earned are the 1998 ASIS&T Research Award and election in 1990 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
At the heart of Marcia’s work is a dual commitment: to reach an understanding of the processes by which people interact with recorded information and thereby to improve the performance of information retrieval or information access systems whose function it is to support such interaction.
It is with considerable pride that the American Society for Information Science and Technology bestows the 2005 Award of Merit upon Marcia Bates.
WATSON DAVIS AWARD
The 2005 Watson Davis Award, commemorating the founder of the Society and given to members for outstanding continuous contributions and dedicated service to the Society, is presented to Michael Buckland, a major contributor to ASIS&T activities for more than 15 years.
Michael has served ASIS&T in the broadest ways possible. Among his earliest activities were chairing both a Mid-Year Meeting planning committee and the ASIS&T Conferences and Meetings Committee. Then, on the SIG front, during his leadership of SIG/Foundations of Information Science, the group was reinvigorated and renamed SIG/History and Foundations of Information Science. He earned SIG Member-of-the-Year honors in 1994 and then served as SIG Cabinet Advisor. In 1997, he began a three-year term on the ASIS&T Board of Directors when he was elected president-elect. Following his successful presidency he earned the LACASIS Contributions to Information Science Award.
Throughout his activism in ASIS&T, Michael has written and edited for all major ASIS&T publications and presented programs at most of our meetings. As noted in one letter of recommendation, Michael Buckland has made a lasting contribution to the Society by gently reminding us that regardless of what the latest technology is, the fundamental problem set remains the same: gather, select, store and retrieve information.
RESEARCH IN INFORMATION SCIENCE AWARD
Carol Kuhlthau, recipient of the 2005 ASIS&T Research in Information Science Award, is honored for her influential research on information seeking which has provided a systematic, yet accessible, approach to understanding the user search process. Her approach provides intermediaries with a reliable framework on which to base interventions and provides those searching for information systems with a means of reflecting on, and learning from, their interactions with information systems.
Kuhlthau’s work has been extended by subsequent researchers to other contexts and indeed has been presented as a general model for task-based searching. Her emphasis on emotional factors in information seeking has drawn attention to an under-appreciated aspect of this phenomenon. Her research in developing and validating a model of the information search process – an activity at the heart of information science – has significantly influenced an entire generation of researchers.
Her conceptual and empirical work, especially on the user-centered, information search process, which began in the mid-80s, led to the flourishing of the information behavior subfield and thus provided a solid foundation for others to extend cognate ideas. Few researchers have had as far-reaching and profound an impact upon information science research and practice as this honored theorist and methodologist extraordinaire has.
Carol Kuhlthau of Rutgers University is one of the most highly cited researchers in information science and has a long list of books and refereed journal articles to her credit. Her research record is a model of imaginative, productive and high quality research.
THOMSON ISI/ASIS&T OUTSTANDING INFORMATION SCIENCE TEACHER
Peiling Wang, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the 2005 recipient of the Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award, which recognizes a distinguished teacher of information science, based on such criteria as unique contributions to the teaching of information science and impact on colleagues and students. Dr. Wang is a creative and caring teacher who brings both strong research credentials and innovative teaching methods to her work. She pursues high quality, creative work and expects the same from her students. Her philosophy of teaching is solidly based in four interactive dimensions: the cognitive, application, social and affective domains.
Dr. Wang encourages and supports creative and imaginative thinking to bring out the best in students. She is an excellent mentor, setting a good example with her enthusiasm and drive and by being readily available for consultation. Her work is cited both in the research literature and in other syllabi, and her students have a strong record of publication both with her and independently. Over the past decade, Dr. Wang’s influence and reputation have grown tremendously. Her teaching is informed by her scholarship, and her scholarship draws on her teaching. The enthusiastic testimony of both colleagues and students provides substantial evidence of the success of this holistic approach and of Dr. Wang’s significant qualifications for the Outstanding Information Science Teacher-of-the-Year honor.
BEST INFORMATION SCIENCE BOOK
Information Politics on the Web (published by MIT Press, 2004), by Richard Rogers, identifies the cultures, techniques and devices that rank and recommend information on the Web; it analyzes not only the political content of websites, but also the politics built into the Web's infrastructure. In a brilliant deciphering of informational politics, the author presents a profoundly different way of thinking about information in cyberspace, which is a "collision space" for official and unofficial accounts of reality.
This book offers a combination of serious qualitative social science research and online case study on a theoretical level that is frequently missing from information science and popular Internet books. The author makes a set of theoretical assumptions that break new ground, and he develops four innovative political instruments and software tools that gather information methodically without the standard survey or interview techniques. This landmark work makes invaluable contributions conceptually and methodologically to the development of Web-based information politics.
