Inside ASIS&T

2015 Annual Meeting Coverage

AM15 Photo Montage 2In the December/January issue of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, we provided a brief news report of our 78th Annual Meeting in St. Louis, as well as feature articles from three of the 2015 ASIS&T Award winners. 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 St. Louis at the 2015 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 Aaron Doering and Sarah Morton; and a report from the always-irreverent SIG CON.

Please return to the December/January 2016 issue of the Bulletin to re-read the Award of Merit acceptance speech delivered by Michael Koenig; an article by Ronald Day, author of the 2015 Best Information Science Book Award; and a report from Karen Miller, the 2015 James Cretsos Leadership Award recipient.

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2015 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

Michael E.D. Koenig, professor at Long Island University, is the 2015 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. The jury noted enthusiastically how fully and successfully Mike fits all the criteria outlined for this prestigious award.


Michael Koenig, accompanied by his wife, Luciana Marulli, accepts the ASIS&T Award of Merit from then-president Sandy Hirsh and 2014 winner Marge Hlava.

Mike’s breadth of experience in educational, social and political processes has affected many facets of the information science profession. His experience is in the academic, international, technical, commercial and theoretical realms of the profession. Few people have touched as many lives or mentored as many people as has Mike. In his gentle and unassuming way he has made the profession a better place to practice. He has bridged the cultural gap between distinct areas of computer and information, between commercial and academic sectors. He has proven that the theories he has taught can work in the real world. His productivity in the field is impressive. He represents the best in information science research, teaching and practice.

For these reasons and more, Michael E.D. Koenig receives the 2015 Award of Merit.

Watson Davis Award

ASIS&T’s Watson Davis Award recognizes the contributions of someone who has shown continuous dedicated service to the ASIS&T membership through active participation in and support of programs, chapters, SIGs, committees and publications. In 2015, the person who most effectively lives up to that ideal is Michael Leach.


William Edgar, left, presents Watson Davis Award to Michael Leach.

During his 20 years of active service to ASIS&T, Michael has led student chapter activities at Simmons College and regional chapter activities in the New England Chapter; he has served on committees and juries at the local and national levels; and he has demonstrated association-wide leadership working on strategic plans for ASIS&T and serving as ASIS&T president. Currently, Michael is Chapter Assembly director; member of both the leadership and membership committees; and leader of the Strategic Planning Task Force.

In his many roles, Michael’s service to ASIS&T has been selfless, consistent and effective. He has assumed diverse leadership responsibilities and consistently done them well, providing the voice of the information professional while including other views.

For these and many other reasons, Michael Leach is the honorable and worthy recipient of the 2015 Watson Davis Award.

Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher

Denise Agosto accepts the Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award.

The 2015 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award goes to Denise Agosto, Drexel University. Dr. Agosto has an impressive record of teaching excellence. She has received awards for her teaching at both the institutional and the national levels. She has published and presented widely on pedagogy, and her record demonstrates extended engagement with questions of LIS teaching practice. Dr. Agosto engages students in her research, providing them with publishing and presenting opportunities. In sum, Dr. Agosto is an outstanding information science teacher who is constantly interweaving teaching and research and involves her students in research, writing and publishing, and for these reasons, among others, ASIS&T is pleased to name Denise Agosto the 2015 Outstanding Information Science Teacher.

James M. Cretsos Leadership Award

Karen A. Miller, a student at the University of South Carolina, is the recipient of the 2015 James Cretsos Leadership Award honoring a new ASIS&T member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in professional ASIS&T activities.

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Sandy Hirsh presents James M. Cretsos Leadership Award to Karen Miller.

Karen has been an active and enthusiastic member of ASIS&T for the past five years, during which she has contributed significantly to SIGs, chapters and the ASIS&T oral history program. She served as vice chair of ASIS&T Special Interest Group/Education for Information Science (SIG/ED) in 2014-2015 following a couple of years as the SIG’s program coordinator. Her work on behalf of SIGs earned her the SIG Member-of-the-Year Award. Additionally, her service was recognized by her selection into the New Leaders program in 2014. Her service responsibility with the New Leaders program allowed her to leverage her experience with the South Carolina student chapter to help represent the 40 current student chapters to Chapter Assembly. Her enthusiasm for ASIS&T is notable: reviewers remarked on her dedication, maturity and curiosity. They also noted the high level of her research, both within her academic program and as presented at ASIS&T meetings. In this way, Karen represents the future of our society – someone who is both deeply embedded in the research and service aspects of our professional society and integrates these in a meaningful way.

