of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 27, No. 4              April / May 2001


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SIG/III Repeats Successful International Paper Competition

2001 Theme: Information in a Networked World

Special Interest Group/International Information Issues (SIG/III) of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST), announces its second international paper competition, following on the heels of recent success.

The theme for this year's paper competition is "Information in a Networked World: The Developing World Perspective." Winners will be invited to read their papers at the ASIST Annual Meeting 2001 in Washington, DC, November 3-8.

The first international paper competition invited submissions about practical collaborative applications of digital libraries or information science and technology in developing countries. The winning paper was written by Kyiho Lee, Republic of Korea, and was printed in the Bulletin in the February/March issue. This issue of the Bulletin features the second place paper written by Aashish Sharma of India and William Yurcik.

Competition organizers have announced that the paper topic for 2001 can be at the country or regional level. Papers should present a leading edge, salient and/or current issue, problem, concern, policy, idea or practice of information science and technology in the developing world such as, but not limited to, the following: the digital divide, privacy and copyright issues, electronic theses and dissertations, globalization and cultural identity, indigenous peoples, knowledge management, development of electronic resources across networks, bringing access to information to distant and/or disadvantaged communities, or the language issue.

Four winners will be selected by a panel of judges, which will include Sue Johnson, The World Bank; Margarita Studemeister, U.S. Institute of Peace; Dr. Hal Borko, professor emeritus, UCLA; and Nathalie Leroy, Dag Hammarskjöld Library, United Nations. The prize for each winner is a two-year individual membership in ASIST. In the case of multiple authors, the principal author will be awarded the ASIST membership.

Paper presentation

Winning papers will be presented at a conference session to be moderated by Nathalie Leroy, Dag Hammarskjöld Library, United Nations. Discussion leader will be Sylvia Piggott, Deputy Division Chief and Deputy Chief Librarian, World Bank-IMF Joint Library. If a winner cannot attend the conference, the paper will be read by an ASIST member.

Other publishing opportunities

Submitted papers will be considered for posting on the SIG/III website as pre-publications. In addition they will also be considered for inclusion in the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, based on the decision of the editor. Papers will also be reviewed for inclusion in a special issue of the International Information and Library Review, subject to the usual peer refereeing process.

Information for authors

Only papers by a principal author who is a citizen of and resides in a developing country are eligible. The papers should be original, unpublished and in English. We encourage submissions from librarians, information and network specialists, and educators involved in the creation, representation, maintenance, exchange, discovery, delivery and use of digital information.

ASIST Copyright Policy

ASIST will have the non-exclusive right to publish any of the papers submitted on its website or in print, with ownership and all other rights remaining with the author.

Deadline for submission of full papers

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts, not to exceed 6000 words, by July 31, 2001.

Authors are encouraged to submit papers electronically. For more information or to submit manuscripts, please contact Nathalie Leroy by e-mail at the following address: leroyn@un.org

Report on LIS Accreditation

Over the last year, an ALA Task Force on Accreditation has been drafting a plan for moving the accreditation of programs of professional education in library and information studies to a new organizational entity that will include a broader scope of participating associations and societies. With broader sponsorship, there is the implication of expansion of the scope of the accreditation program to all segments of the information professions. ASIST is one of many organizations whose endorsement is sought by ALA.

This effort is one of several that grew out of the 1999 Congress on Professional Education. The task force was charged to look at the desirability and feasibility of creating an entity external to ALA which would be responsible for the policy and structure of programs of professional education in library and information studies. The task force has come to the conclusion that the creation of such an accrediting body would be highly desirable. It believes that the various professional associations within the fields of library and information studies should be at the table during discussions of accreditation standards and should be full participants in the accrediting process.

The task force will propose to the ALA Executive Board and Council that a new 501(c)3 organization be established, with representation on the governing board and accrediting committee from all member associations. Organizations invited to be initial participants in the federation, in addition to ASIST, will be the American Library Association (ALA), the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), the Medical Library Association (MLA), the Society of American Archivists (SAA), the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC). In addition, the Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) should be a strategic partner/member in the formulation and operation of the new organization. Other LIS organizations identified that may be interested in future participation include American Association of Museums, American Medical Informatics Association, American Records Management 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.

