Bulletin, February/March 2012

Inside ASIS&T

75 Years of Leadership in Information Science
ASIS&T to Celebrate Significant Anniversary at Annual Meeting

When the ASIS&T Annual Meeting convenes in Baltimore, October 26-31, members new and old will celebrate and reflect upon 75 years of leadership in the time we now know as the information age. From its humble beginnings as the American Documentation Institute, founded by Watson Davis and a cadre of other documentalists, to its current status representing information professionals in practice, research, academia and policy making, the American Society for Information Science and Technology has helped forge the path that puts information and its technology at the front of every discussion of 21st century life.

To address the history that began with the idea of acquiring and indexing the knowledge of the world and has continued through our current search for new and better theories, techniques and technologies to improve access to information, the 75th Annual Meeting of ASIS&T will consider Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present, and Creating the Future, embracing the anniversary while encompassing the different threads the Society brings together in information science.

The technical program will feature panels, papers, posters, workshops and tutorials evaluated through three reviewing tracks, each with its own team of co-chairs and reviewers. The three tracks are Information, Interaction and Innovation.

Conference chairs for the 75th anniversary Annual Meeting are Crystal Fulton, Julie Hersberger and Shanju Chang

In addition to the technical program, special events will be planned in celebration of the anniversary, honoring many of the people and activities that have made ASIS&T great. Among the events is a pre-conference seminar focusing on the history of both ASIS&T and the field that it leads (see next article in Inside ASIS&T).

AM 2012 Pre-Conference 
History of ASIS&T and Information Science and Technology

The 75th Anniversary Task Force of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) will kick off the Annual Meeting anniversary celebration in Baltimore with a pre-conference exploring the 75-year history of ASIS&T and the longer history of information science and technology worldwide.

The organizing group is currently accepting proposals for papers, as well as alternative presentations, such as videos, posters, exhibits and demonstrations of historical technologies. All proposals will be refereed by a panel of experts, and all accepted papers will be published as a web-based publication prior to the conference. Submissions by students and authors outside the United States are particularly encouraged. 

Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The development of ASIS&T and its predecessors as a professional organization and scholarly society in context with its times, relationships with competing or affiliated organizations, major contributions and influences on the study of information science worldwide, forces shaping the research agenda and scope of the field, roles and contributions of specific individuals or groups within and outside of ASIST, and related issues;
  • The development of the foundational ideas and theories of information science and, in its earlier form, documentation;
  • The evolution of the multifaceted and multiple-named field referred to as information science with a focus on what the past says about the future of information science research and development;
  • The historical contexts of major technological innovations and the impacts they have had on societies, organizations, governments or individuals worldwide. 
  • The role of government (nationally or internationally) in influencing the development of information science and technology, with particular attention to the support of research and development of information policies;
  • The development of information science education and its relationships with other fields of study. 

For more information and questions about this call for papers contact Robert V. Williams at bobwill@sc.edu or call 803-777-2324. Submit abstracts (maximum of 1,000 words) electronically to the following site, completing the required contact information: www.softconf.com/asist2/Hist_Pre_Con/ 

13th IA Summit and RDAP12 on Tap
While we all start thinking about the 75th anniversary celebration of ASIS&T, let’s not forget the IA Summit in New Orleans, March 21-25, 2012, and the coordinating RDAP12 on March 22-23.

It’s hard to believe, but we’re up to the 13th IA Summit, the primary event for those redefining strategy and structure in support of cross-channel systems and user experiences. Always a major draw for the big names in this now-maturing field, this year’s Summit features talks by such luminaries as Jamie Monberg, chief experience officer at Hornall Anderson; Helen Walters, New York-based business and design journalist; Harry Max, vice president of experience design for Rackspace; and dozens more, most of whom are listed and described at http://2012.iasummit.org along with registration details.

Once again held in conjunction with the IA Summit, the third ASIS&T Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) summit will explore data management plans and policies; training data management practitioners; discovery of research data; data curation service models; sustainability of data management; and data citation. 

This highly participatory summit will provide ample opportunities for all attendees to get involved as speakers as well as at “topic table” lunches; dine-around dinners; a round of lightening talks; and poster and demonstration sessions. 

For the latest up-to-date information, you can find the RDAP pages through links at the ASIS&T website or directly at http://rdap12.posterous.com/

Upcoming Ballot to Include Bylaws Changes
Shortly, all members of ASIS&T will receive ballots by email asking for votes to revise the ASIS&T Bylaws. The revisions will include several proposed changes concerning the leadership of special interest groups (SIGs) and chapters. Members will be asked to amend the bylaws to make the election of the directors of the Chapter Assembly and SIG Cabinet three-year terms that begin as deputy director and phase into director and immediate past director. 