For all of these reasons and more, each of which exemplifies leadership on behalf of ASIS&T and its members, Karen Miller is the 2015 James Cretsos Leadership Award winner.

Best JASIST Paper

The 2015 Best JASIST Paper Award goes to Frans van der Sluis, Egon L. van den Broek, Richard J. Glassey, Elisabeth M. A. G. van Dijk and Franciska M. G. de Jong for their paper, “When Complexity Becomes Interesting” (volume 65, issue 7).


Sandy Hirsh presents Best JASIST Paper honors to Frans van der Sluis who accepts on behalf of his co-authors.

This paper addresses significant issues with regard to information interactions between users and systems. The study focuses on users’ emotion of interest, examining its relationship with the level of complexity of the information presented by information systems. To investigate this area of research, the authors hypothesized that information items comprising both novelty and optimal complexity will yield higher levels of interest. As a result, a psycho-linguistic complexity model with a combination of both traditional and deep psychological features, reflecting a user-centered notion of processing difficulty, was developed. The newly constructed model was validated by testing the relation between the objective variable (textual complexity) and subjective variables (appraised complexity, appraised comprehensibility, and interest), confirming the hypothesis.

A key strength of this paper lies within its well-structured and constructed methodological approach. A classifier system was built upon established theories and techniques in order to construct the resulting model and test for validity. The model was validated through analysis of a multi-level appraisal process, including novelty-complexity and comprehensibility, by employing structural equation modeling, demonstrating strong predictability to measure the trade-off between complexity and interest, yet generalizable enough to be applicable for other purposes. The findings of this paper will lead to further ways to operationalize users’ perceptions with measurable dimensions, which will provide useful insights for the design and development of information systems with strong potential to provide positive information experiences (IX). This article provides an exciting, original and well argued, logical, interesting-to-read study that proposes and tests a new measurement indicator for information system performance.

Best Information Science Book Award

Ron Day accepts the Best Information Science Book Award from Sandy Hirsh.

INDEXING IT ALL: The [Subject] in the Age of Documentation, Information and Data by Ronald E. Day is the winner of the 2015 Best Information Science Book Award. In this book published by The MIT Press, Day offers a critical history of the modern tradition of documentation. Focusing on the documentary index (understood as a mode of social positioning) and drawing on the work of the French documentalist Suzanne Briet, Day explores the understanding and uses of indexicality. He examines the transition as indexes went from being explicit professional structures that mediated users and documents to being implicit infrastructural devices used in everyday information and communication acts. Doing so, he also traces three epistemic eras in the representation of individuals and groups, first in the forms of documents, then information, then data.

Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship

The 2015 Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship goes to Matthew Willis, Syracuse University, for his proposal entitled, Patient Sociotechnical Assemblages: The Distributed Cognition of Health Information Management.


Matthew Willis takes home the Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Scholarship.

Matthew’s research will use a distributed cognition conceptual framework, combined with a sociotechnical assemblage perspective on issues in personal health information management (PHIM). A longstanding personal health record developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (My HealtheVet, MHV) is the central IT artifact of the planned study. This research will be conducted as a case study incorporating descriptive multiple-case, cross-case analysis; each case will begin with a particular patient/veteran, including both heavy users and non-users of MHV, and will branch out to include their caretakers, family members and primary care providers, as appropriate. Data will be collected via participant observation and interviews. The study will address questions related to the PHIM practices of veterans, the distribution of those practices across other people and artifacts in the relevant context, the key assemblages that emerge from this distributed work and the key functions of those assemblages. The results are expected to inform further use and design of personal health records systems.

As noted by his dissertation advisor, Dr. Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Matthew’s research has the potential to fill a major gap in the research on the adoption of personal health records and other health information practices by veterans. The jury agreed that Matthew’s research is highly significant and urgent for the medical field, especially given the widespread mandate for computerized health information records. In the proposal, the research questions are clearly stated and are achievable, based on the methodology and the strategy for recruitment and data collection.

ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award

Sandy Hirsh presents the ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award to Chris Cunningham.

The 2015 ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented to Chris Cunningham, University of South Carolina, for his dissertation entitled, Government Structure, Social Inclusion and the Digital Divide: A Discourse on the Affinity Between the Effects of Freedom and Access to Online Information Resources.

