of The American Society for Information Science

Vol. 26, No. 5

June/July 2000

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ASIS 2000 Annual Meeting

Knowledge Innovations: Celebrating Our Heritage, Designing Our Future

Poised on the edge of the new millennium, ASIS finds itself at an exciting point in the evolution of information science and technology. We have made enormous strides in collecting, organizing and disseminating information, but the increased potential underscores the need for continued developments. At the ASIS 2000 Annual Meeting, November 13-16, in Chicago, we will look at where we are today, how we got here, and where we are going. We will celebrate our rich information heritage and our decades of accomplishment and consider how best to use the first principles of information science to guide our work in the century ahead.

Our ability to transform data into information and then into usable knowledge can change the face of work, education and life. We have increasing capacity to generate or gather, model, represent and retrieve more complex and cross disciplinary data and ideas from new sources and at varying scales. The transformational power of information can only be capitalized upon through knowledge acquisition, classification, utilization and dissemination research, tools and techniques. Knowledge management has a substantial and growing body of theory and practice.

This conference will look at current (and imminent) knowledge creation, acquisition, navigation, retrieval, management and dissemination practicalities and potentialities, their implementation and impact, and the theories behind developments. We will review the processes, technologies and tools. We will also look at the appropriate or necessary operational policies, relevant legal issues (laws, legislation and the EU Directive), and international and domestic policies and regulations.

Following the successful topical arrangement for the 1999 meeting, the 2000 conference will again feature five tracks:

  • Knowledge Discovery, Capture and Creation (track coordinators Don Kraft and Bonnie Lawlor) - capturing tacit knowledge, data mining, collaboration, expert directories, intelligent systems employing usage patterns (e.g. search strategies), etc.
  • Classification and Representation (coordinators Merri Beth Lavagnino and Gary Marchionini) - interface design, metadata, information visualization, taxonomies, clustering, indexing, vocabularies and automatic indexing, etc.
  • Information Retrieval (coordinators Bill Hersh and Louise Su) - search engines, intelligent agents, browsing vs. searching, navigation, knowledge/information architecture, data mining, etc.
  • Knowledge Dissemination (coordinators Julie Hurd and Bob Willard) - communication, publishing (including internet vs. intranet vs. Extranet), push vs. pull, etc.
  • Social, Behavioral, Ethical and Legal Aspects (coordinators Bonnie Carroll and Barbara Wildemuth) - information acceptance vs. rejection, behavior modifications, policies and politics, value assessments, corporate and national information cultures, knowledge seeking behavior, training for effective utilization, managing knowledge management, legislative and judicial issues.

Plenary Speakers

As planning for the meeting continues, two plenary speakers have been announced: Anthony G. Oettinger and John Seely Brown.

Anthony G. Oettinger is the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Mathematics and professor of Information Resources Policy at Harvard University. He and his colleagues in the Program on Information Resources Policy (PIRP) study how public policy and strategic corporate decisions affect both old-fashioned information systems - newspapers, books, radio and television - and emerging information systems, such as centralized or distributed databases, computer-linked "smart" credit cards and post-monopoly tele-communications structures, including internets. The topics they study are often the subject of pitched battles among stakeholders before legislatures, in the courts and in national and international regulatory agencies.

John Seely Brown is chief scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). At Xerox, Brown has been deeply involved in the formation of corporate strategy and the company's positioning as The Document Company. He has expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, ethnographies of the workplace and complex adaptive systems and techniques for unfreezing the corporate mind. His personal research interests include digital culture, ubiquitous computing, user-centering design and organizational and individual learning.

A major focus of Brown's research over the years has been in human learning and in the management of radical innovation. Dr. Brown is a co-founder of the Institute for Research on Learning, a non-profit institute for addressing the problems of lifelong learning.

 Additional meeting information will be posted to the ASIS website:  www.asis.org as it becomes available and will be included in future issues of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science.

Update on Recent "Name Change" Ballot

Recently ASIS members were presented with two proposed changes: first, to authorize the Board to change the name of the society to American Society for Information Science and Technology and, second, to lower the percentage required to amend the society's constitution. Specifically, approval was requested:

    1) for the ASIS Board of Directors to proceed with changing the name of the Society from American Society for Information Science to the American Society for Information Science and Technology by changing its name in the Society's Articles of Incorporation in the District of Columbia;

    2) to amend the first sentence of Article III of the ASIS Constitution to read as follows: "This Constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Society voting on the proposal of change." [the percentage required to amend the constitution is currently 75%.]

