2007 ASIS&T Award Winners

The prestigious ASIS&T Annual Awards will be presented at the Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, October 23.

Award of Merit

Donald H. Kraft, recipient of the 2007 ASIS&T Award of Merit, has played a pivotal role in both the field of information science and technology and our society as editor of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) over the past 22 years. Every field that has any association with information technology has undergone many dramatic changes in these decades. More than any other individual, Dr. Kraft has successfully negotiated these changes and shaped and advanced the field of information science and technology through his skilled and visionary leadership of the Journal.

Successive waves of information technologies have swept through information science: (pre-Internet) online databases, online library catalogs, the Internet, the World Wide Web, digital libraries, digital archives and the list goes on. Concurrently, successive waves of methodological practice, including dramatic swings from quantitative to qualitative research methods, as well as a series of hot topics such as user-centered design, information visualization, interaction design and information architecture have swept the field.

That JASIST continues to reign as a top-ranked journal in quantitative and qualitative assessments is a tribute to Dr. Kraft’s leadership. He has steered the journal into electronic publication and more than doubled the number of issues and quadrupled the number of pages published each year. Dr. Kraft’s editorship has been characterized by expanded international reach and receptivity to new approaches and areas of research.

Throughout his editorship, Dr. Kraft has had the vision to recognize these trends and encourage a very wide range of authors from many fields to publish in the Journal. He has thus promoted the formation, clarification and extension of the field of information science as we move through times of rapid and profound social and technological transformation. As a consequence of his leadership and considerable people skills, the Journal has grown substantially under his direction, bringing a wider understanding of the field to the discipline of information science.

His pioneering research has applied mathematics and logic to the very real problems of library management and information retrieval. Dr. Kraft has been in the forefront of defining and prodding the evolution of information retrieval through his own work and has championed information science in general through his enthusiastic voice and support for scholarly publication in the field.

It is our pleasure and honor to present the Association for Information Science and Technology 2007 Award of Merit to Donald H. Kraft. 

Research in Information Science Award

Ophir Frieder, recipient of the 2007 ASIS&T Research Award, exemplifies the very ideals that this award celebrates. Working jointly with scientists at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Frieder addressed the key information technology issue of the genome project – namely the creation of efficient sequencing tools. He developed parallel systems for retrieving similar sequences and for aligning multiple sequences. Both systems significantly reduced the computation time needed for analysis. 

In addition, with support from NCR, he was the first to efficiently map all key information retrieval primitives to relational scripts without introducing non-standard operators. Since his approach relied on purely standard SQL, parallel database engines could similarly serve as parallel information retrieval engines. Several NCR commercial data warehouse deployments adopted his approach to support their text processing needs. 

He is a named inventor on nine patents and more than a dozen other patent applications. His patents cover inventions in the information processing and communication networks domains. He also co-authored two textbooks: one on distributed information systems and one, now in its second edition, on information retrieval. He likewise co-authored a research monograph on scalable gene sequencing and over 150 articles (including nine in JASIST).

For all these reasons and more, the 2007 ASIS&T Research Award is presented to Ophir Frieder.

Watson Davis Award

Paula Galbraith is the 2007 winner of the Watson Davis Award, an award given in acknowledgement and recognition of lifetime service to the organization and the field. Paula’s dedication and service to ASIS&T truly exemplify the spirit of this award. Since joining ASIS&T in 1981, she has dedicated her time to ensure the success of the Society through participation in the Society’s committees, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), on award juries and as an ASIS&T appointee on numerous panels, task forces and committees. 

Paula’s commitment and hard work can be seen in the committee work she has participated in over the years. She chaired the Awards and Honors Committee from 1996-1998 and has continued to lend her time to the committee when called upon. She has also served on both the Education and Nominations Committees. She is an active member of five Special Interest Groups (SIGs): SIG/ED, SIG/KM, SIG/MED, SIG/NOT and SIG/VIS. In addition, she has worked on numerous awards juries, including the ISI Doctoral Dissertation Award and the Research Award among others. She was a member of the Board of Directors from 1993-1995 and served as board liaison to the continuing education, education, conference & meetings and professionalism committees. 

Paula’s service to the Society has also included outreach. She served on the Accreditation Task Force as an ASIS&T representative and was selected as an ASIS&T delegate to the White House Conference on Library and Information Services in 1991.

