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Lydia S. Middleton, MBA, CAE
December  2018

Dear colleagues,

As we all enjoy the holidays and prepare for a new year, I am inclined to reflect on our successes, challenges, and lessons learned from this past year. It has been a year of change and enlightenment as I have gotten to better understand the information science and technology community, and work to align the goals and objectives of ASIS&T with the wants and needs of our membership.

As I shared with those able to join us for the business meeting in Vancouver, the past year has been challenging in terms of financial uncertainty and staff turnover. This is not unusual in an organization that transitions from a 27-year executive to a new senior staff that is unfamiliar with the culture and norms of the community. We have tried hard to adapt to a new environment as you all have had to adapt to us and the new ideas we have brought to the organization. In some cases, we’ve had success, and in others we have learned hard lessons about which boundaries we can push and which we cannot.

Over the year I have received wonderful advice from many of you. I’ve been applauded by some for my pragmatic approach to managing the financial considerations of the association and my efforts to bring more business savvy and structure to the way we operate. But I’ve also been told to remember that the association belongs to the members and that it is critical to engage the members in major decisions about the operation of the association. I am still trying to figure out the delicate balance between appropriate member engagement in decision-making and the need to be nimble enough to react to opportunities and implement new ideas. But please know that I have heard you and taken your advice to heart.

I have come to realize that the key to success in all of these endeavors is communication…communication…and more communication. We need to find new and better ways to communicate with our members to make sure that you feel informed and engaged. While it may not always be possible to engage the members in decision making all of the time, we will do our best to get feedback as often as possible. For example, we held no less than three rounds of voting to determine where we should hold the 2020 Annual Meeting. Based on popular demand we will be meeting in Pittsburgh in 2020.

If you are reading this column then you know that much of the important information that we communicate to our members resides in this newsletter.  We are removing member-only access to the newsletter so that you do not have to log in to read it. Another information vehicle that we often use is the Open Forum on iConnect. If you are not subscribed to get those emails in real time, I encourage you to do that so you are immediately aware of any news from ASIS&T. But we need to do a better job in finding other vehicles of communication so we make sure that we get the word out to everyone as clearly and often as possible when a decision is being contemplated or has been made.

I invite any and all ideas you may have for how we can improve our communications platforms and better engage member input in decision-making. Ultimately, you as members elect a Board of Directors who are empowered to make decisions on the strategic direction of the organization. They are your best vehicle for sharing thoughts and giving input to the decision-making process. You are welcome to contact any Board member with feedback at any time. That information will be shared with the full board quickly through our online communications channels.

I address the Constitution & Bylaws revision process elsewhere in the newsletter so please take a moment to read about that and give input there as well. The member comment period is a full 3 months to allow plenty of time for you to consider the revisions and share your thoughts. Any feedback you send is copied immediately to me and to Ralf Shaw as chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. This was done to ensure transparency in the process by having a non-Board member in a position to review feedback.  More information on the process is available here.

As we close out this year, I hope you plan to remain active and engaged with ASIS&T in the future. We value your participation greatly and are here to help you in any way we can.

Please accept my warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and great things in the New Year.

Best regards,



*The President’s column will be sent under separate cover following the holidays.

Governance Update

The Board of Directors met on November 10 & 15 in Vancouver, BC Canada in conjunction with the 2018 Annual Meeting. In attendance were Elaine Toms (President-elect); Lynn Silipigni Connaway (Past President); June Abbas (Treasurer); Clara Chu (Incoming President-Elect); James Andrews (15th only); Dania Bilal; Sarah Buchanan; Timothy Dickey; Emily Knox; Kathryn La Barre; Brandi Loveday-Chesley; Agnes Mainka (15th only); Heather O’Brien; Michael Olsson (15th only); Soo Young Rieh; Abebe Rorissa; Kayla Siddell; Lydia Middleton (Executive Director); and Steve Hardin (Parliamentarian). Ralf Shaw, Chair of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee joined the meeting for the discussion on the revised Constitution & Bylaws and Javed Mostafa, Editor of JASIST joined the meeting for the JASIST report.

The agenda included the following items:

  • Review of Minutes
  • President’s Report
  • President-Elect Report
  • Executive Director’s Report
  • Budget and Finance Committee Report
  • Committee Reports
  • 2018 Annual Meeting Report
  • 2020 Site Selection
  • Lois Lunnin Award
  • Membership Report
  • Chapter Restructure Proposal
  • SIG Roles & Responsibilities
  • Bylaws Revisions
  • Board Travel Proposal
  • Standards of Professional Practice Plan (tabled)
  • JASIS&T Report

The following issues were discussed and/or decided:


Due to a family emergency, Lisa Given had to leave Vancouver before the Board meeting (she was in attendance at the Executive Committee meeting held a day prior).


Elaine Toms reviewed the report that she provided to the Board that covered these topics: Committee Appointments; ASIS&T 2019 Annual Meeting; Conferences; Governance, Trust and Responsibility; the 2018-19 Board Meeting Schedule; and priorities for 2018-19. She noted that the current process for committee selection and appointment is in need of improvement and recommends this should largely be a staff function rather than one taken on by the President-Elect. Nonetheless, there has been much progress made on defining and populating the committees, and more meetings will take place in Vancouver to solidify plans. She reported that Cathy Blake (University of Illinois) and Cecelia Brown (University of Oklahoma) have agreed to serve as co-chairs for the 2019 meeting. She noted that she is concerned that the Australia venue will make it difficult for us to execute the governance portion of the meeting (committees, SIGs, etc), and that we may need to consider pre- or post-conference meetings for those groups.


