by Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Lynn Silipigni Connaway is the 2016-2017 ASIS&T President. She is Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research at OCLC Research. She can be reached at connawal<at>oclc.org

 

I am happy to report that ASIS&T has been very active again in providing events and opportunities for our members to engage and to involve students, new members, and prospective members. The ASIS&T Regional Meeting at OCLC on 3 March 2017 (https://www.asist.org/events/asist-regional-meeting/asist-regional-meeting-oclc/) was well attended and provided a range of topics for the attendees and presenters to discuss and learn about from each other. It was wonderful for me to have OCLC as our host and for my supervisor, Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice President of Membership and Research and Chief Strategist, to present the welcome to the presenters and attendees.

ASIS&T, under the leadership of Sam Chu, also organized the Symposium on Research Design, Paper Writing & Publishing in Information Science at Hong Kong University 27-28 March. It was a platform to help ease what can be a sometimes arduous research process and to facilitate the publication of research. The symposium provided doctoral candidates and junior researchers an opportunity to learn from experts, to receive comments from them on their research, and to work with them in developing a conference paper for ASIS&T. It was a great success with participants from 11 universities and 7 countries.

In addition to events, we have had some activity from the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Chapters.  The SIGs and chapters support year-round interaction. The chapters are overseen by the Chapter Assembly, and each group works through the year to deliver stimulating educational programs, projects and services and to recruit and retain members, and submits annual reports on their efforts.  The SIGs are overseen by the SIG Cabinet Steering Committee and “give members with similar professional specialties the opportunity to exchange ideas and keep themselves informed about current and discrete developments in their fields.”

The importance of the role of our SIGs is exemplified by the creation and approval of the new Information and Learning Sciences SIG (SIG ILS). This SIG focuses on Learning Sciences, which is the interdisciplinary study of teaching and learning in both formal and informal settings. Researchers draw on a wealth of knowledge from various fields including cognitive science, educational psychology, computer science, information sciences and design studies, among others.  With the launch of this new SIG, ASIS&T members will have the opportunity to affiliate conference panels with the SIG. SIG ILS also hopes to host a workshop at the 2017 Annual Meeting, further supporting scholarship in this domain. The current chair of SIG ILS is Dr. Rebecca Reynolds – Rutgers School of Communication and Information. Contact rebecca.reynolds@rutgers.edu  for more information and to become a member.  I and the ASIS&T Board of Directors wish them all the best!

The Visualization, Images, & Sound SIG (SIG VIS) just went live as they launched their website (https://www.asist.org/SIG/SIGVIS/). They worked with ASIS&T Communications Officer, Yolande Nanayakkara, and other staff at HQ to ensure they were in compliance with the marketing policy that was approved by the Board, including the use of the current ASIS&T logo. This collaboration with HQ and compliance with the marketing policy provided excellent results.

The Marketing Policy is to ensure that ASIS&T branding is consistent for increased visibility and to demonstrate that we are one organization. We have a new presentation template that was developed with HQ and Wei-Chung Cheng, Secretary of the Taipei Chapter and a doctoral student at the National Taiwan Normal University. Please use this new template for your ASIS&T SIG and chapter presentations.

In addition to the approval of the Marketing Policy, the Board also approved Social Media Guidelines and Stephan Addo, Membership Services, is working with the Communications Officer to promote not only ASIS&T news and events, but news about our members. Our social media engagement has increased 10% and we have more people liking and retweeting our posts than ever before.

The Asia Pacific, Taiwan, and Europe Chapters and SIG Education for Information Science (SIG ED) and SIG International Information Issues (SIG III) as well as the European Student Chapter have collaborated to develop a session, “ASIS&T Presentation: Professional Organizations in Career Development,” for the iConference in Wuhan, China, on March 24.

Our Brazilian colleagues are finalizing their preparations to establish a new regional, chapter (first from Latin America). The Brazil Regional Chapter’s goals include facilitating networking and providing an organization through which members of ASIS&T located in Brazil may participate in and publicize ASIS&T activities in the country.

Looking to upcoming events, the program committee is working hard on planning the 80th ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, from Oct 27-Nov 1, 2017. Unlike previous years when the conference ended on Tuesday, the conference is being extended to Wednesday.

Please make note of the deadlines. The paper submissions are due on April 16th, panels and workshops are due on May 2nd and visual presentations (including posters, videos, storify, etc.) are due on June 23rd.

To assist international attendees that might be affected by visa or U.S. entry issues, visa support letters for attendees and presenters will be issued promptly upon request (by filling out a form on the conference website). We will work with the reviewers to shorten the peer-review time for submissions due in May and June to allow earlier confirmation to presenters of the conference, leaving more time for visa processing. This support of our international colleagues also was addressed in the Board’s public policy statement opposing the Executive Order requiring a 90-day suspension of visas to nationals from seven countries, which was posted on January 31, 2017 (https://www.asist.org/news/asist-opposes-executive-order-to-suspend-visa-to-nationals-from-seven-countries/).

The 2017 IA Summit Co-Chairs, Marianne Sweeny, Dave Cooksey and Susan Mercer, have invited me to present a welcome to the IA Summit attendees. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the Summit in person 22-26 March in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but will present the welcome virtually. It is wonderful to be able to benefit from cross collaboration and learning, and I am thrilled to announce that ASIS&T is offering all IA Summit registrants an opportunity to experience the rewards of professional exchange by offering an ASIS&T annual membership at a special rate through June 30, 2017. As always, the program was exciting (http://www.iasummit.org/program/) and the registration for workshops was 33% higher than the workshop registrations at the IA Summit 2016.

The RDAP Summit 2017 (https://www.asis.org/rdap/) will be held in Seattle, Washington, 19-21 April. The Summit registrations are higher than for the Summit 2016, and the two workshops were sold out by mid-March. This Summit is a great opportunity for data managers and curators, librarians, researchers, and data scientists to share ideas and to learn from one another.

The ASIS&T Executive Director Search Committee, chaired by Sandy Hirsh and Clara M. Chu, is actively engaged with the executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller (IM), in identifying and reviewing candidates for the ASIS&T Executive Director position. The Search Committee has begun its initial review and screening of candidates. Semi-finalists will be selected in late March by the Search Committee and these semi-finalists will be invited to participate in first round interviews in early April. Finalists then will be selected and invited to ASIS&T headquarters for interviews in late April, with a recommendation to the ASIS&T Board for a new Executive Director to follow shortly after the conclusion of the interviews. You can see the Position Profile here: www.imsearch.com/6069. If you have any questions about the search, please contact: Nanette Blandin nblandin@IMSearch.com and Jackie Mildner jmildner@IMSearch.com

In February information scientists around the world were saddened to hear that we lost one of the pioneers in the field. Dr. Eugene Garfield was a great innovator in information science and the study of scientific communication through bibliometrics, as well as being a notable entrepreneur. But he was also a staunch advocate and great friend to ASIS&T. He held numerous positions in our organization, including ASIS&T President in 2000, and received its highest awards. He sponsored ASIS&T scholarships and mentored many young information science researchers. For a more complete account of his remarkable life, please see our memorial at https://www.asist.org/news/eugene-garfield-phd-memoriam-1925-2017/

Many of you have asked about Dick Hill. He is recovering and continuing physical therapy. Dick thanks all of you for your positive thoughts and well wishes.