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ASIS Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are chartered by the Board of Directors to give members with similar professional specialties the opportunity to exchange ideas and keep themselves informed about current and discrete developments in their fields. The activities of the SIGs, planned by their members and elected officers, provide clear indication of the diverse interests and needs of ASIS members. Through participation in SIGs, you can help design what, in essence, are small professional organizations within the broader national society.

Only ASIS members can belong to SIGs, though each member can belong to as many SIGs as desired. Current SIGs and their chairs and a brief description of each SIG's activities are listed below. You can join SIGS by going to the Join section of this Web site. For more information about a particular SIG, contact the SIG's chair.

The SIG Cabinet Steering Committee, which assists the SIG Cabinet Director in conducting Cabinet business, includes:

Sam Hastings, SIG Cabinet Director


Michael Stallings, Deputy SIG Cabinet Director


Michael Crandall

Janette B. Bradley


Marjorie M.K. Hlava

Dick Ellsworth


Arts & Humanities (AH)

Automated Language Processing (ALP)

Classification Research (CR)

Computerized Retrieval Services (CRS)

Education for Information Science (ED)

History & Foundations of Information Science (HFIS)

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

Information Analysis & Evaluation (IAE)

Information Generation & Publishing (PUB)

Information Policy (IFP)

International Information Issues (III)

Library Automation & Networks (LAN)

Management (MGT)

Medical Informatics (MED)

Scientific & Technical Information Systems (STI)

Technology, Information, & Society (TIS)

Information Needs, Seeking and Use (USE)

Visualization, Images & Sound (VIS)



- Arts and Humanities (AH)

SIG/AH explores the applications of information science to scholarship and creative endeavors in the humanities and fine arts. Illustrative concerns include the computerized storage and retrieval of text, image and sound; new methods for the organization of scholarly work; bibliometric and other studies of information dissemination; and the social structure of humanities and fine arts disciplines. SIG/AH also has an abiding interest in the humanistic implications of information technology and the information society.


- Automated Language Processing (ALP)

SIG/ALP provides a forum for interaction between linguists who have a theoretical interest in the machine simulation of human language processing and information scientists who have more practical goals, such as stimulating the language-processing of an indexer with a machine. SIG/ALP is concerned with automated "understanding" of natural-language text. Areas of activity include document retrieval, question-answering, on-line user communication, statistical content analysis involving syntactic and semantic analysis, morphological analysis to compress voluminous word lists, procedures for generating and maintaining files of subject headings, and descriptors of thesaurus entries. Current interests are the generation of fact files of relational statements derived from input text, question-answering requiring inductive and deductive logic, creation of document abstracts that will be coherent and concise paraphrases of document content, and creation of "high quality" machine translation.


-  Classification Research (CR)

SIG/CR studies the fundamental principles, underlying processes, and analytic constructs of classification schemes and procedures by humans or automata. It is concerned with organizing information, and includes indexing, index construction, indexing language, thesaurus construction, terminology, classification of information in any form, and testing and evaluating the effectiveness of these products. It is also concerned with the ability to develop abstractions from perceived reality. Theoretical emphases include cognition, grouping and organization of groupings, and linguistics.


- Computerized Retrieval Services (CRS)

SIG/CRS is concerned with the production of machine-readable databases and their use through computer-based retrieval systems. Its central focus is the use of bibliographic-type databases on publicly available systems. SIG/CRS is also interested in research and applications in the design, development and evaluation of machine-readable databases and retrieval systems.


-  Education for Information Science (ED)

SIG/ED focuses on the education - at all levels - of those concerned with the handling of information. It is a forum for coordinating efforts of educators in a wide variety of information-oriented fields, including computer and communications science, librarianship and management. Levels encompass basic education for the profession, advanced education and research, and continuing professional education. Its programs center on such topics as curriculum design, research, instructional resources and methods, manpower needs, placement, recruitment to the profession, continuing education and educational program planning. SIG/ED administers the Doctoral Forum at each ASIS Annual Meeting and the annual Student Paper Contest.


- History and Foundations of Information Science (HFIS)

SIG/HFIS develops theories, fundamental concepts, and models of information science and cybernetics so that satisfactory theoretical frameworks will ultimately generate better information systems and services. It embraces philosophical, semiological, mathematical, physical, biological, psychological and sociological disciplines. Publication by members is highly encouraged as is vigorous interaction with other SIGs.


- Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

SIG/HCI serves practical and theoretical interests in research, design, development and evaluation of how human beings use and communicate with computers. Interests include on-line users and their behavior; the observable capabilities and performance of the interactive computer system; and the characteristics of the human-computer interface. SIG/HCI encourages the development and refinement of on-line interaction models to highlight common features in existing or proposed user interfaces. Major emphasis is on the interface with networks and various on-line information storage and retrieval applications, but other information-processing and display systems are also considered.


- Information Analysis and Evaluation (IAE)

SIG/IAE is concerned with procedures for the critical evaluation of selected items from the information available, to assign relative values and to detect meanings of interest for an expected use. Its primary emphasis is on value systems for the analytical evaluation of information, as distinct from the measurement and evaluation of information operations. Its interests also include the activities and place of the Information Analysis Center as a key organizational unit for the analytical evaluation of information.


