Inside ASIS&T

2014 Annual Meeting Coverage

In the December/January issue of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, we provided a brief news report of our 77th Annual Meeting in Seattle. But the timing of both the meeting and this publication’s deadlines kept us from providing full photographic and text coverage of the fun, the substantive, the social and the ridiculous at the successful ASIS&T confab.

So join us throughout this issue of the Bulletin for a look at some of the work and fun that members and guests enjoyed in Seattle at the 2014 ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Following a photo montage from the meeting, you’ll find coverage of the ASIS&T Annual Awards presented at the conference. Also in this issue, other Annual Meeting coverage includes reports from many of the pre-conference workshops and seminars; the plenary sessions headlined by Kris Kutchera and Alessandro Acquisti; the Award of Merit acceptance speech delivered by Marjorie Hlava; and an article by our 2014 Research Award recipient Diane Kelly.

2014 ASIS&T Award Winners
One of the highlights of each year’s ASIS&T Annual Meeting is the presentation of the prestigious ASIS&T Annual Awards.

Award of Merit


Then-president Harry Bruce with Award of Merit winner Marjorie Hlava.

Marjorie M.K. Hlava, president of Access Innovations, Inc., is the 2014 recipient of the ASIS&T Award of Merit, the highest honor presented by ASIS&T. The award goes to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to the field of information science, including the expression of new ideas, the creation of new devices, the development of better techniques and outstanding service to the profession.

Marjorie Hlava has spent 40 years demonstrating how published theories of information science work in large-scale environments. Information professionals, as well as people not even aware they are part of the information industry, use things she has created without realizing it. She has a keen eye for identifying ways in which fundamental principles of knowledge organization can become useful in the less-than-perfect environment of everyday applications. Marjorie has created applied opportunities where none existed, thereby expanding the field itself. She could easily have led an academic life; however, she chose a different, and in many ways more difficult, way of shaping information science. She created a company and set of products and solutions (standards, schemas, languages, databases, taxonomies) that apply principles and drive research by demonstrating what works and what needs to be done. Patents, a diversity of projects and a spirit of entrepreneurship illustrate key linkages between associated fields strengthened by Marjorie’s work. Her work demonstrates much of what ASIS&T stands for – the unique blend of applied and theoretical work.

In recognition of all that she has done for the field of information science and the respect she has garnered from both the scientific and practical elements of our field, the 2014 ASIS&T Award of Merit goes to Marjorie Hlava.

Watson Davis Award

Tricia Bradshaw, right, presents Watson Davis Award to Vicki Gregory

Tricia Bradshaw, right, presents Watson Davis Award to Vicki Gregory

ASIS&T’s Watson Davis Award recognizes the contributions of someone who has shown continuous dedicated service to ASIS&T. In 2014, the person who most effectively lives up to that ideal is Vicki Gregory. Vicki has demonstrated dedicated service to ASIS&T for more than 20 years, including continuous service on the Board since 2002, beginning as Deputy SIG Cabinet Director, then SIG Cabinet Director and then three terms as Treasurer.

Her tenure as treasurer has been particularly notable, both because the Association is now in the black (a rarity among our sister societies) and because her reporting is clear and concise (a rarity among treasurers).

One impressive accomplishment is that that the total assets for the organization during Vicki’s tenure as treasurer have increased 81%. As treasurer, she has stewarded the society successfully through what was a tough financial time for other professional societies. Her stewardship contributed to ASIS&T’s comfortable present financial situation.

Vicki’s service to the society has been strong, impactful and remarkably constant especially in the last few years. She has taken leadership roles that are not particularly popular and has molded them, and the society, through her strong vision and service. She has activities in her local chapter, as SIG director and as a member of the Board – a nice trifecta. She seems to take one role on at a time and fully inhabit it. This is honorable and worthy of the 2014 Watson Davis Award.

