Inside ASIS&T, February 2019
In the past three months, one matter that has dominated my attention is membership. How do we recruit and how do we retain members? It would seem that members emerge from their various educational programmes or through other members’ encouragement. Often they join when they attend a conference, and then drop. Why? How do we reverse this pattern?
First, we need to consider what added value we offer members. What is the benefit of joining and contributing to ASIS&T, regardless of where one lives and works? In an era of many competing services and activities, we need to ask that difficult question and have a very clear decisive response.
Yes, we can talk about our world-class journal, our Annual Meeting, perhaps the Doctoral Consortium and New Leaders programme, and our SIGS and Chapters. These are clearly feature of our Association. How do these benefit a member and what other benefits do we offer? A potential member’s resources (both time and money) are limited, and people make definitive choices in this thumbs up and thumbs down world.
Our problem: what services should we be offering? Should it be in additional education and learning opportunities through webinars, tutorials, etc.? Should it be in mentoring those new to the field, or those about to leap from a career in research to one in administration? Should it be about providing additional dissemination tools, e.g., new journals to provide further avenues for dissemination research, something to communicate with media or policymakers? Or what?
Clarity is important. A member needs to know the benefits of being a member. For association viability, we need people to want to join our Association and accrue those benefits. And we need to know how best to use our limited resources.
Over the course of this year, we hope to have some answers. Stay tuned for a survey (yes, sigh, a survey) to acquire a membership perspective.
LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Greetings from ASIS&T Central. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and that your New Year is off a great start. Your staff has been busy since the winter break. Among our current priorities is selecting a new website and database platform that will greatly enhance your member experience and make your member benefits more readily accessible. Our hope is to have the database system launched ahead of registration for the 2019 annual meeting. Be on the lookout for news about the new system in April.
Another activity that has kept us busy since Vancouver is identifying a venue for the 2020 Annual Meeting. Based on your feedback, we selected Pittsburgh as the city where we will hold the meeting in 2020. We then set about identifying a hotel that would allow us to have full flexibility in our meeting schedule while also ensuring affordability for the association and our members. I’m happy to report that we have found just such a hotel and the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh. I was amused to learn, after we selected the hotel, this is the same hotel that ASIS&T met in for the 2010 annual meeting, so many of you will probably be familiar with it. However, since 2010 it has undergone and continues to undergo substantial renovation and refurbishment. There will be all new sleeping rooms available in time for our meeting in 2020, and the meeting space has all been completely redone and updated.
I’m also happy to report that we were able to negotiate a very positive contract that will save money both for the Association and meeting attendees. We secured a sleeping room rate of $179 per night. This compares very favorably to the over $200 rates offered by other hotels over the same dates. In addition, the hotel has offered substantial concessions and rebates to ASIS&T that will enable us to control registration costs for attendees. These concessions include such things as suite upgrades, discounts on food and beverage, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. All of this will enable us to keep registration rates down and offer more opportunities to attendees.
The ASIS&T Annual Meeting is a challenging one to place in a hotel because of the high ratio of meeting space to sleeping rooms that we require. We typically use most of a hotel’s meeting space while only using roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of it sleeping rooms. While we recognized that attendees must control their own costs by sharing rooms or staying in other venues that are less expensive, being unable to guarantee a sizable room block limits our negotiating ability with the few hotels that have adequate space for our needs.
As we look forward to the 2021 Annual Meeting, the Board has decided that that meeting will take place in North America. Given the fact that we are meeting in the eastern part of North America in 2020, we will be looking at cities in the midwest and west for this meeting. Under current consideration are Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Phoenix, and Calgary. However, we are certainly open to suggestions from members as to where you might like to see us meet. Not every city will have hotels large enough to accommodate our meeting needs, but we are always eager to identifying new cities and venues. You can plan on the 2022 meeting taking place in Europe. Once 2021 is nailed down, we will tackle finding a city and hotel for that meeting. As we did with the 2020 meeting, we will share the finalists with the membership and ask for your preference.