Tellers, directed by former ASIS President Gerald Sophar, met to count the ballots on these two matters on Friday, April 28 at ASIS headquarters. With a very large response, the results are:

    Issue I.  69.7% approve
    Issue II. 85% approve

Issue 1 results mean that the name of the society is not changed at this time (see below). Since a change in the ASIS Constitution was not at issue here, the 75% necessary for approval of a constitutional amendment was not necessary. The level of approval or disapproval was intended to give direction to the Board in how to proceed.

Issue 2 results mean that effective on May 21, passage of any future constitutional amendment will require the approval of 66.7% (rather than 75%) of the members voting. (Article III of the ASIS Constitution establishes that amendments to the ASIS Constitution take effect on the date of the next regularly scheduled ASIS Board meeting.)

As was explained in the ballot cover memo,

     "The ASIS Board of Directors has been advised that the ASIS Corporate Charter (the ASIS Articles of Incorporation in the District of Columbia) supercedes all other ASIS governing documents, i.e. the ASIS Constitution and the ASIS Bylaws, none of which can legally contain anything in conflict with the ASIS Corporate Charter in the District of Columbia. As stated in District of Columbia Code 29-1004 (1998), the name of the society can be changed 'by the written consent of two-thirds of its directors.' Consequently, the ASIS Board of Directors voted to pursue a ballot initiative to seek the approval of the membership for the Board to proceed with changing the name of the Society via the route of changing the name in the Society's District of Columbia Articles of Incorporation.

The vote of the membership on this ballot initiative and the extent to which the membership favors a name change to American Society for Information Science and Technology will strongly guide the Board of Directors on how to proceed in this matter."

Thus, 70% of those voting directed the ASIS Board to proceed with a name change. The Board will decide, with consultation by our parliamentarian, whether this is sufficient to proceed to change the name to American Society for Information Science and Technology following a process that is completely legal and completely disclosed to the membership. The Board will meet to consider these matters on May 21, the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

News from ASIS SIGs

SIG/International Information Issues (III) has announced an international paper contest focusing on digital library projects and information science and technology activities in developing countries. Details of the competition can be found on page 28 of this issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science.

News from ASIS Chapters

The Northern Ohio ASIS Chapter (NORASIS ) hosted a chapter meeting at NASA's Aeronautics Education Laboratory (AEL) Intellisource in Brookpark, Ohio. AEL is a state-of-the-art classroom that brings new technologies to partnership cities to excite students about science and mathematics.

For its April meeting, the New England Chapter of ASIS (NEASIS) planned its annual awards session to recognize hard work and valued contributions of its members. The awards to be presented were NEASIS Chapter Member-of-the-Year, Simmons Student Member-of-the-Year and Student Paper Award. In addition, Jim Willard, inventor of the Paper Computer, was to discuss his invention and its future.

Then in May, NEASIS scheduled Bringing Innovative Web Technologies to Library Settings, featuring presentations by Eric Lease Morgan, North Carolina State University; Jay Budzik, Northwestern University; Jessica Brooks, Abuzz; Robert Bierman, Userland; and a speaker from Cisco Systems.

The Los Angeles Chapter of ASIS (LACASIS) took on the hot topic of e-books for its April meeting. Representatives of two libraries that have e-books were invited to share their experiences and the lessons learned from their pioneering entrance into the e-book world.

And now for news from the busy Southern Ohio Chapter of ASIS (SOASIS):

SOASIS held a workshop meeting with the Cincinnati Chapter of SLA on February 3 at the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. The technical program, entitled Managing Knowledge to Manage Your Future , featured ASIS members Charles A. Davis, Richard Hulser, Pamela P. Klein and Danny Wallace, as well as guest presenters Kimber L. Fender and Tom Sanville. Despite inclement weather, the workshop was well-attended and profitable for the two chapters. The Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium was also a co-sponsor of that successful workshop.

On February 26, the ASIS Board of Directors approved unanimously SOASIS' proposal to charter the OhioLEARN Student Chapter of ASIS. OhioLEARN is a distributed learning program funded substantially by the State of Ohio. While the degree-granting institution is Kent State University, students enrolled in the OhioLEARN program receive instruction via video conferencing and the Internet at Bowling Green State University, Kent State University, Ohio University, and the University of Cincinnati. Alison H. Armstrong is Student Chapter Advisor and John Tebo is SOASIS-Student Chapter Liaison. This virtual ASIS student chapter has 22 members.