Research Award

Harry Bruce with Diane Kelly after her acceptance of the Research Award

Harry Bruce with Diane Kelly after her acceptance of the Research Award

Diane Kelly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the recipient of the 2014 ASIS&T Research Award. Dr. Kelly has been conducting a coherent, original and important program of research in human-centered information retrieval (IR) over the past decade. She does outstanding research of the highest quality, and the field of IR and information science in general, has learned a great deal from it in theoretical, methodological and practical senses.

Dr. Kelly’s work is in the mainstream of the most interesting experimental research being done in IR. In particular, she is focused on information search behavior and the design and evaluation of systems that support interactive information retrieval (IIR). She is known internationally for her expertise in evaluation methodologies. Her work, Methods for Evaluating Interactive Information Retrieval Systems with Users (2009), is the standard reference in the field. Interactive Information Seeking Behavior and Retrieval (2011), co-edited with Ian Ruthven, is the basic introduction to the field of IIR. Over the last decade, her work on understanding and evaluating IIR has appeared in the world’s most significant journals in information science, including JASIST, ACM Transactions on Information Systems and Information Processing and Management, as well as in the most selective and significant conferences in the field. This is an outstanding publication record over such a short period, clearly supporting the significance and quality of her research and research program.

Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher 

Heidi Julien, left, presents Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award to Michelle Kazmer

Heidi Julien, left, presents Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award to Michelle Kazmer

The 2014 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award goes to Michelle Kazmer, professor in and associate director of the School of Information within the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University. A passionate educator and researcher in the field of information science, Dr. Kazmer epitomizes the stated criteria for this award, most notably the expectation of “sustained and unique contributions to teaching information science.” In Dr. Kazmer’s courses, students learn and have fun at the same time, illustrating the innovative and imaginative teaching environment that inspires her students. She has written extensively on the e-learning space and has won several teaching awards at Florida State University. Through her ASIS&T webinar, “Transforming Our Learning ‘Worst Practices’ into Excellent Teaching,” she has shared her successful and inventive teaching methods with colleagues throughout the profession.

Dr. Kazmer’s research focuses on distributed knowledge and explores and theorizes the activities and systems (including technology systems, institutional systems, cultural systems, etc.) associated with distributed knowledge processes. Her work is collaborative and multidisciplinary, and she places a high priority on her work with graduate students. In addition, Dr. Kazmer has an outstanding publication history reflecting both her research and her teaching outcomes.

For all these reasons and more, we recognize Michelle Kazmer with the 2014 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award.

Best JASIST Paper
The 2014 Best JASIST Paper Award goes to Suzan Verberne, Maarten van der Heijden, Max Hinne, Maya Sappelli, Saskia Koldijk, Eduard Hoenkamp and Wessel Kraaij for their paper, “Reliability and Validity of Query Intent Assessments” (volume 64, issue 11). The authors address the important and difficult task of assessing the reliability and validity of human annotated data for advancing our understanding of user search behaviors and user models. The jury notes that one of the key strengths of this paper lies in its dichotomous approach to assessing query intent using both searchers and assessors and their inter-assessor and searcher agreement. What is unique about this study is the reflection of using human annotated data for IR experimental purposes, which is quite rare from system-oriented IR perspectives. The query intent classification developed in this study is a sophisticated one and provides a more rounded approach to query intent identification. The study of searchers using their natural queries as opposed to artificial or simulated tasks is also one of the strengths of this study for generalization purposes. The results have significant implications and contributions for not only search engines, but for a broad range of digital information access and retrieval systems.

Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award

Robert Capra accepts Pratt Severn Best Student Research Award on behalf of Curt Arledge from Leonghyun (Annie) Kim

Robert Capra accepts Pratt Severn Best Student Research Award on behalf of Curt Arledge from Leonghyun (Annie) Kim

The 2014 Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award goes to Curt Arledge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for his paper, Filled-in vs. Outline Icons: The Impact of the Icon. The paper, completed in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements for his MSIS degree, focuses on a timely problem in the domain of usability and the findings, according to his research adviser, “have practical implications for user interface designers and make research contributions to our understanding of how icon style impacts usability.” Among the jurors’ comments was the notation that “[t]he study identifies a specific question and motivates the value of that question effectively. [The study is] not only beautifully done research, but it’s stunningly well written in the sense that it is clear, linear, organized and detailed.”