The Board reviewed year-end financial statements for FY18 and the year-to-date income statement and balance sheet for FY19. The Board was reminded that the Executive Committee approved an additional $25k expenditure from reserves to hire a consultant to manage the solicitation of RFP’s for and ultimate selection of a new online platform for the ASIS&T member database and website. ASIS&T is anticipating a deficit year in the ($125k) range. The Treasurer’s Report from the 2018 Business Meeting provides additional details on ASIS&T Finances.


The Board reviewed the reports of the various committees, and discussed ensuring that there be cross-committee communication opportunities as often the work of one committee impacts others. Lydia suggested summarizing the recommendations of each committee along with the Board’s response into a document that could be shared across all committees after each Board meeting.


Luanne Freund, chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee, joined the meeting to update the Board on preparation for the 2018 meeting in Vancouver. She reported that more than 300 reviewers were recruited to review 140 papers, of which 69 were accepted. They also reviewed 46 panel proposals of which 26 were accepted. Finally, we accepted 101 of the 200 Visual Presentation submissions. Luanne noted that she felt the acceptance rate was a bit high for papers and panels, but noted that the committee erred on the side of accepting more in order to increase meeting attendance. She would have liked to accept more posters, but noted that there was not adequate room to fit more than what we selected. She pointed out that it would be helpful if the Board gave the planning committee some guidance on a desired accept/reject rate in the future rather than leaving it to the committee to decide. She reported that overall the planning process worked smoothly, though there were some hiccups along the way. However, we have solid registration (over 500) so we are encouraged that people value this meeting.


The board evaluated multiple options for cities for the 2020 Annual Meeting. Lydia noted that the criteria used to narrow down the city/hotel choices were: 1) an international airport; 2) hotels with adequate space to hold our meeting; 3) proximity of an LIS school/program; and 4) quality of city as a destination. Of the nine cities considered, the Board narrowed the list to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami and Pittsburgh. It was agreed that we should engage the membership in making a final decision, so an in-app poll would be created to allow meeting attendees to vote on their preferred city.


Rodneikka Scott reviewed the current status of membership in the association along with trends over the last several years, noting that membership is down from 1763 in 2017 to 1604 in 2018. This is a concerning trend, so staff are working hard at member retention as that is where our challenge lies. The Board discussed the Community Only membership and whether or not to make that a free membership in order to drive engagement. The board was concerned that this might siphon off paying members. There was no final decision on this matter.


Lydia Middleton reviewed a proposal to restructure ASIS&T Chapters in response to the significant reduction in the number of active chapters in the association. The proposal would involve dividing the world into regions and establishing a chapter in each of those regions. Funding would be made available to individuals interested in growing the chapter in their region. This would ensure that all members of ASIS&T were members of a chapter. Members could opt to be a member of a chapter in a different region than where they live if they wished to do that. Or they could be members of multiple chapters. As a next step is was suggested that the proposal be shared with the Chapter Assembly for their input.


The Board discussed the relationship between SIGs and ASIS&T Central, noting that there have been recent issues around SIGs acting independently of the association and pushing back on approved policies. The SIG Cabinet will take up this issue as part of its review of the SIG Officer’s Manual that will take place this year.


The Board reviewed two proposals designed to more equitably fund Board Member travel to Board meetings. There was an interest in controlling spending but also in recognizing that it is more expensive for our international colleagues to attend a meeting in the US than it is for our North American colleagues, and that there should be some accommodation for that. The Board asked Lydia Middleton to prepare a revised proposal to include the cost of all aspects of Board meetings.


Ralf Shaw joined the Board to review the recommendations of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee as well as the significant policy questions addressed in the revised ASIS&T Constitution & Bylaws. There were twenty six unique issues discussed and the Board came to agreement on how to modify the draft revised document to accommodate its decision on each one. Ralf Shaw, as representative of the C&B Committee, shared the perspective of that committee and was satisfied with the final outcome of the discussion. More information on the Constitution & Bylaws revision process is available here.


Javed Mostafa joined the meeting to report on the past year’s activities related to JASIST. He shared that submissions continue to be excellent. Much has been done in the last year to shorten the time to publication which is now 92 days. He noted that he believes that there are many opportunities to bring JASIST and ASIS&T closer together for the purpose of promoting both the association and the Journal, and he hopes more can be done on that this coming year.


The Board reconvened on Wednesday, 14 November, to review the lessons learned from this Annual Meeting and to discuss how the Board can best work together over the coming year. Ideas were presented that would allow the work of the Board to be more transparent.

Minutes of previous 2017-18 Board meetings can be found in the Open Forum on iConnect. You will be asked to log in to view these files.

The next meeting of the ASIS&T Board will take place January 31 via video conference. Any member wishing to attend that meeting as an observer is welcome to do so. Please contact Lydia Middleton to receive access information for that call.