I share all of this detail so that our members and meeting attendees understand what goes into selection of a venue for meeting. Much thought is given to this issue by the Board as well as the staff. While we embrace the international/global makeup of our membership, we must simultaneously balance the costs involved in hosting a meeting outside of North America. The upcoming Melbourne meeting will be a learning experience for all of us and will help inform how we go about site selection for international meetings in the future. It will also be an opportunity to learn how many of our North American-based members are able to travel such a far distance to attend the meeting, and how many new attendees and members we might garner in that region. This will greatly inform site selection going forward.
As always, I welcome your input and feedback on this and any other issues you have in mind. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your thoughts and suggestions. I am always open to them.
I hope to see many of you at the iConference at the end of March. If you have time while you’re in town, please think about stopping by the headquarters office. We are only a 15 minute drive from where the conference is being held. The staff is here to welcome you.
The Board of Directors met on January 31 via Zoom Conference. In attendance were Elaine Toms (President); Lisa Given (Past President); Clara Chu (President-Elect); June Abbas (Treasurer); James Andrews; Dania Bilal; Sarah Buchanan; Timothy Dickey; Emily Knox; Agnes Mainka; Heather O’Brien; Michael Olsson; Soo Young Rieh; Lydia Middleton (Executive Director); and Steve Hardin (Parliamentarian).
The agenda included the following items:
- Consent Agenda which included:
- Minutes of November Meeting
- Executive Director’s Report
- November 2018 Financial Statements
- President’s Report
- Preliminary Draft Budget
- Futures Think Tank
- Committee Status
- Annual Meeting Pattern Options
- Future Planning Process
- Nominations Committee & Structure
The following issues were discussed and/or decided:
The November meeting minutes were approved and can be found on the ASIS&T website. The Executive Director’s report made reference to the Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting held in Cambodia in early January. The Board asked for input from Lisa Given because she was in attendance at that meeting. They also asked that Lydia Middleton request an evaluation report from Sam Chu who managed the meeting on the ground.
Elaine Toms reviewed the report that she provided to the Board that covered these topics: About the Board; Committees; Awards Procedures; Lois Lunin Contribution; an Honor Roll for the Association; an Information Science Think Tank; the New Leaders Program; Planning; Our Relationship with ALISE and the iSchools. Several of these items are touched upon elsewhere in the agenda, so she only addressed those that were not to be discussed later. She reported that she is working on setting up a task force to look at guidelines for creating an award based on the Lois Lunin contribution. Lydia Middleton reported that the revised award guidelines developed by the Awards & Honors Committee and reviewed by the Board had been approved by the Board by electronic vote. Elaine noted that she would like the Awards & Honors Committee to look into the possibility of creating an honor roll for ASIS&T members. She noted that the New Leaders program did not have revised guidelines but she would like to look into this program more closely and evaluate it for its alignment with the goals and objectives of the Association. The Board discussed the issue of the ongoing review and revision to awards guidelines. It was agreed that the Awards and Honors Committee would be asked to revisit the guidelines after the award selection process has been concluded this year.
PRELIMINARY DRAFT BUDGET
Lydia Middleton reviewed a preliminary draft budget that was prepared based on continuing with the same assumptions as the 2019 budget, with as many expense limitations as are feasible. She noted that even with these cutbacks, the bottom line is substantially in the red. She asked the Board to give considerable thought in the coming months to new revenue opportunities for the Association. The Board will receive a revised budget in April, which they will be asked to approve at that time.
Lydia Middleton reported that there will be a meeting of representatives from ALISE, the iSchools and ASIS&T held in conjunction with iConference at the end of March. The purpose of this meeting is to continue the conversation around closer cooperation of the three organizations. Lydia noted that iFederation is a term that we are using to describe this planned cooperation of these three organizations, but that it is not an actual organization or even a proposed organization at this time.