These are just a few a few examples of the dedication Paula has shown to ASIS&T. After reading letters in support of her nomination, jurors noted a few clear themes: Paula will always lend a hand, she does things on time and she is willing to take on essential tasks that yield little recognition. It is time we recognize and thank Paula Galbraith and her dedication to ASIS&T with the 2007 Watson Davis Award. 

Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award

The ISI/ASIST Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching information science. This year’s honoree is Peter Ingwersen, research professor at the Department of Information Studies, Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen. He is a distinguished researcher and scholar whose contributions include, among others, suggesting cognitive approaches to interactive information retrieval theory and coining the term Webometrics to describe quantitative studies of the Web. His list of publications is impressive, his professional service is outstanding and his influence on the field is further enhanced through his teaching. 

Standards for this award include evidence of “sustained excellence” and “unique style” – terms that define Professor Ingwersen well, and his influence extends beyond his school and his nation. His papers appear on the syllabi of courses in schools of information and library science throughout the world. His teaching methods are innovative and his style is engaging. He is, above all, a charismatic teacher and a gifted mentor who has made a lasting impact on a new generation of teachers and researchers. Students praise his intellect, his passion for research and teaching, and his ability to inspire those qualities in others. One student has described him in this way: “[He is] the single greatest influence on my research and teaching” and “the standard to which I strive to hold myself as a researcher, educator and mentor.”

John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award

The 2007 John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award goes to Catherine Blake and Wanda Pratt for their two-part article, “Collaborative Information Synthesis, Part 1,” JASIST 57(13): 1740-1749 and “Collaborative Information Synthesis, Part 2: Recommendations for Information Systems to Support Synthesis,” JASIST 57(14): 1888-1895.

Blake and Pratt's beautifully crafted two-part article is an exemplary study of the collaborative information synthesis process. The study design allowed for sustained interactions with participants through which rich data about practice was gleaned. Rather than relying on one method of gathering qualitative data the authors employed an in-depth triangulated approach that reached beyond information seeking to consider analysis and synthesis, key components of scientific work that have been under-explored. The authors practice exemplary scholarship by frequently mentioning how their findings corroborate existing information behavior models and demonstrating scholarly courtesy when reporting findings that differ from those of earlier researchers. The study is further enriched by the collaboration the authors embody between the disciplines of information science and biomedical and health informatics. The robust evidence-based results serve as a highly constructive model for designers of medical and health information systems.

The jury believes that this work by Blake and Pratt is highly relevant and contributes significantly to the field of information science both theoretically and empirically. It is, therefore, most worthy of the 2007 John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award.

Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Citation Analysis Research Grant

Philip M. Davis, Department of Communication, Cornell University, is the winner of the 2007 Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Citation Analysis Research Grant for his proposal entitled, Does Free Access to Scholarly Articles Increase Readership and Citation Impact?: A Randomized, Controlled, Multi-publisher, Multi-journal study.  Members of the award jury described this proposal as excellent, using innovative methods to study an important and difficult problem that is considered pressing in the field today.

Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship 

Phillip Edwards, School of Information at the University of Washington, is the winner of the 2007 Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship. Phillip’s dissertation proposal focuses on how scholars make important decisions about how, when and where to publish their work. One reviewer noted that the proposal is very thorough, well written and well reasoned. Other comments include that the methodology is creative and ties the different data collection methods together to inform the research questions; the proposal is nicely structured and very interesting.

A quote from his nomination letter further elucidates the proposal:

It is a topic at once very simple – how do scholars decide where and how to distribute the results of their scholarly work – but also quite complex, with a large and growing variety of factors affecting those decisions and in an increasingly complicated communication landscape. Mr. Edwards has chosen to attack this problem with an innovative and robust set of theoretical frameworks from management and social psychology, and an appropriate and cogent set of methods to answer his research questions using those frameworks. We have been struck by the lack of research in this seemingly obvious and crucial area, and his original approach should serve him well in his investigation.

ProQuest/ASIS&T Dissertation Award

W. John MacMullen, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is the recipient of the 2007 ProQuest/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Award for Contextual Analysis of Variation and Quality in Human-curated Gene Ontology Annotations

The dissertation addresses a novel topic with respect to the increasingly important area of biotechnology enterprise, while addressing the fundamental information science issue of adding value to research literature. The jury was impressed with the attention to detail demonstrated both in the methodology and analysis. The methodology is carefully constructed and makes use of a mixed approach that combines both quantitative and qualitative techniques to assess research literature annotations that link experimental data to research literature for the gene ontology community.

