My name is Michael Luesebrink and I am the current chair of the special interest group (SIG) for Scientific and Technical Information (STI). I am using this column as an opportunity to reach out to the members of STI as part of an initiative to encourage more members to learn about our SIG and to get involved!
Our SIG has a storied past, so to better understand the present state of STI, let’s take a glimpse of our history. This group began when ASIS&T was called the American Documentation Institute, the original name of the association. In 1966, the SIG STI was petitioned by F.K. Broome as “Biomedical and Chemical Information Systems” with a membership roster of 39 people. In 1975, the name was changed to “Biological and Chemical Information Systems,” with the stated purpose of providing a “common ground for a discipline-oriented group of physical and life scientists to discuss or implement information activities.”
Here are a few highlights of last year’s SIG STI activities:
Annual ASIS&T conference in Seattle, November 2014, SIG STI sponsored
- A panel discussion on 3D Technologies: New Tools for Information Scientists to Engage, Educate and Empower Communities. Led by our current treasurer and past chair, Moriana M. Garcia, the panel presented an exciting overview and real-world examples of the use of 3D technologies in the library and information science arena, primarily as tools for community engagement.
- A second panel, entitled Curation and Policy Issues in Collaborative Data Research Management Communities: Perspectives from Key Stakeholders, featured three SIG STI members: Hong Huang, past chair; Kristin Bogdan, Chair elect; and myself serving as moderator. The panel discussed the issues and trends associated with repository development, data curation and research data management services.
After a contest designed to entice graphic artists to find an image that represents scientific and technological spheres, our new SIG STI logo, created by library science student Mallory Thompson, is now in use on our SIG STI website. Congratulations to Mallory and thanks to all who made the new logo possible!
FUTURE PLANS AND GOALS
Our present membership stands at 161 members – coming from a variety of academic, public, and corporate settings where science and technology are vital. Traditionally, the SIGS recruit members at the annual ASIS&T conference. While this is a good strategy, we are reaching out beyond this approach:
- Add a memberships officer to the STI leadership team
- Send a brief survey to the members for their ideas and input
- Encourage all members to become involved – write for the blog, participate in webinars, attend conferences, listen in on monthly cabinet meetings.
Anyone interested in participating in STI, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Multi-SIG Collaboration & Conference Plans
In support of the SIG cabinet meeting desire to have SIGs collaborate, we are seeking ways to do work with another SIG or two on projects including webinars and conference presentations. The call for proposals for ASIS&T’s 2015 Annual Conference is fast approaching! If you have a panel or other project on scientific and technical information for which you need SIG STI sponsorship, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The ASIS&T annual conference will be in St. Louis this year, home to the St Louis Science Center, one of the largest science museums in the country – and admission is free! Let’s get together an STI group tour.
STI Best Paper Award
If you published an article within the last two years that relates to scientific and technical information or a colleague has written what you think is a prize-winning article, then please consider applying for the STI Best Paper award. (Details to be announced shortly). First prize is a $500 cash stipend that is earmarked towards your conference expenses next fall and will include a photo op with the STI cabinet in our newsletter.
Also in 2015, SIG STI will set up a task force to create a mission statement for STI, one that reflects our purpose and guides us forward in the future. If you would like to be involved, but cannot attend conferences, this is a great way to participate.
So, in closing, let me say that if you have any questions, suggestions, or want to participate please contact me! If you want to share news of a paper you published, or presented at a conference, or just want to start a discussion, be in touch –
All the best,
Scientific and Technical Information SIG