FUTURES THINK TANK
Elaine Toms reminded the Board that one of her objectives in her President year is to bring a group of people together to take a closer look at the future of information science and how we define ourselves. She noted that we had explored the idea of holding such a meeting in conjunction with the iConference, but were unable to resolve the logistics quickly enough to make it happen. She believes there a couple of models for such a meeting. One would be to bring a group of invited guests together at shared expense between ASIS&T and the invitees, and holding a 2- to 3-day meeting. Alternately, we might want to think about holding one-day meetings in conjunction with the major meetings taking place in the profession over the next year, allowing us to engage more people and get more international/global input. She will come to the Board with a formal proposal in April for the Think Tank.
Elaine Toms reported that several of the committees are now established and operational. Professional Development and Research Engagement have required more careful thought given the strategic role of these two committees. She currently has a task force working on professional development issues which will help inform committee discussion was that is established.
ANNUAL MEETING PATTERN OPTIONS
The Board revisited previous policy around the pattern of where annual meetings will be held each year. The prior policy was that meetings in even-numbered years would be held in North America and in odd-numbered years they would be held outside of North America, alternating between the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. Recognizing the significant investment of both funds and staff time that goes into planning and managing a meeting outside of North America, the Board opted to revisit the question of whether or not meeting every other year outside North America was the right thing to be doing given our current financial constraints. The Board ultimately decided that the annual meeting would be held in North America for two consecutive years and in the third year be held outside North America, with the location of that meeting being decided upon by the board four years in advance.
FUTURE PLANNING PROCESS
Clara Chu reviewed a planning document that she prepared for the Board’s consideration. The document outlines the process for strategic planning that would allow for both long-term and short-term plans to be developed. She noted that at the April meeting we will have an opportunity to consider a planning process that would begin at the conclusion of the current strategic plan which is next year.
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE & STRUCTURE
Lisa Given, Chair of the Nominations Committee for 2019, reported that she had invited the following individuals to serve on the Nominations Committee:
- Nushrat Khan, Research Data Librarian, University of Bath, United Kingdom (ASIST SIG Representative)
- Kayla Siddell, Scholarly Communications and Instruction Librarian, Xavier University of Louisiana, USA (ASIST Chapter Representative)
- Stan Karanasios, Senior Research Fellow, Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University, Australia
- Sanghee Oh, Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Science, Chungnam National University, South Korea
The next meeting of the ASIS&T Board will take place on April 4 & 5 at The Hotel at the University of Maryland. Any members wishing to attend are welcome to do so. Please contact Lydia Middleton if you wish to attend.
ASIS&T CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS REVISION UPDATE – YOUR INPUT IS REQUESTED – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 1 DUE TO NEW ADDITIONS
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 1 April, 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
PLEASE NOTE: Two additional components have been added to the revised Bylaws since they were originally shared with members for input. These components are a revision to the way that the Nominations Committee is appointed, removing the Past President as Chair of the Nominations Committee in order to ensure greater transparency. The wording for that modification is as follows:
4.11.7. Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee shall consist of five members, who shall be members of the association appointed by the Board of Directors and who shall not be members of the Board of Directors. The Chapter Assembly and the Special Interest Group Cabinet shall each recommend one member of the Association to serve as a member of the Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee shall seek the advice and consent of the Board on the qualifications of the proposed slate of nominees before it is presented to the membership for vote.
The second revision was agreed to by the Board and C&B Committee but inadvertently left out of the document shared with members. That addition is as follows:
4.5.4. The Board shall engage a polling officer to oversee the elections process.
If you have already submitted comments but wish to address these two changes/additions, please do so with a new form.
If you have any questions on the documents or form, please contact Lydia Middleton directly.
ANNUAL MEETING 2019
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.
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, tutorial or poster/visual presentation, and this year we will introduce an alternative event category.
