Bulletin, February/March 2007
Annual Meeting Coverage
2006 ASIS&T Award Winners
Each year at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, the Society honors the winners of the prestigious ASIS&T Annual Awards. This year’s winners are featured in this section.
Award of Merit
Blaise Cronin, winner of the 2006 ASIS&T Award of Merit, is one of the most widely published and highly cited individuals in the field of information science, as a number of recent studies have documented. He is rooted squarely in the Anglo-American information science tradition, holding both a Ph.D. and a DS.Sc. (a higher doctorate – the only individual in the field to do so) in the subject.
Cronin, currently at Indiana University, is an influential thinker, prolific author and program builder, one who is unafraid to espouse difficult positions or unpopular causes. For more about Cronin, his work and his acceptance address to the ASIS&T membership, please see our continuing Annual Meeting coverage on page 10.
Research in Information Science Award
Brenda Dervin, recipient of the 2006 ASIS&T Research in Information Science Award, is professor of communication and the Joan N. Huber Fellow in Social and Behavioral Sciences at Ohio State University. Dervin’s lifelong research in the information and communication sciences has few peers. She has influenced an entire generation of interdisciplinary information science researchers. Her “sense-making” approach has become a branch of information science research, and both her methods and findings have a profound influence on understanding how and why people interact with information and make sense of their information needs. Much of the recent invigoration of the research work in this area of information science is due to her influence. She enjoys a worldwide reach evidenced by her relationships with international universities and researchers. She continues to be an active and influential researcher.
Information Science Book Award
Memory Practices in the Sciences (published by MIT Press), by Geoffrey C. Bowker, holds the 2006 ASIS&T Information Science Book Award. Rarely do information scientists devote an extended project to our most basic question: how do we create information, and by extension knowledge, from the milieu of empirical data that we might colloquially call “the world?” Geoffrey Bowker has done so in Memory Practices in the Sciences, arguing convincingly and compellingly that human memory is the root of how we create, organize and process information. Using three extended case studies, the book uses the practice of science to show how humanity has organized the world to match how we interact with the information we gather in it. By doing so, Bowker has made a significant contribution to the information science literature and inspires practitioners to take a step back and examine the basics of what we do.
Watson Davis Award
ASIS&T honored two members with the 2006 Watson Davis Award, the Society’s acknowledgement and recognition of lifetime service. Trudi Bellardo Hahn, University of Maryland, and Steve Hardin, Indiana State University, both exemplify the highest standards our members can set in serving the Society and their colleagues.
Steve Hardin has been a member of ASIS&T and the Indiana Chapter since 1987. He has served in several capacities in the Chapter Assembly; on the ASIS&T Board of Directors; and as member or chair of numerous committees, including leadership development, membership and publications, and juries, including Watson Davis, James M. Cretsos Leadership and Best Book. He has been a regular and frequent contributor to the Bulletin of the American Society for Information and Technology. Steve is dedicated to furthering the mission of the organization; he is a naturally inquisitive intellect who is deeply interested in his profession, a warm and caring person who always steps forward to make newcomers feel welcome, a humble leader who gets the work of the Society accomplished effectively and with excellence.
Trudi Bellardo Hahn has served in almost every capacity available for members of the Society. Within two years of joining ASIS&T in 1976, she chaired SIG/Education and propelled it to SIG-of-the-Year honors. Since then, she has served as director-at-large and president; she has held leadership positions in SIG/International Information Issues (III) and SIG/History and Foundations of Information Science (HFIS); she has served on numerous national committees, including conferences and meetings, nominations, Annual Meeting planning, publications and leadership development; and she has participated as a juror for numerous conferences and awards for ASIS&T. In addition to serving ASIS&T, Trudi’s historical documentation of the field ensures that the important contributions made by information science will be known beyond our professional arena.
Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award
The Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching information science. This year’s honoree, Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic, University J.J. Strossmayer in Osijek and University of Zadar, both in Croatia, is an active educator in her home country, but her impact and presence are felt far beyond. Within Croatia she is a pioneer of innovative teaching mechanisms, including distance education concepts, and has been instrumental in creating two new schools of library and information science. She has mentored several generations of students who now mentor their own students in Croatia and abroad. She is the driving force behind the international Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) conference held in Croatia. She has also been instrumental in organizing the Europe Student Chapter of ASIS&T.
John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award
The 2006 John Wiley & Sons Best JASIST Paper Award goes to Lisl Zach, Louisiana State University, for "When Is 'Enough' Enough? Modeling the Information-seeking and -stopping Behavior of Senior Arts Administrators" (Volume 56, Issue 1, 2005, pp. 23-35). This paper reports the results of a study of the information-seeking behavior of a previously understudied group of information users – senior administrators in non-profit arts organizations. The data that Zach collected from interviews enabled her to develop a model describing arts administrators' information-seeking behavior and specifically to identify the factors that influence their decisions as to when they have collected "enough" information. A principal finding of the study is that arts administrators are satisficers rather than maximizers when it comes to seeking information.
James M. Cretsos Leadership Award
Two deserving ASIS&T members are the recipients of the 2006 James M. Cretsos Leadership Award: Nadia Caidi and Caryn Anderson.
In just three years of membership, Caryn Anderson has demonstrated the leadership qualities this award is designed to honor. Beginning with her student membership, she helped return the Simmons College Student Chapter to its award-winning status. Next she tackled the New England Chapter and its program committee, followed by her current chairing of that chapter. In SIG/III, she leads the Infoshare program and coordinates recruitment and retention. In addition, she created and maintains the International Calendar of Information Science Conferences and has served in several review and organizational roles for the last two Annual Meetings. In each of these cases, she has brought dedication, initiative and boundless energy.
Nadia Caidi has been an active ASIS&T member since 2002, demonstrating extraordinary leadership. She played a major role in creating one of the first ASIS&T student chapters outside the United States and serves as the group’s first faculty advisor. Throughout her membership, Nadia has served as an officer of SIG/III, recruiting and retaining international members; judging entries in the International Paper Contest; and initiating the SIG/III mentorship program that connects professionals from developing countries with veteran ASIS&T members. Nadia has demonstrated creative and dynamic leadership for the Society.
Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship
Heather O’Brien, School of Business Administration, Dalhousie University, is the winner of the 2006 Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship for Measuring User Engagement with Information Systems. This topic has long-ranging implications for software applications in the home and the workplace: What makes a system engaging? How can we measure engagement so that we know when a system is engaging? Failing to engage users equates with no sale to a potential online purchaser and inappropriate or no transmission of information to a person in need. This proposal, which defines engagement for interactive search systems, tackles an important issue which has significant implications for the field of library and information systems. The work of bringing together different theories of engagement from different disciplines to develop a preliminary model is excellent.
Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Citation Analysis Research Grant
Jean Phillips and Steven Ackerman, both University of Wisconsin at Madison, are the winners of the 2006 Thomson ISI/ASIS&T Citation Analysis Research Grant for their proposal entitled, Publishing Metrics for the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies and Other NOAA Cooperative Institutes. This proposal extends existing work and potentially applies it to additional indicators and makes comparisons to additional institutions. While it does not propose fundamentally new methodologies, it could well be a useful, practical and feasible study that will have value for federal government research evaluation.
ProQuest/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Award
Vivien Petras, School of Information Management and Systems, University of California at Berkeley, is the recipient of the 2006 ProQuest/ASIS&T Doctoral Dissertation Award for Translating Dialects in Search: Mapping between Specialized Languages of Discourse and Documentary Languages.
