Bulletin, June/July 2011

Inside ASIS&T

74th ASIS&T Annual Meeting
Keynote Speakers Identified for New Orleans Meeting

Plans are well underway for Bridging the Gulf: Communication and Information in Society, Technology and Work, the 74th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, October 9-13, 2011, in New Orleans, Louisiana. As hundreds of researchers and practitioners in all fields related to information science and technology finalize their submissions to the review committees for the meeting, conference chairs have moved forward to identify keynote speakers for the conference.

Steve Kelling, director of information science for the Cornell (University) Lab of Ornithology Cornell University, will be one of two keynoters to speak before plenary sessions at the meeting. Kelling is responsible for bringing advances in information science and technology to the field of ornithology. 

The second plenary speaker will be Tom Wilson, currently a visiting professor at Leeds University Business School and at the Swedish School of Librarianship and Information Science of Göteborg University. Wilson spent some 15 years as head of the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield. He will talk about the SHAMAN project, an attempt to insure that future generations will be able to interpret and display the digital context developed and understood today. 

Conference chairs for the Annual Meeting are Suzie Allard, University of Tennessee, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC.

The 2011 ASIS&T Annual Meeting is organized under six reviewing tracks: Information Behavior; Knowledge Organization; Interactive Information & Design; Information and Knowledge Management; Information Use; and Economic, Social and Political Issues. Each of the tracks has a chair and co-chair, as well as a committee of reviewers. Authors of papers, panels, workshops and tutorials will learn by late June if their submissions have been accepted. Deadline for notification of authors of posters, demonstrations and videos is about one month later.

For complete details and frequent updates on ASIS&T Annual Meeting news, please visit the ASIS&T website at asis.org.

Candidates Named for ASIS&T Board Elections

The summer ritual of electing new members to the ASIS&T Board of Directors is getting underway as we prepare this article for print. The nominating committee submitted the following slate of candidates, in alphabetical order for each office:

For President (after a year as president-elect)

  • Barbara Kwasnik
  • Andrew Dillon

For Director-at-Large

  • Sandra Hirsh
  • Jens-Erik Mai
  • Diane Neal
  • John Unsworth

Full election details will be announced when ballots are prepared for voting. 

ASIS&T Lecture and Webinar Series Take Off

ASIS&T kicked off its new annual ASIS&T Lecture Series with an April seminar presented by Dr. Sherrilynne Fuller, professor of biomedical and health informatics at the University of Washington. Her speech focused on her work on developing health information systems, from individual patient records to building integrated databases and tools to support disease surveillance. She discussed how the established model of information systems to support intervention is leading to what she calls "prevention informatics," in which information systems help prevent disease in the first place. She believes that many of the information systems problems in developing countries are mirrored in a variety of ways in the United States.

The lecture was held at the University of Kentucky, the sponsoring institution that submitted the proposal requesting ASIS&T Lecture Series funding. Proposals for funding requests for calendar year 2012 are due by September 30. For more information, visit the ASIS&T website, http://www.asis.org/awards/Lecture_Series_winner_2010.html

ASIS&T continues to expand its online live and on-demand content through the ASIS&T Webinar series. Following initial entries on taxonomy, information architecture and linked data, the series turned to Mike Atherton for Beyond the Polar Bear: A Gentle Introduction to Domain Driven Design. In this late May presentation, Atherton explored how to design for a semantic web of data, using case studies from the BBC’s Food and Natural History products. He looked specifically at the BBC food site, completely rebuilt using principles of domain and data modeling. Domain-driven design breaks down complex subjects into things people usually think about, creating a more organic interrelationship among elements. 

News from ASIS&T SIGs

Special Interest Group/Social Informatics (SIG/SI) is seeking nominations for an award for the best paper published in 2010 in a peer-reviewed journal on a topic informed by social informatics. The author or authors will present their paper and receive a $1,000 cash award at the 2011 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Nomination letters should be sent to Howard Rosenbaum (hrosenba<at>indiana.edu) or Pnina Shachaf (shachaf<at>indiana.edu) by June 30, 2011, and must include a full citation, a brief explanation for the nomination and a copy of the article. Self nominations are acceptable. Winners will be notified by July 31, 2011.

SIG/III Ramps Up for ASIS&T 75th Anniversary
In honor of both the ASIS&T 75th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) in 2012, the SIG is initiating a new Community Memory Program. 

The program will feature videos from ASIS&T people who have stories to tell about the history of the SIG. SIG members, as well as non-members who have participated in any of the SIG’s activities, are encouraged to share their memories. In 5-10 minute videos, prepare a historical overview, a shared experience, a comedy skit about the SIG or any other creative exposition of your SIG/III memory. Submissions should be uploaded to YouTube. SIG/III officers will link these videos to the SIG/III website. 

