Irene Travis

Irene L. Travis

Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology

There are five feature articles in this issue: one addresses the utility of controlled vocabularies in information retrieval (IR); two concern aspects of information policy; and two consider the creation of knowledge amid the flood of raw data in our digital world. Big data and its management are, at the least, secondary themes in three of the articles and one of our regular columns.

Ying-Hsang Liu, Charles Sturt University, reviews both older and more recent experiments comparing retrieval from uncontrolled vocabularies with retrieval from controlled indexing or indexing that includes controlled vocabulary.

In “The Government That Mexicans Deserve: Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Divide” Manuel De Tuya and Monica Schurr, State University of New York, Albany look at the role of information access in fostering civil society, while Lindsey M. Harper and Shannon M. Oltmann from the University of Kentucky consider another aspect of information policy in “Big Data’s Impact on Privacy for Librarians and Information Professionals.”

From the rather specific problem of big data and privacy we turn to the more general problems of knowledge creation. In “Consume, Reproduce, Extend and Connect: Sustaining Our Research Lifecycle,” Richard P. Johnson reviews the research life cycle, the role of reproducibility in validating scientific results and the role of data curation in enabling such efforts. Sociologist Steven Fuller, on the other hand, is even more generally concerned with how information and knowledge have been and are created. Kirsty Pitkin of TConsult reports on his talk at the University of Warwick on November 16, 2016, which was an ASIS&T Annual Lecture.

Picking up again on the theme “Data Science and Libraries,” in the RDAP Review Matt Burton and Liz Lyon from the University of Pittsburgh discuss offerings that are designed to help librarians and library managers bridge the skills gap between those usually acquired in M.L.S programs and those necessary to becoming data curators.

As indexing is a part of metadata, we can also say that we partly revisit the theme of the first article (Liu) in Laura Creekmore’s IA Column, which highly recommends Michael Andrew’s new book, Metadata Basics for Web Content: The Unification of Structured Data and Content (Amazon Digital Services, 2017), to all IA practitioners.

On the President’s Page, ASIS&T 2017 president Lynn Silipigni Connaway reports on many recent and upcoming Association events and also, among other items of interest, on the establishment of the new Special Interest Group/Information and Learning Sciences (SIG/ILS), a new marketing policy approved by the Board, arrangements to facilitate visas for attendees traveling to the 2017 Annual Meeting from outside the United States and the process and timetable for the selection of the new ASIS&T executive director.

And finally, we are happy to announce that Inside ASIS&T will soon become a separate monthly newsletter providing current and timely news of the Association and our members. In anticipation of this change we will be reducing the scope of Inside ASIS&T in the Bulletin, concentrating on important announcements about upcoming ASIS&T events and deadlines. However, we will continue to accept articles about ASIS&T that go beyond typical newsletter content. To avoid confusion the Bulletin newsletter section will be renamed Inside ASIS&T Reminders.