Posters presented at the 2013 Research Data Access & Preservation Summit (RDAP) spanned an array of topics of current interest for research data managers. Helping doctoral candidates archive their research data was the focus of one, stressing the need to provide support early in the researchers’ process. Another described a multi-format data literacy program geared to graduate level researchers. The presentation on one university’s “DataDay” described a training workshop designed to help librarians understand the research data lifecycle and pass on essential points to researchers. Another team of presenters offered a methodical approach to establishing the provenance of research datasets that later appear in other contexts. Several posters addressed data management policies and practices at the institutional level, with one offering model policy language and guidelines and another analyzing current and likely future trends and needs to support archiving research data. The full collection of posters reveals the breadth of issues, progress to date and advances to come for the area.

research data sets
data curation

Bulletin, October/November 2013

Inside ASIS&T

ASIS&T 2013 Annual Meeting

One Year Beyond the 75th – More to Celebrate at the Annual Meeting
Last year we celebrated our 75th anniversary at the Annual Meeting in Baltimore. This year, we celebrate our recent name change designed to emphasize our multi-nationalism. And to punctuate the name change, for only the third time in the organization’s history, we’re holding our Annual Meeting outside the United States. Plan now to be a part of the first Annual Meeting under the new and improved moniker, Association for Information Science and Technology, as we gather in Montreal, November 1-5. 

While we work at redefining our geographic boundaries, both literally – with our venue – and figuratively – with our name change – this year’s theme, Beyond the Cloud: Rethinking Information Boundaries, suggests that information and related notions are also constantly redefined in our ever-changing information world.

Conference chairs France Bouthillier, McGill University, and Boryung Ju, Louisiana State University, have prepared a program rich in content that will draw attendance from scholars and practitioners from information-related fields all over the world. The program focuses on research and technological development on the latest issues affecting information environments, information phenomena and information users. Sessions on a wide range of research topics and related practical issues such as cloud-based metadata, biomedical research, social informatics, collective information seeking, adoption of social media, digital humanities and human information interaction, among others, are included in the program packed with interesting content. 

Keynote speaker for the 2013 Annual Meeting is Jorge García, a senior business intelligence and data management analyst for Technical Evaluation Centers in Montreal. His speech is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Sunday. 

But before settling in for three full days of technical sessions, why not take advantage of a pre-conference workshop to sharpen your skills or to learn something new? On Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2, you can select from among the following topics: PIM 2013: Breaking Out to More Practical Progress in Personal Information Management; Metrics 2013: Workshop on Informetric and Scientometric Research (SIG/MET); 9th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium (SIG/SI); SIG/CR Workshop: Big Data, Linked Data: Classification Research at the Junction; and 13th Annual SIG/USE Research Symposium: Information Behavior on the Move: Information Needs, Seeking and Use in the Era of Mobile Communications. Full details, including registration information and required fees, on these special seminars are available at

See you in Montreal!

Newly Elected Members to Join ASIS&T Board of Directors
Each year at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, a new administrative year begins, and the first order of business is the introduction and seating of newly elected members of the ASIS&T Board of Directors. When the membership gathers in Montreal in early November for the 76th Annual Meeting, the changing of the guard will take place with the inauguration of a new president and the seating of the new president-elect and two directors-at-large. 

Positions filled through the summer balloting process are for three-year terms. Those elected are Sandra Hirsh, president-elect, and Lauren Harrison and June Abbas, directors-at-large. In addition, treasurer Vicki Gregory was re-elected to another term in her position.

When the new members take their seats, Harry Bruce, elected last year as president-elect, will assume the presidency from Andrew Dillon, who continues on the Board for an additional year as past president. 

Harry Bruce Harry Bruce is professor and dean of the Information School of the University of Washington. Before coming to the University of Washington in 1998, Harry was a faculty member in the department of information studies at the University of Technology in Sydney. Harry is a recipient of the ASIS&T UMI Doctoral Dissertation award; has served as a member of the JASIST editorial board; and is a passionate and effective leader and advocate for the discipline of information science and the information professions. His research and scholarship focus on the study of human information behavior. The purpose of this work is to develop a deeper understanding of how people need, seek and use information in their professional and everyday lives. The new knowledge generated by this research is used to inform the development or enhancement of resources, services and technologies that facilitate information access and use. 

Sandra Hirsh Sandra Hirsh is professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. Prior to joining SJSU in 2010, Hirsh held a number of corporate jobs, including senior user experience manager at Microsoft and director of the information research program at HP Labs. Before the corporate stints, Hirsh was on the faculty at the University of Arizona. Her research interests focus on information-seeking behavior and understanding the information needs of a broad spectrum of users. Hirsh has served ASIS&T in a number of capacities, including as chair of the current Information Professionals Task Force and on conference organizing and program planning committees. Hirsh was serving as faculty advisor to the SJSU student chapter of ASIS&T when it was named Student Chapter-of-the-Year in 2012.

