of the American Society for Information Science and Technology     Vol. 28, No. 3      February / March 2002


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ASIST 2001 Annual Meeting Coverage

As 2001 was coming to a close, the American Society for Information Science and Technology hosted its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11 and in the midst of unparalleled security and concern, information professionals recognized their role in the information-based war against terrorism and came together to discuss how they and their information colleagues will participate in world events. But as with all ASIST Annual Meetings, there was also time for other substantive and technical matters; for friendship and collegiality; and for honoring the best and the brightest in the information field.

In this issue of the Bulletin in Inside ASIST and elsewhere we take a brief look at the 2001 ASIST Annual Meeting.

2001 ASIST Award Winners Accept Honors

Each year at the ASIST Annual Meeting, the Society honors the winners of the prestigious ASIST Annual Awards. This year's winners received their accolades at the Awards Banquet in Washington, DC. Nominated by practitioners and scholars throughout the information field and selected by juries of their peers, dozens of outstanding representatives of the field were cited for the highest levels of contributions in their selected specialties.

Award of Merit

Patrick G. Wilson, professor emeritus, School of Library and Information Science, University of California, Berkeley, is presented with the 2001 Award of Merit for significant contributions to the field of library and information science through his thinking, writing, teaching and administrative work. Complete coverage of the award, including Wilson's acceptance speech, is included in the December/January issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Watson Davis Award

The 2001 ASIST Watson Davis Award, commemorating the founder of the Society and given to members for outstanding continuous contributions and dedicated service to the Society, is presented to Julie Hurd, science librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Few members of the Society have been unaffected by Dr. Hurd's work. A member since 1983, she has served as Chapter Assembly Director and Deputy Chapter Assembly Director. Those positions placed her on the Board of Directors for eight years and gave her responsibilities for the health of Society chapters around the globe. She has been active in the Society's Special Interest Groups, most notably as an officer of SIGs/BC, STI and ED. Dr. Hurd has also helped plan two Annual Meetings and has made presentations at Society events. In addition, she has helped considerably with the Tri-Society Symposium of ASIST, the Special Libraries Association and the American Chemical Society. She has served on or chaired numerous Society committees and juries and has contributed to Society publications.

As one nominator put it, "Julie's intellect and insight have been invaluable." Another noted, "Julie Hurd's outstanding record of service and commitment. . . puts her in league with that group of people who are the backbone of the Society."

Research Award

The ASIST Research Award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding research contributions in the field of information science. For the year 2001, the Research Award is presented to Paul Kantor, a professor at Rutgers School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, and director of the Alexandria Project Laboratory there, as well as the Rutgers Distributed Laboratory for Digital Libraries.

Dr. Kantor is an internationally known researcher in the areas of mathematical modeling and information system evaluation, and he is the author of scores of publications in these areas. His work, described in one nomination letter as "an extensive sequence of high-quality, and unusually rigorous, publications," has included the application of Markov models, Bayesian decision theory, lattice theory and the calculus of variations, among others, to a variety of questions in the areas of information searching, retrieval and library costing.

In addition, in numerous studies, Dr. Kantor has collected an extensive body of primary research data for evaluation of research and special libraries.

ISI Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award

The Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award, sponsored by the Institute for Scientific Information, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching information science.

This year's outstanding teacher is Barbara Kwasnik of Syracuse University. The award recognizes Barbara's unique contributions as a teacher of information science to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, as well as a mentor and colleague. She has demonstrated dedication and commitment to student learning not only through the structuring and delivery of courses, but also through careful attention to the motivational and social aspects of her teaching. Aside from the quality of her teaching, Barbara is also known for her teaching innovation. She has been a highly visible proponent for the advancement of information science as a field.

One student wrote of Barbara: "In the classroom, she combines intellectual rigor with a sense of fun, high expectations with gentle guidance, traditional 'book learning' with practical experience. . . . She is one of those too-rare faculty members who immediately put students at ease, in part because she expresses a sincere interest in each one. . . . She never misses an opportunity to provide useful advice and helpful information. Her door is always open, literally and figuratively, to any student seeking information, advice, encouragement, an advocate or merely a supportive friend. She is the very spirit of collegiality."

John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award

The Best JASIST Paper Award recognizes the best paper published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, evaluated on the basis of professional merit, contributions to the field and presentation quality. The 2001 award is presented to Robert M. Losee for "When Information Retrieval Measures Agree About the Relative Quality of Document Rankings," Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 51(9), 834-840.