JOHN WILEY & SONS BEST JASIST PAPER
The 2005 John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award goes to Soo Young Rieh for "On the Web at Home: Information Seeking and Web Searching in the Home Environment" (Volume 55, Issue 8, 2004, pp. 743-753). This paper reports on a study exploring the environmental factors that influence users' information seeking at home. The qualitative analysis of Web users in their home environments draws upon interviews and the analysis of search activity diaries kept by the subjects. The study examines and discusses four research questions:
- What are the environmental factors of the home that influence information seeking and Web searching?
- What are the goals that make people turn to the Web for seeking information at home?
- How do people interact with Web information during search sessions at home?
- How do people formulate search queries when searching for Web information at home?
The results make fascinating reading, and the study helps illuminate how the Web is becoming integrated into people's daily lives.
JAMES M. CRETSOS LEADERSHIP AWARD
K.T.L. Vaughan is the deserving recipient of the 2005 James M. Cretsos Leadership Award, honoring new ASIS&T members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in ASIS&T activities.
Since her days as a student member of ASIS&T, beginning in 2000, K.T.L. Vaughan has found many ways to serve the organization. In that first year, she agreed to serve on the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. That same year, she also received the SIG/STI Chemical Abstracts Service Student Travel Award.
In her first year of regular membership, perhaps remembering her recognition by SIG/STI, she agreed to chair the SIG. Since 2001, she has organized or presented papers at every Annual Meeting and has led the annual planning meetings; recruited new officers; and has helped coordinate SIG Rush. Since her tenure at SIG/STI began, the group is revitalized and injected with new energy and has earned SIG-of-the-Year Awards in 2002 and 2004.
Among many other ASIS&T activities at the national level, she has served on the Leadership Committee and on the Annual Meeting Program Committee and been a member of the Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources (DASER) Summit Program Committee, for which she organized and moderated a panel.
Her infectious energy and ebullient personality endear her to her colleagues and recruits. She actively fosters collaborative research to present to the society. For these and many other reasons, K.T.L. Vaughan receives the 2005 James M. Cretsos Leadership Award.
THOMSON ISI/ASIS&T CITATION ANALYSIS RESEARCH GRANT
Dimitris A. Dervos, Thomas Kalkanis and Nikolaos Samaras are the winners of the 2005 Citation Analysis Research Grant for their proposal entitled, cc-IFF: A Cascading Citations Impact Factor Framework. This project will test a new type of citation metric – cascading citations Impact Factor – in a scientific literature database. This highly innovative and mathematically sophisticated research initiative will attempt to solve difficult challenges in citation analysis and may yield important real-world applications. The research team combines the theoretical background needed to conceptualize the study with the systems expertise necessary to its successful completion.
THOMSON ISI/ASIS&T DOCTORAL DISSERTATION PROPOSAL SCHOLARSHIP
Svetlana Symonenko, School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, is the winner of the 2005 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship for Websites Through Genre Lenses: Recognizing Emergent Regularities in Website Content Structure. Svetlana Symonenko proposes to investigate this timely topic of conventionalization of website content organization and to conduct qualitative user experiments to understand the extent to which users’ internal representations of this evolving genre exist. Her findings should increase understanding of users and contribute to improved design and organization of website content. Given the significant preponderance of Web-based searching and navigating in information-seeking activities, this work has the potential for sizeable impact on the information field.
The research is well designed. Svetlana Symonenko has demonstrated a strong knowledge of the surrounding literature. The research questions are particularly well formulated. In addition, the proposed data collection and analysis techniques seem very appropriate to the questions posed.
PROQUEST/ASIS&T DOCTORAL DISSERTATION AWARD
Weiping Yue, Faculty of Commerce and Economics, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, University of New South Wales, is the recipient of the 2005 ProQuest/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Award for Predicting the Citation Impact of Clinical Neurology Journals Using Structural Equation Modeling with Partial Least Squares.
This dissertation proposes an integrated conceptual model of journal citation impact that takes into account current theoretical positions and prior empirical research findings. It investigates what, how and to what extent extra-scientific factors influence the citation impact of academic journals. The model is tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with Partial Least Squares (PLS) and data from a sample of 41 Clinical Neurology journals. The conceptual model is supported, demonstrating that certain extra-scientific factors can significantly influence journal citation impact. This dissertation provides a better understanding of citation analysis by exploring the phenomenological domain in the citing process, contributes to Informetrics and Scientometrics by introducing a useful quantitative method (SEM with PLS) and produces findings that will be of practical value to researchers and practitioners in assessing journal performance.