Lauren HarrisonLauren Harrison is a senior scientist in pharmaceutical research and development informatics at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., where she has been employed since 1979. Lauren has served in many global information scientist positions, including manager of library and information science and most recently as part of Hoffmann-La Roche’s newly created Translational Clinical Research Center. Lauren is also passionate about creating a new generation of information scientists so she serves as an adjunct professor at the Palmer School of Library & Information. Lauren has been active in ASIS&T since 1991. On the chapter level, she served as program chair, chapter chair and immediate past chair of the NJ Chapter. She also served as chair of SIG/MED for three terms. On the national level Lauren has served on the Leadership Committee and the ASIS&T Lecture Series Award Jury. 

June Abbas June Abbas is professor in the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Oklahoma, Norman campus. She taught in the Department of Library and Information Studies at the State University of New York in Buffalo before moving to Oklahoma. She also held professional positions in public and special libraries. Her research focuses on the development of user-centered digital libraries, institutional repositories and other knowledge organization structures. She conducts research on youth and their use of technology, and the intersection between information behavior, information retrieval and structures for organizing knowledge. She has also served as project manager on eight digital library projects and on task forces to develop institutional repositories. 

Vicki Gregory Vicki L. Gregory, re-elected as ASIS&T treasurer, is a professor at the School of Information, University of South Florida. Since joining ASIS&T in 1984, she has served as president of the Florida Chapter and, on the national level, has been a member of SIG/LAN, which she also chaired, and SIG/DL. She has held the elected positions of both deputy director and director of SIG Cabinet. For the last six years she has been ASIS&T treasurer; previously she was a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, pursuant to which service she developed an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the Society’s finances and as well as the ASIS&T budgeting process. During the last several years she has worked with ASIS&T management to develop a prudent investment program for the organization.

In addition to the election of officers, the summer ballot to the membership included a bylaws amendment changing the response window for ballots to be returned from 70 days from issue to 35 days. The amendment passed.

ASIS&T History Fund Grants Awards
The ASIS&T History Fund, established by the Board of Directors to support and encourage research and publication in the history of information science and technology, announces the winners of the Research Award and the Best Paper Award – its two annual awards.

Kalpana Shankar and Kristin Eschenfelder are the recipients of the ASIS&T History Fund Research Award for their research project entitled “Social Science Data Archives: A Historical View of Sustainability, Access and Use.” In the researchers’ words, “This project will focus on the earliest and most long-standing example of scientific data archives: social science data archives (SSDAs). Social science data – drawn from government censuses, marketing surveys, historical documents and academic research studies – predate both computers and the Internet, and provide a unique opportunity to examine what makes an archive sustainable over long periods of time, through the ups and downs of funding cycles, and across massive changes in technical and organizational infrastructure.”

Xiaohua Zhu receives the ASIS&T History Fund Best Paper Award for “Who Had Access to JURIS?: A Failed Case of Open Access.” The abstract of this paper says, “In the early 1990s, public interest groups and small legal publishers pushed for public access to federal court decisions contained in JURIS, a legal information retrieval system used for in-house search by government employees. This early open access effort to free the law not only failed but eventually led to the shutdown of the JURIS system. This paper presents the findings of a historical investigation into this shutdown. It argues that the open access movement involves complicated social negotiations – many factors participated in shaping access rights to primary legal information in digital format. The factors leading to the failure of the open access request included relevant government agencies' indifference about information dissemination, commercial information providers' interests and the ambiguity of the copyright ability of case law information. This study contributes to the broader open access and open knowledge (OA/OK) debates by presenting a failed case in the early stage of the open access movement and by summarizing the lessons learned from this failed case.”

New Editor Takes on ASIS&T Monograph Series
Gerald Benoît, associate professor at Simmons College, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, is the new editor of the ASIS&T Monograph series. In this role, Gerry will acquire and develop print and digital monographs covering a range of practical and theoretical topics in information science and technology and allied disciplines. 

The appointment was made by ASIS&T in cooperation with Information Today, Inc., publisher of ASIS&T monographs. In announcing the appointment, ASIS&T president Andrew Dillon said, “We are pleased to have someone with a strong international orientation accept this position. With his language skills and broad teaching experience across the technical and cultural aspects of the field, as well as his business experience as a consultant on information systems, Gerry is well-positioned to advance the monograph series.”

In addition to his PhD from UCLA, Gerry holds degrees in French and Russian from the University of California, and he completed studies in mathematics and graphic design. Before beginning his teaching/academic career, he worked as a programmer/analyst at UCLA’s Davis School of Medicine and as art director and partner at Imada Wong Park + Benoît.

Thomas H. Hogan, Sr., president and CEO of Information Today and a past president of ASIS&T, said, “We are very pleased to have found in Gerald Benoît an editor with the skills and vision needed to bring this small but highly regarded series to the next level. As the information age accelerates, we look forward to working with Gerry and ASIS&T to provide authoritative, in-depth coverage of topics that matter to readers in the field.”

Planning Underway for ASIS&T Spring Summits
Program committees are already hard at work planning the activities for the two spring ASIS&T summits that the information world has come to expect. Both the 2014 Research Data Access and Preservation Summit – RDAP14 – and IA Summit 2014 will be held in late March 2014 in San Diego, California. 