Treasurer's Report

Delivered November 12, 2018
Annual Business Meeting | Vancouver, Canada

  • The FY2017 audit was approved by the Board in August. At the end of FY17 we had a net reserve balance of $2.365 million compared to FY16 which, after an audit adjustment, ended the year with a net reserve balance of $2.645 million.
  • This reserve balance is a bit less than 1.5 year’s worth of operating expense. Carrying one year’s operating expense in reserves is considered association industry best practice.
  • There are copies of the audited income statement from FY17 on the ASIS&T website in the association resources section.
  • In FY2018 the Board approved a deficit budget with a bottom line of just under negative $24,000.
  • Year-end projections have us finishing the year with a positive bottom line of about $21,265 from operations. Keep in mind that FY18 is a shortened, 9-month fiscal year as a result of our change from a September to June year-end.
  • The Board approved an FY19 budget that projects a negative bottom line of close to $100,000. This is reflective of the loss of revenue from the IA Summits that no longer meet under the auspices of ASIS&T. In addition, the Board approved an additional $25,000 investment from reserves to fund the selection and development of a new membership database and web platform.
  • If you would like more information on ASIS&T finances, and particularly issues around financing the Annual Meeting, please refer to the September 2018 issue of Inside ASIS&T where Executive Director Lydia Middleton provides a detailed explanation of this complex issue.


ASIS&T Constitution & Bylaws Revision Update – Your Input is Requested

As has been communicated previously via Inside ASIS&T, this year the association undertook a major review and rewrite of our Constitution & Bylaws. The proposed revision was reviewed and edited by the Constitution and Bylaws committee as well as the Board of Directors, and subsequently shared with attendees at the Annual Meeting in Vancouver several weeks ago for preliminary discussion.

The proposed revised Constitution & Bylaws are now open for member comment and feedback. The member comment period will run through March 1, 2019. During that time we invite all members of ASIS&T to review the proposed revision and submit comments on the revision via an online form. In addition, members may share general feedback on the revised bylaws in the ASIS&T Open Forum using this discussion thread. Please do not use the Open Forum thread for specific comments on specific sections. The online form is the best vehicle for that feedback.

In order to review and provide feedback, please visit the ASIS&T Member Bylaws Input page on our website. You will be taken to a detailed description of the rationale for the bylaws revision and links to the relevant documents and forms you will need to provide feedback.

When you submit the online form, that immediately generates an email with the contents of the response to myself and to Ralf Shaw, chair of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee. This additional step is intended to ensure absolute transparency of the process by adding a non-Board reviewer to ensure all feedback is cataloged.

Once the three-month comment period has ended, all feedback will be put into a table, reviewed by the Board, and the Board will decide how to act on each recommendation. All of those decisions, along with an explanation of any instances where the Board disagreed with a recommendation, will be shared back to the full membership. A final set of revised bylaws will then be presented for member action. If approved, the revised bylaws will go into effect

If you have any questions on the documents or form, please contact Lydia Middleton directly.


Annual Meeting Recap

We want to thank everyone who attended this year’s Annual Meeting personally. We hope you enjoyed your time as much as we did.  We had an action-packed five days, filled with sessions, posters, workshops, tutorials, social events, and scholarly recognition.  The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, located in the heart of Vancouver, BC and just minutes away from the Pacific Ocean.

This year’s conference was well attended with nearly 550 attendees hailing from 27 different countries.  The broad theme for this year’s conference was “Building and Sustaining an Ethical Future with Emerging Technology.”  The strength of the technical presentations at each Annual Meeting is a tribute to the ASIS&T mission to advance the information sciences and related applications of information technology by providing focus, opportunity, and support to information professionals and organizations.  We hope you all agree that this year was no different.

From opening to closing the two plenary speakers did not disappoint with addressing our conference theme - Building and Sustaining An Ethical Future with Emerging Technology with Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan, UCLA (opening plenary) and Dr. Zeynep Tufekci, University of North Carolina (closing plenary). A most sincere thanks to each and every presenter at ASIST18 sessions.

Delegates flocked between seven pre/post conference workshops/tutorials, 46 panels and 142 papers that were selected through a rigorous peer review process.

The conference was kickstarted by renowned plenary speaker Ramesh Srinivasan, Ph.D. discussing “The People’s Internet:  How to Arrive at a Digital World that Respects Human Values.” This engaging plenary dove into global view of a digital future that supports important human values; ones rooted in cultural diversity, economic equality, and political democracy.

“It’s not simply about building a faster algorithm it is about the world upon which its deployed. Unless we figure out how to build systems in inclusive ways, audit systems and train systems on different types of data and to figure out who has control over those systems we could be headed to a great deal of trouble.”

~Ramesh Srinivasan, Ph.D.

The opening plenary keyed in on how systems are being produced in ways that are not transparent, accountable or governable and as a result they are producing socially impactful failures to those who are most vulnerable in society.

ASIS&T President, Elaine Toms, began the Business Meeting with an overview of the current state of ASIS&T. The business meeting marked a unique opportunity to participate in an exchange of thoughts among members and information science peers on what it takes to engage and sustain ASIS&T in the global community and the role of technology, in particular, the grassroots effort to build the next generation of the association from the bottom up.

The sessions continued on Tuesday morning, beginning with reserves regulations and definitions.  In addition to the technical sessions, this year’s Annual Meeting included several workshops tutorials and special events including a tour of the Museum of Anthropology, a Vancouver City Tour and Sunrise Yoga.

The closing plenary “The Health of the Public Sphere in the Age of Algorithmic Platforms and Information Glut” rounded off the conference with speaker Zeynep Tufekci, Ph.D. Zeynep’s presentation brought the conference full circle in discussing impact of information glut on the public leading to mass confusion, paralysis as well as a return to misinformation and distraction. The plenary left the audience with the following conclusions regarding attention being the way information is now distributed, attention can now be algorithmically allocated and scarce.  The presentation left attendees with a great deal to talk about.

