Irene Travis

Irene L. Travis

Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology

If you haven’t yet received the promised benefits of electronic health records, one reason is incompatibility and lack of interoperability in medical systems. In our first feature article, “Achieving Data Liquidity Across Health Care Requires a Technical Architecture,” Kerry McDermott, vice president for public policy and communications at the Center for Medical Interoperability, discusses these challenges and the need for a new architecture to support medical system and device interaction.

System integration is also a theme in our second feature article as Koraljka Golub shares “Some Thoughts on Preserving Functions of Library Catalogs in Networked Environment,” concentrating on the subject catalog. In this case, however, it is not hardware and software that are the problem but differing vocabularies and differing sources of indexing input such as professional indexing; automated indexing suggestions; keywords, author indexing and end-user tagging. The ideal mix may be partly determined by the exigency of the search: is it a matter of finding the answer to a question of passing curiosity or of finding THE document that can save a life. Other factors may include subject field, economics and developments in automated indexing technology and effective use of crowd sourcing.

In the IA Column, Laura Creekmore also has retrieval in mind when she points out the well-developed features for tagging and foldering documents in email systems compared to the relatively undeveloped or completely missing facilities in other popular forms of communication, such as texting – however much she may depend them.

In the RDAP Review, Amanda Rinehart discusses “Finding the Connection: Research Data Management and the Office of Research.” She details the benefits she, as a data management librarian, has gained by working closely with the offices of research on the various campuses where she has served. The results of these contacts have ranged from opportunities to lecture or lead workshops to a demonstration project in research data management.

Completing this issue, in her last President’s Page, outgoing ASIS&T president Nadia Caidi discusses the task force established to find a replacement for retiring executive director Dick Hill, reviews the general state of the Association and notes some of this year’s award winners.

On another note, as we start the new ASIS&T fiscal year, I also want to take this opportunity to speak a bit about the Bulletin. We are beginning our 43rd year of publication with this issue. Originally, of course, the Bulletin was in hardcopy, published as a free benefit to members, although also available in subscribing libraries. As a tangible member benefit, it was positioned to be a publication targeted to practitioners as well as a newsletter for the association as a whole. By the time I took over the editorship in 1997, we were already putting the Bulletin up on the ASIS&T website, and it eventually became an electronic-only publication that did not require a subscription. However, we have endeavored to preserve the character and role of the Bulletin. We are your practitioner benefit. We are a magazine – not a research journal. Many of our authors, including three in this issue, are practitioners. We do include articles by university-based professionals, but they are encouraged to write informally and about issues of interest to information professionals in general.

To keep the Bulletin interesting and healthy we need you. For instance, if you see something, say something. Social media attention is a tremendous boost to readership. Think about submitting an article yourself. We provide editorial assistance, quick turnaround and the prestige of a long established, professional association publication. Been to an interesting talk at an ASIS&T chapter event? Published a book recently? Learned something really interesting from your consulting work? Share the wealth. And I make a special appeal to the SIGs. You are in fact the backbone of the Bulletin and the source of many of our special issues. Many SIGs have used the Bulletin to promote their activities and several – including this year’s winner – have received SIG Publication-of-the-Year awards for their Bulletin efforts. We are constantly open to suggestions for topics and thoughts about who might write and edit articles on those topics. Help us publish the most interesting and currently hot stuff.

Finally, as the airlines say, we know you have other options, but, to all our authors and especially our special section editors and columnists, thank you for flying with us and we hope all of you, our readers, will consider us the next time you write.