RDAP 14 will be March 25-27. Program chair Andrew Johnson, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, says the summit will feature two and half days of programming with an emphasis on practical approaches to research data management, access and preservation, including success stories (and lessons learned), innovative research and resources and tools developed by and for the community. The program will include invited panels and presentations, an interactive poster session, lightning talks and a hands-on workshop.

IA Summit 2014, under the theme The Path Ahead, will celebrate its 15th year at its meeting March 25-30. Program planners say that this year’s meeting will reflect on current challenges and opportunities as well as on the rich history of the annual gathering and the conversations it has begun.

Mark your calendars and keep watching for updated information on the two ASIS&T spring summits.

News About ASIS&T Members
Rutgers University distinguished professor Nicholas Belkin and Chirag Shah, assistant professor, have been awarded a $53,000 Google Research Award for a study entitled, “Automatic Identification of Information Searcher Intentions During an Information Seeking Session.” The study will examine how to automatically determine what a person engaging in information seeking on the web intends to accomplish at any one time during an information-seeking episode based on his or her behavior. 

News from ASIS&T Chapters
The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T will jump into the increasingly important world of cybersecurity with its mid-October meeting entitled Shattered Boundaries: Whither the Cyber Future. The speaker for this discussion of the vulnerabilities of cyberspace and the challenges of addressing them is Harvey Rishikof, Drexel University, who specializes in matters related to national security law, terrorism, civil liberties, the U.S. Constitution and such. He currently holds a joint appointment in Drexel’s law school and College of Computing and Informatics.

News from ASIS&T SIGs
SIG/III Names Winners of 2013 International Paper Contest
For the 13th consecutive year, ASIS&T SIG/International Information Issues (SIG/III) has announced winners for its annual International Paper Contest. The winners are

  • 1st Place: Melody M. Madriad, Philippines, A Study of Digital Curator Competencies: A Survey of Experts
  • 2nd Place: Maryam Mousavizadeh, et al, Iran, Visualizing the Structure of Subject Trends in Persian Articles Published During 2008-2012 in Information Organization Domain
  • 3rd Place: Ana Mae Kristine U. Hubilla, Philippines, Information-Seeking Behavior of Technical Secondary Students: A Basis for a Model on Information Search Process

The principal author of each paper receives a two-year individual membership in ASIS&T. In addition, the first place winner is awarded a minimum of $1000 to attend the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Montreal.

Jurors for this year’s competition were Maqsood Shaheen, chair, and Fatih Oguz and Alma Rivera.

SIG/SI Selects Best Papers from 2012
ASIS&T SIG/Social Informatics (SIG/SI) has selected the Best Social Informatics Papers from 2012. 

Winners of the $1000 Best Social Informatics Paper are Monica Garfield, Bentley University, and Alan Dennis, Indiana University, for their paper “Toward an Integrated Model of Group Development: Disruption of Routines by Technology-Induced Change,” published in the Journal of Management Information Systems, 29(3), 43-86.

Winner of the $500 Best Social Informatics Student Paper of 2012 is Eden Litt, Northwestern University, for “Knock, Knock, Who’s There: The Imagined Audience,” published in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(3), 330-345..

In addition to their cash awards, authors have the opportunity to present their papers at the 9th SIG/SI Research Symposium at the Annual Meeting in Montreal.

Frederick Wilfrid LancasterFrederick Wilfrid Lancaster

F.W. “Wilf” Lancaster, professor emeritus at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, passed away in late August at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 79 years old. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Cesaria; his children Miriam, Owen, Jude, Aaron, Lakshmi and Raji; and 13 grandchildren.

Lancaster began his career in England after graduating as an associate of the British Library Association from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 1955. He first immigrated to the United States in 1959 when he accepted a position as senior librarian for science and technology at the Akron Public Library. Over the next few years, he held several positions in the United States and returned to the United Kingdom for a while. But in 1964 he returned to the United States, where he became involved in the design, evaluation and management of MEDLARS, the National Library of Medicine’s computerized bibliographic retrieval system for articles in academic journals in medicine and allied health professions. 

In 1970, he became an associate professor in the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He was promoted to full professor in 1972, a position he held until his retirement in 1992. During his distinguished career, he taught courses in information retrieval, bibliometrics, bibliographic organization, and the evaluation of library and information services. He served as the editor of Library Trends, a quarterly journal examining critical trends in professional librarianship, from 1986 to 2006. 

Lancaster was recognized throughout the world as a leader in the field of library and information science. Among many honors, he received three Fulbright fellowships for research and teaching abroad and was named a fellow of the Library Association of Great Britain. He was also honored many times by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). He was named Award of Merit winner in 1988; Outstanding Information Science Teacher in 1980; and author of Best Information Science Book four times.  

Jennifer Doty is a data management specialist with the Emory University Libraries. Her primary focus is developing services and support for the management and curation of research data at Emory. She can be reached at jennifer.doty<at>