B  U L  L E  T I  N

of the American Society for Information Science and Technology             Vol. 29, No. 5             June/July 2003

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From the Editor’s Desktop

In this issue we focus on the interaction between information technology/professional practice and its social environment, a territory that includes the most important issues facing our profession. In the first of a two-part article, Lee Strickland examines how recent legal and policy developments impact records and information management. I’m sure that we have all been struck by the prominent role that records issues have played in several recent highly publicized prosecutions, such as those related to the Enron scandal. Lee’s overview of this changing climate is timely and should be required reading for all of us.

Taking the opposite perspective, Subbiah Arunachalam looks at the impact of information technology and practice on social infrastructure – in this case the impact of the Internet on the ability of scientists in developing countries to participate in the broader scientific community.  He examines the Internet’s immediate negative impact, but also reviews positive steps to mitigate it. This remediation centers on the revolution in scientific and technical publishing, which is surely one of the most interesting and profound collateral effects of electronic communication.

The impact of technology on social issues is also the subject of Julian Warner’s International Column as he looks at the question of limits to free speech in  “Shouting Fire on a Crowded Internet.”  Should or can legal precedent from the paper environment be applied to the Internet, and how does its global aspect affect the legal issues?

Finally, turning to ASIST activities Andrew Dillon reports on the IA Summit, while Trudi Hahn, in her President’s Page, reflects on some of its lessons for the development of ASIST.

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