ASIS&T SIG HFIS : History & Foundations of Information Science

Association for Information Science & Technology :

ASIST Sessions

2018 Annual Meeting

  • Sun. 11/11, 3-4:30 PM: “Glittering in the Dark: Memory, Culture, and Critique in Light of the History of Information,” moderated by Kathryn La Barre.
    • Kathryn La Barre: On Curation, Documentation, and Critique
    • Sachi Arafat: From Search is Meaning-Suggestion, to the Memory Arts, and Towards a Science of Technology-Mediated Experience
    • Michael K. Buckland: From Bibliography to Information Science: Robert Pagès, 1919-2007
  • Mon. 11/12, 2-3:30 PM: “Infrastructural Justice and the Social Consequences of Occupational Classifications (SIG-CR, SIG-SI, and SIG-HFIS), moderated by Eva Hourihan Jansen.
    • Ronald Day
    • Kathryn La Barre
    • Richard P. Smiraglia

2017 Annual Meeting

  • Sun. 10/29, 3-4 PM: “Evolving Traditions: From ‘Documentation’ to ‘Information Science & Technology’ (80th Anniversary Invited Panel),” moderated by Kathryn La Barre.
    • Colin Burke: It Isn’t Easy Being Green
    • Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan (recipient of the 2016 ASIST History Fund Research award): In Search of Connections: The European Origins of LIS
    • Robert D. Montoya: Tracing Changes: Evolving Knowledge in Biodiversity Classifications
  • Sun. 10/29, 6:30-8 PM: 80th Anniversary Welcome Celebration
  • Mon. 10/30, 1:30-3 PM: “Tribute to Eugene Garfield” (Katherine McCain, Henry Small, Howard D. White, Paul Wouters; panel moderated by Judit Bar-Ilan and Dietmar Wolfram).
  • Tue. 10/31, 12:30-2 PM: “Top-Ranked Papers” (Eric Forcier, Ron Day, Vanessa Kitzie).
  • Sat. 10/28, 5-7 PM: Women Leaders of the Information Field Happy Hour.
  • Sat. 10/28, 1:15-5 PM & Wed. 11/1, 2-6 PM: Tour of National Archives; Sat. 10/28, 1:30-5 PM: Tour of Library of Congress.

2016 Annual Meeting

  • Sun. 10/16, 15:30-17:00 CEST: “Tomato Tomahto: European Perspectives on Information Science (SIG/HFIS, EUChap)”
    • Julian Warner: A Nordic Information Science? A Highly Contested Tradition
    • Niels Windfeld Lund: The Whole Earth Girded by Telegraph Cables: European Influences on Information Science
    • Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan: Information and Communication Sciences in France: The Balancing Act
    • Michael Buckland: A (Mostly) European Influence on Information Science: Documentation and Neodocumentalism
    • Isabella Peters: Definitions and Perceptions of Information Science – As Provided by Members of the ASIS&T European Chapter

2015 Annual Meeting

  • Sun. 11/8, 3:30-5 PM: “Visualizing Information Worldwide (SIG/III, SIG/HFIS, SIG/VIS)” (Stephanie Power, Adriana Carla Silva de Oliveira, Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, Isto Huvila, Zohreh Dehghani Champiri, Galina Olzoeva, Tien-I Tsai [all video participants], Rebecca Noone; organized by Jenna Hartel)
  • Fri. 5/22, 18:00-19:30: The Third ASIS&T European Workshop: Panel co-sponsored by SIG HFIS, ”Towards Unified Approach to Information Science in Europe,” moderated by Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic (University of Zadar):
    • Lai Ma (UCD School of Information & Library Studies)
    • Fidelia Ibekwe (Aix-Marseille University)
    • Kornelija Petr Balog (University of Osijek)
    • Anna Maria Tammaro (University of Parma)

2014 Annual Meeting

  • Sun. 11/2, 3:30-5PM: “History and Philosophy of Information,” moderated by Lai Ma
    • Jutta Haider, Olof Sundin: The Materiality of Encyclopedic Information: Remediating a Loved One – Mourning Britannica
    • Amanda Pacini de Moura: Considerations on the Social Role of the Document According to Paul Otlet
    • Bradley Fidler, Amelia Acker: Metadata and Infrastructure in Internet History: Sockets in the Arpanet Host-Host Protocol
  • Tue. 11/4, 8:30-10AM: “Pluri-, Multi-, Trans-, Meta- and Interdisciplinary Nature of LIS. Does it Really Matter? (SIG/HFIS, SIG/ED)” (Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, Sachi Arafat, Michael Buckland, Melanie Feinberg, Ryan Shaw, Julian Warner)
  • Tue. 11/4, 10:30AM-12PM:”Informational and Media Failures and Potential Successes” (John Budd, Lai Ma, Ronald E. Day, Siobhan Stevenson)

2013 Annual Meeting

  • Sun. 11/3, 3:30PM: “The Concept Formerly Known as Information” (Jenna Hartel, Karen Pollock, Rebecca Noone, Jens-Erik Mai, Kiersten Latham, Marcia Bates)
  • Mon. 11/4, 10:30AM: “Preserving and Accessing the History of ASIS&T and Information Science” (Kathryn La Barre, Sarah A. Buchanan, Trudi Bellardo Hahn, Robert V. Williams).
    • Slides Available: La Barre [PPT], Buchanan [PPT], Hahn [PPT], Williams [PPT].
  • Mon. 11/4, 1:30PM: “Crossing the Boundaries in Information Science: Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity” (Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic, Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, Isto Huvila, Lai Ma, Virginia Ortiz-Repiso Jimenez, Julian Warner)
  • Tues. 11/5, 8:30AM: “Uncovering Epistemological Assumptions Underlying Research in Information Studies” (Steve Fuller, Birger Hjorland, Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, Lai Ma, Jens-Erik Mai, Joseph Tennis, Julian Warner)
  • Additional AM Events: SIG Cabinet (Sunday 11/3, 10AM), New Members and First Conference Brunch – presenting HFIS (Sunday 11/3, 12PM), Welcome Reception (Sunday 11/3, 7PM). SIG HFIS is also co-sponsoring the 9th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium (SIG SI): The Social Informatics of Information Boundaries (Sat. 11/2, 8:30AM-12:30PM).