The jury gives special runner-up recognition to Scott Dewey and Richard Cho from University of California at Los Angeles for their paper Dr. Zhu and the Los Angeles Taxi Drivers: Or, How We Wandered into the Minefield of Misalignment.

Best Information Science Book Award 

The Discipline of Organizing by Robert J. Glushko, published by The MIT Press, and Going Viral by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley, published by Polity, are both winners of the 2014 Best Information Science Book Award.

Ray Larson and Robert Glushko

Ray Larson, left, presents Best Information Science Book Award to Robert J. Glushko for his book, The Discipline of Organizing

The Discipline of Organizing offers a framework for the theory and practice of organizing that integrates information organization and information retrieval, bridging the disciplinary chasms between library and information science and computer science. The book introduces the unifying concept of an organizing system – an intentionally arranged collection of resources and the interactions they support – and then explains the key concepts and challenges in the design and deployment of organizing systems in many domains. The book covers the activities common to all organizing systems: identifying resources to be organized; organizing resources by describing and classifying them; designing resource-based interactions; and maintaining resources and organizations over time. The jury notes that the authors made a significant effort to integrate and synthesize key concepts and principles of the organization of information that were previously scattered and fragmented.

Jeff Hemsley, right, accepts his Best Information Science Book Award from Ray Larson for Going Viral, book he co-authored with Karine Nahon

Jeff Hemsley, right, accepts his Best Information Science Book Award from Ray Larson for Going Viral, book he co-authored with Karine Nahon

Going Viral looks at our digital lives – in which a tweet can be instantly retweeted and read by millions around the world, where a video forwarded to friends can destroy a political career in hours, and where an unknown person can become an international celebrity overnight. Virality: individuals create it, governments fear it, companies would die for it. So what is virality and how does it work? Why does one particular video get millions of views while hundreds of thousands of others get only a handful? The authors analyze the characteristics of networks that shape virality, including the crucial role of gatekeepers who control the flow of information and connect networks to one another. They also explore the role of human attention, showing how phenomena like word of mouth, bandwagon effects and interest networks help to explain the patterns of individual behavior that make viral events. The jury considers this book to be significant information science research on a timely topic with fascinating data and conclusions.

Both of these books deal with topics of great significance in today’s world and are invaluable resources for students and professionals. They are worthy winners of the Best Information Science Book Award.

Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship

Tiffany Chao accepts her honor from Harry Bruce.

Tiffany Chao accepts her honor from Harry Bruce.

The 2014 Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship goes to Tiffany Chao, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for her proposal entitled, Methods Metadata: Curating Scientific Research Data for Reuse. The proposed study will investigate methods of metadata curation for the purposes of research data reuse in three sub-disciplines of earth sciences, selected because of heterogeneous data and lack of repositories. While the importance of re-using metadata is recognized, little is known about what makes metadata flexible, reusable and expandable. The research in this proposal is to be conducted at a sophisticated level of abstraction, applying methods and instruments developed by Chao to investigate research practices in the earth sciences. The study will address a matter of vital interest in the field of information studies. Overall, the proposal is sound, consistent and well written, and the results could have significance for metadata curation practices in the earth sciences.

ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award

Scott Shull presents ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award to Amelia Acker

Scott Shull presents ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award to Amelia Acker

The 2014 ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented to Amelia Acker, University of Pittsburgh, for her dissertation entitled, Born Networked Records: A History of the Short Message Service Format, to complete her Ph.D. work at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Acker’s dissertation is a fascinating, original and eloquently presented piece of research that crosses over several disciplines: archival science, the history of science and technology, media studies and information science. It addresses one of the central concerns of modern archival science: the challenge of dealing with born-digital records. The study, a history of the short message service format, highlights the role that the material technological infrastructure plays in the creation and evolution of digital records. This and other compelling insights, presented with sophistication and clarity, have great potential to influence future work in this area. Members of the jury were unanimous in selecting this outstanding work, noted this “excellent project and its execution – conceptualized with sophistication and engaging media archaeology techniques in the context of archival work. . . stood out among all the others…. The author has superior writing and storytelling abilities.”

In addition, the jury specifically cited two additional students, Bela Gipp and Roberto González-Ibáñez, for their submissions and named them runners-up for this year’s award.

New Leaders Award

New Leaders Award Winners

2014 ASIS&T New Leaders Award Winners

The ASIS&T New Leaders Award is designed to recruit, engage and retain new members and to identify those among them with potential for Association leadership. Only members in their first three years of membership are eligible for the award. For 2014, the following new members are our New Leaders: Agnes Mainka, Maric Kramer, Anne Pepitone, Jeremy L. McLaughlin, Karen Miller, Emily Vardell, Devon Greyson and Stephann Makri.

Chapter-of-the-Year Award

Naresh Agarwal, on the right, presents Chapter-of-the-Year honors to Maric Kramer, accepting on behalf of her colleagues in the New England Chapter of ASIS&T

Naresh Agarwal, on the right, presents Chapter-of-the-Year honors to Maric Kramer, accepting on behalf of her colleagues in the New England Chapter of ASIS&T

The New England Chapter of ASIS&T (NEASIST) is the worthy recipient of the 2014 ASIS&T Chapter-of-the-Year Award. Throughout 2014, NEASIST once again exhibited the strength and depth of its membership and planning. The chapter started the year with a redesigned clean and mobile-friendly website ( that includes a calendar for event and meeting details. In addition, the chapter remains active on various regional listservs and social media and makes effective use of to advertise events. These actions brought in many diverse professionals. The chapter also made extensive efforts, both online and face-to-face, to reach out to members who did not renew their memberships and supported a Student Travel Award to the Annual Meeting. It held monthly program committee meetings and organized a number of events with guest speakers on topics such as digital curation, big data, privacy, etc. After every event, chapter representatives send thank you notes and a short survey to attendees. One of the many testimonials it received said, “As an early-career information professional, I’m truly pleased to have discovered NEASIST. No other organization combines the friendly welcome, the professional competence and the interdisciplinary participation… At every event and meeting, I come away having learned something – and also having shared something from my own experience. People come to NEASIST events because the programming is so useful professionally and so inspiring intellectually.” The chapter has an active collaboration with the student chapter at Simmons College, with a liaison present in all program committee meetings. In the coming year, the chapter plans to expand its geographical reach and membership beyond the Boston Metro area and hold monthly informal meet-ups.

For these reasons and more, the New England Chapter of ASIS&T is once again named the Chapter-of-the-Year.

Student Chapter-of-the-Year 

Linnea Johnson, left, and Anne Pepitone accept Student Chapter-of-the-Year honors on behalf of their Simmons College colleagues

Linnea Johnson, left, and Anne Pepitone accept Student Chapter-of-the-Year honors on behalf of their Simmons College colleagues

For 2014, Student Chapter-of-the-Year honors go to the student chapter at Simmons College, which had another exceptional year. Chapter members worked tirelessly on creative outreach and marketing strategies aimed at increasing membership. The success is in the numbers with 41 new members added to the rolls in the past year. The chapter has hosted an impressive number of events, both social and technical. A mix of practical topics and research reports populate the technical program schedule for the group, which also collaborates closely with the New England Chapter of ASIS&T. Chapter events seem to be well organized, well publicized and well presented.