PRATT SEVERN BEST STUDENT RESEARCH PAPER AWARD
Mary Gabehart, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the winner of the 2005 Pratt Severn Best Student Paper Award for An Analysis of Citations to Retracted Articles in the Scientific Literature. This paper explores the role of retractions in scholarly research. The author started with a bibliometric exploration of retracted medical research articles and found that about 30% of them had been cited after retraction. She then selected four retracted articles for thorough case studies of their retraction and post-citation patterns. The work highlights the need for more through and systematic dissemination of retraction notices through not only the original resource but also in the bibliographic databases that lead researchers directly to retracted articles.
For the seventh year in a row, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (LACASIS) was named ASIS&T Chapter-of-the-Year.
LACASIS supports a broad range of activities reflecting widespread support and engagement of chapter members. In its programming, LACASIS not only addresses issues in information science in a timely manner and provides continuing education for practitioners, but it also presents a vision for information science for the future. It is not merely responsive to the changing information environment, but it is proactive. The chapter presented several cutting-edge programs related to digital preservation, involving the chapter’s membership in the cultural preservation community in ways it has never before been. LACASIS has a healthy outreach program focused on students and other information professionals, and it is exemplary in terms of governance, record keeping and planning.
The 2005 Student Chapter-of-the-Year honors are awarded to student chapters at two institutions: Simmons College and University of Washington. The two chapters could not be more different from one another – in size, in the nature of their parent institutions and in their geographic locations. However, they have leadership and excellence in common. Both offer frequent programs to their members, programs which attract new members to the fold and which garner attention beyond the confines of their schools. Both contribute materially to national ASIS&T activities by creating websites for conference attendees, serving as volunteers at meetings and actively participating in committees and other ASIS&T units.
Between them, they offer workshops, tours and talks on such topics as assistive and adaptive technology, XML, information architecture and design and the semantic Web; they bring special guest lecturers to their campuses; and they maintain updated student chapter websites informed by information design and usability discussions with fellow students.
Among many accomplishments of the University of Washington chapter is a career week for students – an event that involved other student groups on campus and is likely to become an annual event. At Simmons College, chapter members converted the student chapter manual into a Web publication, developed a checklist for event management and created the visitors information website and the first-time attendees primer for the 2004 ASIS&T Annual Meeting.
Beatrice Pulliam of the New England ASIS&T Chapter (NEASIST) is the winner of the 2005 Chapter Member-of-the-Year Award. Beatrice first got involved in the chapter when, as a Simmons student, she volunteered to help out with the DASER conference. She quickly gained a reputation as a creative, can-do person and was soon asked to serve as the chapter’s program chair. In that role in 2005, she organized a spring program on new Web tools and a fall program on intellectual property. Her chapter colleagues praised both programs for their innovation. In addition, Beatrice oversaw moving the chapter website to a new host, established a chapter blog and volunteered to moderate a blog for the 2005 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. And all these contributions were made while she was transitioning from being a student to a professional job at Providence College. Beatrice is an asset to NEASIST. She was noted for both providing quality services and introducing information technologies that benefit society members within and outside her chapter.
Two chapter events sponsored by three ASIS&T chapters share the 2005 Chapter Event-of-the-Year honors: "Syndicate, Aggregate, Communicate: New Web Tools in Real Applications for Libraries, Companies and Regular Folk," presented by the New England ASIS&T (NEASIST) chapter and "To Google or Not to Google," by the Indiana and Michigan chapters, were both cited as innovative programs that serve as models for other chapters.
"Syndicate, Aggregate, Communicate" demonstrated how new technologies such as blogs, wikis, RSS, instant messaging (IM), chat, browser add-ons, bookmarklets and folksonomies can be turned into practical tools for harnessing information and connecting people. Megan Fox, Jenny Levine and Michael Stephens, three recognized, early-adopter, information specialists who have been exploring and experimenting with these tools, led the workshop. The event drew 88 participants, many of whom immediately latched on to the theme of connecting people. Three participants set up blogs related to the program topics, four joined the chapter’s program committee to help with future programs and three have become more active chapter members.
"To Google or Not to Google" focused on the impact Google is having on academic librarianship and publishing. John Price Wilkin, University of Michigan, gave the inside story on Michigan’s deal with the Google Print project; Edward Valauskas, Dominican University, spoke about the relationship between Google and the Internet-only peer-reviewed journal that he edits; and Pascal Calarco, University of Notre Dame, talked about performing usability studies, implementing metasearch services and redesigning the library Web catalog when students’ expectations are influenced by Google. The event drew 84 participants from five states and was broadcast to a second location with the help of the Wayne State student chapter, which received all revenues from the broadcast.