2012 Annual Meeting

  • 10/27, 8:30AM-7:00PM: History PreconferenceThe full day Preconference on the History of ASIS&T and Information Science and Technology Worldwide was not officially sponsored by SIG HFIS, but SIG members and officers were heavily involved in every aspect of its organization.
  • 10/30, 8:30AM: “Humanistic Information Science” (Jack Andersen, Melanie Feinberg, Jonathan Furner, Jens-Erik Mai, Joseph Tennis)
  • 10/30, 1:30PM: “The Other as a Research Agenda for Information Science” (Kathryn La Barre, Michael Buckland, Lai Ma and Charles van den Heuvel)
  • 10/30, 6:30PM: Poster: “Homage to Helen Brownson: Information Science Pioneer” (Tina Jayroe)

2011 Annual Meeting

  • 10/10, 8:00AM: “Fundamental Research Questions in Information Science” (Sachi Arafat, John Budd, Ron Day, Jonathan Furner, Robin Hunt, and Julian Warner). What is the function of foundations research in any discipline, and in IS? It is claimed that it is to produce a fundamental dialectic, a particular type of intellectual culture. This panel aims to flesh-out this culture by means of a dialectic, by addressing four inter-related zones of inquiry, concerning the historical, ontological, epistemological (and scientific), and socio-ethical aspects which include acts such as the creation of technology or policy.
  • 10/11, 10:30AM: “Avoiding Determinism: New Research into the Discovery of Information” (Sanda Erdelez, John Budd, Victoria Rubin, Jacquelyn Burkell and Anabel Quan-Hasse). For more than sixty years the field of information studies (IS) has taken a cue from the scientific/technical work of Claude Shannon. Shannon, of course, built upon the work of the likes of Alan Turing, Norbert Wiener, and John von Neumann. The IS developments of the 1970s and later continued to accept many of the deterministic premises than shaped the earlier work. It is only in recent years that a less deterministic conceptual stance began to gain purchase in theoretical and applied IS work. The contributors to this panel will advance three specific non-deterministic foundational outlines for future research in IS.
  • 10/11, 1:30PM: “The Janus Panels: Looking Back in Order to Look Forward” (Robert Williams, Kathryn LaBarre). This panel session consists of two parts: “I remember ADI/ASIS/ASIS&T” and “What I want ASIST to be in 2037.” In the first part, selected ASIS&T members who have held membership for at least 25 years will briefly talk about their favorite/most memorable moments in ASIS&T. Former presidents and major award winners meeting the 25 years or more membership criterion will be given precedence for the short presentations. The following members with 25+ years who have agreed to present in this part are: Samantha Hastings, Trudi Hahn, Toni Carbo, Ralf Shaw, Michael Buckland, and Chuck Ben-Ami Lipetz. In the second part, selected ASIS&T members who have been members less than 5 years will briefly tell us what they want ASIS&T to be like, to do, to represent, etc. when it turns 100 in 2037.
  • 10/11, 3:30PM: “The Future of Information History” (Jenna Hartel, Ron Day, Thomas Haigh, (withdrawn) Siobhan Stevenson). This panel discusses developments in the scholarship of information history and speculates on its future. Previously, history was a distinct mode of research and a specialty community within information science; it operated largely outside of the mainstream scholarship that was underway within the dominant empirical and rational paradigms. Today, more social and culturally-oriented approaches have gained momentum across the discipline and these frameworks include an historical perspective as one dimension of their conceptual apparatus. As a result, an historical sensibility is now embedded more broadly across a larger swath of scholarship. This is an exciting and welcome development for champions of history–but it is also problematical. The new historical dimension to research is diffuse and its practitioners typically do not identify as historians. To illustrate the new ambiguous place: there is no obvious home for this historical panel in the track-based program structure of the ASIS&T annual meeting. From a variety of angles, our panel traces the recent breakthrough and mainstreaming of history and aims to characterize its new face. The panel includes a classically trained historian, a theorist, and two scholars whose research features historical themes but is centered outside an historical specialty. A concluding discussion among panelists and the audience will be guided by a big question: What is the future of information history?

2010 Annual Meeting

  • 10/25, 1:30PM: “Repositioning Information Science” (Michael Buckland, Fidelia Ibekwe-Sanjuan, Kiersten Latham). Three coordinated presentations will question the accepted view of Information Science as an emerging, scientific discipline closely tied with Information Technology and, mainly, textual data. First, this is not the only choice. The development of Information Science in France has been radically different from the US experience: Information Science arose in the Humanities, has been largely subsumed under Communication Studies, and distanced from Information Technology. Second, the scope has been too narrow. The focus has been too narrow. For example, people’s ideas are influenced works of art. Can Information Science cope with issues of museum presentation and the cognitive and aesthetic experiences of museum visitors? Third, character: What kind of science could Information Science be?
  • 10/26, 10:30AM: “Trends and Issues in the History of Information Science and Technology and the ASIS&T History Fund Awards Showcase” (Robert Williams, Charles Meadow, Rachel Plotnick). This panel session will review recent trends and issues in the study of the history of information science and technology and present findings from the first awards given by the ASIST History Fund. It will consist of three presentations: (1) an overview, by Robert V. Williams, of recent trends and issues and identify some of the major gaps that need to be addressed in future work; (2) a presentation by Charles Meadow, winner of the 2009 ASIST History Fund Research Grant award, of the results of his study of the history of the digital divide; (3) a presentation by Rachel Plotnick, winner of the 2009 ASIST History Fund Best Paper award, on her study of the history of a total hospital medical information system developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

