Inside ASIS&T

2016 Annual Meeting Coverage

In the December/January issue of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, we began our coverage of the 79th Annual Meeting in Copenhagen, the first ever held outside of North America. We provided a brief news report, as well as the acceptance speech delivered by Peter Ingwersen, 2016 ASIS&T Award of Merit winner. 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 Copenhagen at the 2016 ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Following a photo montage from the meeting, in Inside ASIS&T you’ll find coverage of the ASIS&T Annual Awards presented at the conference; a report from the miniBARcamp hosted by the European Student Chapter in Copenhagen; and a European student’s personal look at the first ASIS&T Annual Meeting held in Europe. Then in the feature section of this issue, other Annual Meeting coverage includes reports from many of the pre-conference workshops and seminars; the plenary sessions headlined by Greg Welch and Markus Bundschus; and a session on European contributions to information science; and articles from recipients of three major ASIS&T awards.

Though it’s not as good as having been with us in Copenhagen, this issue’s extensive coverage will certainly provide a flavor of what happens at ASIS&T Annual Meetings.


2016 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

Peter Ingwersen, professor emeritus at the Royal School of Library and Information Science at the University of Copenhagen, is the 2016 recipient of the ASIS&T Award of Merit, the organization’s highest award recognizing individuals who have made sustained and noteworthy contributions to the field of information science.

Peter Ingwersen first joined the faculty at the Royal School in 1973; he became research professor in 2001 and full professor in information retrieval in January 2006. In addition, he is affiliate professor (docent) at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, and the recipient of multiple honorary degrees and international awards. He is one of the most widely published and cited researchers in the field in his domains of interest:  information retrieval and bibliometrics, especially webometrics. Additionally, he has been and continues to be active in organizing international conferences, serving on multiple editorial boards and teaching and mentoring new generations of researchers in information science all over the world.

Because of Professor Ingwersen’s extraordinary range of contributions to scholarship, teaching and service, we are delighted to award him our highest honor – the 2016 ASIS&T Award of Merit.


Watson Davis Award

ASIS&T’s Watson Davis Award recognizes the contributions of members who have shown continuous dedicated service to the ASIS&T membership through active participation in and support of programs, chapters, SIGs, committees and publications. For 2016, two distinguished long-time members of ASIS&T are honored: Donald O. Case and Diane Sonnenwald.

Donald O. Case is a distinguished scholar whose long-standing and broad service to ASIS&T exemplifies his commitment to excellence and leadership in the development of information science and its related professions. His research impact is evidenced by the over 4,300 Google Scholar citations of his various journal articles, conference papers, book reviews and monographs. His book, Looking for Information, now in its fourth edition, has emerged as one of the most important books on information seeking, needs and behavior. Donald has shown continuous efforts in the ASIS&T community dating back to 1987 when he was a member of the planning committee.

His service has ranged from being a member of several committees, being a member of the JASIST editorial board, being a chapter advisor, serving on award juries, serving on the board of directors and as the 2008-2009 ASIS&T president. During the time he has served on the editorial board, JASIST has enjoyed improvements to its scope, circulation, citation counts and overall reputation. With his active role on the board and particularly during his presidency, ASIS&T membership grew not only in number but also across a broadened range of scholarly disciplines. His work in developing ASIS&T’s response to the ALA Library Education Task Force continues to be instrumental in progress toward joint efforts on the development of broader standards for professional education and accreditation. As a teacher and mentor, he has influenced many students, faculty and new leaders. Donald Case exemplifies the kind of service that the Watson Davis Award is intended to honor.

Diane Sonnenwald is a distinguished scholar in the field of library and information science, with a large number of publications and over 20 research grants. She has led research projects that address complex and important collaboration- and information-centric problems and challenges which arise in a variety of domains. Diane has provided years of effective and influential leadership to ASIS&T. Since joining as a PhD student in the early 1990s, she has served as the co-chair of the 1998 Mid-Year Meeting, a student chapter advisor and has played an influential role in engaging and recruiting members outside North America. She listens intently, identifies barriers with respect to ASIS&T being more inclusive and works actively using innovative solutions to reduce these obstacles. She led efforts to translate the ASIS&T brochure into multiple languages. She has served on the membership and international relations committees, editorial board of JASIST, the board of directors and as ASIS&T president in 2011-2012. During her presidency, long discussed issues were addressed, including fee reduction for individuals in developing nations and the modification to the name of the society to make it more international, which helped ASIS&T gain new members. Diane nurtured the European and Asia-Pacific chapters and led efforts toward the Board agreement to hold the 2016 Annual Meeting outside North America. She continues to give presentations on the benefits of ASIS&T membership. Her relentless work for ASIS&T continues as the co-chair of the 2016 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Copenhagen. Diane Sonnenwald is a worthy recipient of the Watson Davis Award.