The pinnacle social event was the Awards Banquet where Toni Carbo, Ph.D. was recognized as the recipient of the Award of Merit.  The exciting evening included food and drinks with time to catch up with great friends.  We also recognized the many contributions and commitment of numerous award recipients and volunteers.

Thank you to all who attended this year’s conference.  And thank you for the generous contributions from our many sponsors.  Your continued support of the ASIS&T allows us to deliver on new and existing initiatives at the core of our mission.  We would be remiss if we did not thank the Annual Meeting planning committee for their hard work throughout the year for making this a successful event.




Visit iConnect to view ASIST18 Photo Library

Visit the ASIST19 Site

2018 Proceedings

Thank you to our Program Committee, Volunteers & Sponsors

We can’t give enough thanks to the members of the AM18 Organizing Committee.  First and foremost we would like to thank General Conference Program Chair, Luanne Freund for the contributions made to the vitality of the meeting in Vancouver.  Luanne was instrumental in keeping our focus on both the conference theme and mission.  The success of ASIS&T18 is a result of the commitment of many individuals:

Luanne Freund, General Conference Chair, University of British Columbia, Canada, Paper Co-Chairs – Kalpana Shankar, University College Dublin, Ireland and Christopher Lueg, University of Tasmania, Australia; Panel Co-Chairs – Catherine L. Smith, Kent State University, USA and Rajesh Singh, St. John’s University, USA; Visual Presentation Co-Chairs – Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet, Bar Ilan University, Israel and Julia Hersberger, University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA; and Doctoral Colloquium Chairs – Pnina Fichman and Howard Rosenbaum, both of Indiana University, USA; Student Design Co-Chairs - Rebekah Willson, University of Strathclyde, Scotland and Rachel Ivy Clarke, Syracuse University, USA.

And, of course, our amazing exhibitors and sponsors. We thank you for your support and commitment to the profession.



















Sponsored: President’s Reception & Conference Proceedings


Code Ocean

Sponsored: Innovation Showcase


Sponsored: Mentoring Program


UBC iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies)

Sponsored: Bag Inserts & Student Program

University at Buffalo Department of Library and Information Studies

Sponsored: Bag Inserts

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Sponsored: Bag Inserts

Many joined us at our networking events while delegates mingle with elegant appetizers at the Welcome Reception overlooking the panoramic view of Vancouver.  It was heavy in attendance at the President’s Reception w/Visual Presentations, and an overview of the association forecast was discussed at the Business Meeting Luncheon. The Awards Banquet where we recognized active members that go above and beyond. The Student Reception was well attended.  Special thanks go out to all our student volunteers:Delegates took advantage of the opportunity to tour the beautiful city of Vancouver and/or Museum of Anthropology to get a taste of Vancouver. It’s always nice to explore and get out after a long day in sessions.

Patricia Pui Yue Lee, UFRJ/Brazil
Robyn Stobbs, University of Alberta
Frank Webb, University of South Carolina
Sarah Barriage, Rutgers University
Vanessa Figueiredo, University of British Columbia
Miyoung Chong, University of North Texas
Souvick Ghosh, Rutgers University
Han Zhu, Peking University
Violet McCrigler, San Jose State University
Jane Leuchter, Kent State University

See you again in Melbourne 2019!


Chapter and SIG News

SIG MET Update


The 2018 SIG/MET workshop took place on November 10th. The program included thirteen talks and and six posters, which were all of excellent quality, as well as twenty-six registered attendees.

Thanks to our invited speaker, B. Ian Hutchins, for his talk entitled “Diverse metrics for evaluating the impact of NIH-funded research”.







Congratulations to Bradford Desmarest who received the best paper award (sponsored by and Dimensions), for his talk entitled “Drawing into focus: Methodological enhancements for discourse epistemetrics”.

Congratulations also to Shubhanshu Mishra, Brent D Fegley, Jana Diesner and Vetle I Torvik who received the best student paper award (sponsored by Elsevier) for their talk entitled “Expertise as an aspect of author contributions”

Thanks to the presenters, attendees and sponsors for making the 2018 SIG/MET workshop a success. We hope to see you all again at the next event.

Officers Update
SIG/MET welcomes Philippe Mongeon as chair, Shenmeng Xu as chair-elect, and Shubhanshu Mishra as secretary treasurer, and thanks Timothy Bowman and Neil Smalheiser, past chairs, for their service.

What’s coming at SIG/MET
For the coming year, SIG/MET’s focus will be in improving communications with members, collaborating with other SIGs, reaching out to non-members, and making SIG/MET activities more accessible by reducing costs and registration fees as much as possible. Stay tuned for updates on this year’s program!

For more information about SIG/MET or to get involved, please visit our website or contact Philippe Mongeon.


At this year’s ASIS&T Annual Meeting the SIG Social Media had its first panels and workshop. Together with the SIG Social Informatics and Information Ethics and Policy the SIG Social Media had a joint workshop under the pretext of the 14th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium.This year’s topic: Sociotechnical Perspective on Ethics and Governance of Emerging Information Technologies.

It took place on November 10th with around 30 participants (Click here, for an overview).
With a great Keynote Speaker, Dr. Mary L. Gray from Microsoft Research and Indiana University, three paper sessions, and a new format, the discussion table, the workshop enabled a vibrant and fruitful forum to discuss and exchange ideas and for networking.


