Inside ASIS&T Reminders
ASIS&T Hires New Executive Director

Middleton-HighRes smallThe ASIS&T Board of Directors announces the hiring of Lydia Middleton, MBA, CAE, as its new executive director.  Middleton, who began work in May, was hired after an extensive search from a pool of 200 applicants.

“On behalf of the ASIS&T Board, I am thrilled to welcome Lydia Middleton as our new executive director,” Lynn Silipigni Connaway, ASIS&T president says. “Lydia brings a wealth of experience leading non-profit scholarly and professional associations. She has increased revenue and expanded membership by introducing new opportunities for sponsorships, collaboration and engagement. As ASIS&T celebrates its 80th anniversary, the Board believes Lydia is the best person to lead us into a new period of growth and increased offerings for our members.”

Lydia has served as executive director with the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, the Association for University Programs in Health Administration and the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University.

“I am tremendously excited to be joining the team at ASIS&T,” remarked Middleton. “ASIS&T is an organization which has had a long and successful tradition of service to the information science community. I look forward to continuing that tradition while seeking new opportunities for member engagement, strategic growth and enhanced impact for the organization.”

Lydia succeeds Dick Hill who retired this year after nearly 27 years as ASIS&T executive director.


ASIS&T to Celebrate Its Incredible History at 80th Annual Meeting

Some 80 years ago, a group of individuals nominated by and representing major scientific and professional societies, foundations and government agencies got together to form the American Documentation Institute (ADI) with the expressed purpose of using microfilm as an information storage medium and reproduction tool. Could Watson Davis and his contemporaries have known where their efforts to find ways to conserve publication space in technical journals would take the soon-to-be-named field of information science?

Now, in 2017, ADI is the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), and ASIS&T is celebrating its 80 years of service to the field of information science and the technologies it has both helped spawn and incorporate into the vast information age in which we now live and work. This fall in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where it all began, ASIS&T and its members will raise their glasses in honor of all they have done in support of the profession.

Diversity of Engagement: Connecting People and Information in the Physical and Virtual Worlds is the theme of the 80th anniversary meeting, focusing on the diverse ways in which people from different backgrounds, cultures and disciplines forge connections with each other, discover and use information, and engage with technology. The meeting is October 27-November 1, 2017, headquartered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

Two incredible keynote speakers have been identified for the plenary sessions at this year’s event. Richard Marks, senior research engineer and head of the PlayStation Magic Lab at Sony Interactive Entertainment, and William Powers, best-selling author of Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age, will set the tone each day for what promises to be an exciting look at where the field is headed.

Marks, who has worked at Sony’s game division for 17 years, is widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers of virtual reality. He was an avionics major at MIT before getting his Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. His thesis, done in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, was in the area of visual sensing for automatic control of an underwater robot. He then joined Teleos Research, a computer vision start-up that was later acquired by Autodesk. Inspired in 1999 by the unveiling of PlayStation 2, he joined PlayStation R&D to investigate the use of live video input for gaming and develop new interactive experiences.

Powers graduated from Harvard University with a degree in U.S. history and literature, and he did graduate student in Spain as a Rotary International Scholar. He began his career as a U.S. Senate staffer working on foreign relations, intelligence and military affairs. He then transitioned into journalism and writing, holding a staff position at The Washington Post, and writing for The Atlantic, The New York Times and many other publications. Hamlet’s Blackberry grew out of research he did as a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. The book has been widely praised for its insights on the digital future. Since 2014, Powers has been with the MIT Media Lab as a research scientist developing new technologies for journalism, governance and the public sphere.

Though the deadlines for most submissions for presentations at the Annual Meeting have passed, proposals for visual presentation and for the doctoral colloquium are still being accepted. For full information about submissions, please check in at www.asist.org/events/annual-meeting/annual-meeting-2017/asist-2017-call-for-papers/.


Doctoral Colloquium Submissions Invited                                                                                                          

Doctoral students in the latter stages of their dissertation research are invited to participate in the 2017 ASIS&T Doctoral Colloquium to be held in conjunction with the ASIS&T Annual Meeting. The half-day event will be held on Tuesday, October 31, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the headquarters hotel for the Annual Meeting. Students accepted for the doctoral colloquium will receive full conference registration without fee. The deadline for submissions is July 14, 2017.

The 2017 ASIS&T Doctoral Colloquium provides a supportive and critical learning opportunity to discuss works in progress (or completed works for students who have defended their dissertations before the conference) and to highlight theoretical and methodological problems/issues for further discussion and inquiry with senior mentors and colloquium participants. In one-on-one sessions with senior mentors, participants will have the opportunity to receive feedback and comments about their work. The colloquium organizers will invite a group of prominent professors and experts to serve as mentors during the Doctoral Colloquium.

Submissions to the Doctoral Colloquium are invited from PhD students in the post-proposal stage of dissertation research or who have a completed research design or have begun data collection. All proposals will undergo a thorough review process. The program committee will select the best submissions.

For full information about submissions, please visit www.asist.org/news/doctoral-colloquium-call-for-participation/.


Deadlines for ASIS&T Award Nominations Approaching

The prestigious ASIS&T Annual Awards are presented each year at the Annual Meeting after a nomination and jury process for each one. Though the deadlines to nominate individuals for some of those awards have already passed, many others are still open. These are among them:

  • James M. Cretsos Leadership Award, June 15
  • Research in Information Science, June 15
  • Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award, June 15
  • ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award, June 15
  • Best Information Science Book Award, June 30
  • Bob Williams History Fund: Research Grant, June 30
  • Bob Williams History Fund: Research Paper, June 30
  • Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award, August 1

Get award descriptions and deadlines for all awards at www.asist.org/about/awards.