Research Award

Going beyond the traditional focus on scholarly and scientific and technical information, Reijo Savolainen has established the research area of everyday life information seeking (ELIS) and conducted a remarkable research program, providing both a strong theoretical foundation and innovative methodologies. His highly original theory of ELIS, based on insightful thinking and extensive research, has become a standard in information science, influencing scholars around the world, including many PhD students who used the ELIS framework. He laid the foundation in his superbly written seminal1995 article Everyday Life Information Seeking: Approaching Information Seeking in the Context of “Way of Life” and cogently summed up the state of research in his 2008 monograph Everyday Information Practices: A Social Phenomenological Perspective. Savolainen played a large part in the movement toward broad information behavior research, looking at the whole information picture of groups and individuals.

Savolainen’s work (including 80 peer-reviewed articles, 20 since 2013) appeared in the field’s top venues; its intellectual quality and impact find their expressions in impressive citation counts: h-index 36; 5,000 citations total, 2700 since 2011; the 1995 article cited 755 times and still going strong; the 2008 monograph 236 times.

In sum, Reijo Savolainen receives the 2016 ASIS&T Research Award in recognition of his outstanding, high-impact theoretical and empirical contributions to information behavior research, in particular as the founder of everyday life information seeking as a research area, which is so important for understanding how searching for everyday information through PCs and mobile devices is becoming an integral part of life.


Best JASIST Paper

The 2016 John Wiley Best JASIST Paper Award goes to Shen-Cheng Huang, Randolph G. Bias and David Schnyer for their paper, “How Are Icons Processed by the Brain? Neuroimaging Measures of Four Types of Visual Stimuli Used in Information Systems” (volume 66, issue 4).

This paper sought to understand how users interpret meanings of symbols commonly used in information systems, especially how icons are processed by the brain. The researchers’ innovative melding of neuroimaging and information behavior paradigms extends the boundaries for each domain while building new ways to explore and understand key research questions in information science and for the design of information systems. In particular their findings show that icons are not as efficient as words in conveying semantics because it takes more brain resources to process them. Their creative research design and clear presentation of the process, analysis and results demonstrate the usefulness of neuroscience to information science.


Best Information Science Book Award

Boundary Objects and Beyond: Working with Leigh Star, edited by Geoffrey C. BowkerStefan Timmermans, Adele E. Clarke and Ellen Balka and published by MIT Press, is the winner of the 2016 Best Information Science Book Award. The work of Susan Leigh Star, the late critical thinker, spans multiple fields – among them sociology, computer-supported collaborative work and informatics writ large. This book of essays honors her legacy, and yet it is not merely an homage. This edited volume also reflects on the social context of library and information science, as well as other socio-technical-scientific disciplines. Leigh Star’s work continues to profoundly impact the field of LIS. This volume is an exceptionally good reader for use in introducing this canonical work to newcomers, as well as providing deep scholarly reflection and perspective. Organized around four thematic areas that Leigh Star’s work explores – ecologies of knowledge, boundary objects, marginalities and suffering, and infrastructure – each section begins with a key selection from Leigh Star’s work, followed by well-written essays that explore the theme. Carefully edited, this collection serves as an inspiration to take the time to look at the invisible, the marginalized and the problematic – and an exhortation to be more fully human in our research.


ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award

The 2016 ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented to Steffen Hennicke, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universitat zu, Berlin, for his dissertation entitled, What is the Real Question? An Empirical-Ontological Approach to the Interpretative Analysis of Archival Reference Questions.”

The dissertation analyzed 762 written natural language questions users submitted to two national archives: the German Federal Archives and the National Archives of Norway. Taking historical, archival and formal knowledge representation approaches, the questions were thoroughly analyzed and beautifully conceptualized as the Archival Knowledge Model ontology – the very first ontology to model archival knowledge. The jury for this award found the work “outstanding” in its importance and broad impact to information science, its skillful execution of the applied ground-up method in building the ontology, its thorough data analysis and its comprehensive yet clear presentation. The student’s adviser, Vivien Petras, says, “This is an important analysis and conceptualization for the study of information needs of archival users and their representation in archival information systems. The dissertation represents the outcomes of a very intellectually challenging hermeneutic analysis of the question structures in archival inquiries. Both the methodological approach and the resulting Archival Knowledge Model ontology are superbly discussed and represented. The research question and the hypotheses have been addressed not only adequately but to a precise and outstanding degree.” A member of the jury added that “it is difficult to praise this work adequately.”