Losee establishes new criteria which shed new light on information retrieval evaluation research. Losee proposes a formal method for determining when different measures would agree that one ranking is better than or the same as the other.

Best Information Science Book Award

From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World , by Christine L. Borgman; MIT Press, publisher

The winner of the 2001 Best Information Science Book Award, From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure, meets all the criteria for an award-winning book. At once scholarly and readable, Christine Borgman illuminates research and development that have fostered and, on occasion, catalyzed major developments in information science and technology. While discussing the science and technology required, the book focuses on the social and behavioral aspects that are crucial to implementing a global information infrastructure. By highlighting contributions irrespective of national boundaries, languages and cultures, Borgman has fashioned a timely, well-documented and clearly written work identifying trends and providing insights into what will be needed for the success of an information infrastructure if it is to be accepted universally as well as globally.

James M. Cretsos Leadership Award

The James M. Cretsos Leadership Award recognizes a new ASIST member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in professional ASIST activities.

Since joining ASIST in 1997 as a student member, Allison Kopczynski has exhibited energy, dedication and leadership in several arenas. Allison has served as the Indiana Chapter chair and program chair. She aggressively recruited quality speakers and presenters for chapter programs, initiated joint meetings with the Southern Ohio Chapter, updated and maintained the chapter website, began a review of the chapter bylaws and organized the first virtual meeting of a chapter executive committee.

Since moving to Ann Arbor in 2000, Allison has organized fellow ASIST members to restart the previously dormant Michigan Chapter, serving as chair. At the national level, Allison was a founding member and a driving force behind the creation of Special Interest Group/Digital Libraries, serving as the first chair. She set up the website for this new SIG and worked to get its listserv going.

To further emphasize the breadth of her contributions to the Society, Allison has served as a member of the Leadership Development Committee and was appointed chair of the Digital Libraries Task Force this past year by President-elect Don Kraft. As one nomination read, "Allison's leadership qualities, her enthusiasm for involvement and her contributions to broadening the technical interests of ASIST clearly represent the spirit of the James M. Cretsos Award."

ISI/ASIST Citation Analysis Research Grant

The ISI/ASIST Citation Analysis Research Grant supports research proposals or research underway that is based on citation analysis.

The 2001 ISI/ASIST Citation Analysis Research Grant is awarded to John Budd and his colleagues, MaryEllen Sievert, Gabriel M. Peterson and Ku Chuin Su, at the University of Missouri - Columbia's School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. Their proposal, "Errors and Corrections in the Biomedical Literature," takes research that has already demonstrated that retracted articles continue to be cited well after retraction statements appear and extends it to a study of other types of anomalies in the literature. This work intends to demonstrate the potential impact of anomalous publications on future research and communication in biomedicine and alert both end users and librarian-intermediaries to the nature and extent of these problematic publications.

The winning proposal was ranked highly for its clarity, completeness and originality and received top scores overall for global significance, with one judge writing, "This project uses citation analysis to address an issue of overwhelming importance to society - the impact of erroneous medical research."

ASIST/UMI Doctoral Dissertation Award

The winner of the 2001 ASIST/UMI Doctoral Dissertation Award is Allison Powell, University of Virginia, for her dissertation entitled Database Selection in Distributed Information Retrieval: A Study of Multi-Collection Information Retrieval.

 This dissertation deals with the general problem of choosing the collection(s) [database(s)] to which a user's query should be sent. Its primary goal was to "enhance the understanding of the overall multi-collection retrieval problem, including the potential that introducing multiple collections when a single one is possible may become advantageous." In a laboratory environment, Dr. Powell created conditions that allowed her to compare and evaluate the performance of different multi-collection information retrieval algorithms methodically and comprehensively.

The award jury praised this dissertation as an excellent and impressive example of scholarship on a timely and important topic. Terms were carefully defined, technical issues were exceptionally clear and assessments of findings and contributions were balanced, reasonable and plausible.

ISI Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship

The ISI Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship fosters research in information science by encouraging and assisting doctoral students with their dissertation research.