The task force has recommended that the new organization have a name (note that a naming opportunity exists!) that connotes expansion of the accrediting process to include a universe of academic programs yet to be completely defined, but including, for example, archives and records management. Potentially, in the future, standards and processes will be established for undergraduate programs, information technology programs at several levels and specialized programs, using one governing board and appropriate accrediting committees. This organization should be able to begin with the group of MLS/MLIS/MSIS programs currently within the ALA accreditation purview and expand as quickly as possible, both vertically and horizontally, to include library programs at the bachelor's and LTA (library technical assistant) levels, as well as bachelor's and master's programs in areas such as information management, information science, human-computer interaction and similar disciplines.

The new organization would include a proportionally composed governing board and an accreditation committee consisting of one member from each organization. The governing board would be responsible for setting and monitoring accreditation standards, for establishing and monitoring the accreditation structure and process, and for policy matters. The accreditation committee would receive the recommendations of site visit teams and make the accreditation decisions. Appeals would go to the board. Seats on the governing board relate to the size of the financial contribution of the organization, which in turn relates to its annual operating budget. Thus ASIST would have one seat on the governing board and one on the accreditation committee. With all of the initial invitees participating, the total size of the governing board would be 20 and the size of the accreditation committee would be 11.

The initial budget estimated for the new organization is approximately $611,000. The proposed scheme for contributions would include a $5,000 contribution from ASIST, about .6% of our annual operating expenses. The contributions for other organizations are also linked to operating expenses, with ALA, for example, asked to contribute about 1% of its operating budget or $374,000. The task force has proposed and is pursuing the potential for external funding of the added costs of the new organization, phased out over the first three years. An additional cost to be borne by ASIST (like other organizations) would be travel and lodging for the ASIST representative to the governing board. Meeting expenses for the ASIST representative to the accreditation committee would be paid by the new organization.

The structure of accreditation in our field affects us all, whether educator, employer or student. This new proposal will bring more library and information professionals into the accreditation process and will move toward a broader definition of the library and information professions. ASIST input and participation in shaping the information professionals of the future is critical. For this reason, the ASIST Information Science Education Committee has recommended to the ASIST Board that ASIST accept the invitation to participate in this new organization. The report of the Task Force will be available at


Nancy Roderer , ASIST liaison to the ALA Task Force (nroderer@jhmi.edu )
June Lester, chair of the ASIST Education Committee (jlester@ou.edu)

ASIST to Sponsor Second Conference on the History and Heritage of Scientific and Technical Information Systems

Following the successful Conference on the History and Heritage of Science Information Systems in 1998, the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) are pleased to announce the Second Conference on the History and Heritage of Scientific and Technical Information Systems, to be held November 15-17, 2002, in Philadelphia.

Emphasis for this conference will be on the period from World War II up through the early 1990s, including the infrastructure created by digitization, the Internet and the World Wide Web. Conference organizers are looking for in-depth historical analyses of these developments and how they have affected the practice of science both nationally and internationally.

Two preliminary workshops have been scheduled in order to stimulate research that may be presented at the 2002 conference and to assist in the ongoing effort to build a community of interest in the history of information science and scientific and technical information systems.  These workshops will be directed at graduate students, information professionals and others who are interested in the history of information science and technology but who may have little or no formal background in historical study of this subject.  The workshops will be small and will provide a friendly environment in which interested individuals, whatever the current level of their historical work, can clarify their ideas and present and critique work in progress. 

These gatherings will have a didactic or tutorial component as well as a "workshop" component. As part of the former, one or more established scholars will lead discussions on research completed in the field, important areas that are in need of further investigation and specialized research resources.

For more information on the conference and suggested topics, please visit CHF's website at


The Workshops

An East Coast workshop will be held June 8-9, 2001, from 6 p.m., Friday, to 8 p.m., Saturday, at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The deadline for applications to attend this workshop is April 1, 2001.

A West Coast workshop will be held September 15-16, from noon, Saturday, to 2 p.m., Sunday, at the School of Information Management & Systems, University of California, Berkeley. The deadline for applications to attend this workshop is June 1, 2001.