This research contributes to our understanding of annotation behavior within a specific community and has practical implications for practitioners who can use this work to assess their annotation practices.

Chapters of the Year Award

The Los Angeles Chapter was selected 2007 Chapter of the Year due to its stellar performance in all of the assessment criteria. With 25 active local members, LACASIS provides its membership with myriad educational and networking opportunities in the Los Angeles area. The five events organized by LACASIS were on topics which ranged from the practical "Working with Wikis" to the theoretical "Toward Multimedia Surrogation," each incorporating time for socializing and networking. With one board member responsible for member recruitment and retention, LACASIS has an impressive array of activities geared towards attracting members from many different professional and geographic areas and keeping them hooked on the Society. The chapter sponsors two awards: The Margaret McKinley Memorial Student Scholarship which provides reimbursement funding up to $1000 for one student to attend ASIS&T Annual, and The Contribution to Information Science and Technology Award honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the field. It also co-sponsors the UCLA GSE&IS Lazerow Lecture. Additionally, LACASIS recognizes the extraordinary service of its active members with a LACASIS Member Award.

This year the chapter moved their award-winning quarterly newsletter, OASIS, from a traditional print/pdf format to a wiki format, enabling registered users to contribute content to it. And finally, by watching expenses and juggling priorities, LACASIS maintains its fiscal health while continuing to offer its members rich local programming and services.

Our second winner, the New England Chapter, was equally outstanding in all Chapter of the Year assessment criteria. The Chapter sponsored four successful programs with an average attendance of 85. The diversity of the program topics ("The Dawn of the Embedded Library", "Geographic Information Made Accessible," "Designing Usable Interfaces", and "Visualizing Wikipedia") reflects the understanding that not all of its 200 members work in libraries. In support of the Society's goal to increase membership, NEASIS&T has begun offering discounted ASIS&T memberships to nonmembers who join ASIST at the same time they register for a NEASIST program. The chapter has also shifted the pricing structure of its programs to provide deeper discounts to ASIS&T members, thus encouraging membership. By convincing speakers to waive fees and securing free meeting space, the major programs net profits that enable the Chapter to offer free programs as well. At an annual awards banquet, the Chapter honors the Student Member of the Year, as well as the Chapter Member of the Year. NEASIST sponsors a Student Travel Award competition: up to two winners receive $750 to cover travel expenses to attend the ASIS&T Annual Meeting. The Chapter also supports the International Calendar of Information Science. With these initiatives which nurture and support the information science and technology community in New England and internationally, the chapter exemplifies the old adage: "Think Globally, Act Locally."

A hearty congratulations to both Los Angeles and New England for winning the Chapter of the Year Award - with your dedication to your local membership you promote ASIST's core values from coast to coast.

Chapter Publication of the Year

The Chapter Publication of the Year Award goes to the Los Angeles Chapter's Observation of the Association for Information Science and Technology (OASIS) Newsletter. The Los Angeles Chapter has been publishing the OASIS Newsletter for over 40 years. As the times have changed so too has the format. The chapter migrated from print to electronic in 2004. Electronic delivery over the years has included access to a PDF version, a database driven newsletter, and the current wiki format. The OASIS Editor is Louisa Verma, and a sample can be found at http://oasisnewsletter.wikispaces.com/winter2007

The awards committee noted that the Los Angeles continues to lead the way in publication innovation. The format is easy to use, and allows for up-to-the-minute content. The publication also illustrates the great potential for the use wikis to produce publications, record important information, and conduct business.

Chapter Members of the Year

The Chapter Member of the Year Award goes to Caryn Anderson (New England Chapter) and Dawn Pointer McCleskey (Potomac Valley Chapter).