2009 Annual Meeting

  • 11/9, 8:00AM: “Documentation and Communication in Aboriginal/Indigenous Communities”
    • Polit Geir Grenersen: Sámi Culture and Language Centers: Documentation of a Threatened Heritage.
    • Brendan Frederick R. Edwards: To Put the Talk Upon Paper: Literacy, Libraries, and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.
    • Ramesh Srinivasan: Diverse Knowledges and Contact Zones within the Digital Museum.
    • This panel session explores a number of different issues related to the nature of documentation and communication in aboriginal/indigeneous cultures, where “documents” are not traditional, knowledge systems are of varied types, and the transmission of culture and property are decidedly non-Western. The first paper, by Grenersen, examines the Samis population of Norway where an oppressed group struggled to develop language and cultural centers that documented not only water and land rights for legal purposes but also renewed the community and the culture. The paper also explores the nature of document theory as a theoretical tool for better understanding the status of documents in ongoing trials over land and water rights. The second paper, by Edwards, explores the transition of native cultures in Canada from a traditional pre-literate culture to a print/library culture while simultaneously asserting that these communities had their own kinds of literacy before Europeans arrived with their print/library culture. These methods of communication served to record and perpetuate cultural knowledge in ways both similar and different from European culture. The third paper, by Srinivasan, examines the question of how a digital museum presents different and possibly conflicting traditions and perspectives in a way that preserves the tension between the perspectives. The paper is based on a collaborative research project between the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology at Cambridge University and the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center of Zuni, New Mexico. It expands on conceptions about indigenous knowledge systems, particularly in relation to digital objects, and promotes the inclusion of indigenous communities in describing these objects.
  • 11/9, 10:30AM: “New Directions in Information History” (Thomas Haigh (organizer): Challenges and Opportunities in Information History. (withdrawn) Greg Downey: Information history meets communication history. (no-show) Geoffrey Bowker: Did that really happen?’ The search for the useful fact from the Enlightenment to the present. William Aspray: The Use of History in Studying Information-Seeking Behavior in Everyday American Life.
    • Recent decades have seen an upsurge in scholarly activity in the history of information science. It has emerged as a field of study distinct from library history and from the history of computing, thanks to the work of scholars such as Boyd Rayward, Michael Buckland, and Trudi Bellardo-Hahn, and to a series of conference and books devoted to the topic. But so far most historical work has been conducted within the professional and intellectual paradigms of information science. It has been, to use a term from the history of science, internalist:  concerned primarily with the accomplishments of distinguished individuals and with the content and context of important discoveries and inventions. Its insights have been directed internally, for the benefit of the information science community. This panel explores the relevance of other historical approaches and the potential for information history to reach other audiences. The four panelists have all combined graduate training in the historical or social study of science and technology with faculty positions within information schools.
  • 11/10, 2:00PM: “Narratives, Facts, and Events in the Foundations of Information Science” (Michael Buckland (organizer), Tom Dousa, Ryan Shaw). The humanities and social sciences are concerned with the human experience. Sciences too deal with actions, processes and interactions. So information systems are concerned with events, but can operate only on objects (bits, books, “documents”) – and events are not objects. Suzanne Briet wrote that “a document is evidence in support of a fact,” but “facts” (like “data”) have no meaning absent a narrative explanations. Three papers address notions of narrative and event in the foundations of Information Science. Ryan Shaw, in What happened? What events are and why we should care, theorizes the past as idealized images of people, places, events, and ideas. Events, however, have not received the specialized treatment that people and places have. Events are entities of interest in their own right and as bundles of semantic relationships among other entities. Digitalization requires and enables for improved access. A model based in constructionist epistemology is presented. Thomas Dousa, in Facts and frameworks in Paul Otlet’s and Julius Otto Kaiser’s theories of knowledge organization, notes that since theories are narratives about phenomena, Knowledge Organization Systems (KOSs) reflect different “narratives” about knowledge. Otlet and Kaiser held nearly identical views about the analysis of documents into aggregates of facts, but key differences in their methodological and ideological outlooks resulted in vastly divergent “narratives” of knowledge organization and starkly different KOSs. Otlet developed a universal KOS: the UDC; Kaiser’s approach was particularist, creating different “narratives” for specific communities. Michael Buckland, in Events as a structuring device in mark-up and metadata, reports on the rationale for using of events as a structuring device for mark-up and metadata structures in biographical texts. Events are seen as arbitrarily defined actions suitably framed by the four facets of What, Where, When and Who. Difficulties and solutions are summarized.
  • 11/8, 3:30PM: “Towards Positive Information Science?”
    • Robert A. Stebbins: The Positive Social Sciences.
    • Jenna Hartel (organizer) & Jarkko Kari: What is a Positive Information Science.
    • Jenna Hartel: Case Study 1: The Hobby of Gourmet Cooking.
    • Jarkko Kari: Case Study 2: Spirituality.
    • Marcia J. Bates: The Negative-Positive Axis in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science).
    • This panel offers a refreshing counterpoint to the predominantly problem-oriented perspective of theory and research in information science. Drawing inspiration from the fields of positive psychology and sociology, we propose the idea of a positive information science. This line of inquiry focuses on the positive qualities of information systems and the positive characteristics and habits of information users, as well as on the positive contexts of or factors in information phenomena. Insights into positive information phenomena provide a benchmark and target for improving information environments. The positive perspective also reflects a new generation of information-users who harbor an upbeat sensibility concerning the tools and practices of the Information Age. The panel makes its case by 1) offering an interdisciplinary comparison to positive social sciences, 2) reporting results from two positively-oriented investigations of information use in gourmet cooking and spirituality, and 3) viewing the idea in the context of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (Bates & Maack, forthcoming), an important benchmark and rubric of the field. To encourage a dynamic session, panelists and audience will see a list of positive features compiled and displayed in real time, serving as a basis for lively discussion.
  • 11/9, 1:30PM: “Metatheoretical Snowmen” (Jenna Hartel, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto; Howard D. White, Pamela McKenzie, Jens-Erik Mai, Paul Solomon, Siobhan Stevenson, Marcia Bates). Metatheory is the highest level conceptual device used in research and determines a way of thinking and speaking about reality and its information phenomena. Today, numerous metatheories exist in information science and create a dynamic climate, yet also some confusion. This panel aims to demystify methatheory by addressing the matter in a playful, comparative, competitive spirit. Articulate champions of five major metatheories will be given an opportunity to cast their metatheory onto the life and information experience of an ordinary and affable persona: a snowman. The vivid renderings of the snowman and its information world will bring the features of each metatheory into clear view. To invigorate both discussants and the audience, the presentations will be judged by a jury appointed on the spot. The panelist who offers the most illuminating exposition takes home a trophy while the audience gains new understanding.

2008 Annual Meeting

  • 10/29, 1:30PM: “Pioneering Women of the Information Age” (Moderators and reactors: Diane Barlow and Trudi Bellardo Hahn). This session will feature six speakers, each of whom is among the contributors to two special issues of Libraries & the Cultural Record on women pioneers in the information sciences. This session will be the third in a series presented by the Special Interest Group on History and Foundations of Information Science (HFIS). It will spotlight the lives and contributions of remarkable women pioneers in information science. The individual presentations will be about women whose fields of specialty and accomplishments fall in a wide variety of areas-practice, research, education for the profession, or information policy. Each paper will address the pioneer’s leadership, innovation, and advocacy, as well as the historical context and social and professional milieu in which she worked and made her contributions. Each presentation will be about 15 minutes long, and enhanced with slides to show photographs or other relevant historical materials. Barlow and Hahn will introduce the speakers and provide connections and summary of major themes related to feminist perspectives in information science.
    • Michael Buckland. Suzanne Briet, pioneer in documentation and reference service in France
    • Joan Lussky. Henrietta Avram, networking pioneer at the Library of Congress and developer of MARC
    • Malissa Ruffner and Emily Glenn. Winifred Sewell, pioneering medical librarian and educator in medical informatics
    • Linda C. Smith and Carol Tenopir. Martha E. Williams, pioneer researcher, editor, educator, entrepreneur, and professional leader
    • Maria Rosario Osuna Alarcón. Maria Moliner, pioneering librarian and lexicographer in the Second Republic in Spain. (If Professor Osuna cannot attend the conference, Kathryn La Barre will substitute with a presentation on Pauline Cochrane)

2007 Annual Meeting

  • 10/21, 1:00PM: “Revisiting the Foundations of Information Discovery and Access Systems” (Michael Buckland, Jane Greenberg, Kathryn La Barre and Carole Palmer). Each year, the pace of building digital resource and data repositories increases. Multiple challenges face each project, for which no adequate technological solution may exist. The focus of this panel moves beyond construction to address the question: What assumptions and principles lie beneath the technology scaffolding digital environments? The members of this panel are engaged in open exploration and reconsideration of the roles played by representational and organizational structures that seek to support, and which sometimes impair discovery, access and use. These structures take shape in metadata, vocabulary and classificatory frameworks. Specific topics covered will include heritage classificatory work well-suited for application in digital environments, an inversion of the role of metadata as infrastructure for documents, application of bibliographic relationship taxonomies such as FRBR in tracking the life cycle of data objects, and potential definitional and organizational roles to be played by collection level representations.
  • 10/24, 3:30PM: “Social Capital and Information Science Research” (Catherine A. Johnson, Douglas Raber, Paul T. Jaeger and Kate Williams). The concept of social capital has become a popular area of research in many social science fields, including public policy, political science, economics, community development, sociology, anthropology, and education. Increasingly, it has been used as the conceptual framework for research in the area of information studies including such topics as knowledge integration (Bhandar, Pan & Tan, 2007), knowledge sharing (Huysman & Wulf, 2006), access to information by the homeless (Hersberger, 2003), community informatics (Williams and Durrance, in press), and information seeking behavior (Johnson, in press).The concept has an ideological foundation in the theories of Pierre Bourdieu (1980), with two divergent approaches to its study emerging during the last two decades: one focusing on social capital as a collective asset and the other regarding it as an individual asset. The main proponent of the first approach is political scientist Robert Putnam who defines social capital as inhering in the “dense networks of social interaction” which foster “sturdy norms of generalized reciprocity and encourage the emergence of social trust” (Putnam, 1995, p. 66). Social network analysts, on the other hand, view social capital as resources to which individuals have access through their social relationships. Nan Lin, who is the main proponent of this approach, defines social capital as “resources embedded in a social structure which are accessed and/or mobilized in purposive actions” (Lin, 2001a, p. 12). While the concept of social capital may be operationalized differently depending on the point of view of the researcher, its value to information science research is in providing a framework within which to understand the relationship between social structure and information access.