Late applications may be considered.

The workshops have a registration fee of US$90.00, which includes meals.  There are a limited number of competitive scholarships available to help cover the costs of attending the nearest workshop.

Applications for the workshops and the scholarships should include (1) an outline of a paper or a substantial abstract, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a recommendation from a mentor (if the candidate is in graduate school) and (4) a statement of estimated financial need and a budget.  Please be sure to indicate clearly the workshop for which you are applying.

Applications should be addressed to HHSTIS2 Program Committee, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106; HHSTIS2@chemheritage.org

The Conference

 The conference will be held Friday to Sunday, November 15-17, 2002, immediately preceding the 2002 ASIST Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. All events will take place at the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

 Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including library and information science, communications and history of science and technology, are encouraged to submit abstracts of 500-1000 words based on the themes listed at the CHF website. Abstracts are due by October 15, 2001.

 Abstracts will be refereed by members of the organizing committee and by other scholars as necessary. Authors requested to submit full papers following evaluation of abstracts must have at least completed drafts available by June 30, 2002. The drafts will be assessed for suitability for presentation at the conference.

  A limited number of scholarships will be available for the presentation of papers in order to help cover the costs of attending the conference. Preference will be given to presenters from abroad and North American graduate students. Such applicants should have drafts of their papers available by May 15, 2002.

News from ASIST Chapters

The Los Angeles Chapter of ASIST (LACASIS) is sponsoring the 10th annual Student Scholarship Essay Competition to encourage students in library and information science programs to consider the benefits of participation in the activities of professional societies. First established in 1992, the competition was renamed the Margaret McKinley Memorial Student Scholarship Essay Competition the following year in memory of the late Margaret McKinley. The winner of the award will receive reimbursement up to $1000 for registration, air fare and hotel expenses to attend the ASIST Annual Meeting 2001 in Washington, DC. For full information about the essay competition, see details at www.lacasis.org.

For its March meeting, LACASIS welcomed Kathleen Smith, Advanced Information Management, for a session entitled, Midstream: Exploring Your Career Options , during which she talked about career planning, career retooling and exploring alternatives to current jobs.

The Central Ohio ASIST Chapter (CO-ASIST) planned to take a look at The User's Perspective on Intellectual Property at its late March meeting. Scheduled speakers included Trisha Davis, Ohio State University Libraries, and Steven McDonald, OSU Legal Affairs.

News about ASIST Members

Susan O'Neill Johnson, information officer at The World Bank and past chair of ASIST SIG/III, is the 2001 recipient of the President's Award from Special Libraries Association. She was recognized "for her efforts in the development of the SLA Global 2000 Fellowship program, which was created to facilitate participation in SLA's Global 2000 Conference by information professionals in developing nations."

John J. Doyle, senior vice president of operations and administration at BIOSIS, has added the title of interim president to his business card. He succeeds John E. Anderson in the presidency while the BIOSIS Board of Trustees conducts a search for a permanent president.


Herbert A. Simon

Herbert A. Simon, winner of a 1998 ASIST Special Award and the 1978 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, died February 9 at age 84.

Until just a few weeks before his death, Dr. Simon had continued to work on his research at Carnegie Mellon University, publishing papers and seeing students.  But following successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his abdomen in mid-January, he was plagued by a series of medical complications that proved fatal.

Dr. Simon is credited with laying the groundwork for such fields as artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. In 1998, when honored by ASIST, he was recognized "for the breadth of his research in and the magnitude of his contributions to computer science, psychology, economics, philosophy and numerous other fields."

Dr. Simon accepted his ASIST award at the 1998 ASIST Annual Meeting, where he addressed the opening plenary session with a speech entitled, Human Work in a Computer Age.

Dr. Simon had been a fixture for 52 years at Carnegie Mellon. He and the late Allen Newell gained renown in the mid-1950s when they created the first "thinking machine" and launched the field of artificial intelligence. Both also were central figures during the cognitive revolution in psychology in the 1960s as scientists began to use computer models to study human thought processes.

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