Kenneth R. Fleischmann, Cindy Hui and William A. Wallace received the 2018 Social Informatics Best Papers Awards by the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) Special Interest Group on Social Informatics for their paper:
Fleischmann, K. R., Hui, C. and Wallace, W. A. (2017). The Societal Responsibilities of Computational Modelers: Human Values and Professional Codes of Ethics. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 68(3): 543-552. DOI:

At this point we would like to thank our Keynote speaker, all contributors, and participants for this great workshop and experience.

Besides the joint workshop, SIG Social Media supported and organized two panels during the main conference.

One SIG Social Media panel, supported by SIG Social Informatics, was about Challenges for Social Media: Misinformation, Free Speech, Civic Engagement, and Data Regulations. It took place on November 12th. Thanks to our panelists Kaja J. Fietkiewicz, Nic DePaula, Thomas J. Froehlich and A.J. Million.

During this panel, the panelist and moderators used Pingo, a real-time online survey. Every panelist got the chance to start her or his talk with two questions related to her or his topic. The audience got the possibility to answer in real-time. Those results and slides will be available on the SIG Social Media webpage.

One question from Kaja Fietkiewicz was, “How important is ensuring the freedom of expression on social media?” This was interesting as 20 of 25 participants agreed that it is important, 4 of them said it is somewhat important, and 1 participant agreed that it is not important. She addressed in her talk the general question “What are the risks of the German Network Enforcement Act?”

Nic DePaula questioned in his talk, “Does the General Data Protection Regulation go far enough?”
For example, Nic raised the question if the audience agrees or disagrees related to the fact that “The GDPR will address most major concerns regarding the processing of personal data.” While 6 of 24 participants disagreed and 10 participants somewhat disagreed, 7 of 24 participants somewhat agreed, and 2 of those participants agreed (note: multiple choice question).

Thomas J. Froehlich pursued the question “What impact has the rapid dissemination of fake news and its relation to pseudo-cognitive authorities?”

Last but not least, A.J. Million asked the question “Does market capture pose a threat to grassroots democratic activity?” Therefore, he wanted to know, for example, “What social media tool is used most from nonprofits in the U.S.?” The majority (12 of 16 participants) chose Facebook (note: multiple choice question).

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for an interesting and excited discussion about Challenges for Social Media. Aylin Ilhan and Isabelle Dorsch moderated the panel.

In the early morning of the 13th of November, the second panel “Politicians & the Public: The Analysis of Political Communication in Social Media” took place. For politics, social media became a pervasive communication tool connecting politicians, parties, and the public. The panel provided the possibility to discuss political communication in Social Media from these different perspectives, not only for our great panelist but also for the whole audience. Thereby, it offered results and methodological aspects from concrete research studies as well as the discussion of lessons learned and a possible outlook for the future of political communication in social media.

Hassan Zamir explained how politicians (particularly from the US, Mexico, Russia, France, and Iran) used, interacted and shared information on Twitter during recent presidential elections around the world.

How to track public opinion in social media? This question was raised by Amir Karami who discussed the application of text mining methods for mining social media in elections.

Vivek Singh addressed privacy research challenges in surveillance with social “Big Data”. Among others, it is possible to de-anonymize an individual whose data is part of a large corpus with access to just four external data points.

David Moscrop and Juan Pablo Alperin investigated how media personalities use and share scholarly research to inform the public sphere so that we can better understand how reliable knowledge can support our political decisions.

Electronic petitioning and social media were the topics of Catherine Dumas talk. The question was whether these new forms of online or virtual participation constitute a new form of collective action or if they are simply acts of “slacktivism” which debates the value of online participation?

The panel consisted of two discussion rounds in which more than 25 minutes were spent discussing the topics addressed by the speakers. Consequently and like the first panel, we would thank the presenters and attendees for an interesting and excited exchange about the analysis of political communication in social media. Isabelle Dorsch and Aylin Ilhan moderated the panel.


Many thanks to everyone who took part in the election of the SIG SM officers board for 2018/19.
According to this our new board builds up as follows:

Official SIG Social Media Board (2019)
Co-Chair: Aylin Ilhan
Co-Chair: Isabelle Dorsch
Chair-Elect: Vivek Singh
Treasurer: Philippe Mongeon
Secretary: Nic DePaula
Communications and Social Media: Isha Ghosh
Communications and Social Media: Catherine Dumas
Recruitment Membership: Nosheen Fatima Warraich
Recruitment Membership: Wasim Ahmed
Recruitment Membership: Souvick Ghosh
Webmaster: Kaja Fietkiewicz
Designer: Karen Kaufmann
Archivist: Arjun Sabharwal

Congratulations to the new as well as the continuing officers!


A very belated acknowledgement of the 2018 NEASIS&T Chapter Service Award recipients: William Lundmark, Catherine Dixon, and Rachael Juskuv. This award recognizes chapter leaders who have contributed and will continue to contribute to the significant development of the New England chapter and of our parent organization, ASIS&T. The award facilitates our recipients' ability to attend the annual ASIS&T meeting and bring their new knowledge back to the New England region.

In October, NEASIS&T, Brown University, and NESCLiC (New England Software Carpentry Library Consortium) held a 2-day Library Carpentry workshop to introduce librarians to the fundamentals of computing, including Git, Unix Shell, and OpenRefine. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine NER financially supported participants from all of the New England states, broadening our reach.