2006 Annual Meeting

  • 11/8, 1:30PM: “Historiography of information science”
    • How and Why was Emanuel Goldberg Forgotten? A Case Study in the Historiography of Information Science (Michael K. Buckland)
    • Forms of mental labor in the Feist judgment (Julian Warner)
    • Continuities and Discontinuities in the History of Information Science (Geoffrey C. Bowker)
  • 11/6, 10:00AM: “Forgetting and (Not) Forgotten in the Digital Future”
    • Not Just Left Alone, But Forgotten Too! The Case of French Law (Jean-François Blanchette)
    • Places to Read Anonymously: New Media Technologies, Intellectual Freedom, and Ecologies of Attention and Forgetting (Michael R. Curry, Leah A. Lievrouw)
    • Trying to Remember Technologies and Techniques of Forgetting: Information and its Social and Psychological Consequences (Ronald E. Day)
  • 11/6, 1:30PM: “Philosophy and information science: The basics” (Don Fallis, Jonathan Furner, Kay Mathiesen, Allen Renear). What are the various ways in which taking a philosophical approach can help us to understand information-related problems? How may philosophical work in information science be evaluated?
  • 11/7, 3:30PM: “Authenticity Revisited: The Cultural Implications of a Digital Reality” (Heather MacNeil, Bonnie Mak, Jennifer Douglas). A comprehensive look at the concept of authenticity in both analogue and digital environments.
  • 11/7, 8:30AM: “Paul Otlet, Documentation and Classification”
    • Paul Otlet (Boyd Rayward)
    • Universal Decimal Classification (Jonathan Furner)
    • The Documentalist Groups (Kathryn La Barre)

2005 Annual Meeting

  • 10/30, 1:30PM: “Re-Visiting the Neutrality of Technology” (SIG III, SIG IFP, SIG HFIS) (Marija Dalbello, Kalpana Shankar, Nadia Caidi, Thomas Froehlich).

2004 Annual Meeting

  • 11/15, 8:00AM: “Information Task Switching and Multitasking Web Search” (SIG CR, SIG HFIS) (Amanda Spink, Minsoo Park, Bernard Jansen).
  • 11/15, 3:30PM: “Document, Record, Work: The Basic Units of Analysis in Information Studies” (SIG HFIS) (Richard P. Smiraglia, Gregory S. Hunter, Birger Hjørland).
  • 11/16, 5:30PM: “Diffusion of Knowledge in the Field of Digital Library Development: How Is the Field Shaped by Visionaries, Engineers, and Pragmatists?” (SIG HFIS, SIG DL) (Marija Dalbello, Tefko Saracevic, Carole Palmer, Mentor Cana).
  • 11/16, 5:30PM: “Knowledge, Information and Behavior: A Tribute to Patrick Wilson” (SIG HFIS) (Brian O’Connor, David Blair, Howard White, Francis Miksa, Jens-Erik Mai; Coordinator: Shawne Miksa).
  • 11/17, 8:30AM: “Outside Theory on the Inside of LIS” (SIG HFIS, SIG CR, SIG ED) (Julian Warner, Jack Anderson, Shawne D. Miksa, David Blair, Laurie J. Bonnici, Francis Miksa).
  • 11/17, 3:30PM: “Ain’t Ms. Behavin’: More Pioneering Women in Information Science” (SIG HFIS) (Laurie J. Bonnici, Maurice Blaustein, Kathryn La Barre, Shawne D. Miksa, Elizabeth Figa).