- Information Generation and Publishing (PUB)

SIG PUB concentrates on the theory, application and standards involved in the processing of text-based information. Research and enhancements in existing and new publishing technologies, methodologies, and techniques for the generation, capturing, tagging, editing, producing and distribution of textual information are discussed and displayed by SIG/PUB. The publishing industry in general (including, but not limited to, primary, secondary, tertiary, print, electronic, popular and scholarly) is served. The entire publishing chain is addressed from authors to publishers to users, stimulating interaction and information sharing among the group.


- Information Policy (IFP)

SIG/IFP helps ensure that ASIS members are aware of legislation and regulation affecting the information field and/or members of the information professions. It provides venues which encourage research on and discussion of current and emergent information policies as they affect society. It will promote awareness of state/provincial, national and international policies of public and private entities.


- International Information Issues (III)

The purposes of SIG/III are a) to promote better awareness among ASIS members and information professionals of the importance of international cooperation; b) to facilitate and enhance better communication and interaction among ASIS members and their foreign colleagues on information issues; and c) to provide a forum for exploring and discussing international information issues and problems. SIG/III membership includes most non-U.S. ASIS members and a true cross-section of U.S. ASIS members.


-  Library Automation and Networks (LAN)

SIG/LAN focuses on the analysis, planning, management and use of innovative technology in library operations and networking. Among the library operations that lend themselves to computer technology, networking, and systems analysis are acquisitions, cataloging circulation, serials processing, reference, collection development, interlibrary communication and library management. SIG/LAN is also concerned with the relationships between libraries and other segments of the information community, such as abstracting and indexing services, publishers, producers of bibliographic databases and developers of commercial library-processing system.


- Management (MGT)

SIG/MGT serves those who manage information in technical or generalist environments and those who seek to increase their effectiveness at one or more stages of the information process spectrum (creation to dissemination). It provides a forum for study and discussion of confluence and integration of information technologies; managing financial and human resources; economics of the unit and the enterprise; cost-benefit analysis applications to information activities; designing optimum training and professional development strategies for information professionals; and enhancing organizational and individual productivity through effective information management.


-  Medical Informatics (MED)

SIG/MED brings together members of various disciplines to evaluate the needs and problems of developing and managing medical information systems that can handle the complex uses to which they are put. It is concerned with the application of information science principles, information technology, and communication to biomedical science and health care and their related social and ethical issues. SIG/MED provides a forum for sharing and managing knowledge as a strategic resource for improving the quality, effectiveness, and use of biomedical information, data transfer, and communication through rigorous application of medical informatics. Areas of interest include bibliographic, text, numeric, and image databases; medical information collection, management, dissemination, and communication; biomedical information systems for academic, group and solo practice, hospital, industrial, health care delivery, and research institutions; biomedical simulation, telecommunications, virtual communities and networks, decision support and knowledge systems, and information infrastructures; and health information systems for the public.


-  Scientific and Technical Information Systems (STI)

SIG/STI focuses on the applications of information science to the production, organization, and dissemination of scientific and technical information. Members of this SIG are concerned with enhancing access to information in the pure and applied sciences. SIG/STI provides a forum for information specialists, librarians, scientists, and others who work in a scientific setting to discuss and evaluate developments that offer potential for more effective management of numerical, image, and textual information. SIG/STI sponsors the Tri-Society Symposium, jointly with the Chemical Information Division of the American Chemical Society and the Chemistry Section of the Special Libraries Association. The Symposium is held every four years to address research and applications in chemical information science. SIG/STI also sponsors two awards for students to support their attendance at an ASIS mid-year or annual meeting: the CAS Student Award, funded by Chemical Abstracts Service, and the BIOSIS Student Award, funded by BIOSIS.


- Technology, Information, and Society (TIS)

SIG/TIS acts as a channel and source of information about the issues (including moral and ethical issues) arising from the way technological advances in information transfer affect society. It strives to understand future implications of an ever-changing technology and what the changes will mean, while considering possible controls and procedures as the techniques are being developed. Areas of interest include the pressures and effects on information services of the privacy issue; private rights vs. freedom of information; the introduction of CATV and video recording, possibly to substantially replace printing or photography as the media of information exchange; the effects on information services of copyright laws; the responsibility for information disseminated by government, credit bureaus, news media, etc., and its possible regulation; and social, political and economic factors in international information flow.


aqua-bullet Information Needs, Seeking and Use (USE)

SIG/USE members are concerned with the activities, both behavioral and cognitive, of people who are interacting with information.  These activities include: recognizing information needs, seeking information that will address those needs, exploring information sources present in one's context/situation, retrieving information from available information sources, communicating and collaborating with others concerning an information need or information resources, using information, and other interactions between people and information.  The SIG wishes to promote studies of human information-related behavior and provision of information services, and to encourage the application of the study results to information systems design.


aqua-bullet  Visualization, Images, and Sound (VIS)

SIG/VIS provides a forum for ASIS members to discuss, develop, and promote issues and research involving graphic and visual information. Such information includes, but is not limited to, text document images, still and moving pictures with or without sound, geographic attributes and topology, and virtual representations of the visual world. SIG/VIS's mission is to promote the exchange, development, communication, and dissemination of information and research related to visual and graphic information among ASIS members and to the larger community of practitioners and scholars.


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© 1999 Association for Information Science
Last update: August 18, 1999