Submit your proposals/abstracts to be considered for presentation at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Melbourne, AU, 19-23 October 2019
Submission of papers due: 10 April 2019
Submission of papers due: 11 March 2019
Workshops and Tutorials
Submission of proposals due: 10 April 2019
Panels and Alternative Events
Submission of panels and alternative events proposals due: 28 May 2019
Submission of posters due: 17 June 2019
Proposal submissions due: 15 July 2019
To stay up to date on all things ASIS&T 2019 Annual Meeting, please visit the AM19 website here.
Also, consider exhibiting at the meeting. We make it easy for you to participate. You can either purchase a standard 10’exhibit booth for $1,500 or $1,000 for an unmanned booth if you are not able to attend. Please review the details and consider exhibiting your products and services to over 500 attendees. Click here to find out more about exhibitor opportunities!
We have many sponsorships available to fit every budget which will provide maximum exposure to attendees at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Melbourne, Australia. There are sponsorship packages ranging from $300 to $8,000, as well as exclusive sponsorship's of specific events such as the Opening or Closing Plenary or Welcome Reception, to name a few. You might also want to support specific give away items such as the meeting registration bags, pens, and lanyards. These items range from $1,000-$5,000. Please click the link below to explore all of our sponsorship opportunities. If you don’t see exactly what you want in the list of offerings, please contact ASIS&T Meetings and we will work with you to craft the right package. Click here to find out more about sponsorship opportunities!
CALL FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS
The Association for Information Science & Technology is pleased to announce that we are now accepting nominations for the following awards:
Award of Merit
Best Information Science Book Award
Best JASIST Paper Award
Clarivate Analytics Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship
Clarivate Analytics Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award
Cretsos Leadership Award
Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award
ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award
Research in Information Science Award
Watson Davis Award for Service
Please carefully review the award guidelines and consider nominating yourself or a colleague for one of these prestigious awards. The deadline for nominations for all of these awards is 1 April 2019.
What attracted you to information science as a profession and field of study?
I was attracted to information science because the field allows me to explore and understand complex topics that impact the world we live in today. Rather than being a purely abstract exploration—though those have plenty value—I like that the profession concerns itself with producing knowledge that is actionable, consequential, and relevant.
In what area of information science do you practice, teach or do research? What about that area of practice/study made you choose it?
I am currently pursing my MSLIS at Pratt Institute with an advanced certificate in Digital Humanities. I am also deeply interested in Data Librarianship. Before coming to Pratt, I earned a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts and a Master’s degree in Art History. For me, the combination of the analytical tools that information science offers with the complex, untidy inquiry of the humanities is particularly intriguing.
Why did you join ASIS&T and what does your membership in ASIS&T do for you?
It was very important to me to become a member as a means of connecting with the field. My work as an officer in a student chapter (ASIST@Pratt) allows me to be part of the larger community of information science professionals. In addition to access to webinars and JASIST, the organization keeps me abreast of developments in the field and fosters professional networking through participation in regional and national chapters.
What advice would you give to young people contemplating information science as a potential profession or field of study?
From a data librarianship perspective, information science is much broader than it used to be. Potential students should be aware that the (meta)data we work with can, and do, have the ability to influence policy, change and shape opinion, offer solutions to complex problems, and potentially change the world in which we live. I would remind them to have empathy for the communities and individuals who are the sources for, or could be impacted by, the data we analyze. It is also important to approach each problem with as much rigor and awareness possible to prevent or minimize errors of concept, design, or analysis.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge for those working in information science in the next decade?
While it is impossible to say for sure what the future will bring, I think the biggest challenge will be in understanding how big data, the Internet of Things, and the continued role of technology will impact the field in ways we can’t yet imagine. How will our future selves balance the societal urge of data-driven decision-making in the West with the need for empathetic human interrelationships?
ASIS&T turns the spotlight on members to highlight how they are making a difference and how they have benefited from ASIS&T membership. It offers an opportunity for you to share your story with your colleagues, inspire future information science professionals, and strengthen awareness of the profession and association. To nominate another member or yourself, submit your nomination here.