NEASIS&T held elections last month. Congratulations to the new board: Rachael Juskuv, Joshua Dull, Amanda Scull, William Lundmark, and Georgiana McReynolds. We look forward to their leadership and guidance. We still have two open positions: Membership Chair and Secretary. If you're interested, please email Joshua Dull or Rachael Juskuv.

NEASIS&T is proud to have several members of our leadership represented at this year's Annual ASIS&T Meeting - William Lundmark and Rachael Juskuv (recipients of the Chapter Service Award). Also attending was our student Travel Award recipient, Alyson Gamble, a doctoral student from Simmons College. All three will be reporting on their experiences within the next two months on the NEASIST website ( A large contingent of the Simmons University SLIS faculty also attended. This even beats last year's NEASIS&T attendance!

NEASIS&T is also very proud that our Chapter Co-Chair, Rachael Juskuv, was an awardee of ASIS&T's 2018 New Leaders Award.  She'll have the opportunity to work closely with ASIS&T leadership.

The last bit of exciting news is our much-anticipated annual conference - much-anticipated because we cover a different and highly relevant topic each year. This year's theme is Navigating the Data Landscape: Roles and Rules and When to Break Them. The conference will be held at the Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, MA. on Friday, January 11, 2019. Details will be released soon.




Member Spotlight: Thomas Disher Shares His Annual Meeting Experience as a Newbie

Thomas Disher

I almost didn’t attend ASIS&T 2018, for as a stay-at-home father without the backing of a university, corporation, or organization I had to pay the full cost. In any case, after discussing with my wife the benefits of attending—supporting my co-authors on a paper being presented, networking, gaining professional development, being more involved in the MLIS field, and getting a vacation from childcare (I’m a stay at home dad)—we decided I should go.

Two wonderful and talented people who I had the pleasure of getting to know at ASIS&T 2018, Rodneikka Scott and Terrence Curtiss, encouraged me to write about my experiences as a first-time attendee and new member. And so, here is the tale of my adventures at ASIS&T 2018.




The Adventure Begins

The morning of November 10th I was filled with doubt as I waited with my wife and daughter for the train to arrive. I felt bad about leaving them, but my wife was right that I needed break from caring for my daughter who was on the cusp of walking unaided. Moreover, I wasn’t sure about my ability to make the most of the conference. You see, I’m an introvert—I need quiet moments of introspection to recharge—so I had visions of finding a quiet spot at the conference and working on my creative writing. The train ride was a pleasant journey of about three and a half hours, during which I learned about Point Roberts, a small pene-exclave of the USA where school buses must go through Canada to take students to school in Blaine, Washington.

The train ride was a pleasant journey of about three and a half hours, during which I learned about Point Roberts, a small pene-exclave of the USA where school buses must go through Canada to take students to school in Blaine, Washington. Once in Canada, I exchanged money and took the SkyTrain from the station, spent about $8 Canadian on a lamb pita wrap, then relaxed on a bench until conference registration opened. The hostel was about 11 blocks away from the conference hotel, an easy 20-minute walk. I checked into my dorm room for which the total cost came out to be around $130CAD, greeted the only other person there, and went down to the lobby to relax.

I went through my email, planned what sessions to attend, found a church service for the next morning, and read webcomics until I was hungry enough to find some food. I walked along Davie street, not seeing anything that caught my eye until I came to a grocery store. After spying a large Italian loaf of bread,a block of Havarti cheese, a bundle of kale, sliced Kaiser jagdwurst, and three Roma tomatoes I decided to make sandwiches all for around $20CAD. This purchase made three meals of a decent-sized sandwich. Because the hostel I was staying in provided breakfast and the conference provided some food, I didn’t have to spend anything else on food.






First Day

On November 11th, I went to a Sunday service at a small church on the way to the conference hotel, then wandered through an exhibit on Japanese architecture being hosted in part of UBC’s downtown campus. I liked the juxtapositioning of two different architectural approaches to each type of space the exhibit discussed. At the conference, I managed to find Jacob Jett, one of my co-authors, so I sat down with him during the opening plenary. I found Ramesh Srinivasan’s talk interesting, and I took notes so that I could have time later to more fully think about what he said. Jacob and I split ways, and I went to the New Member and First Time Attendee Orientation as I felt it would be good to have a better sense of the conference. I really liked the point made about how the learning is not the only important part of the conference and that getting connected with a collaboration community is also important. Steve Hardin, the ASIS&T parliamentarian, sat down at the table I was at and we chatted some.

Following that session, I ended up chatting with ASIS&T staff. I was invited over to a table with some people from various universities, including a professor from UBC who suggested I should talk with Julia Bullard after we got talking about some of the work I had been doing with metadata and controlled vocabularies concerning video games and anime. As the reception was winding down, I ran into Rodneikka and Terrence where I was invited to dinner with Rodneikka Scott, Ramesh Srinivasan, Heather O’Brien, and Lydia Middleton. I was surprised, but gladly accepted, and we went to find a Chinese restaurant. We had a good conversation over our meal and Ramesh got a spicy dish that was rather wonderful.

During breakfast on the 12th I overheard someone talking about a conference and, thinking I’d found someone else attending ASIS&T, I said hello. It turned out one was an entomologist in Vancouver for an entomology conference and the other was a death researcher—fascinating but not my area of expertise! That morning, I attended two interesting panels, one on the “Everyday Documentation of Arts and Humanities Collections” and one on the “Challenges of False Information: What Do We Do About Fake News.” I’m glad the panel on fake news mentioned how it isn’t a new thing and brought up the yellow journalism of the 1890s—it’s the scale that has changed with the help of new technologies.