OASIS (Observations of the American Society for Information Science), the newsletter of the Los Angeles Chapter of ASIS&T (LACASIS), is the recipient of the 2005 Chapter Publication-of-the-Year Award. The newsletter is published on the LACASIS website, where current and past issues are available to the chapter’s geographically dispersed membership (http://library.csusm.edu/intranet/oasis/). The newsletter keeps members informed about upcoming local and national events, provides descriptions and analysis of recent programs for those that could not attend, welcomes new chapter members and features chapter news such as award announcements and officer positions. Chapter members and event attendees contribute the articles, fostering informal scholarly communication in the field of library and information science. One judge noted the devotion of LACASIS members and enthusiasts to meet the changing needs of its constituents; others commented on the newsletter’s readability, useful information and professional look.
The 2005 SIG-of-the-Year Award was given to SIG International Information Issues (SIG/III) in recognition of the group’s continuity and its contributions to the society and, specifically, the ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Among the many activities SIG/III supports at the Annual Meetings – and which contribute to the ambience of the gathering – are the International Reception and the SIG/III auction to raise funds for the group’s scholarship programs. With the continuing assistance of a stable group of SIG advisors, SIG/III also supports the InfoShare Program and the International Paper Competition, has recently established the International Calendar of Information Science Conferences and continues to serve its membership with four newsletters a year and an appealing and informative website.
Yin Zhang of SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) is the 2005 recipient of the SIG Member-of-the-Year Award. During the last five years, Yin has become an important SIG/III leader, showing a keen interest in the international activities of ASIS&T. She has served the SIG as chair, chair-elect and communication officer. Her role in developing the SIG/III publication program is particularly noteworthy. She edited and published 11 superb issues of the SIG newsletter in four years and redesigned the SIG/III website. In addition, Yin has played major roles in the International Paper Competition and InfoShare, as well as all other initiatives of the SIG in recent years. Her SIG colleagues, in nominating her for this honor, said of Yin, "There has been a clear pattern of successful leadership, clear vision and a great loyalty to ASIS&T and its SIGs."
The website of SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) is the recipient of the 2005 SIG Publication-of-the-Year Award. The jury noted that the design and the contents of the site reflect the mission of SIG/III and the information needs of its members and friends. The website offers members access to a large network of international colleagues and experts and provides a mechanism through which members can express their concerns or opinions about information issues in an increasingly globalized world. In addition, the site offers background information about SIG/III and its mission, programs and activities, and it serves as a recruitment tool for new members for both the SIG and for ASIS&T.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON SIG AND CHAPTER AWARDS
Several ASIS&T SIGs sponsor awards for specific accomplishments or purposes. Among them are SIG/STI, which offers Annual Meeting travel grants to library and information students with interests in chemistry and biology, and SIG/USE, which inaugurated a new series of awards at the 2005 ASIS&T Annual Meeting. For details on these awards and others sponsored by the various SIGs, please visit their websites. All SIG websites can be reached through the "SIGs & Chapters" link at www.asis.org.
Candy Schwartz, Chapter Assembly representative for student chapters, notes that while the Student Chapter-of-the-Year award went to the University of Washington and Simmons College, the past year saw renewed or expanded interest among many other student chapters. Here are some highlights from other student chapters:
- The European chapter was officially chartered; a member attended the Annual Meeting.
- The University of Alabama chapter is being re-energized by Steven MacCall.
- The Catholic University chapter funded a student to the Annual Meeting.
- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee chapter sponsored several well-attended events related to digital libraries.
- The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign chapter enjoyed a 200% increase in participation in their events; the chapter used the LEEP remote learning infrastructure for virtual networking.
- The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill chapter participated in fundraising activities and had nine meetings.
- The Louisiana State University chapter sponsored activities related to alternative careers.
- The University of Hawaii chapter grew from five to 16 members.
- The University of Toronto chapter went from having only its advisor as a member to seven members; they created a website for the chapter.
Nominations Sought for 2006 Awards
With the conclusion of the 2005 ASIS&T awards process, the juries and committees responsible for the awards in 2006 immediately go to work. Deadlines for this year’s nominations begin popping up as early as April. All members are encouraged to review the information regarding the purpose and the nomination procedure for all ASIS&T awards and to consider nominating colleagues throughout the information profession to be recognized with one of the prestigious ASIS&T awards.
Complete awards information can be found on the ASIS&T website at www.asis.org.