The best video will be awarded $300; 2nd and 3rd place videos will earn $150 each.

Forward your YouTube link to Victoria Kravchyna ( vika.kravchyna<at>gmail.com) or Miguel Ruiz (meruiz<at>unt.edu).

Deadline for these videos is October 1, 2011. A second round of the contest will be held in 2012.

News from ASIS&T Chapters

The New England Chapter of ASIS&T (NEASIS&T) announces the winner of the 2011 Student Travel Award. Adrienne Smith of McGill University wrote an essay addressing the questions of why she wishes to attend the 2011 ASIS&T Annual Meeting; how she believes her attendance will further her career; and how both her chapter and the national organization can benefit from her receipt of the award. In her essay, described by jury members Lisa Junghahn and Remlee Green as well-written and persuasive, she concludes that “simply joining professional associations does not automatically impact one's career. . . . Conferences and events. . . are opportunities to get known and to begin building relationships with colleagues working in diverse environments." Smith will receive up to $1000 to help defray the costs of attendance at the Annual Meeting.

The Los Angeles Chapter of ASIS&T (LACASIST) awards its 2011 Contributions to Information Science and Technology Award to Nicholas Belkin. This annual award recognizes one or more individuals who have made significant contributions to the field. Belkin, professor at Rutgers University and former ASIS&T president and winner of several ASIS&T annual awards, conducts research that is strong from both theoretical and applied perspectives. His Anomalous State of Knowledge (ASK) theory was a pioneering work in understanding why and how people search for something they don’t know. 

The University of Western Ontario is the home of the newest student chapter of ASIS&T chartered by the ASIS&T Board of Directors. Diane Neal will serve as faculty advisor; student officers are Caroline Whippey, chair, and Liam Whalen, chair-elect. 

News about ASIS&T Members

Lynne Howarth has been appointed distinguished researcher in information organization to the School of Information Studies (SOIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She made her first visit in this role in April, presenting on the topic Mining the Collective, Reconsidering Warrant. She continues in her role as professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.

Brenda Dervin, professor of communication and Joan N. Huber Fellow in social and behavioral sciences at Ohio State University, was the headline speaker at the First Annual Conference on Information and Religion, hosted by Kent State University. The theme of this inaugural conference is Research Frontiers in the Study of Information and Religion. In her keynote address, Dervin discussed the role of religion in sense-making. 

Jim Jansen, associate professor of information sciences and technology at Pennsylvania State University, is the new editor of Internet Research, an international, refereed journal published by Emerald Group Publishing that aims to describe, assess and foster understanding of the role of wide-area, multi-purpose computer networks. 

Jane Greenberg and Todd Vision, both of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented "The Dryad Repository: A New Path for Data Publication in Scholarly Communication" at an April meeting at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio.

News from Institutional Members

Catholic University of America (CUA) added three new assistant professors to the faculty ranks during the current academic year. Sung Un Kim, whose research focuses on the information behavior of students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds and instructional technologies in various learning contexts, teaches in the CUA School Library Media Center and Media Services and works with school librarian communities in the Washington metropolitan area. 

Sue Yeon Syn, with research interests focused on social media and social informatics, user involvement in information organization and generation, health informatics and personal digital archiving, teaches organization of information.

Jane Zhang’s teaching and research areas include archival theory and practice, electronic records management and digital archival representation. She teaches electronic records management and archives management and participates in the development of the Cultural Heritage Information Management (CHIM) program.
Abby Goodrum, formerly with Ryerson University, is the new vice president of research at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. In her new role, Goodrum will provide vision, strategy and support for Laurier’s overall research endeavors.

Efthimis Efthimiadis Efthimis Efthimiadis, 54, professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, and ASIS&T member since his student days in London in the mid-1980s, passed away on April 28, 2011, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Efthimis was born in Athens, Greece. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Athens; master’s and doctoral degrees were granted by City University, London. In London, he met and married the love of his life, Jagoda. Efthimis and Jagoda moved to the United States to teach at UCLA, before moving to Seattle where both worked for the University of Washington. 

Efthimis's expertise was in the area of information retrieval and user-centered design for which he was well known and respected nationally and internationally. He is remembered by his colleagues for his intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for research, as well as his kindness, sense of humor and infectious smile. 

In ASIS&T, Efthimis served in numerous capacities, including time on several award juries; as officer in SIG/CR; faculty advisor for student chapters; and on both Society standing committees and Annual Meeting program committees.

Efthimis is survived by Jagoda, his son Nicholas, and his mother Veta and brother Agapios, both of Athens, Greece. The family requests that memorial donations, if desired, be made to Nicholas' college fund. The university held a memorial celebration of Efthimis's life in early May; the Information School held a separate memorial in late May.