An honorable mention for the Doctoral Dissertation Award is presented to Ashlee Edwards, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for her dissertation, Engaged or Frustrated? Disambiguating Engagement and Frustration in Search. Can an IR system detect if users are engaged in or frustrated by their search activities? This dissertation provides operable answers to this key question in interactive IR research through well-designed user experiments that are hard to criticize. In addition to the traditional log data and self-report data, she innovatively collected and convincingly analyzed user physiological data, including skin conductance and heart rate, and then connected the internal mental states (engaged/frustrated) with external observable data. The jury was impressed by the number of subjects used in the experiments, the careful experimental design, analyses of the data and well-supported findings.

Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award

The Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award goes to Deidre Alyse Whitmore, University of California at Los Angeles, for her paper, Seeking Context:  Archaeological Practices Surrounding the Reuse of Spatial Information. This paper is well written and well organized. The jury reports that the whole thesis flowed nicely and was conceptually interlined.  There was a thoughtful and thorough discussion of the literature, a clear articulation of the research questions and significance of the study.  The work was original and creative.  It was an excellent piece of work that shows the importance of geospatial data in archaeology.

The jury gives special runner-up recognition to Colin Post, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for his paper, Preservation Practices of New Media Artists: Challenges, Strategies and Attitudes in the Personal Management of Artworks.


Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship

The 2016 Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship goes to Jesse David Dinneen, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, for his proposal entitled, Analyzing File Management Behavior.

Dinneen’s project is designed to provide new insights into personal information management (PIM). At the core of the proposal is a novel software data collection tool that enables anonymous, cross-platform, remote and asynchronous collection of data showing how individuals use files and folders on their devices. Combined with instruments to assess individual differences, the results of the study will show the impact of a range of factors on PIM behaviors. The proposal stands out because of its clear objectives, well thought-out research plan and its potential contribution to the field of information science, with evident theoretical and practical implications. Dinneen is already an active contributor to the PIM and broader information science research fields, and he shows signs of developing into a highly productive and engaged researcher.


Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher

The 2016 Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award goes to Lisa Nathan, University of British Columbia iSchool. Dr. Nathan is a radical, passionate and inspiring teacher who challenges her students to take risks, address the challenges facing our society and take ownership of their own learning. The nomination and supporting letters attest to the rich, authentic learning environments she creates and to the way she models critical reflection and respectful, engaged participation in her classes. Her students comment on how she has nurtured relationships, supported research and professional opportunities and – quite tellingly – listened to them. She has transformed the First Nations Curriculum Concentration at the University of British Columbia, centering issues of indigenous knowledge and pedagogy. More generally, she has raised the level of understanding of First Nations to the point that the iSchool now acknowledges its position on unceded Musqueam territory – on every syllabus and at every public event. She has presented on her work internationally, speaking about issues at the intersection of pedagogy, indigeneity and information science. Dr. Nathan has clearly made an enduring impact on her students, on the university and beyond. We are pleased to name Lisa Nathan the 2016 Outstanding Information Science Teacher.


James Cretsos Leadership Award

Adam Worrall, assistant professor at the University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies, is the winner of the 2016 James Cretsos Leadership Award. Just as capstones hold archways together, so Cretsos awardees hold the ASIS&T future together. In honoring a rising leader for what he has done and will do, the award committee is confident that the coming years will see Adam grappling energetically with the constant evolution of ASIS&T opportunities.

Adam’s accomplishments range from unsung essentials, such as serving on innumerable peer review panels, to ASIS&T-wide strategy development, such as contributing to the Web Presence Task Force. His reviewers speak highly of his integrity and dedication to challenging the more traditional social communication avenues. His invigoration of the ASIS&T blog and regular contributions to real-time conference reporting speak to his communication leadership. Winner of two Florida State University awards, Adam brings a similar vigor to his ASIS&T work, a fact that augers well for reflective development in his future activities. His frequent contributions to panels and presentations in SIG/IS and SIG/USE research events highlight his cross-disciplinary interests.






For 2016, Chapter-of-the-Year honors go to the European Chapter. In selecting the European Chapter for the award, the jury considered the chapter’s membership, activities, communications, financial and administrative management and contributions to ASIS&T and the broader IS community. The chapter takes advantage of regional information science meetings to hold their own chapter meetings. The chapter was particularly cited for its great focus on the 2016 ASIS&T Annual Meeting and the important contributions the chapter has made to ensure the success of this first Annual Meeting held in Europe. Also, the chapter is noted for its collaboration with and focus on student members and the important and essential role they will play in the ongoing success of ASIS&T.

The chapter surveyed its members to understand members’ needs, and jury members were impressed with the honesty with which the leadership has identified the issues and is tackling the problems.