The Indiana and the Southern Ohio ASIS chapters held their second annual joint meeting on March 8 in Indianapolis. The featured presenter was ASIS President Dr. Eugene Garfield who spoke on ASIS and Beyond: A Look into the Future of Information Professionals and Their Organization. Among those present at this well-attended program were three former ASIS presidents and a former member of the ASIS board of directors.

On May 18, SOASIS held a dinner meeting at LEXIS-NEXIS in Miamisburg, Ohio on Data Visualization Technology. Ray Daley, the NEXIS Manager of Research & Development at LEXIS-NEXIS discussed the Why, What, and How of Current Visualization Techniques. Refreshments and the dinner were partially underwritten by LEXIS-NEXIS.

The new ASIS Student Chapter at the University of Kentucky (UKASIS) held its third chapter meeting on January 27, at the university's Lexington campus, featuring Intel Chairman Andrew Grove (on video) discussing the history and future of information processing, chip design and his approach to the business of information technology.

On February 25, UKASIS held a flexible meeting in conjunction with back-to-back presentations by ASIS member Edward A. Fox of Virginia Tech. Dr. Fox spoke on Digital Libraries, An Aid to Education through Interoperable Open Archives of Resources. His second presentation was on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD): Improving Graduate Education.

Capitalizing on the momentum of digital technology, UKASIS invited Matt Kirschenbaum of the University of Kentucky to present on April 24 a program entitled The Persistence of Vision: Digital Images in Digital Libraries.

Showcasing its top talents, UKASIS announced that two of its ASIS student members were this year's winners of the following prestigious awards: Suzie Allard was awarded the University of Kentucky Presidential Fellowship. The fellowship consists of a $10,000 stipend, tuition and medical insurance. This is the first time the College of Communications and Information Studies had a Presidential Fellow. Suzie is a doctoral candidate and instructor at the University of Kentucky. She is a key member of a team that is spearheading the formation of the ASIS Special Interest Group on Digital Libraries (SIG/DL). Susan Marshall has been awarded The General Special Libraries Association Scholarship, consisting of a $6,000 stipend. Up to three are given annually for graduate study leading to a master's degree in library science. Susan is currently an MLS student at the University of Kentucky and is interested in corporate or medical librarianship.

News about ASIS Members

Edna Reid , associate professor in the Nanyang Business School at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, was commissioned to write the first handbook on why, when and how the Year 2000 problem became a critical issue for businesses. WHY 2K? A Chronological Study of the Millennium Bug compares how businesses and governments in the United States, Singapore, Great Britain and Australia responded to the problem.

Stuart Sutton , currently at the University of Washington, was among those honored recently when the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and the Technology Education Network were presented the ComputerWorld Smithsonian Laureate Award. Sutton was SLIS director when the original grant was developed for the program. The distance learning program was developed to deliver classes among CSU campuses via broadband network technologies.

Kyle Banerjee, cataloging librarian at Oregon State University, is the recipient of the 2000 ACRL Samuel Lazerow Fellowship for Research in Collections and Technical Services in academic research libraries. The award will fund Banerjee's project, Developing a Procedure for Processing Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

Matthew Koll, AOL Fellow, was scheduled to deliver a speech in mid-April entitled Search Engines: At the Intersection of Science and Business at the University of Maryland, College Park.

ASIS President Eugene Garfield, founder and chairman emeritus of ISI, has been visiting ASIS chapters around the country. Among those visited in the last couple of months were Chicago, where members participated in a Conversation with Eugene Garfield; North Texas chapter for An Evening with Eugene Garfield; and Central Ohio ASIS Chapter, where he discussed ASIS: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going . In addition, he stopped in at Pratt Institute to deliver the 9th Nasser Sharify Lecture, speaking on the topic An Information Scientist Speculates on 21st Century Information Technology.

Karen M. Drabenstott , associate professor in the School of Information, University of Michigan, is one of three authors honored with the 2000 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Research. The winning article written by the three authors is "End-User Understanding of Subject Heading in Library Catalogs," a report on the first large-scale empirical research on the topic.

Michael Buckland , former ASIS president, and Ray Larson, ASIS director, and both at the University of California at Berkeley, are among the research leaders of Translingual Information Management Using Domain Ontologies, a project that has received a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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