Bulletin, February/March 2007

Editor's Desktop

Irene L. Travis, Editor

Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology


The ASIS&T Board of Directors has decided that the Bulletin is to become an electronic-only publication, and the April/May 2007 issue will be the last to appear in print. Making this adjustment will be challenging, but we look forward to positive changes, such as no longer being confined to two colors, to being able to publish images much more easily without the exacting quality demands of print, and possibly to being able to expand our content. 

This issue of the Bulletin is based primarily on coverage of activities at the recent Annual Meeting held in Austin. In addition to a photographic look at the ASIS&T Annual Award winners and some of the social and substantive gatherings at the meeting, we have a summary of the first plenary session – Albert-László Barabási’s talk on the architecture of complexity, the properties of networks – and Blaise Cronin’s acceptance speech for the ASIS&T 2006 Award of Merit.

Then we have a special feature section focusing on image retrieval drawn from an Annual Meeting session chaired by Abebe Rorissa from SUNY. He has solicited articles from three panelists, each very closely associated with the CLEF “track” that they describe: Paul Clough (multilingual image retrieval), Alan Smeaton (video) and Bill Hersh and Henning Müller (medical images). This content reviews the history and findings of ImageCLEF, that part of the retrieval benchmarking experiments sponsored by the National Institute of Technology (NIST) and best known for their support of research in text retrieval through the TREC (Text REtrieval Conference) forums. CLEF (Cross-Language Evaluation Forum) became the host activity for research in image retrieval, both through linguistic descriptions of images (single and multilingual) known as concept-based retrieval, and through analysis of characteristics of the image itself, such as texture, which is known as content-based retrieval, and through various combinations of these two basic techniques. 

In our columns, David Weinberger of Harvard speculates about the future role of tagging and folksonomies on the Web, while Edie Rasmussen brings us up-to-date on the Board of Directors activities with respect to ASIS&T publications, an area that is vital to the finances and the future viability of the Society.