The 2001 scholarship is awarded to Alesia A. Zuccala, a student in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto, for her proposal, Revisiting the Invisible College: A Case Study of the Intellectual Structure and Social Process of Singularity Theory Research in Mathematics. Ms. Zuccala holds a BA in psychology and an MLIS, both from the University of Western Ontario. She plans to study the invisible college of singularity theory researchers, viewing it as both an intellectual structure of communication and a social process of information sharing. She will use both bibliometric methods (examining the products of communication) and ethnographic data (examining the process of communication) to shed new light on how a small invisible college operates. Thus, the dissertation will make a unique contribution to information science by providing dual perspectives (structural/bibliometric and social/ethnographic) on the nature of invisible colleges.

Pratt-Severn Best Student Research Paper Award

The Pratt-Severn Best Student Research Paper Award recognizes the outstanding work of a current student in a degree-granting program in the information field and has been sponsored by Pratt Institute since 1996. Submissions for the award are evaluated by the same rigorous standards as papers submitted to the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

The 2001 winning submission is The Role of Web Home Page Information Elements in User-Site Orientation Efforts, by Brian Hilligoss, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This paper received high marks in the areas of technical competence, information science, significance of findings and originality. The first section of the paper shows that the author is familiar with current literature in the field, but does not allow the literature review to dominate the paper. The second section clearly articulates research methods and results and often refers the reader to appendices of screen shots and interview questions that provide helpful clarification. The last section places the findings against the backdrop of previous studies. The findings support some past conclusions, question others and emphasize the significance of the author's work as well as the need for continued research on the impact of Web page information elements on user-site orientation.


This year, the Los Angeles and Southern Ohio Chapters tied for the ASIST Chapter-of-the-Year Award. Throughout the year, both chapters demonstrated the intellectual creativity, commitment and leadership that characterize ASIST at its best. They offered their memberships creative programs, educational workshops, networking opportunities and professional recognition. Both chapters showed good administrative organization and sound financial accountability. Each interacted with other professional societies, carrying the ASIST name to the local communities. They supported local academic programs in the information sciences, encouraged student chapter activities and introduced new students to the Society. Both communicated effectively with their memberships, produced newsletters and maintained effective websites. Although very different in geographic coverage and membership size, both Los Angeles and Southern Ohio deserve their recognition as Chapter-of-the-Year.

Student Chapter-of-the-Year

The Simmons College Student Chapter is the recipient of the 2001 Student Chapter-of-the-Year Award. The chapter was honored for its active recruitment and retention of members; and for its sponsorship of organized events for members and non-members.

Chapter Event-of-the-Year

The New England Chapter of ASIST is the recipient of the Chapter Event-of-the-Year award for "A Walk on the Wireless Side," a program which attracted over 170 people to see demonstrations of wireless technologies and learn about the implementation of wireless networks in academic settings. Presenters all people who implement, plan and theorize about wireless initiatives were well informed, amusing and able to convey complex information in such a way that a diverse audience could understand it. Attendees also received a glossary and bibliography, and the event was transcribed for a special section of the Bulletin. The program itself was well moderated and proved to be a financial success for the chapter. As one letter of support noted, "This kind of thing is exactly what ASIST chapters can do to provide value to members who cannot attend national meetings."

Chapter Member-of-the-Year

Linda McCann of the Los Angeles Chapter of ASIST is the 2001 ASIST Chapter Member-of-the-Year. Those nominating Linda use such terms as innovation, facilitation, collaboration, tenacity, organization and leadership on both the local and national levels when describing her contributions to LACASIS and to ASIST. This year she brought together the Los Angeles and New England chapters to begin planning a joint virtual program which will serve as a model for future virtual events. As a past chapter chair, she has recruited and mentored new officers, planned chapter programs and workshops and contributed regularly to the chapter newsletter, OASIS. Linda is a dedicated ASIST member who is willing to pursue both local chapter goals and broader association goals. In so doing she has reached across the country, inspired the leadership of two chapters and earned this recognition as Chapter Member-of-the-Year.