Student Chapter-of-the-Year Award

The 2016 Student Chapter-of-the-Year award goes to the student chapter at the Pratt Institute’s School of Information (SI). In selecting the Pratt Student Chapter, the jury considered the chapter’s membership, activities, communications, financial and administrative management and contributions to ASIS&T and the broader IS community. Not content to rest after winning the 2015 Student Chapter Membership Award, Pratt began the next year with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Armed with data from their fall membership survey, the officers worked hard to attract new members, plan programs and activities, and expand collaborations with other organizations. Among many other events and activities, Pratt presented its chapter by handing out cord wraps imprinted with the ASIS&T logo to new students at the Pratt SI orientation, collaborated with an ASIS&T special interest group to produce a text mining webinar for the ASIS&T membership, and hosted a series of faculty Speakeasy events. The Pratt student chapter combined learning, networking, career development and fun while strengthening and engaging the membership.


Chapter Member-of-the-Year

The 2016 winner of the Chapter Member-of-the-Year Award is Isabella Peters, whose outstanding service and leadership to the European Chapter (EC) has been identified by several members and officers. Dr. Peters has served as chair and advisor of the European Chapter and has been a dedicated and active member of ASIS&T for many years. She has actively advertised and administered the ASIS&T free student membership program for the European Chapter, renewed and upgraded the EC website and Facebook pages, and provided advice and support to the EC Student Chapter. Dr. Peters has served as a mentor for the ASIS&T New Leaders program, organized new member brunches at the Annual Meetings and participated in delivering high-value webinars to the members.

For all these reasons, we are pleased to honor Isabella Peters as ASIS&T Chapter Member-of-the-Year.

Chapter Event-of-the-Year

The 2016 Chapter Event-of-the-Year Award goes to New Jersey ASIS&T for the first ASIS&T Regional Meeting held at Rutgers University on April 15 ( Reviewers noted the timeliness of the topic, diverse and well-known speakers, and opportunities for engagement by both students and SIGs. The meeting was well publicized and well attended, in both face-to-face and virtual forms. As described by the nominator, this event brought student chapters from Rutgers, Pratt and Drexel together in working with the NJ Chapter, setting a good example of how chapters can collaborate in mutually beneficial ways. In addition to executing a highly successful program, this event created a milestone in ASIS&T and set an example of how ASIS&T can create value for its members at a local level.

Student Chapter Membership Growth Award

1st place: University of North Texas

2nd place: McGill University

3rd place: European Student Chapter




The ASIS&T 2016 SIG-of-the-Year Award is presented to SIG/Metrics (SIG/MET) for the work it does in connecting its 160 members to each other and with other SIG/MET-related communities mainly by virtual means. The SIG’s website offers a section on “How to become a SIG/MET member,” which provides a step-by-step guide, including screenshots, of how to become an ASIS&T and SIG MET member. SIG/MET adopted the new website design to give SIG/MET a stronger visual link with ASIS&T. Content has been updated and expanded to include all past workshop programs from 2011 to 2015 with full text and links to presentation slides, reports published in the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, as well as links to slides of SIG/MET-sponsored panels presented at the ASIS&T Annual Meetings.

To keep visitors up-to-date about bibliometrics-related topics and to open information silos, SIG/MET’s Twitter feed has been incorporated into the website. SIG/MET members also have created and maintain a Twitter list with Twitter accounts relevant to SIG/MET. The SIG also maintains a very popular mailing list with almost 1,000 subscribers.

SIG/MET allocates funding for Best Paper Awards and Student Paper Contests presented at SIG/MET workshops during the Annual Meetings which significantly increased popularity and quality of SIG/MET workshops. Moreover, the SIG’s chairs are active in different working groups such as the European Commission, NISO Altmetrics Initiative and the LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) Metrics working group and have also promoted the SIG’s activities there.

SIG Member-of-the-Year

In recognition of significant efforts on behalf of ASIS&T SIGs, the 2016 SIG Member-of-the-Year award goes to Alyson Gamble. Alyson’s extensive work for SIG/Digital Libraries (SIG/DL) includes productive administration in her roles as chair-elect, treasurer and secretary.  At a broader level, Alyson has been the driver behind SIG/DL’s extensive knowledge management process. On both immediate and long-term levels, her work for SIG/DL has been exemplary.


SIG Publication-of-the-Year

The 2016 SIG Publication-of-the-Year Award is presented to Moriana M. Garcia and Tod Colegrave, SIG/Scientific and Technical Information (SIG/STI), for “3D Printing and Digital Fabrication Technologies in Libraries and Museums Special Section,” special section of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, October/November 2015, volume 42, number 1.