For these reasons and others, the student chapter of Simmons College is the 2014 Student Chapter-of-the-Year.


Kathryn La Barre presents SIG-of-the-Year honors to Kevin Comerford and his SIG/DL colleagues

Kathryn La Barre presents SIG-of-the-Year honors to Kevin Comerford and his SIG/DL colleagues

The ASIS&T 2014 SIG-of-the-Year Award is presented to SIG/Digital Libraries (SIG/DL) in recognition of its superior all-round efforts during the past administrative year. The jury cited SIG/DL for a number of reasons. Among them are successful efforts at expanding participation through a conscientious social media presence and the launch of a new electronic publication; sponsorship of poster and lightning talk sessions at the 2013 Annual Meeting providing a valuable venue for presentation of research to peers and information professionals; access to the recorded proceedings of the Annual Meeting sessions via YouTube; and outstanding educational outreach to members and practitioners. Because of these varied and enjoyable activities and opportunities, SIG/DL achieved a very high level of member engagement for this year’s activities and in planning for future undertakings that benefit not only SIG/DL members, but all of ASIS&T and the field of information science and technology in general.

For all these reasons, SIG/Digital Libraries (SIG/DL) is the 2014 ASIS&T SIG-of-the-Year.

SIG Member-of-the-Year

Abebe Rorissa is the 2014 SIG Member-of-the-Year

Abebe Rorissa, SIG Member-of-the-Year

Abebe Rorissa is the worthy recipient of the 2014 SIG Member-of-the-Year Award. He has been an active leader in ASIS&T for the past 12 years. Among his many activities are member of the ASIS&T Bulletin Advisory Board; guest editor of two issues of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology; assistant editor of the Proceedings of two ASIS&T Annual Meetings; manuscript reviewer for JASIST and ASIS&T Annual Meetings; and member of the Pratt Severn Best Student Research Award Jury. But it is his service to ASIS&T special interest groups that earns him SIG Member-of-the-Year honors. Abebe has been an active member of SIGs/VIS, USE and III.

He is honored in 2014 for his leadership role with SIG/III in 2012 and 2013. Under his careful stewardship, SIG membership increased, and members celebrated SIG/III’s 30th anniversary, publishing a commemorative volume, which won the 2013 ASIS&T SIG Publication-of-the-Year Award. Over the past year he coordinated SIG/III’s first webinar, attended by 100 members and downloaded by another 130 members within the first two weeks. During the current year, he has advised the SIG on a variety of projects and activities, including the InfoShare Program and International Paper Contest; has helped negotiate a long-term agreement with the Routledge/Taylor & Francis group to support the International Paper Contest and its publication of winning papers in the International Information & Library Review. Most recently he and Daniel Gelaw Alemneh co-edited a special section of the Bulletin – International Information Issues and ASIS&T.

Abebe Rorissa is a trusted and committed member of the SIGs that he joins and a valuable member of the entire ASIS&T community.

SIG Publication-of-the-Year

Howard Rosenbaum and Pnina Fichman accept SIG Publication-of-the-Year honors for SIG/SI

Howard Rosenbaum and Pnina Fichman accept SIG Publication-of-the-Year honors for SIG/SI

The 2014 SIG Publication-of-the-Year Award is awarded to Pnina Fichman and Howard Rosenbaum, Special Interest Group/Social Informatics (SIG/SI) for Social Informatics: Past, Present and Future, published by Cambridge Scholarly Publishers. Since 2005, SI researchers have gathered every fall at the Social Informatics Research Symposium, organized by ASIS&T SIG/SI. The symposium, which is held in conjunction with the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, is a meeting place for people interested in exploring the social aspects of computerization. Over the years, it has attracted a vibrant mix of established scholars, newcomers to SI and, importantly for the future of this field, many doctoral students from a broad range of disciplines.