Upcoming ASIS&T Webinars

To register for upcoming webinars, please visit www.asist.org/events/webinars

June 6, 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
Exploring the Challenges & Uses of Linked Open Data for Digitized Special Collections.
Presenters: Timothy W. Cole, Alex Olivia Kinnaman, Deren Kudeki
Sponsored by SIG/DL. Free

Over the last 20 years, libraries and cultural heritage institutions have expended resources digitizing their important special collections. However, many of the resulting digital collections exist on the web today only as standalone silos of content, not well connected to related resources. This impedes discovery and limits available context when using the content. A University of Illinois research project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is investigating the core hypothesis that a Linked Open Data (LOD) approach to description could improve the connectedness of many digitized special collections. To begin testing this hypothesis, the researchers are experimenting with LOD for two collections of theater-related images and one text-based collection pertaining to the life and works of Marcel Proust (~20,000 items in all).

In this webinar they will describe outcomes to date, highlighting a few unique challenges in transforming legacy metadata into the more RDF-compatible semantics of schema.org and the automated and manual means used to identify and add links to item descriptions. They also will show how they have leveraged LOD to enhance end-user views of resource descriptions. Now when a user views images in context, JavaScript on the page reads embedded LOD and retrieves additional links and descriptions in real-time from external LOD services. Mustache.js templates are then used to dynamically add this related information to the HTML display providing additional context and clickable links regarding the people (authors, actors, directors, etc.), venues (theaters), plays and performances related to each digitized image. Project website: http://publish.illinois.edu/linkedspcollections/

Presenters: Timothy W. Cole is mathematics librarian and coordinator for library applications in the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is principal investigator on this project. Alex Olivia Kinnaman received her MLS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May. She is s graduate research assistant for this project. Deren Kudeki is visiting research programmer serving as the primary developer for this project.

June 14, 10:00-11:15 a.m. (EDT)
How to Design & Build Semantic Applications with Linked Data.
Presenter: Dave Clarke
Sponsored by DCMI. Free to ASIS&T members

This webinar will demonstrate how to design and build rich end-user search and discovery applications using linked data. The Linked Open Data cloud is a rapidly growing collection of publicly accessible resources, which can be adopted and reused to enrich both internal enterprise projects and public-facing information systems.

The webinar will use the Linked Canvas application as its primary use-case. Linked Canvas is an application designed by Synaptica for the cultural heritage community. It enables high-resolution images of artworks and artifacts to be catalogued and subject indexed using linked data. The talk will demonstrate how property fields and relational predicates can be adopted from open data ontologies and metadata schemes, such as DCMI, SKOS, IIIF and the Web Annotation Model. Selections of properties and predicates can then be recombined to create knowledge organization systems (KOS) customized for business applications. The demonstration will also illustrate how very-large-scale subject taxonomies and name authority files, such as the Library of Congress Name Authority File, DBpedia and the Getty Linked Open Data Vocabularies collection, can be used for content enrichment and indexing.

There will be a brief discussion of the general principles of graph databases, RDF triple stores and the SPARQL query language. This technical segment will discuss the pros and cons of accessing remote server endpoints versus cached copies of external linked data resources, as well as the challenge of providing high-performance full text search against graph databases.

The webinar will conclude by providing a demonstration of Linked Canvas to illustrate various end-user experiences that can be created with linked data technology: faceted search across data collections; pinch and zoom navigation inside images; the exploration of concepts and ideas associated with specific points of interest; the discovery of conceptually related images; and the creation of guided tours with embedded audio-visual commentary.

Presenter: Dave Clarke is co-founder and CEO of the Synaptica group of companies, providers of enterprise software solutions for knowledge organization and discovery.

June 14, 11:30-12:30 p.m. (EDT)
ASIS&T Meet the Author: Deep Text Analytics: What Is It and What Can It Do For You?
Presenters: Tom Reamy
Free to ASIS&T members

Text Analytics is an often misunderstood field that holds enormous potential for getting more value out of the most underutilized resource in most modern organization – so called unstructured text (It’s really poly-structured).  It also can provide new opportunities for information architecture by providing a rich new set of tools.  This webinar, based on a new book, Deep Text: Using Text Analytics to Conquer Information Overload, Get Real Value from Social Media, and Add Big(ger) Text to Big Data, will take attendees through a complete tour of this exciting new field and demonstrate how text analytics and information architecture can mutually enrich each other.

The webinar will cover the entire field of text analytics including the latest-greatest techniques currently being developed.  We will cover these basic topics:

  • What is text analytics?
  • What are the major functionality areas of text analytics (Text mining, entity extraction, sentiment analysis, automatic summarization, and automatic categorization)?
  • What is the basic business value of text analytics?
  • What is the current state of text analytics?
  • How can organizations get started with text analytics?
  • How do you select the best text analytics software for your organization?

In addition, the webinar will discuss the best practices for text analytics development, including integrating deep learning and deep text.  It will also cover the full range of applications that can be built with text analytics in three areas: Search, Social Media, and a class of applications called Info Apps.  Finally, the webinar will take a quick look at how to set up and use text analytics as an enterprise unstructured text platform.

The webinar will end with a presentation of some ideas on how text analytics can enhance information architecture and information architecture can add to text analytics.  And we hope you will have plenty of questions and suggestions on this mutual enrichment.