Bulletin, June/July 2012

Bulletin Editor, Irene TravisEditor's Desktop

Irene L. Travis, Editor

Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology


Research data is a field of expanding importance for ASIS&T in our 75th year. The third ASIS&T Research Data Access and Development Summit (RDAP12) was held in New Orleans at the end of March, and in this issue we feature an RDAP-related special section assembled by guest editor Melissa Weaver. Our annual Information Architecture (IA) issue, reflecting the concurrent IA Summit will appear in October. The RDAP12 coverage includes an annotated program, a thematic overview of the summit by Karen Wickett, Xiao Hu and Andrea Thomer and summaries of the panels on data citation and training data management practitioners by Matt Mayernik and Xiao Hu, respectively. In addition, we have related articles on data citation, a major RDAP concern, by Joe Hourclé and Matt Mayernik.

In conjunction with the Anniversary Celebration Committee we also begin our 75th anniversary coverage with “The Changed and Changing ADI/ASIS/ASIST After 75Years,” an overview of the history of ASIS&T by Bob Williams. We are very grateful to Bob and to all our members who have worked over the years to record and preserve this legacy.

Our other feature articles are on diverse topics. First, Bo-Christer Björk and 
Patrik Paetau discuss “Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature – Status and Challenges for the Information Systems Community.” Their report includes a study of open access to the information systems literature based on a sample of more than 700 articles from information systems journals, while on a lighter note, Jay ven Eman, stressing the need for taxonomic fieldwork, entices us with the unlikely juxtaposition of “Taxonomies, Biology and Baseball.” 

In addition to our focus on research data access and preservation, there is a sub-theme that runs through much of the issue: information professionals (IPs) – their roles, training, history, recognition, advocacy and status. IP advocacy is the topic of the “President’s Page” where current president Diane Sonnenwald discusses the latest recommendations of the Information Professionals Task Force, which is establishing a website at InfoProfessionals.org and supporting panels to promote IP recognition at relevant conferences. In addition, RDAP12, and most particularly the training panel, was much concerned with the role of IPs in this emerging area, and questions regarding their qualifications, training and recognition for data curation are a major concern of Wickett, Hu and Thomer. Finally, of course, the history of ASIS&T is also a part of the history of a significant group of IPs, and its changing structure and focus over the years mirrors many of the broader impacts of the information age on how IPs define themselves. Stay tuned for more on IP advocacy as the anniversary and the task force’s projects unfold.