This publication grew out of the 8th Social Informatics Symposium, which was held in Baltimore in the fall of 2012. A series of papers focused on the past, present and future of social informatics, exploring a wide range of topics relevant to the field. Cambridge Scholarly Publishers approached the symposium organizers, Pnina Fichman and Howard Rosenbaum, to develop the symposium theme into what has become this edited volume. Seven of the papers presented at the 2012 symposium have been expanded into full length chapters and are included in this book along with five papers that were solicited by the editors from presenters at previous SI symposiums. The result is a volume with 12 chapters that provides a look backward to the origin of SI, several examples of current research by SI scholars and several chapters that offer different visions of the future of SI.

Information Science with Impact: Research in and for the Community
78th ASIS&T Annual Meeting

2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, St. Louis MO

Call for Participation
It’s time to consider your participation in the 2015 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, November 6-10, in St. Louis, Missouri. The deadline for many types of submissions is the end of April.

This year’s meeting, Information Science with Impact: Research in and for the Community, provides an opportunity for information science researchers – including academics and practitioner researchers – to discuss the impact of their research on industry, government, local/national/global community groups, on individuals, information systems, libraries/museums/galleries and on other practice contexts. The theme highlights the introduction of a new conference focus on applied research, which recognizes that basic research in information science is also inspired by, and/or connected to, information practice contexts.

Whether researchers investigate the implications of new information technologies in hospitals or explore best practices for managing collections in academic libraries, the impact of information science research in communities is significant. Information science research shapes policy decisions, informs organizational practices and changes the lives of individuals. Research designed to contribute to society, culture, the economy, the environment or other practice contexts outside academe is at the heart of information science research. Research findings, for example, can alter the records management practices of small, local community groups or they can change the ways that large, multinational companies share information across digital networks. The potential for impact in a discipline that is linked to diverse information settings, populations, technological contexts and service orientations is a defining feature of information science research.

Submissions are encouraged that present theoretical or applied research with results that demonstrate one or more of the following themes:

Impact on individuals: information behavior, information retrieval, human-computer interaction, social media use, information literacy, etc.

Impact on society: digital citizenship, cultural engagement, archival preservation, policy development, copyright, intellectual property, informetrics, information access, etc.

Impact on organizations: information architecture, knowledge management, competitive intelligence, digital curation, records and archives management, etc.

Impact on systems and technology: cloud computing, digital libraries, automatic indexing, social tagging, classification, semantic web, database design, web usability, etc.

Impact on information contexts: health, education, law, environment, agriculture, business, etc.

Authors of papers, panels and posters are to identify one or more of the impact topics that best fit their submissions and to identify hether the research presented is primarily applied or theoretical or whether it presents a balanced mix of both approaches. The chairs might change the submission categories if warranted.

In addition to the papers, panels and posters, workshops and tutorials will be offered in an informal setting for the exchange of ideas on a focused topic and suggest directions for future work. As such, workshops and tutorials offer a good opportunity for researchers and professionals to present and discuss work with an interested community. Workshops may be mini-focused research presentations, a series of working events, brainstorming and idea sharing sessions or even a forum for teaching/learning a new skill. In particular, SIGs are invited to submit proposals for half-day or full-day events on topics that are relevant to the goals of the SIG. Proposals that are not SIG-related or sponsored are also welcomed. Only one submission per SIG is allowed for a workshop.

Conference Committee
Lisa Given, Charles Sturt University, is conference chair for the 78th ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Brian Detlor, McMaster University, and Hazel Hall, Edinburgh Napier University, are paper co-chairs. Heather O’Brien, University of British Columbia, and Alison Brettle, University of Salford, are panel co-chairs. Lynn Westbrook, University of Texas at Austin, and Michael Khoo, Drexel University, are poster co-chairs. Richard Hill, ASIS&T executive director, will chair the workshop and tutorial effort.

Additional Information 
For additional meeting information, including details and deadlines for submissions of proposals, please visit the ASIS&T website regularly.