This study examines the relationship between democracy and access to online information. Democracy was operationalized using the ratings of political rights and civil liberties available from Freedom House ( and additional data from a prior published study, as well as two economic variables (using data from the World Bank): Gross Domestic Product and Foreign Direct Investment. Access to online information was operationalized as the number of internet users per capita (using data from the United Nations). An OLS regression model was used to test the null hypothesis that the level of democracy within a country does not affect level of access to online resources. The model (level of democracy) explained ~57% of the variation in the number of people using the internet per capita (p=0.019). In addition, the civil liberties ranking of a country was determined to have a statistically significant relationship to the number of internet users while the political rights of a country did not.

Chris’ advisor, Dr. Kendra Albright, noted that, “The particular strength of this dissertation is that much of the research on the digital divide looks at the changes over time in general access (e.g., the information rich vs. the information poor), rather than on the impacts of the digital divide caused by other aspects; in this case, the effects of democracy on information access. It raises important new questions and reveals new data that can contribute to policymaking for future digital divide issues.” The jury agreed, noting that “the analysis of elements related/contributing to the digital divide remains a vitally important topic and, to the author’s credit, this is a strong effort at applying quantitative examination to a serious issue.”

Student Chapter-of-the-Year

Jeremy McLaughlin, right, accepts Student Chapter-of-the-Year honors from Naresh Agarwal for the San Jose State University Chapter.

For 2015, Student Chapter-of-the-Year honors go to the student chapter at San Jose State University (SJSU ASIS&T) in recognition of chapter’s membership, activities, communications, financial and administrative management and overall contributions to both ASIS&T and the broader information science community. Operating as an online, virtual chapter, SJSU held a total of 15 meetings and 18 events with 29 speakers, including eight cooperative ventures with other ASIS&T and iSchool organizations (out of 14 eligible events). A 35% increase in membership, increased event attendance and community engagement were driven through social media, SJSU YouTube and the new ScholarWorks repositories. Administratively, new bylaws and enhancements to chapter management helped drive growth. SJSU members actively supported the Association through SIG leadership, social media contributions and task force support. As of June 2015, SJSU reported the highest number of current ASIS&T student members in the chapter’s four-year history, including three ASIS&T New Leader Award winners in the past two years. SJSU developed the #HUGASIG campaign that was distributed around ASIS&T this year; now we can return the gift with a congratulatory hug to SJSU ASIS&T!

For all these reasons and others, the student chapter of San Jose State University is the 2015 Student Chapter-of-the-Year.


The ASIS&T 2015 SIG-of-the-Year Award is presented to SIG/Arts & Humanities (SIG/AH) in recognition of its enthusiasm and concerted efforts to increase membership and outreach, innovative and collaborative programs and for assiduous use of social media and other channels, such as an enhanced website and newsletters, to reach out to all SIG/AH members. Their generative work with SIGs/VIS & DL will continue to bear fruit for years to come. This SIG has embarked on several commendable special projects such as the virtual symposium, the student paper competition and the archive project. SIG/AH enriches the ASIS&T experience, not just for its own members, but also for the association as a whole. We will all look forward to and benefit from the SIG’s plans for the coming year.

For all these reasons, SIG/Arts & Humanities (SIG/AH) is the 2015 ASIS&T SIG-of-the-Year.

SIG Member-of-the-Year

In recognition of significant efforts on behalf of ASIS&T SIGs, the 2015 SIG-of-the-Year Award goes to two members: Gary Burnett and Jeremy McLaughlin.

Gary Burnett has been extremely active in SIG/Information Needs, Seeking and Use (SIG/USE) for nearly a decade. His passion and dedication to the SIG have been evident throughout his activities, which range from active participation in the SIG’s business meetings to service on committees and projects undertaken by the SIG. He has served on the SIG/USE Awards Committee continuously for the past five years. He has chaired it for the last three, during which time he created a new award – the SIG/USE Innovation Award honoring individuals whose work may not fit within more traditional models of scholarly research. Gary presented a very moving bio/remembrance of Elfreda Chatman on the occasion of her nomination as a Fellow of the Academy of SIG/USE. He co-authored (with Sanda Erdelez) an article in the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology that was rewarded with the 2010 SIG Publication-of-the-Year Award. Currently, Gary is SIG/USE chair-elect, preparing to lead the group in 2015/2016. SIG/USE has benefited enormously from Gary’s generosity with his time, his devotion and his invaluable expertise.

