The publications of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) continue a strong, 60-year tradition of disseminating professional information started by the American Documentation Institute and its successor, the American Society for Information Science. ASIS&T’s publications inform members and others seeking knowledge of the field, its practice and of policy related to information, associated technologies and information access. The core publication is the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T), the primary channel for scholarly communications for the field. It is supplemented by the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the Proceedings of the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, ASIS&T monographs, and the ASIS&T Thesaurus of Information Science, Technology and Librarianship. Access to these resources is expanding through the ASIS&T Digital Library. Together, the society’s publications serve as important and impartial communication vehicles for members and others. ASIS&T members are invited to share their expertise and opinions, contributing as authors to the Journal, Bulletin, Proceedings and monographs.

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Bulletin, October/November 2011


Linda C. Smith, ASIS&T PresidentPresident’s Page

Linda C. Smith 
2011 ASIS&T President
Professor and Associate Dean 
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
lcsmith<at>illinois.edu

The publications of a professional society such as the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) benefit not only the members but also many others, including students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers. ASIS&T has an active publications program that is reaching an ever-larger audience through its digital library and other access points to the publications available in digital form. At the same time, print monographs remain an important part of the publications program. 

The Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T), edited since 2009 by Blaise Cronin, Rudy Professor of information science at Indiana University, “is the preeminent journal of its kind in the world and the enduring record of our field’s intellectual focus and evolution” [1, p. 5]. Contributing authors come from around the world. A recent addition to JASIS&T is “Advances in Information Science,” a series of in-depth review articles edited by Jonathan Furner of UCLA. Because these articles appear throughout the year, they can be more timely than the reviews previously published in the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) (which ended publication with volume 45 published in October 2010). The first such review appeared in the June 2011 issue of JASIS&T, authored by Miles Efron of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on “Information Search and Retrieval in Microblogs.” 

The Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology benefits greatly from the dedication and expertise of Irene Travis, a member of ASIS&T since 1968 and Bulletin editor since 1997. The Bulletin is freely available online and transitioned to digital-only publication in 2007. The primary audience is information science practitioners, and articles provide timely coverage of topics of broad interest as well as ASIS&T news and opinion pieces. Often an issue has a theme with several related articles on a topic such as information architecture, search, information behavior, information science education, crisis informatics or knowledge organization. 

Each ASIS&T Annual Meeting has an associated conference Proceedings. Conference proceedings from 2009 and 2010 are freely available (www.asis.org/proceedings.html), providing easy access to the wide range of papers and posters presented. The ASIS&T Digital Library provides access to older volumes of the proceedings (2002-2008), as well as issues of JASIS&T and its predecessors (Journal of the American Society for Information Science; American Documentation) back to 1950, the Bulletin since 1996, and ARIST volumes for 2002-2005. 

ASIS&T monographs, published by Information Today, Inc. on behalf of ASIS&T, take a variety of forms. The ASIS&T Thesaurus of Information Science, Technology and Librarianship (with a 3rd edition published in 2005 by Alice Redmond-Neal and Marjorie M. K. Hlava) provides an authoritative terminology reference. Other sample titles illustrate the range of topics covered (http://books.infotoday.com/asist/): Theories of Information Behavior; Covert & Overt: Recollecting and Connecting Intelligence Service and Information Science; Digital Inclusion: Measuring the Impact of Information and Community Technology; Information Representation and Retrieval in the Digital Age; and Introductory Concepts in Information Science. The most recently published monograph (August 2011), Introduction to Information Science and Technology, is the result of a unique collective effort made possible by use of a wiki to support collaborative authorship. Edited by Charles H. Davis and Debora Shaw of Indiana University, both past ASIS&T presidents, the 14 chapters represent a synthesis of the work of more than 80 contributors. The wiki that supported the collaboration presents considerably more detail, opinions and interpretations than could be included in the print edition. The intent is to provide ongoing access for ASIS&T members to the wiki, with the goal of continuing development of the text in anticipation of publication of a second edition at some point in the future.

In the first issue of American Documentation, published in 1950, Vernon Tate noted that the editors and publishers were “motivated only by the spirit of scientific inquiry and service to users of documentation.” He went on to characterize its aims as follows: 

...to serve as an impartial clearing house and channel of communication for information from any source about documentation; for the publication of original research in the field; for reporting investigations of new techniques, mechanisms and devices for documentation and their applications both in the United States and abroad; to assist in the development and adoption of basic standards; to provide bibliographic and other control of the literature; to serve as an effective medium for national and international cooperation and exchange in documentation; to stimulate and discuss new ideas and approaches to existing or future problems; and for the publication of material originated by the American Documentation Institute. Its pages are open to all. [2, p.3]

In the intervening 60 years, the publications program of ADI/ASIS/ASIS&T has expanded to offer even more opportunities for individuals to contribute to the literature of information science and technology. In conclusion I echo Tate’s invitation to become an author and share your expertise, whether in JASIS&T, the Bulletin, the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, or the ASIS&T monograph series. 

[1] JASIS&T gets new editor. (August/September 2008). Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 34(6), 5.
 
[2] Tate, V.D. (January 1950). Introducing American Documentation: A quarterly review of ideas, techniques, problems and achievements in documentation. American Documentation 1(1), 3-7.