Attending the panel on “Infrastructural Justice and the Social Consequences of Occupational Classifications where there was a rather interesting discussion of how classification systems can have an impact on people. Michael Buckland also ended up sitting in the same row as I was in but I didn’t have an opportunity to say hi!
After that panel I wandered the first and second floor lobbies until it was time to meet up with the two other co-authors present at the conference, Hyerim Cho and Jacob. We found an empty meeting room and ran through the slide deck for our paper finishing just after the start of the president’s reception.

At the President’s Reception I enjoyed the variety of cheeses as I roamed the rows of posters. I said hello to Wan-Chen Lee, who I had worked on a paper with, as she was presenting a poster. I talked with some of the people working on Inanimate Alice , an interesting project using transmedia for supporting student agency. I also chatted quite a bit with Robyn Stobbs, who had a poster on the material creations of tabletop role-players based on fictional worlds. Not only was she doing research in a similar space as I was, but I’ve also drawn maps while running tabletop roleplaying games and so it was interesting being able to look at the research from both the researcher perspective and the creator perspective. In fact, I left the reception so I could find an outlet to charge my laptop enough so that I could return and share some of the maps I’ve made. Hopefully lots of new collaborations will arise out of that and other conference conversations.

I kick started the 13th by attending a talk: “Fandom, Food, and Folksonomies: The Methodological Realities of Studying Fun Life-Contexts.” I found this panel to be particularly relevant to my own research, even if I haven’t done much research on information behaviors, and admired how each of the panelists revealed the extraordinary in the everyday. I also realized that Julia, who I had been told to talk with, was one of the panelists. So afterward I talked some with her as well as with Ludi Price and Eric Forier, who also had presented research concerning fandoms. I hope to collaborate with them further in 2019. So many thanks to Melissa Ocepak for putting together the panel. (I would love to see this panel continue in future ASIS&T conferences and maybe even participate on it at some point in the future.)

Then I went to the brown bag lunch and sat down with Steve and chatted with him in between eating. Before leaving, I remembered something I had thought of during the business meeting lunch the day prior that tied in with what one of the tables was discussing. So I went over and shared my thoughts. Hopefully they were useful! Toni Carbo suggested finding a way to pin my name tag up higher. They invited me to sit and talk more, but I needed to make it to the session my co-author was presenting in. Still, it was nice that the board members were so accessible during that time.

I made it to the paper session on “Knowledge and Information Organization” before the start time and took a seat in the front to better support my co-author. He did a wonderful job presenting our paper—I just wish there was more time for discussion as we were hoping to get useful feedback but only a few people were able to ask us questions. The other two papers were also fascinating and I ended up sitting with the author of one of them, Oksana Zavalina, and Ludi Price during the closing plenary. I thought Zeynep made some good points about how our attention has become a commodity and a currency.


As conferences would have it, I ran into Robyn before the awards banquet, and we didn’t realize it when we sat down, but also at our table were Michael Buckland, Toni Carbo, Bluma Peritz, and Marcia Bates, whose articles I had read for classes. It was such a wonderful experience to share a table with these distinguished members of the MLIS field. I did get to point out to Toni that I had followed her advice and pinned my name tag somewhere more visible—I will have to remember that trick for future conferences.

All-in-all I would say that my experiences as a first-timer at ASIS&T 2018 were worth it. Sure, it would be nice if it cost less to attend, but conferences cost a lot of money to put on. Mostly, the people I met at the conference helped make it a wonderful experience. I learned about interesting research from the panels I attended, and I found people with whom I may potentially collaborate in the future. I would definitely go again, though maybe not to any farther afield without either financial help, a job that pays more than giggles and smiles, or a paper being presented, so you probably won’t see me in Melbourne. But you may see me at ones in North America! Many thanks to everyone I met and to all the people whose effort made the conference possible.






Making the Most of your ASIS&T Membership!

There are many ways to get the most out of your ASIS&T membership. Tools and resources that provide you with endless opportunities for not only career growth within the information science field but personal growth as well. ASIS&T provides it's members access to innovative and new research trends, as well as the minds behind those trends that are pushing the boundaries on groundbreaking topics in the field.

Your ASIS&T membership allows you to connect with like-minded peers and make connections that can help accelerate many aspects of your professional and personal development. Using iConnect there are networking opportunities to meet people with similar interests, ideas, and goals.

Leadership/Volunteering Opportunities
Contact ASIS&T central to find out ways to begin volunteering. Most volunteer opportunities range it time commitment from as little to an hour all the way up to a full year!  Volunteering adds value to yourself and entire information science field. Shape the future of the field and help the next generation of professionals by volunteering today.

ASIS&T membership provides you with excellent discounts and some exclusive benefits. Access to free webinars, discounts on annual meeting rates  in our bookstore are just some of the benefits you get with being an ASIS&T member.

Career Resources 
ASIS&T membership provides you with access to our career center. The ASIS&T job board and career network allow you to begin on the path to an exciting career in the information science field. As well as plenty of mentoring opportunities!

Utilizing ASIS&T Central
Staff that is eager and willing to help is also important as well. We here at ASIS&T central want to do our best in helping you achieve the goals you set for yourself in the information science field. ASIS&T central is a key resource to making the most of your member experience! So get in touch and together we can assist you on the road to success! Resolve, engage, be active, ask questions, and remember we are here to support you when you need it! Remember follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Join ASIS&T.
Renew Your Membership.
See Full List of Benefits.