2003 Annual Meeting

  • 10/19, 3:30PM: “The death of the user” (Howard Rosenbaum (Indiana U.), Elisabeth Davenport (Napier U.), Leah Lievrouw (U. California, Los Angeles), Ron Day (Wayne State U.)). This panel critically investigates the theoretical and practical issues involved with the well-established concept of “the user” in Library and Information Science. It suggests that digital information and communication technologies and systems are theoretically and practically undermining this concept, a concept that was already weak in its ability to fully account for agency in many events of information and knowledge.
  • 10/19, 3:30PM: “Pioneering women in information science” (Alexander Justice (Loyola Marymount U.), Laurie J. Bonnici (Georgia Southern U.), Helen Plant (Leeds Metropolitan U.), Jonathan Furner (U. California, Los Angeles), Shawne D. Miksa (U. North Texas), Kathryn La Barre (Indiana U.)). We will examine the lives and work in information science of six pioneering women — Helen Brownson, Elfreda Chatman, Edith Ditmas, Margaret Egan, Barbara Kyle, and Phyllis Richmond. In careers that collectively span more than seventy years, these women have had tremendous impact on our field. Yet the full extent of their influence has often gone unrecognized in the secondary literature. In this session, we will seek to reveal these pioneers? contributions in such areas as documentation, classification, information retrieval, and social epistemology; to identify reasons for the historical neglect of some of these contributions; and to provide links to our past that will enhance our understanding of current theory and practice in the field of library and information science.
  • 10/20, 10:30AM: “A science of public knowledge? Theoretical foundations of LIS” (Concepción S. Wilson (U. New South Wales), Shawne D. Miksa (U. North Texas), Anita Coleman (U. Arizona), Julian Warner (Queen’s U., Belfast)). Calls have regularly been made for the identification and development of a body of theory that may serve as a foundation for information science. To this end, Jesse Shera popularized the notion of social epistemology; bibliometricians have proposed models of human document-processing behavior; Patrick Wilson and others have made strides towards integrating library science, bibliometrics, and information science in a broad science of public knowledge. In this session, we examine several related aspects of the ongoing quest to map the intellectual structure of our field and to consolidate its theoretical foundations. The conceptual relationships between bibliometrics, informetrics and related fields are explored; the historical connections between classification and information retrieval researchers are examined; and the distinction between information science and information technology is analyzed both bibliometrically and from the perspective of social epistemology.
  • 10/21, 8:30AM: “Visual Containment of Cultural Forms: An Examination of Visual Epistemologies and Scopic Regimes” (Mikel Breitenstein (Breitenstein Medical Associates, Inc.), Marija Dalbello (Rutgers), Ron Day (Wayne State University), Ann Simonds (University of Toronto), Morris (Muhchyun) Tang (Rutgers)). The reproduction of knowledge in the visual field of perception has historical, theoretical and pragmatic significance for information science. Its areas of application are in the corporate and academic spheres and in the context of global sharing of information. The proponents of the visual approach assume intuitive ease of use, the boundary-spanning facility, and powerful data-representation capabilities inherent in visual approach. Yet, there is a naivete in assuming that the complications of language and culture could vanish in the face of information landscapes, maps of meaning, and sophisticated interfaces intuitively understood. This panel examines the complexities of the visual that are framed by the cultural, examining visual literacy, scopic regimes and the debates surrounding visual representation of knowledge in a historical perspective. The panelists focus on scopic regimes that contain and shape visual forms and on the environments of such containment. The representational spaces encompass representations of artifacts in a virtual museum, the representations of statistical information circulated in popular print and theoretical interpretation of the problem of cultural and aesthetic containment of the work of art in the representational space of the museum. The panel examines how technologies of reproduction run parallel to an increasing objectification of knowledge, and universalizing the works or knowledge through categories offered by educational, cultural and political institutions. It also examines tensions between the attempt to build and institutionally enforce cultural knowledge and the productive resistances of the work in its production, distribution, and reception, thus reflecting how practices of cultural transmission are incorporated in the process of reproduction of knowledge.
  • 10/21, 2:00PM: “The revival of the concept of documents in the theoretical foundation of information science” (Jack Andersen (Royal School of LIS, Copenhagen), Michael Buckland (U. California, Berkeley), Birger Hjørland (Royal School of LIS, Copenhagen)). In this session, we will examine the concept of ”document” as it is used in library and information science. The range of conceptions of documents will be critically reviewed; the necessity and artificiality of these conceptions will be explored; and their utility for information retrieval in different domains will be evaluated.
  • 10/22, 1:30PM: “Classification Across Disciplines: The Same, Only Different” (Shawne Miksa, University of North Texas – Moderator and Organizer; Barbara Kwasnik, Syracuse University; Francis Miksa, University of Texas at Austin; David Crabbe, Cycorp, Inc.). This session seeks to bridge the recognized gap between information science understandings of classification and the applications of classification techniques in various disciplines and the corporate world. Classification experts in the information sciences are challenged to look at classification from several perspectives: how do we serve different disciplines in the arts and sciences, whose discourse traditions vary?; what can we learn from the understandings of classification as it is used implicitly and explicitly to organize information in other fields?; and, from a corporate case, on the way an artificial intelligence technology approaches the problem of knowledge representation and classification.

2002 Annual Meeting

  • 11/18, 3:30PM: “Information Science and Intelligence Work: Mutual History Lessons from the Cold War” (Robert V. Williams, Ben-Ami Lipetz, Emil Levine, George L. Marling, Lee S. Strickland, Edward M. McClure, and Rodney Brant).
  • 11/20. 1:30PM: “Conceptions of Information as Evidence” (Jonathan Furner, Marcia J. Bates, Michael K. Buckland, and Anne J. Gilliland-Swetland).
  • 11/21, 10:30AM: “Community and Forms of Knowledge” (Ronald E. Day, Elisabeth Davenport, and Leah A. Lievrouw).

2001 Annual Meeting

  • 11/4, 3:30PM: “Critical Information Theory”. In this session, speakers examined current thinking in the field of critical information theory. Critical epistemology and how it is used in the fields of sociology, management theory, and organization behavior. The concepts of “general intellect” and “immaterial labor” and their relationship to the historical trajectory and future possibilities of information science.
    • Michael Chumer, Rutgers University: Critical Theory in Information Science
    • Nick DyerWitheford, University of Western Ontario: General Intellect, Immaterial Labor and the Future of Information Science
    • Ronald Day, Wayne State University: The Folds of Information: Shaping Method, Shaping Society
  • 11/6, 9:00AM: “History and Continuing Influence of the Classification Research Group”. This session looked back at the groundbreaking work of the Classification Research Group (CRG) and assessed the impact of their efforts on the information retrieval field today.  The history of CRG. The relationship between the CRG and the socialist science movement, which took a strong interest in scientific documentation in the 1940s and 1950s. Whether the group’s distinctive contribution was a collective one or the work of a number of individuals who shared some common interests
    • Shawne Miksa, Florida State University: The CRG and Information Retrieval Research, 1950-70
    • Ian McIlwaine, University College, London: The CRG: Its Legacy for Today
    • Alexander Justice, University of California, Los Angeles: The CRG as a Facet of the History of British Science
    • Jonathan Furner, University of California, Los Angeles: A Citation Study of the Work of the CRG
  • 11/6, 1:30PM: “Information Science and Intelligence Work”. James Bond may spend most of his time jumping out of airplanes, sipping martinis and engaging in gun battles, but real-world intelligence agents spend most of their time on the more mundane tasks of gathering and analyzing information. In reality, information science (IS) techniques are far more valuable to an agent than the latest gizmo or weapon. In this session, several former intelligence agents explored the relationship between IS and intelligence work and the impact that IS has had on intelligence practice and work patterns. What intelligence agents learned about IS on their jobs. How IS knowledge has contributed to their work as agents. What they wish they would have known about IS.
    • Robert Taylor, former US military intelligence agent
    • Norman Horrocks, former British military intelligence agent
    • Robert Chartrand, former US military intelligence agent and policy analyst
    • Fred Kilgour, former US military intelligence agent
    • David Batty, former British military intelligence agent
    • Colin Burke, historian of intelligence work
    • Moderators: Robert Williams, University of South Carolina; BenAmi Lipetz, State University of New York, Albany
  • 11/7, 10:45AM: “As Sharp as a Pen: Direct Semantic Ratification in Oral, Written, and Electronic Communication”. Direct semantic ratification traditionally has referred to the ability to question the producer of a statement and to immediately gain knowledge about the statement’s social and spatial context. More recently, it has also been interpreted to include a human bodily presence, which allows for the possibility of expressing and interpreting nonverbal signs. Direct semantic ratification forms a crucial dimension, which differentiates oral from written and electronic communication. In this session, speakers took an in-depth look at direct semantic ratification from both an historical and humanistic perspective and from a more scientifically informed viewpoint. The potential for social rather than purely individual learning of the appropriate use of communication forms. How strategies for avoiding inappropriate communication uses must be grounded in a deeper understanding of communicative behavior rather than imposed by technical constraints.
    • Julian Charles Warner, Queen’s University of Belfast
    • Cate Cox, Queen’s University of Belfast
  • 11/7, 1:30PM: “Viewing the Intellectual Horizons of Information Science”. In this session, speakers discussed some of the most recent developments in information theory. Theories on the role of information as a “thing” (documents, data, and signals) and as a process (the act of becoming informed) The interconnections between classification, rhetoric, and the making of knowledge.
    • Michael Buckland, University of California, Berkeley: “Information As Thing” Reconsidered
    • Richard Smiraglia, Long Island University: Holding the Fort: The Case for Information as Process
    • Stephen Paling, Syracuse University: Bibliography, Rhetoric, and the Classificatory Horizon
    • Moderator: Mikel Breitenstein, Long Island University
  • 11/7, 3:30PM: “Social Epistemology and Information Science”. Social epistemology (SE) is defined as “the study of those processes by which society as a whole seeks to achieve a perceptive or understanding relation to the total environment; physical, psychological, and intellectual.” Increasingly, information scientists are finding SE theories to be of invaluable assistance in analyzing information systems, particularly citation based and recommender systems, which depend in part on the user’s level of trust in the testimony of others. In this session, speakers examined how SE theories have been utilized in the information science field. The historical development of the concept of SE in the literature of information science. Definitions and applications of SE and their place in information science today. Two epistemic concepts for information studies.
    • John Budd, University of Missouri, Columbia
    • Don Fallis, University of Arizona
    • Jonathan Furner, University of California, Los Angeles
    • Leah Lievrouw , University of California, Los Angeles