Jeremy McLaughlin has demonstrated exceptional leadership this year as chair of SIG/Arts & Humanities (SIG/AH). Elected to the position at the 2014 Annual Meeting, Jeremy carried out an ambitious set of activities centered around member engagement. First, Jeremy successfully planned and executed collaboratively with SIG/Visualization, Images & Sound (SIG/VIS) a virtual symposium on information and technology in the arts and humanities, held online in April. In conjunction with the virtual symposium, Jeremy coordinated a Student Research Paper Award that honored two winners selected to present their works at the symposium. The symposium also featured six professional speakers. Jeremy’s achievement was a landmark springtime event that purposefully energized SIG/AH’s membership between Annual Meetings. Second, Jeremy jump-started member engagement by giving SIG/AH an active social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for the entire year. By utilizing these ubiquitous communications media, he brought new members to ASIS&T resulting in a significant boost in SIG/AH membership as well. Jeremy also enthusiastically promoted ASIS&T special interest groups (specifically SIG/AH) on the ASIS&T blog. In addition to his SIG/AH work throughout the year, he also served as a 2014-2016 ASIS&T New Leader and as a student chapter chair. Jeremy has proven himself to be both a skillful leader and a model ASIS&T member whose involvement in multiple groups redefines student contributions to ASIS&T.

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. Outgoing ASIS&T president Sandy Hirsh, third from the left, acknowledges the 2016 new leaders, left to right: Deborah Charbonneau, Wayne State University; Hassan Zamir, University of South Carolina; Hirsh; Sarah Hartmann, Heinrich Heine University; Emily Agunod, San Jose State University; Suzanne Gruber, San Jose State University; and Nina Collins, Indiana Tech.

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. Outgoing ASIS&T president Sandy Hirsh, third from the left, acknowledges the 2016 new leaders, left to right: Deborah Charbonneau, Wayne State University; Hassan Zamir, University of South Carolina; Hirsh; Sarah Hartmann, Heinrich Heine University; Emily Agunod, San Jose State University; Suzanne Gruber, San Jose State University; and Nina Collins, Indiana Tech.

News About ASIS&T Member

Rob Capra, assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support his research for the next five years on a project titled “Knowledge Representation and Re-Use for Exploratory and Collaborative Search.” Capra will develop and evaluate new techniques for capturing, saving and re-using search information, enabling individuals and collaborators to more efficiently conduct exploratory searches and providing valuable search assistance to future users.

79th ASIS&T Annual Meeting

ASIS&T 2016 Annual Meeting CopenhagenCreating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives Through Information and Technology

It’s time to start planning for your participation in the 2016 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, our first ever outside of North America. Come October 14-18, 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark, will be information central for the 79th ASIS&T Annual Meeting. And it’s not too early to begin considering the papers, panels and tutorials that you might like to present to the organizing committee.

This year’s meeting, Creating Knowledge, Enhancing Lives Through Information and Technology, is an opportunity for scholars and practitioners from around the globe to share research, innovations and insights regarding how information and technology mediate the creation and use of knowledge within and across cultures and how the knowledge created impacts and enhances lives.

Submissions of various types that focus on production, discovery, recording, storage, representation, retrieval, manipulation, dissemination, use and evaluation of information and on the tools and techniques associated with these processes are welcome.

A new feature at the upcoming Annual Meeting is a mentoring service for students and other researchers who have not yet presented academic papers at ASIS&T Annual Meetings. Feedback on complete draft papers will be provided on a first come, first served basis as long as resources permit. Papers must be submitted to the mentoring service before the paper submission deadline. In addition, there will be a “revise and resubmit” opportunity for papers that reviewers judge to have publication potential but require additional work.


Submission guidelines and deadlines for the paper mentoring service, papers, panels, posters and workshops and tutorials are detailed at the ASIS&T meeting website: Deadlines vary according to submission type.

Conference Committee

Diane H. Sonnenwald and Lauren Harrison, are conference co-chairs for the 79th ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Catherine Blake and Christian Schlögl are paper co-chairs. Isabella Peters and Barbara Endler-Jobst are panel co-chairs. Colleen Cool and Yin-Leng Theng 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.