News About ASIS&T Members
Michael E.D. Koenig, professor of library and information science at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, is the 2005 winner of the Jason Farradane Award, recognizing outstanding work in the information field. Sponsored by two major information organizations in the United Kingdom, the award honors Dr. Koenig for "innovative and significant contributions to the field of information science, particularly in the areas of library and information services and production and knowledge management," spanning "both academe and the world of commercial practice."
Dale Baker, CAS director emeritus and 1975 ASIS&T president, died December 11, in Columbus, Ohio. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Baker joined what was then Chemical Abstracts Service in 1946 as an assistant editor and was named CAS director in 1958, a position he held for 28 years. In 1983 he was appointed to the additional position of deputy executive director of the American Chemical Society. Mr. Baker was named director emeritus upon retiring from CAS in 1986.
Among the many honors and awards Mr. Baker garnered during his career were the 1983 ASIS&T Award of Merit and the American Chemical Society's Patterson-Crane Award and Herman Skolnik Award. Born in Bucyrus, Ohio, Dale Baker was a graduate of Ohio State University, where he received both bachelor's and master's degrees. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the university in 1986.
When Harold Wooster died on May 20, 2005, we lost an information science pioneer, true. We also lost a friend of longstanding and a wit of considerable talent. As his obituary noted, "In his prescient role as grantmaker, Dr. Wooster funded the early work. . . of Marvin Minsky. . . J.C.R. Licklider. . .Ted Nelson. . .Douglas Englebart." He counted three mentors as influencing his thinking in information science: Mort Taube, Ralph Shaw and Robert Fairthorne. He was the son of a public librarian who helped to shape his career and who also left Hal his sense of humor.
That sense can be found now in his writings. Consider "Machina Versatilis A Modem Fable" (February 15, 1969), in which a "very large, early, tube model, Indigenous Defense in Operational Time Computer... (IDIOT) is supposedly programmed by a Designer of Information Systems, using Eunuch Term Indexing, to find suitable playmates for a King. The King complained, "I don't want a list of Accessibility numbers...I want GIRLS!" The moral Harold gives us is "You can please some of the Users all of the time, and all of the Users some of the Time, but Watch Your Step with Management."
More words of wisdom can be found in "As Long As You're Up Get Me A Grant... The Preparation Of Unsolicited Research Proposals," a USAF Office of Scientific Research report (AFOSR 65..0392) of a talk given by Harold Wooster, revised in July 1967. He describes four stages of proposal submission: Reconnaissance and Target Identification ("essentially a problem in technical intelligence"); Contact (with a source of government funding) to determine the advisability of actually submitting a proposal; Writing the Proposal, which includes deciding on a contract or a grant and on a formal (legal) or informal proposal, and lists the items a proposal must have (e.g., the title might be the most important part); and Patient Waiting, in which Harold advises, "Relax, get lots of sleep, eat a light, nourishing diet."
In a Journal of Documentation issue dedicated to Robert Fairthome, (vol. 30, no. 2, June 1974) Wooster wrote "Marking and Parking - A Sexist Fable" ("marking and parking" being a favorite expression of Fairthome's). Harold described village women as a "bleak, drab lot...feet shod in clumsy contraptions of cloth and rubber named... 'tennishuz'." The women came to be guardians of the treasures found in a dark cave, and instituted such changes as letting light into the cave, inventing Subject Classification and Shelving, creating a Staff Lounge, inventing the Card Catalogue and Descriptive Cataloging, all of this recounted in great tongue-in-cheek fashion. Harold admitted it was sexist and that he "got the full hissing and feet-stamping treatment at one library school!" But it is great fun to read.
Another publication of Hal Wooster that amuses me still is "The Bibliographic Libraries of the Year 2000," published in Library Resources and Technical Services, January/March 1981. He predicts that "we are going to close our card catalogs" and admits that "no reasonable person can disagree." He plans to buy old catalogs to use as storage bins for home workshops. He points out that he attempts to fill the vacuum "caused by the disappearance of the card catalog by the invention of the ultimate amiable user interface . ...in a framework of underground bibliographic libraries connected by broadband communication networks and bicycle messengers." He contends that a "bicycle messenger (senior grade) can cover a hundred miles comfortably in less than 8 hours." This is interlibrary loan of books in 2000! Harold was a bicycle enthusiast, as we know.
I have typewritten correspondence from Harold, and still have to smile at the quality – a typist he was not! And some of his handwritten notes – almost undecipherable! So we are lucky to be able to enjoy his humor in published form. I offer these excerpts in appreciation of the diversity of his accomplishments and personality.
Madeline M. Henderson
Articles in this Issue
The 2005 ASIS&T Awards: The Best and the Brightest