2000 Annual Meeting

  • 11/15, 2:30PM: “Historiography and history of information science”. This session presents papers dealing with related themes in the historiography and history of information science. Classic laws of bibliometrics, which still remain relevant to considerations of document supply, are reviewed and the historical retrospect used to transform current perspectives. The use of foundational texts for information science is discussed, again with the intention of informing current understanding of the information science and neighboring fields. The final paper adopts established methodologies from scientometrics and cognitive science to explore the intersection (or lack of it) between information science and information systems. Here the intention is deliberately performative, to inform potential future strategies and developments for ASIS.
    • Session moderator Mikel Breitenstein
    • Stephen J. Bensman, “Line vs. Garfield: a resolution of the conflict.” The period from the 1950s through the 1970s witnessed major breakthroughs in the understanding of the probability distributions underlying the use of library materials.
    • Ron Day, “Information, historicism, historiography, and historicity.” The rhetoric of foundational texts in information science, from documentation to information theory and cybernetics to current discussions of ‘the virtual’, reveals a tendency toward progressive historical narratives and utopian proclamations.
    • Ira Monarch, “An information-based performative history of information science and information systems.” With the publication and reception of the book, Structure of Scientific Revolutions in the 1960s, conceptual schemes and conceptual change became an important theme in philosophical, historical and cognitive studies of scientific development. This paper reports on a study that develops an information view of history of science by combining techniques and resources from both scientometrics and cognitive science to help uncover the conceptual dynamics of two related fields – information science and information systems.
  • 11/14, 10:30AM: “Ideology and encyclopedism: reflections and implications”.
    • Moderator Julian Warner
    • W. Boyd Rayward, “Concepts of encyclopedia and the organization and retrieval of knowledge: historical perspectives.” A scholarly ideal since the beginning of our Western traditions of recorded knowledge has been the cumulation, distillation, systematization, and synthesis of what is known. This paper examines the ideological underpinnings of the encyclopedic enterprises of Francis Bacon in the first part of the Seventeenth century, of Diderot and his associates in the middle of the Eighteenth century, and H.G.Wells in the 1930s.
    • Mikel Breitenstein, “Encyclopedism at the end of modernity.” Conflicting forces in play at the end of WWI challenged the earlier ideal of humankind moving ever forward in steady progress. This paper will examine 20th C. notions of encyclopedism from the ‘world order’ perspective, showing the beginnings of the reflexive awareness that dominates our notion of knowledge and narrative now.
    • Hope A. Olson, “Shoes: postmodern, poststructural, postcolonial rereading of encyclopedism.” Encyclopedism might be characterized as a quest for universality in two senses: inclusive coverage of the circle of knowledge at some more or less specific level and representation of the structure of knowledge. These two notions seem at odds with postmodern, poststructural and postcolonial thought. This paper will reread encyclopedism from each of these critical stances.

1999 Annual Meeting

  • “Historical Perspectives on Information Technology”. This session drew upon a range of sources (from economic history, the history of copyright, from fictional representations, and from the history of library and information studies) to examine and present different understandings of information technology and of information infrastructure. It aimed to demonstrate the relevance of history to understanding and influencing current developments.
    • Moderator: Trudi Bellardo Hahn
    • Julian Warner, What Should We Understand by Information Technology (and Some Hints at Other Questions)?
    • Cheryl Malone, How Popular Culture Shapes Our Perception and Reception of Information Technologies.
    • Colin B. Burke, Irony or Necessity: The Great Society, the Information Economy and the NCLIS
  • “Historical Perspectives on Knowledge Dissemination”. The session was concerned with contrasting approaches to information storage, retrieval and dissemination, covering a range of historical periods and disciplines. It reexamined some of the widely acknowledge antecedents of modern information science (for instance, Bradford and Lotka) and its less well-known medieval precursors.
    • Moderator: Julian Warner
    • Lawrence J. McCrank, The Medieval Intellectual Foundations of Modern Information Science
    • Stephen J. Bensman, The Probability Structure of Human Knowledge: A Historical and Practitioner Viewpoint
    • Mikel Breitenstein, From Revolution to Orthodoxy: A History of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science
    • Eugene Garfield (and others), ISI’s Activities in the Chemical Information Area
  • “Fifty Years of JASIS; Perspectives on Publishing in Information Science”. This session began with a short historical studies of JASIS over the past 50 years that highlight some of the changes in the publishing patterns of our field. The rest of the session featured a panel of three editors in the field who discussed publishing issues, past and current and past.
    • Moderator: Trudi Bellardo Hahn
    • Ben Lipetz, Defining What Information Science is or Should Be: A Survey and Review of a Half-Century of Published Pronouncements
    • Donald H. Kraft, Charles T. Meadow, Tefko Saracevic. Panel Discussion: Fifty Years of JASIS and IS Publishing: the Editors’ Perspectives

1998 Annual Meeting

  • “Theories of Information Science”. There are intermittent complaints that Information Science lacks theory. This session, the fifth annual session on theories of Information Science, provided a forum for theoretical work in Information Science. Speakers from three different countries (U.S., Canada, and Finland) examined theory relating to the conference theme, “Information Access in the Global Information Economy.”
    • Thomas Froehlich, Intellectual property: An Oxymoron?
    • Bernd Frohmann, Cultural Studies of Information Science
    • Pertti Vakkari, Growth of Theory in Information Science

1997 Annual Meeting

  • What Were Those Big Old Extract Files, and Why Should Anyone Care Today? Ben-Ami Lipetz, School of Information Science and Policy, State University of New York at Albany.
  • Online Information Retrieval: How Far Have We Come? Trudi Bellardo Hahn, User Education Services, University of Maryland Libraries, and Charles P. Bourne