Currently, the director and deputy director positions in both bodies are elected for two-year terms with no automatic succession from deputy to director.

If accepted by the membership, this change will provide greater continuity in the leadership of the SIGs and chapters and provide institutional memory from year-to-year. It will also bring the terms of service into line with other elected executive positions in ASIS&T, including standard terms for chairs of SIGs and for the Society’s elected president. 

Discounted Membership Fees Approved for Developing Countries
The ASIS&T Board of Directors has unanimously accepted a proposal presented by SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) that will reduce ASIS&T individual membership rates for members and potential members from certain developing countries. 

Last fall, ASIS&T president Diane Sonnenwald and SIG/III chair Daniel Alemneh initiated an informal discussion about reducing fees for some developing countries. Alemneh then presented the notion to the SIG and asked that members conduct a search for a fair and equitable approach for such a fee reduction. The result was a formal proposal to the Board that individuals from countries rated “medium” or “low” on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) be able to join ASIS&T as members in good standing for $40/year.

The UN HDI measures development by combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income. 
The membership fee reduction is seen as both a recruitment tool and a step toward greater internationalization of the organization.

SIG/III Announces 12th International Paper Contest 
Special Interest Group/International Information Issues (SIG/III) has announced the details of its 12th annual International Paper Competition for authors in developing countries to earn the opportunity to present at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting. As has become standard, this year’s competition will build on the conference theme for the Annual Meeting: Information, Interaction, Innovation: Celebrating the Past, Constructing the Present and Creating the Future.

Papers can discuss issues, policies and case studies on specific aspects of the theme from a global and/or international perspective. For a list of possible topics, please see competition details at www.asis.org/SIG/SIGIII/index.htm

Up to three winners will be selected by a panel of judges: Maqsood Shaheen, IRC, U.S. Embassy, Islamabad; Alma Rivera, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México; and Fatih Oguz, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Winners will receive two-year individual memberships in ASIS&T. In addition, the first place winner may be eligible for up to $1000 toward travel expenses for attendance at the ASIS&T 75th Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Full details and updates are available at the SIG/III website: www.asis.org/SIG/SIGIII/index.htm 

News about ASIS&T Members
The School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University last week celebrated the 10th anniversary of the information architecture and knowledge management (IAKM) program. The event included honoring program founder and former director Thomas J. Froehlich with the creation of an annual award in his name to recognize an outstanding student in the program.

Don A. Wicks, SLIS interim director, told guests at the anniversary celebration, "The success of the IAKM program is due in large measure to the sturdy foundation on which it was built 10 years ago. About that time, a group of Kent State faculty from various disciplines recognized the need to create an academic program that would address the growing demand for a new kind of information professional. Among those visionaries was Dr. Tom Froehlich, a professor in the School of Library and Information Science.”

Renate Chancellor, clinical assistant professor in The Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Science, has been awarded the 2012 Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)/Norman Horrocks Leadership Award. The annual award is given to an ALISE member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in association activities. Chancellor has held leadership positions within ALISE and presented her research on several of the organization’s panels. Chancellor has worked at Catholic University since 2009. 

Marcia Lei Zeng and Karen Gracy, faculty members in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University, have received a $219,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help improve access to digital resources within and beyond the library world through what is known as linked open data (LOD).

The project will develop effective strategies and prototype tools to help libraries and museums connect to the unfamiliar data and metadata resources in the LOD world. In particular, their research will address the question of how libraries can benefit from resources that have been made available in the linked open data (LOD) universe. 

News from ASIS&T Chapters 
The European Chapter of ASIS&T is sponsoring a doctoral forum on quantitative research in information science to be held April 12-13 at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. This event is the first of two events that the European Chapter is endorsing in celebration of ASIS&T’s 75th anniversary. The second event is Libraries in the Digital Age to be held June 18-22, in Zadar, Croatia (http://ozk.unizd.hr/lida/). 

The Doctoral Forum will begin with short introductory presentations by Mike Thelwall and Jonathan Levitt on the application of quantitative methods to information science, but the thrust will rapidly change to an emphasis on student presentations of their research, feedback from participating academics and the opportunity or students to meet other doctoral students. Doctoral students who are using or considering using quantitative methods in at least part of their doctoral research are encouraged to apply.

Submissions and intents to participate must be submitted to the conference organizers by mid-February. Please visit the ASIST-EU website for updates – http://www.asis.org/Chapters/europe/ for full details.