Engage with your Professional Society!

ASIS&T is seeking volunteers for the Membership Committee, Professional Development Committee, Standards Committee, SIGs, Chapters, and award juries. Volunteering with ASIS&T not only allows you to give back to your professional community, but it provides opportunities for networking, professional advancement, service hours, and peer recognition. ASIS&T strives to ensure that you get as much out of your service to ASIS&T as you put into it. We could not do all that we do without the hard work that our volunteers contribute to the organization each year. We hope you'll consider joining this workforce.

The ASIS&T community is committed to the values of diversity and inclusion, which we believe support our efforts to achieve and sustain excellence in the information science and technology field. We believe that we can best promote excellence by engaging a diverse group members and other stakeholders, and providing opportunities at all levels of engagement for any individual or group that shares these values. ASIS&T leaders, volunteers, and staff will strive to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of all program planning and development efforts in order to ensure the most welcoming and engaging environment possible for our stakeholders.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be an ASIS&T Member in good standing throughout the term of volunteer service.
  • Members in all categories are eligible to serve.
  • Must be able to commit to the term of service. In the case of committees this is two years with the option to renew and task forces this is typically one year. In the case of award juries, this is typically 2-3 months in the spring.

If you are a current ASIS&T member and would like to volunteer, please fill out this form no later than December 31, 2018.


Annual Meeting 2019 Announcement








82nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology

Melbourne, Australia | 19 – 23 October 2019


Information has been the root cause of significant changes in economic, social, scientific, political, and personal behaviours. But such changes are only realized when information is delivered to the right group, at the right place, at the right time, and in the right way. Information is so tightly woven into our professional and personal activities that we can sometimes forget that human choices, which are sometimes embedded in technology, drive how data is produced, stored, shared, preserved, managed, and consumed.



Conference Co-Chair: Catherine Blake, University of Illinois

Conference Co-Chair: Cecelia Brown, University of Oklahoma

Paper Co-Chair: VG Vinod Vydiswaran, University of Michigan

Paper Co-Chair: Theresa Anderson, University of Technology, Sydney


Poster Co-Chair: Ian Ruthven, University of Strathclyde

Poster Co-Chair: Dan Wu, Wuhan University


Panels & Alternative Events Co-Chair: Joan Bartlett, McGill University

Panels & Alternative Events Co-Chair: Dietmar Wolfram, University of Wisconsin


Doctoral Colloquium Co-Chair: Pnina Fichman, University of Indiana

Doctoral Colloquium Co-Chair: Howard Rosenbaum

Call for Proposals

We invite original submissions to the ASIS&T Annual Meeting that will shed light on any aspect of information production, organization, discovery, analysis, storage, representation, retrieval, visualization, manipulation, dissemination, use, evaluation, management and consumption. With a long tradition spanning more than 80 years, the ASIS&T community draws from and contributes to a wide variety of methods, theories, and approaches and we encourage authors to employ the best approach to address their information centric research questions. Submissions that emphasise how the place, time and the way in which information is delivered can galvanize or disenfranchise communities are particularly encouraged. Submissions can take the form of a paper, panel, workshop or poster and this year we will introduce an alternative event category.

Join a cadre of scholars and professionals from around the globe to share research, innovations, and insights regarding the impact of information science and technology on individuals, groups, organizations, governments and societies throughout the world.



Submission of papers due: 10 April 2019

Notification regarding submitted papers: 16 May 2019

Camera-ready accepted papers due: 12 July 2019

Workshops &Tutorials

Submission of proposals due: 10 April 2019

Notification regarding submitted proposals: 26 April 2019

Panels and Alternative Events

Submission of panels and workshop proposals due: 27 May 2019

Notifications regarding submitted panels and workshops: 10 June 2019

Camera-ready accepted panels and workshop descriptions due: 12 July 2019


Submission of posters due: 17 June 2019

Notifications regarding submitted posters: 23 July 2019

Camera-ready accepted posters due: 3 August 2019

Doctoral Colloquium

Proposal submissions due:  July 14, 2019

Notifications regarding submitted proposals:  August 25, 2019


*Subject to change. Please check for final dates as of 2 January 2019


Watch the Conference Website for additional information on submission formats and templates.


Submission site: Site will open for submissions 2 January 2019



Announcing ASIS&T 2020!

You voted and we heard you. By a margin of twenty votes, the members that voted for the 2020 Annual Meeting city chose Pittsburgh over Las Vegas for the meeting which will take place in November (specific venue and dates to be finalized by the end of January. To view the actual vote results, please click on the chart below.


Giving Opportunities

Help advance the field of information science by financially supporting programs that fund needed information science and technology research. Together we can make a difference.

As you think about year-end giving, there are a number of funds that you can donate to including the General Fund, Development fund or the Bob Williams History Fund.

To contribute to the fund, please visit the ASIS&T Charitable Donation page and select the fund you would like to donate to.

Since 1937, the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) has been the association for information professionals leading the search for new and better theories, techniques, and technologies to improve access to information. You can help keep ASIS&T on the cutting edge by making a tax-deductible donation. Thank you for your support!


Upcoming Events


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Have an idea for an ASIS&T article, webinar or training activity?  Help us help you by sharing your ideas! Contact Us