Chapter Print Publication-of-the-Year

The Los Angeles Chapter's newsletter, OASIS, is this year's Chapter Print Publication-of-the-Year. The newsletter features a distinctive design and layout, professional production standards and consistently good content. In a large chapter noted for its wide geographic coverage and large membership, OASIS effectively communicates relevant chapter news and information regarding local plans, programs and people. The newsletter brings the chapter to its members. Contributors report on the ASIST meetings and other professional society meetings of potential interest. Each issue contains at least one extensive article on a topic of importance such as information architecture, e-books or user interface design. Important dates are highlighted in each issue, and each issue promotes active involvement in ASIST. A repeat winner of this award, OASIS sets the standard of excellence for effective chapter publications. Key personnel on OASIS for 2001 are Amy Wallace, chair; Tanya Novak, graphic design and type; and John McDonald and Holly Ying, editors. Past issues of OASIS are archived on the LACASIS website: www.usc.edu/isd/partners/orgs/lacasis/

Chapter Electronic Publication-of-the-Year

This award, recognizing the changing nature of our communication system as we move increasingly toward digital means of reaching our constituencies, is presented to SOASIS&T. . . On the Move, the electronic newsletter of the Southern Ohio Chapter of ASIST. This publication includes information on recent and upcoming programs, new chapter members, relevant regional news and upcoming events. One popular feature is a member profile in each issue that helps readers get to know the members on a personal level. The SOASIST newsletter was recently redesigned to make it easier to read as an electronic publication, including improved formatting, use of color and graphics and column lengths. The new newsletter is visually interesting, scans well and requires minimal scrolling. Key personnel involved in the 2001 newsletter are Barbara Davis, chapter chair, and Leslie Denton, editor. The current issue and archives of earlier issues can be found at www.asis.org/Chapters/soasis/enews/index.html

SIG Publication-oftheYear

The 2001 ASIST SIG Publication-of-the-Year Award goes to the SIG/Information Architecture (SIG/IA) e-mail discussion list for the construction and maintenance of an electronic community that serves as a lively and effective communication vehicle for its members. As information architects, the members recognize the need for and utility of networking, mutual assistance and information sharing that forms the basis of their community. They also recognize not only the immediate need for information, but the utility of the archive that these discussions produce for future members of the SIG. The discussion list sets a high standard for other such SIG publications.

SIG Member-oftheYear Award

The 2001 ASIST SIG Member-of-the-Year award goes to Suzie Allard for her sustained contributions to SIG/Digital Libraries (SIG/DL). She has been a prime mover for the SIG, and has offered inspiration, leadership and valuable time to the programs and activities which have moved the subject areas of the SIG to one of our prime considerations for discussion. She has set a high standard for SIG leadership and rapid SIG development.


For the second year in a row, SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) is honored with the SIG-of-the-Year Award for its outstanding efforts in support of information science and ASIST. On hand to accept the award from SIG Cabinet Director Gretchen Whitney, are Hong Xu, Bahaa El-Hadidy, Mikel Breitenstein and Sue O'Neill Johnson.

News about ASIST Members

Donald H. Kraft , ASIST president, JASIST editor and professor at Louisiana State University, has been elected a fellow of the IEEE.

The Texas Center for Digital Knowledge at the University of North Texas received a $500,000 contract from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to design and test critical components of the Library of Texas (LOT). The project, known as ZLOT, will demonstrate the feasibility of a Z39.50-based approach for distributed access to Texas' library resources. William E. Moen, Texas Center for Digital Knowledge Fellow and ZLOT's principal investigator, foresees that "the Library of Texas will bring the resources of Texas libraries to all Texans and usher in a new era of library services through the development and integration of new technologies." Ultimately, the Library of Texas may encompass the resources in more than 600 Texas public and academic libraries. 

SILS Associate Professor Diane Sonnenwald has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research and teach in Finland during the spring 2002 semester. During her five-month stay, she will be based at the University of Tampere's Department of Information Studies. In addition to her duties at Tampere, Sonnenwald will also visit the University of Oulu and the Abo Academy.

News from an ASIST Chapter

The Seattle Reading Group of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of ASIST selected Information Visualization and Human-Computer Interaction as the topic for its first discussion of the new year. The selected discussion article is "Human Computer Interaction with Global Information Spaces Beyond Data Mining," available at www.pnl.gov/infoviz/hci_gis.pdf.

News from an ASIST SIG

SIG/III Announces Winners of 2001 International Paper Competition

Sue O.  Johnson and Nathalie Leroy of SIG/III have announced the winners of the 2001 SIG/III International Paper Competition. The second annual effort called for papers with the theme "Information in a Networked World." Information professionals from and residing in developing countries were eligible.

 The following were the winning papers and authors. Several of these will be honored in future issues of the Bulletin.