1996 Annual Meeting

  • “Theories of Information Science”. This session will provide a forum and a showcase for advances in theoretical work within information science. Three theoretical papers will be presented on a functional theory of information retrieval; semeiotics and information science; and information science as a rhetorical construct.
    • Information Retrieval: Collections, Transformers and Partitioners. Christian Plaunt and Michael Buckland, University of California at Berkeley
    • Information as Mediation: On the Potentially Fertile Coupling of Semeiotics and Information Science. Jean Umiker-Sebeok, Indiana University
    • Information: A Rhetorical Construct. Martha M. Smith, Indiana University South Bend
    • Moderator: Michael Buckland, University of California at Berkeley
  • “Theory Under Construction: Rethinking Frameworks for Scholarly and Scientific Communication in the Age of the Internet”. This panel examines issues of how speed-of-light communication might impact our theoretical understanding of scientific communication.
    • Research in Information Science and Scholarly Communication: How Each Field Can Inform the Other. Linda Schamber, University of North Texas
    • Characterizing Electronic Scientific Discourse: What Revolution? Judy Bateman, University of North Texas
    • Whither Invisible Colleges? Theoretical Constructs in the Age of Electronic Scholarly Communication. Steven L. MacCall, University of North Texas
    • Moderator: Robert V. Williams, University of South Carolina
  • “Browsing Online and in the Stacks: What Is It and How Can It Be Facilitated?”. Four speakers will address the questions of what browsing is, how it can be studied and what we hope to learn from such study. After the presentations, attendees will be encouraged to contribute to the debate.
    • Dimensions Characterizing Browsing. Shan-Ju Chang, National Taiwan University
    • Tending our Pastures: A Decade’s Worth of Research on Browsing Fiction Collections. Sharon (Shay) L. Baker, University of Iowa
    • A Cognitive Definition of Browsing. Dee Michel, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Browsing: Not Lazy Searching. Gary Marchionini, University of Maryland
    • Moderator: Dee Michel, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • “History of Information Science: Reminiscences and Assessments (SIGs/HFIS and ED)”. This session continues the on-going work of the sponsoring SIGs to the work being done in the history of information science. This year’s program is a combination of presentations that focus on describing and assessing the work of specific companies, individuals, schools and the federal government in the development of information science and technology.
    • They Had an Information Crisis and No One Really Cared: United States STINFO Policy and Professional Reactions, 1958-1980. Colin Burke, University of Maryland-Baltimore
    • Weststat, Inc., and Information Science and Technology: Reminiscences and Assessment of the Early Years. Donald W. King
    • Western Reserve’s Documentation Program: Reminiscence and Assessment of the Early Years. Tefko Saracevic, Rutgers University
    • The Davis Family and the Early Years of Documentation and Information Science. Charlotte Mooers, daughter of Watson Davis and wife of Calvin Mooers, and Miles Davis, son of Watson Davis
    • Moderator: Robert V. Williams, University of South Carolina

1995 Annual Meeting

  • “Theories of Information Science”. There are intermittent complaints that Information Science lacks theory. The purpose of this session is to provide a forum and showcase for theoretical work within Information Science. Three theoretical papers will be presented: on composition studies and information science; on exactness in speech, writing and computing; and on the inherent deficiencies of a cognitive approach to IR.
    • Birger Hjorland, Royal School of Librarianship, Denmark
    • Julian Warner, Queens University, Northern Ireland
    • Soren Brier, Royal School of Librarianship, Denmark
  • “Documentation and Information Science: The Influence of the International Institute of Bibliography (IIB) and the International Federation for Documentation (FID)”. This session is an exploration of specific influences that IIB/FID has had on the intellectual and historical development of documentation and information science over the past 100 years.
    • W. Boyd Rayward, Univ. of New South Wales, “The Institut International de Bibliographie as an Expression of key ideas for the History of Information Science”
    • Irene Farkas-Conn, Arthur L. Conn and Associates, Ltd., “Watson Davis, the FID and ADI”
    • Francis L. Miksa, Univ. of Texas at Austin, “The Influence of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC)”
    • Michael Buckland, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “Document in Documentation”
    • Robert V. Williams, Univ. of South Carolina, “The Influence of IIB/FID on the Special Libraries Movement in the U.S.”
    • Steven MacCall, Univ. of North Texas, Moderator

1994 Annual Meeting

  • “Scientific Information for Stalin’s Scientists: The NKVD and Postwar Documentation in the USSR” (Pamela Spence Richards, Rutgers). In the twentieth century the internationalization of science and scientific information has forced world powers to maintain channels of international scientific communication even when their official ideologies militate against dependence on foreign science. This was the case in the Soviet Union even at the height of Stalinist xenophobia from 1946 to 1953. While one hand fulminating against “toadying to the West”, Soviet authorities were on the other hand secretly laying the foundations of a gigantic foreign scientific information supply system. Only in the last two years have Russian archives been accessible to researchers now able to document the extent to which this network was dependent on the five million volumes transported by the Red Army from German libraries between 1946 and 1948. A key role was played in this import by Margaret Rudomino, the officer in the Red Army in charge of “trophy collections”. founder of the All-Union Library of Foreign Literatures and later a benign fixture of international librarianship as vice president of IFLA.
  • “The Termatrex Retrieval system: History and demonstration” (Helen Claire Covey & Robert V. Williams, University of South Carolina). The Termatrex optical coincidence information retrieval system was developed by Jonkers Business Machines in 1960 and found rapid acceptance in libraries and information centers. This presentation will overview the development and marketing of the system and presents a 15 minute vide, prepared by the authors, demonstrating its use in information retrieval.
  • “Information Scientists in North American Graduate Schools of Librarianship: 1960-1990″ (John R. Richardson, Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, UCLA). During the 1960s, many individuals from private sector industries moved into North American graduate schools of library science. This paper identifies these information scientists and presents the results of two questionnaires sent to more than 250 of them. Findings over their motivations for switching careers, persona beliefs, and values, and their research agenda for the field. A composite picture of the typical information scientist emerges and a specific hypothesis is tested.
  • “A Rough Road to the Information Highway: Project INTREX and Unfulfilled Promises” (Colin B. Burke, Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus).
  • “Pioneers of the Online Age” (Trudi Bellardo Hahn & Charles P. Bourne). The developmental period in online information retrieval unfolded quietly in the context of turbulent upheaval in the social, political, and technological arenas of the 1960s. This presentation discusses what motivated the pioneers, how they communicated, andhow they struggle to keep their goals alive in the face of technological impediments, organizational obstacles, funding problems, and market competition. Anecdotal stories from three identified groups will be tied together to illustrate how the historical events sometimes hinged on very personal needs, choices, and styles.

