Annual ASIS&T meeting 2011 in New Orleans

Written by Laura Schumann and Jens Terliesner, students of information science and language technology at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf (Germany)

The annual ASIS&T meeting 2011 was held in October in New Orleans (Louisiana). The meeting subtitled with the slogan ‘Bridging the Gulf: Communication and Information in Society, Technology, and Work’ was our first ASIS&T meeting we attended and as well our first contact with ASIS&T. We expected to meet many people from different places in the world to exchange opinions and expand our know-how in information science.
The meeting was opened by Tom Wilson (University of Sheffield) who held the keynote concerned with the central question: ‘Preservation: the Final Frontier?’. He explained the difficulties of preserving information caused by many problems like changes of favored file types and changing storage devices.
Even though we couldn’t imagine why ornithology is related to information science, the second keynote by Steve Kelling (Cornell University) convinced us of the contrary.
He talked about applied citizen science in the area of ornithology (‘How to Identify Ducks in Flight: A Crowdsourcing Approach to Biodiversity Research and Conservation’). Kelling collects information generated by scientists and non-scientists to evaluate the worldwide movement of birds. Kellings speech showed that information science can be applied in different research areas and that it is not restricted to specific subjects.

The agenda of the meeting consisted of panels and paper presentations divided into the tracks ‘Information Behavior’, ‘Knowledge Organization’, ‘Interactive Information & Design’, ‘Information and Knowledge Management’, ‘Information Use’ and ‘Economic, Social and Policy Issues’. Especially the topics ‘Knowledge Organization’, ‘Information and Knowledge Management’ and ‘Information Use’ offered many presentations that were closely related to our academic studies and showed us new and interesting facets of these areas. The high number of panels encouraged communication and exchange of expert information and revealed different attitudes considering the subject.
A poster session with more than 90 posters showed the large variety of actual research interests and applied information science. Since we presented our own poster at the session, we were able to exchange and discuss our ideas mostly with interested experts of non-related topics but also with specialists of the same research area.

The meeting ended with multiple workshops and seminars to improve the abilities and knowledge in newsworthy topics. Many social activities like a student design competition, various receptions and several chapter meetings completed the annual meeting. Especially the ‘New Members and First Conference Brunch’ was a great first impression of the annual meeting for us. It gave us the assurance that new members are very welcome in the ASIS&T.

After attending a few conferences and meetings before, the ASIS&T annual meeting 2011 was our first non-European meeting. In contrast to the behavior of the attendees of European conferences, the American mentality made it easier to get to know other scientists with the same interests. Thereby we got the chance to learn a lot about research projects and different approaches to face research questions.
Besides that, the city of New Orleans was a good choice to arrange the conference because New Orleans offers a large cultural diversity.
All in all, our expectations have been more than met and we are looking forward to the 75th annual meeting in the end of October 2012 in Baltimore and hope to attend our second annual meeting of ASIS&T.

Impressions of the ASIS&T International Reception. From left: Ulrich Tibaut Houzanme (Indiana University Bloomington), Tamara Heck, Jens Terliesner, Wolf G. Stock, Isabella Peters, and Laura Schumann (all from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf).

Quantitative Research in Information Science

We are very pleased to announce a Doctoral Forum, specialising in quantitative research in Information Science to be held on 12-13 April 2012 in England at the University of Wolverhampton.

This Doctoral Forum will begin with short introductory presentations by Prof Mike Thelwall and Dr Jonathan Levitt on the application of quantitative methods to Information Science.  However, its main emphasis is on the students presenting and receiving feedback on their research and on meeting other doctoral students.  Doctoral students who are either using, or considering using, quantitative methods in at least part of their doctoral research are encouraged to apply.

The venue, at the University of Wolverhampton, is located in Wolverhampton City Centre and is very close to Wolverhampton train station.  Wolverhampton is a thirty minute train journey from Birmingham International airport.  The event finishes on Friday afternoon, enabling participants to see something of England over the weekend; from Wolverhampton, Wales can be reached by train in thirty minutes and London can be reached by train in two hours.

This event, endorsed by the European Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST), is the first of two events that the European Chapter is endorsing, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of ASIST.  The European Chapter is also endorsing Libraries In The Digital Age (LIDA) to be held on 18 – 22 June 2012 in Zadar, Croatia.

The cost of the event is £50 per person, to cover the cost of four coffee/tea refreshment breaks, two sandwich lunch breaks and one buffet dinner.  Three low price hotels are located within easy walking distance of the venue, MC building, City Campus, University of Wolverhampton (  LateRooms ( and Travelodge ( provide descriptions of nearby hotels and the option of reserving accommodation.

This Doctoral Forum is open to all interested parties, including those who don’t present.  If you wish to present your research at the Doctoral Forum please submit:  a description of your research project and how you are using or are proposing to use quantitative methods (totalling a maximum of 150 words) and key related references.  If you wish to attend the event and not present, please submit a description of your relevant experiences and reasons for wanting to attend the conference (totalling a maximum of 150 words).

Submissions need to be emailed to the Conference organiser (Dr. Jonathan Levitt, and the Program manager (Prof. Mike Thelwall, by mid-night UK-time on Sunday, February 12, 2012.  If you have any queries, please email Dr. Levitt ( and Prof. Thelwall (

Workshop and Chapter meeting in Cork

The first ASIS&T European Workshop was held in the beginning of June in Cork, Ireland and participated by around 30 information science and technology researchers around the Europe. The workshop keynote was held by Professor Diane Sonnenwald (UCD, Ireland) describing her work on developing a ground-breaking method on anticipatory information systems and use evaluation research to inform the design and deployment of technologies being under development.

Programme consisted of paper presentations on major information science topics including knowledge organisation, information retrieval, social media, digital cultural heritage and technology applications. In addition, the programme comprised an industry hour on cloud computing, a tutorial in advanced technologies, a panel on mobile systems and copyright, and a presentation of digitisation activities at the Boole Library, University College Cork.

In a chapter meeting organised as a part of the workshop programme, the present and forthcoming members  of the chapter had an opportunity to hear about current plans and discuss future activities. The new chapter website was introduced together with a mentorship programme (more information on this site) and series of forthcoming events.

Besides a high quality academic programme, the workshop reached clearly its major goal of bringing together European information science and technology researchers and practitioners to network and exchange ideas. As a major initiative of the European Chapter , the series of workshop will be continued in two years time in Sweden to bring more people to meet each other and advance the aims of the chapter.

Information Science and Social Media ISSOME Conference

Call for participation

Information Science and Social Media – International Conference August 24-26.2011, Åbo/Turku, Finland

The first ISSOME conference addresses new modes of information behavior in different contexts focusing the effects of social media and technologies in the interactive web.

The conference is open to researchers, academics and practitioners in the fields of library and information science and social media, as well as businesses and organizations developing social media strategies.

More information about the conference:

ASIS&T European Workshop 2011

The first ASIS&T European Workshop will be held at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland on the 1st and 2nd of June 2011. Organized by the European Chapter of ASIS&T, it is an ideal cross-disciplinary forum to present and encounter work by research students in the fields of information, library and computer science. The workshop will offer a unique networking opportunity where ideas and research can be discussed with fellow future luminaries of the field. For more information, see the