CHAPTER & SIG NEWS
SIG-Social Media Update
We would like to inform you that we will have our first webinar:
Topic: The Challenges of Preserving and Sharing Social Media Research Data
Social Media data is currently being used as research data across disciplines to help researchers gain insights into communication patterns and human behavior. However, much of the content in social media is ephemeral and may change or even disappear over time. Solutions for preserving social media data both for today’s research and future uses are needed – but are difficult to obtain. This talk will give an overview on the current approaches for archiving social media data and will explain some of the most urgent challenges including platform lockdowns and data accessibility and discussions about (research) ethics.
Speaker: Dr. Katrin Weller
Dr. Katrin Weller is an information scientist working at GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Köln (Cologne), Department Computational Social Science. At GESIS, she is head of the “Social Analytics and Services”team and interested in new approaches to using social media in social science research, including documenting and archiving social media data. She is studying social media and online communities, for example in the context of scholarly communication and altmetrics.
Date: 21 March 2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (EDT)
Panel endorsement for the ASIS&T annual meeting 2019:
The deadline for the ASIS&T Annual Meeting panels is due to 28 May 2019. We would be delighted to support you in the form of an panel endorsement by SIG SM! Don’t hesitate to write us (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Your SIG Social Media!
European Chapter Update
Within this year's ASIS&T Annual Meeting, the European Chapter (EC) and its student Chapter, the ESC, organized a miniBARcamp aiming at providing an open space for interesting discussions and relaxed conversations. Building on the success of our first miniBARcamp in 2016 during the Annual Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, this year's event again brought Europe to the conference. The miniBARcamp was a place to meet and get in touch with other students, researchers and practitioners from all over the world, to have a snack and enjoy the evening. Beside easy conversations, Tjaša Jug and Souvick Gosh, two winners of our Scientivity contest presented their submissions. The participants enthusiastically played Tjaša's board game "Metadventure. From Storyteller to Bestseller", with which she was awarded first place in the contest. We further invited three professors to join our interactive quiz about questions "We never dared to ask". Marie L. Radford, Stefanie Haustein and Dirk Lewandowski met the challenge to answer questions from the audience. Beside serious concerns about doctoral theses and academic work our three experienced researchers also revealed some secrets about things they do in their office, when nobody is watching. For example, Stefanie Haustein confessed to having eaten most of the sweets, which she promised to bring to her students in class.
The ESC enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at the miniBARcamp and we hope to relaunch this event within further upcoming Annual Meetings. Thank you to everyone who participated, either by asking questions, by joining interesting conversations or by providing support in preparing the miniBARcamp. Special thanks goes to our two scientivity winners Tjaša Jug and Souvick Gosh and of course, Marie L. Radford, Stefanie Haustein and Dirk Lewandowski for answering all those questions we never dared to ask.
NEW AT ASIS&T CENTRAL
We are pleased to announce the recent hiring of two new employees Cathy Nash, CMP and Ayesha Plaskett in the positions of Director of Meetings and Events and Administrative Assistant to the ASIS&T Central team.
Our latest hire to ASIS&T Central, Ayesha Plaskett is our new Administrative Assistant. Ayesha joined ASIS&T Central in February 2019. Ayesha brings to ASIS&T over ten years of non-profit experience. Before joining ASIS&T, Ayesha worked for the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association. The administrative assistant position is responsible for various tasks throughout ASIS&T Central as well as the general support of team members on tasks and essential projects.
Our other new hire is Director of Meeting and Events Cathy Nash, who joined the ASIS&T team in December of 2018. Cathy earned her CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) in 2004. Before joining ASIS&T Cathy worked for the American Psychiatric Association (a nonprofit medical association). She brings over 35 years of meeting planning experience to ASIS&T Central. The Director of Meetings and Events is responsible for managing and overseeing the logistical and administrative support needs of ASIS&T conferences.
- The Challenges of Preserving and Sharing Social Media Research Data
- 2019 Virtual Symposium on Information & Technology in the Arts and Humanities Video Games and Information Science
- 19-23 October 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting
- Information Science and Technology Calendar
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