Caryn Anderson's many contributions to the chapter have significantly increased the visibility of NEASIST within the region. She has introduced students and others to ASIST through events and programs, developed connections with sister associations, and instilled a strong sense of camaraderie among chapter officers and members. Within the past year, NEASIST has put on four very successful events, including The Dawn of the Embedded Library program at Tufts University. Caryn implemented strategies to bolster and demonstrate the value of ASIST membership, such as increasing the member discount for event registration, and establishing a process to register new members register on-site at NEASIST events at a subsidized rate. Caryn also cultivated strong ties with Simmons College's student chapter, and with O'Reilly Media, which has allowed NEASIST to provide event participants with free copies of O'Reilly books, magazines, and other materials. Caryn is unselfish in sharing her time and enthusiasm, and is willing to take on any task to ensure that NEASIST chapter is successful. Her strong commitment to ASIST as an organization shines through, whether she's updating members about events via email, greeting them at the registration table, introducing speakers at programs, or responding to questions about the chapter.

Dawn Pointer McCleskey was asked to consider chairing the Potomac Valley Chapter (PVC) in July, 2006. She agreed to serve almost immediately, and as a result became the chair of the largest ASIS&T chapter and one which had recently experienced a lull in programming. While there is a large group of very helpful advisors, what was needed was leadership, and Dawn agreed to provide that and then followed through on it beautifully. Over the 2006/2007 year, the chapter had five highly successful programs, attracting a diverse group of local ASIS&T members. Program topics included federated searching, disaster planning, internet policy, and women in information networks. Dawn's approach to leadership was highly collaborative, taking full advantage of the many former local and national ASIS&T officers willing to help as well as of the local student chapter members. With a clear eye towards rebuilding a strong chapter that would continue on past her tenure, Dawn worked skillfully to involve as many people as possible at many levels and to make them an active contributor to the chapter. As this nomination is submitted, a strong program of activities is being planned for next year. It is especially remarkable that these significant contributions were made by a brand new member of ASIS&T - Dawn joined after agreeing to serve as chair. 

Chapter Innovations of the Year

The Chapter Innovation of the Year Award goes to two chapters, Indiana and Los Angeles.

The Indiana Chapter has been making innovative use of videoconferencing technologies since 2004 for a variety of chapter functions and programs. 
The technology has allowed the chapter to overcome geographic distances and a dispersed membership to engage and reach out to ASIS&T members throughout the state. The Los Angeles Chapter has converted their newsletter, OASIS: Observations of the Association for Information Science & Technology, to a wiki format. The wiki format has encouraged greater participation in the newsletter, and the collaborative nature of the wiki format means that any author can edit the site at any time, rather than relying on a single gatekeeper or adherence to a strict publication schedule.

The two innovations not only received identical scores, but also similar comments from the judges. The judges felt that both chapters have been able to effectively use existing technologies to overcome challenges and enhance services to their membership. The innovations also show both chapters' strong commitment to reaching out to their membership in order to get more individuals actively involved. These successful projects will no doubt serve as models for other chapters, special interest groups, and committees within ASIS&T. 

Chapter Event of the Year

The Chapter Event of the Year Award goes to the Los Angeles Chapter's 2006 Fall Workshop, "Working with Wikis". Wikis have become a ubiquitous publishing medium in many libraries, universities, and business information centers. This workshop was intended as an introduction to the format, including potential implementations, pitfalls, maintenance concerns, different platforms, and evaluation methods. The featured speaker, Louisa Verma, Librarian for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, has created and maintained several wikis, including the Los Angeles Chapter's OASIS Newsletter and the one created specifically for this workshop that allowed attendees to get some hands-on experience using wikis.

The awards committee was impressed by the chapter's ability to provide a high quality program with food at such a low cost, attract a speaker that appealed to its diverse membership, and pack so much information into such a short time. More importantly, the program content was not only practical and immediately useful to attendees, it allowed attendees to gain hands-on experience using the technology as well as a space to continue discussion following the program. One committee member pondered what the attendance might have been had the program not been limited to 30 attendees. 

Student Chapters of the Year

The Student Chapter of the Year Award has two winners this year! The Award will be shared between the student chapters at Simmons College and UCLA. A hearty congratulations to both chapters!

The Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee would like to recognize the many accomplishments of all Chapters that submitted reports for the award.
Everyone should be very proud of their many accomplishments. The committee was very impressed with all report submissions.

UCLA student chapter
The UCLA student chapter engaged in a significant number of activities for its first re-active year. It was very impressive. The chapter is also noteworthy for its use of new media for communications, online presence, and workshop/activity topics. Their relationship with LACASIS bodes well for the health of ASIS&T because it provides a clear link through which students will continue to be involved after they graduate. This chapter demonstrated a plan for retention of members, in addition to recruiting new members. They had many excellent programs and interaction with other groups. 