1993 Annual Meeting

  • “History of Information Science”.
    • Some Information System Design Projects of the 1950′s with Relevance for Today’s System Developments (Madeline M. Henderson). In the early and mid 1950′s, an information system research and design team led by James W. Perry offered several proposals for improving the management of, particularly, technical information systems. These proposals included, e.g., vocabulary control for input and retrieval through “semantic factoring”; and guidance in the selection of cataloging or indexing entries through “telegraphic abstracts.” In addition, based on their own chemistry backgrounds, the team participated in study and development of notation or encoding systems for chemical structural formulas. As a member of that team, I find that recalling those early days can be nostalgic and even fun, but also constructive. Most of the principles on which the early work was based are still part of our current information science research and design efforts, and some of the proposals are the forerunners of today’s solutions. This presentation will highlight some of the early efforts and suggest the trails from them to today’s work.
    • Information Granularity: A Theme in the History of Information Science and Technology (Stephen E. Robertson, Professor, Department of Information Science, City University, London). The relation between science and technology is discussed. Technology is seen neither as machinery or equipment, nor as the application of science, but as a type of knowledge (“how-to” knowledge) which often forms independently of science, and sometimes informs it. One particular theme, that of granularity of information, is followed through developments in information technologies (taken broadly), over the last four thousand years. Some classes of systems in the context of modern information technology are analyzed for their approach to information granularity. Different kinds of systems (e.g. wordprocessors, relational databases, text retrieval systems, knowledge-based systems) assume and use different levels of granularity. Finally, the role of granularity in a science of information is discussed. There is occasional speculation about the existence or identification of a fundamental unit of information — an “infon”, for example. This seems misplaced: We have very clearly identified the need to look at different levels for different purposes. The idea that might be one fundamental unit simply ignores that history.
    • Use of Micro-Opaque Card Systems to Record, Store, and Disseminate Scientific, technical and Societal Information: 1950-1970 (Gerald J. Sophar). If a single phrase can be used to describe the defining aspects of documentation and information systems following World War II, it is entrepreneurial innovation. Major manufacturers and publishing companies had showed little interest in the new ideas and concepts that were being proposed and in some cases being implemented. Small networks of innovators working in the public, private and university sectors cooperated to design, develop, and implement new and presumably better ways to record, store and disseminate data and textual information. Some of the information system innovations of the post World War II period still exist, although in altered form. Others faltered and eventually died. Because they are no longer in use does not mean that they did not have significant impact in their time. An example of the latter is the micro-opaque card. The micro-opaque card (Microcard and Readex Microprint) introduced the concept of the microform as a medium for the dissemination of current information rather than a medium for record and document storage.This paper will relate some of the more significant micro-opaque systems of the post World War II period, such as those used by the International Geophysical Year and the Atomic Energy Commission.

1992 Annual Meeting

  • “Information Science Before 1950″.
    • Paul Otlet and the Pre-history of Hypertext (W. Boyd Rayward, School of Information, Library, and Archive Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia 2033 and Michael K. Buckland, School of Library and Information Studies, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720). At the end of the nineteenth century, Paul Otlet (1868-1944), for many years a central figure in the development of information science, anticipated modern ideas about hypertext. Otlet enunciated a “monographic principle” according to which text should be broken down into its intellectually important constituent parts which should then be separately recorded. The application of this principle produced what in hypertext terms would be called nodes. These nodes were to be linked for flexible searching by the Universal Decimal Classification, the first of the great facetted (or synthetic) classification schemes, developed by Otlet and his colleagues. In hypertext terms this was, in effect, a navigational system facilitating and controlling movement through the hypertext web. The same principles and system of organizing were applied to bibliographic, textual, and image materials to create a series of systematically related databases that functioned conceptually like modern hypertext and hypermedia systems. Later Otlet speculated about inventing machines and communications networks in which these functions would be incorporated and further developed.
    • The Machine Without a Cause: Vannevar Bush’s Rapid Selector (Colin Burke, Department of History, University of Maryland Baltimore County, MD). Vannevar Bush is being saluted for his efforts in what is currently termed “information science.” His articles on Memex are treated as the well-spring of modern information retrieval. Although his concepts certainly parallel those of today his influence on information science was not as direct as many believe. Bush never fully defined Memex and he never attempted to construct such a machine. But he did create a library device based on the proposed technology of the Memex. The near tragic two decade history of the Rapid Selector places Memex in a practical context and shows the interrelationship of it and Bush’s other efforts, including those for the Navy’s cryptanalysts, to the institutions and technologies of his era.
    • Operational Information Science (Documentation) Activities at Wright Field, Ohio, Before 1950, with Emphasis on Foreign-language Technical Reports (Eugene B. Jackson, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1276). When 1,500 Air Force Technical Intelligence teams fanned out over Germany in early 1945, they “liberated” 1,750 tons of technical reports from sites as formal as the Center for Scientific Information on Aeronautics (ZWB) to industrial contractor libraries to shafts in salt mines. They were flown to a new Air Documents Research Center in London, roughly categorized and then flown to Wright Field through the Spring of 1946. The latter had been the major engineering site for the Army Air Corps since its founding October 12, 1927. Even earlier, Hope Thomas started a Special Documents Unit at McCook Field about Fall, 1917. Such future Generals as “Hap” Arnold and “Jimmie” Doolittle had as their first assignment the analysis of technical reports for Thomas. To receive the planeloads of German documents, Col. McCoy was transferred to Wright Field and set up an Air Documents Division, Intelligence, T-2, Air Material Command. Of six Department heads, this author was the sole professional librarian, appointed April 1946. It soon became clear that pragmatic engineering considerations and Special Documents Unit practices had precedence over professional library science considerations. Col. Arnhym became the new, dedicated leader.The presentation traces the evolution of “Documentation” as it was then called through its subsets of Publication, Acquisitions, Processing, Dissemination, and Utilization and via the miles of “V-MAIL” machined microfilm, subject classification systems, brand-new technical dictionary for German, and catalog cards for distribution to government contractors that continued as late as February 19, 1965 by its successor agency, the Defense Documentation Center, Arlington, Virginia. Now, as recently as April 1992, the User Services Unit of its successor agency, The Defense Technical Information Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, announced a ground-swell of support was rising for reannouncement of the ADD foreign language report translations of the pre-1950 period with new cards/bibliographic records that meet current COSATI standards. (Full text in Proceedings).

1991 Annual Meeting

  • “Information Science Before 1945″ (SIG ED, SIG FIS). An all-star cast of grand old men, central European inventors, journalists, famous scientists, Nazi thugs, movie moguls, neglected women pioneers, plagiarism in high places, tools of espionage, seminal papers uncited for 50 years. The development of Information Science is a remarkable example of intellectual discontinuity. Postwar information scientists are largely unaware that there were important developments before the “information explosion” and World War II. The foundations of information science were built before and following World War I. Electronic document retrieval, remote access using telecommunications, and visionary machines were all being developed in the 1930s. If you are designing systems today or envisioning the information machines of the future, you owe it to yourself to debunk the myths of information science history, recognize the value of early contributors to the field and enjoy a good show!!
    • Imagining National Science: New Technologies, the American Documentation Institute, and Watson Davis. Irene Farkas-Conn, Arthur L. Conn & Associates, Chicago.
    • Visions and Machines before Memex. Michael Buckland, University of California, Berkeley. An introduction to the development of workstations for document retrieval and especially the “Statistical Machine” demonstrated in Dresden in 1931 by Emanuel Goldberg.
    • The Life and Work of Emanuel Goldberg. Herbert Goldberg, son of Emanuel Goldberg.
  • “Understanding Interdisciplinarity” (SIG BS, SIG FIS).
    • Is Interdisciplinarity a One-Way Street? A Bibliometric Analysis of Interdisciplinarity in Neural Networks Research. Katherine W. McCain and P. Joy Whitney.

1986 Annual Meeting

  • 10/2: “Information as Intellectual Property” (SIG FIS) (Katherine W. McCain, organizer/chair).