The Indonesian Digital Library Network is born to struggle with the Digital Divide, Ismail Fahmi, Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia

India Network-enabled Digitized Collection at the Central Library, IIT Delhi, Dr. Jagdish Arora, Head, Computer Applications Division, Central Library, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India

Croatian Current Research Programs and Projects Scientific Output The Library Role, Jadranka Stojanovski, Zagreb, Croatia

Literacy, Information and Governance in Digital Era: Indian Scenario, P.R. Goswami, Librarian, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

Information in a Networked World: The Indian Perspective, Smita Chandra, Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Mumbai, India

Challenges in Access to Science and Technological Information in Indonesia During Economic Crisis, Widharto Widharto, Librarian, SEAMEO BIOTROP, Bogor, Indonesia

Update on LIS Accreditation Activities

As reported in the April/May 2001 issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (www.asis.org/Bulletin/May-01/inside.html), work has been underway for the past two years on a proposal to create a new organizational entity for the accreditation of programs of professional education in library and information studies. The proposed new 501(c)3 organization would include a broader scope of participating associations and societies and will have the possibility of expansion of the scope of the accreditation program to all segments of the information professions. This work, one of several efforts arising from the 1999 Congress on Professional Education, has been coordinated by the ALA Task Force on External Accreditation (www.ala.org/congress/accredtf/index.html ), with representatives from other interested associations, including a liaison from ASIST.

During the spring of 2001 a number of associations were invited to be initial participants in the proposed new federation and were asked to provide a letter of intent to the Task Force. On the recommendation of the ASIST Information Science Education Committee, the ASIST Board voted at their March meeting to accept this invitation on behalf of the association. Other organizations indicating their intent to participate to-date are the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), ARMA International (formerly the Association of Records Managers and Administrators), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), the Medical Library Association (MLA), the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Also invited have been the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), which is still undecided, and the Urban Libraries Council, which has declined the invitation. Other LIS organizations identified as potential future participants include American Medical Informatics Association, American Society of Indexers, Association of Computing Machinery (particularly the SIG on Information Retrieval), Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Council of State Library Agencies, Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, among others.

A preliminary proposal to form the organization was sent to the ALA Council and Executive Board in June. The Task Force is currently scheduling meetings with the various stakeholder groups to hear their concerns and issues prior to drafting the next revision of the proposal. A meeting with the deans and directors of schools of library and information studies (LIS) is planned for the ALISE 2002 Annual Conference in New Orleans in January. Other meetings or consultations with the participating associations are under consideration. The Task Force hopes to bring a final proposal to the ALA Council, which is the ALA body that must approve ALA endorsement of the new structure, in June 2002.

During the ASIST Annual Meeting in November, a program exploring ASIST participation was presented to the membership. Speakers included Nancy Roderer, detailing the proposed new accreditation structure; June Lester, addressing the potential role of ASIST in the new body; Prudence Dalrymple, examining the short and long-term impact of the new structure on schools and educational programs; and Carol Kuhlthau, discussing how individual ASIST members can become involved in accreditation activities, both currently and in the proposed structure.

If the final structure of the proposed body retains the currently proposed design, ASIST will have a seat on the governing body responsible for setting and monitoring accreditation standards, for establishing and monitoring the accreditation structure and process, and for policy matters. In addition, an ASIST representative would sit on the accreditation committee that would receive the recommendations of site visit teams and make the accreditation decisions. The proposed annual financial commitment of ASIST would be $5000 plus travel and lodging expenses for the ASIST representative on the governing board.

At the current time, opportunities exist for ASIST members to serve as members of accreditation review panels that examine LIS master's programs under the auspices of the ALA accreditation process. Under the new structure, in addition to the possibility for service on the governing body and on the accreditation committee, ASIST members might anticipate increased opportunity to participate in future revision of the accreditation standards and on accreditation panels for programs other than those for the LIS master's degree. Members interested in participating under the current structure may volunteer to do so at the ALA Office for Accreditation External Review Panel Member Information site.

ASIST participation in the proposed structure will provide increased opportunity to shape the information professional education of the future. Any comments on the proposal, suggestions or areas of concern should be sent to Nancy Roderer, the ASIST liaison to the ALA Task Force (nroderer@jhmi.edu).

Nancy Roderer
ASIST liaison to the ALA Task Force

June Lester
chair of the ASIST Information Science Education Committee

Nancy Roderer is director of the Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University, 1900 E. Monument St., Baltimore, MD 21205; nroderer@jhmi.edu. June Lester is professor and director of the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Oklahoma, 401 W. Brooks, Norman, OK 73019-6032; jlester@ou.edu.

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