This dissertation describes a mechanism that will provide a translation aid between specialized languages and the documentary language by suggesting appropriate search terms for a searcher's query in relation to the searcher's domain of discourse. With this kind of vocabulary support in the search process, different specialized vocabularies can be disambiguated within the information system. Different perspectives on a topic can be represented to the searcher (based on the different discourses of the topic in the collection) which will help in navigating and exploring this information space more effectively.
The Student Chapter-of-the-Year Award goes to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ASIS&T Student Chapter. This chapter doubled in size in the last year, attracting 80 new members. The chapter co-sponsors an orientation with the school and other student chapters at the beginning of the school year and holds elections right away to encourage new member participation.
The chapter also participates in orientation for LEEP (the distance education program), and chapter activities are made available one way or another to this remote audience and the general public through such devices as streaming audio. Many chapter members are active in local and national ASIS&T activities. In 2005-2006, the chapter held 13 program events, including workshops on xml, unix/linux, wikis, copyright and podcasting; a visit to the Missouri Botanical Gardens; a meeting with Roy Tennant; a Christmas party; and a barbecue. The chapter also raised $500 by selling branded mugs so that events could be kept free-of-charge.
The Chapter Event-of-the-Year Award goes to a pair of events put on by the New England Chapter of ASIS&T (NEASIST): Buy, Hack, or Build: Optimizing Your Systems for Your Users and Your Sanity and Social Software, Libraries and the Communities. The first event featured a panel of knowledgeable practitioners; the second event, held three days later, featured a single expert. The two programs were designed to explain the significance of Web 2.0, findability, guided navigation, OPAC hacks and the infrastructures needed for bringing online communities and libraries together. The awards committee was impressed by the timeliness of the topic, the selection and balance of the speakers and the excitement the sessions generated among attendees and members. The use of blogs and podcasts to bring program content to a wider audience also shows how energetic and committed this chapter is to its members and the larger information science community.
The Chapter Publication-of-the-Year Award goes to 30 Years of NJ-ASIST, a brief history of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (NJ-ASIST), written by Ellen Pozzi and Marija Dalbello and produced by NJ-ASIST for the attendees of the chapter's 30th anniversary celebration. The publication is a limited edition, and each copy is hand-numbered. The history includes a section on the founding of the chapter, a list of past chapter chairs and notable events sponsored by the chapter. This anniversary edition is a by-product of a research project to study the history of information science practice and information science research communities in New Jersey. The publication shows the important contributions that the chapter has made to our Society at large through the tremendous efforts of its members at both the chapter and national level.
The ASIS&T Arizona Chapter (AZ-ASIS&T) was honored with the first Chapter Innovation-of-the-Year Award, recognizing an innovation that will have a positive impact on future operations, collaborations or communications within the chapter and/or within ASIS&T. An implicit AZ-ASIS&T goal, given the nature of Arizona’s geography of isolated rural and a few dense urban communities, is to facilitate meaningful global connections for its members. To accomplish this, AZ-ASIS&T is using dLIST, the first open access archive for the information sciences, as a resource for building the LIS community in the area and for revitalizing the local chapter. By taking advantage of their connection to dLIST, chapter leaders are creating a foundation for the growth of the chapter and fostering virtual community-building through the use of social software and the digital repository. AZ-ASIS&T is helping to transform the local community into a global one, making ASIS&T meaningful, not only for people in Arizona, but also for those in places such as Dar-es-Salaam, Africa and Australia.
SIG/International Information Issues (III), winner of the 2006 SIG-of-the-Year Award, continues to set the bar for excellence in everything an ASIS&T Special Interest Group can and should be. This truly international SIG had broad and deep participation from the membership and continues to grow each year. Communication to the membership is diverse, frequent and of very good quality. One jury member noted that this SIG displays an "[i]mpressive array of activities and a very enthusiastic group of SIG members broadening ASIS&T's horizons and membership." We are proud to award SIG-of-the-Year honors to SIG/International Information Issues (III) for another impressive year of exceptional activity and service.
Articles in this Issue
2006 ASIS&T Award Winners