Current membership is 37, a great increase from the 6 members at the beginning of the years. So, they were able to recruit 21 new members.

The number of events and workshops from both chapter was outstanding:  UCLA held 27 events, and had 8 meetings with cooperative ventures. Some of these events and workshops included a six-part career development series called Career Fest 2007 in which they introduced a variety of information professions, a NetVibes Mini-Workshop in which they introduced students to the NetVibes technology for creating virtual reference portals. They also had movie nights, topic panels, and journal groups. 

A great many thanks goes to:
Jean-François Blanchette, Faculty Advisor Gregory H. Leazer, Faculty Advisor Andrea Lynch, LACASIS Student Chapter Advisor Grace Lau, Chair Monique Escamilla, Vice-Chair Lua Gregory, Secretary-Treasurer Jill Detrick, Programs Lead Ashley Burdick, Social Chair John Khuu, Social Chair and Webmaster Tommy Keswick, Assembly Representative Matthew Wittmer, Alternate Representative Shilpa Rele, Webmaster

Simmons College student chapter
One committee member remarked that the Simmons chapter “has found a way to its members' minds -- through their stomachs!” The Simmons chapter has also done a good job retaining membership numbers. Their chapter activities take wonderful advantage of the resources available to Simmons because of its geography and academic connections (within and outside Simmons). Their chapter activities are offered consistently and reflect current interests of students and practitioners. the Simmons chapter maintains consistent communications and uses current media for communications. The chapter gave and received awards during the 2006-7 reporting year. 

Simmons held a total of 71 meetings, events and workshops—this included 8 meetings, 16 events, 47 workshops over the Fall and Spring semesters.
Emerging Technologies Workshops covered topics such as XHTML &CSS, Wikis, User interface design, Podcasting and Internet Radio, Setting up an RSS Aggregator, etc. Members assisted students in holding an Advising Day for incoming GSLIS students, and Speed Geeking II, in which five panelists spoke to small groups of 3 or 4 about technology related jobs. 
Current membership is 39, a slight decrease from the 44 previous, however they recruited 28 new members, and retained 11.

A great many thanks goes to:
Chair: Jennifer Lege and Alison Cody 
Vice-Chair: Alison Cody, Ellen Wilson, and Jennifer Langley
Secretary/Treasurer: Michael Klein, Ben Florin Newsletter Editor/Publications Chair/(Web Manager: Joanna Weston
Faculty Advisor: Candy Schwartz, Sheila Denn
Mt. Holyoke Coordinator: Adam Novitt
NEASIS&T Liaison:  Sally LeGore

SIG of the Year

The SIG of the Year goes to two exemplary ASIS&T SIGs, SIG International Information Issues (III) and SIG Digital Libraries (DL)

Congratulations on the service and involvement that each of your SIGs provides your membership, and know that you are worthy examples of thriving, active, engaged SIG communities with ASIS&T.

SIG International Information Issues continues to set the bar for everything that an ASIS&T SIG can and should be: deep involvement and participation with the membership, extensive outreach beyond the annual meeting, the annual InfoShare project which opens the world of ASIS&T to LIS researchers globally, and many more very excellent activities. Every SIG should be this connected to its membership! SIG III's outreach to the Society's international members, particularly in developing countries is very impressive. Their use of emerging technologies to extend ASIST to members virtually and to tease out potential topics for its annual Global Information Village Plaza Symposiums not only demonstrates creativity but a strong commitment to international scholarship and perspectives.

SIG Digital Libraries demonstrated an exciting scope of innovative initiatives over the past year befitting such a tech-saavy SIG such as theirs: they used a wiki for both SIG and 2007 program planning; their communication with the membership is also superior, conducted a usability study on their website in collaboration with students at SUNY Buffalo, have been leaders in exploring open access models of scholarship within our field, have consistently been very strong contributors to the Annual Meeting technical program, and demonstrated excellent planning for activities between annual meetings. 

Congratulations to both of your SIGs, who have both demonstrated a year of activities very deserving of the 2007 SIG of the Year Award. Both of you should be seen as models to emulate for all ASIS&T SIGs.