SIG/STI is currently planning programs for the next ASIST Annual Meeting. For more information, please contact the SIG/STI officers.
SIG/STI co-sponsored the second ASIST Summit on Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources (DASER 2) which took place in College Park, Maryland.
Surveys of Scientists and Engineers: Ensuring Reliable Research Evidence for Good Practice (SIGs STI, USE)
Carol Tenopir, Donald W. King, Cecelia Brown, Bradley M. Hemminger, Jon Jablonski (Reactor), K.T.L. Vaughan (Moderator)
Information scientists around the globe have made tremendous progress in understanding how scientists and engineers find and use information by through the use of a wide variety of survey instruments. Librarians and publishers increasingly turn to the data generated by these instruments in an effort to design and implement information products and services that the scientific community needs and desires. Three researchers experienced in studying the information seeking behavior of academics will describe their current investigations distinguishing between the survey mechanisms found to be effective or ineffective. Discussion will be led and provoked by the moderator and reactor who both have experience providing library services to this community. The last third of the session will be an open discussion soliciting comments and questions about trends, survey design, and survey experiences.
Managing and Disseminating Scientific Data and Information: A Technical Discussion (SIG STI)
Jian Qin [moderator], Syracuse University; Bonnie Carroll, Information International Associates, Inc.; Brad Hemminger, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jon Jablonski, University of Oregon.
The management of scientific data and information is becoming increasingly important as the data volume grows rapidly. Scientific data management is affected by many factors in policy, legal, and technical areas. What is involved in scientific data management? What is the status of research and development in this area? How are libraries and information institutions responding to this new area of collections and services? This panel brings experts in this area to address some of these questions.
Organizing the Concepts of Science: Science Ontologies and the Semantic Web (SIG STI)
Gail Hodge [moderator], Information International Associates, Inc.; Ralph Hodgson, TopQuadrant, Inc.; Harold Solbrig, Mayo Clinic; Dagobert Soergel, University of Maryland
An ontology is an explicit, formal representation of the concepts, objects or other entities in a particular domain and the relationships among them. These advanced knowledge organization structures are increasing in number and relevance as computer to computer processing of information becomes more prevalent. They have been developed in many scientific disciplines where computer agents are being developed to support the scale of work and to implement semantic web technologies that will provide more precise information upon which both humans and computers can act. The session focuses on ontologies in three specific science domains where research is meeting practice. Each case study will describe the ontologies in the domain, discuss development and implementation methodologies and technologies, identify issues, and discuss methods that are being developed to increase interoperability and integration of multiple ontologies.
E:Science The New Environment for Scientific and Technical Information Management (SIG STI)
Sangtae "Sang" Kim, National Science Foundation (firstname.lastname@example.org); Gary Foley (email@example.com) Neil Beagrie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dramatic change in scientific research practice is underway. Computers are commonplace. High-speed networks that bring terms such as teraflop and petabyte to conversations regarding data and computational resources are making e-science a reality. New levels and global partnerships of collaborative work are taking place thanks to this terascale-ready infrastructure. What do these cyberinfrastructures mean for the conduct of science? What implications do these changes have for the management, organization, access, and preservation of scientific and technical information?
Managing Information from Scientific Research Projects: Exposing Hidden Knowledge (SIG STI)
Suzanne Cristina (email@example.com) Jayne Dutra (firstname.lastname@example.org) Robert Allen (email@example.com)
Research institutes, national laboratories, colleges, universities, and commercial companies conduct millions of scientific projects each year. Increasingly, the output of this research is digital -- including objects such as documents, streaming video, datasets, computer programs and websites. The objects that result from scientific projects may be stored in document management, records management or project library systems. However, these objects are often considered ephemeral and are generally hard to discover and reuse, especially after the project is completed. This panel, sponsored by SIG STI, will discuss the importance of information from scientific projects and the efforts that are underway to expose the hidden knowledge of these resources in ways that are beneficial to the researchers and to the organizations. The development of core metadata sets, along with ontologies and other techniques for knowledge organization will be discussed.
Reference Services and Knowledge Bases: When is Help Helpful? (SIGs STI, LT and USE)
Peter Armenti, Library of Congress Boris Katz, Artifical Intelligence Laboratory, MIT R. David Lankes, Syracuse University Information Institute Scott Nicholson, Syracuse University Information Institute
This panel will discuss research and opportunities in the area of knowledge bases. With large numbers of users utilizing the internet for reference assistance and expecting "instant answers," there is a greater and greater need to meet these demands. There is much work and research going on in the area of building knowledge bases to answer questions that are frequently asked. How useful are these knowledge bases? When are they helpful, and when are they not helpful? This panel features researchers and librarians who are building and using knowledge bases, who will share their knowledge, experience, and thoughts for the future. Peter Armenti will be speaking about QuestionPoint and the use of knowledge bases as a tool to support reference activities at the Library of Congress. He will explore several Library reading rooms’ experiences using the QuestionPoint knowledge bases, and will summarize staff perceptions of the costs and benefits of adding, editing, maintaining, searching, and using knowledge base records. Boris Katz will be presenting information about The START Information Access System, which is a language-based information access system that has been available to users of the World Wide Web since 1993. He will outline major modules and capabilities of the system, give examples of START in operation, and sketch out current development and future horizons. Finally, Scott Nicholson and R. David Lankes will present their plans and status for the Development of the Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW), an NSF funded project for which will create archival standards for reference transactions, create anonymization tools, and apply bibliomining to create a management information system and create the collaborative infrastructure to make the DREW a reality.
Digital Preservation: Spanning the Distance from Past to Future (SIGs DL, STI)
Neil Beagrie, British Libary/Joint Information Systems Committee - firstname.lastname@example.org Sayeed Choudhury, Johns Hopkins University - email@example.com Amy Friedlander, CLIR/Library of Congress - firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Myers, Adobe - email@example.com
Each day, tens of thousands of digital documents are created around the world. There are many challenges to preserving these digital resources and securing our global knowledge base. Digital objects are inherently fragile and they are threatened by physical deterioration and technological obsolescence. Preservation of digital resources requires active management of the resources and the supporting technology, as well as, an awareness of current research and practice at sites around the world. Many feel that successful digital preservation strategies require the formation of alliances with national and international agencies, as well as with industry.
This panel discusses preservation issues, strategies, research, and partnerships. Session attendees will learn about:
- The digital preservation activities of the British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee, including their collaborative programs for digital preservation with national, international, and corporate participants, and their support of services, technology, and standards for digital preservation.
- The issues identified by Library of Congress as the key in digital preservation, and the current efforts and research led by the Library , as well as the Library’s preservation strategy for the future.
- The special preservation issues related to the cyberinfrastructure for science and engineering. This National Science Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Panel report focuses on large-scale digital science projects with large, heterogenous, and distributed datasets. Preservation strategies address the processes, policies, and systems necessary to facilitate long-term preservation of these datasets.
- The development of PDF/A and PDF/XML and how these formats can be used to archive and preserve digital and enablevthe fidelity of digital documents for generations to come This session is designed to be interactive in nature, with each speaker making a presentation that sets the stage for an engaged conversation with the audience.
Beyond the Sandbox: Wikis and Blogs That Get Work Done (SIG STI)
Moderators: K.T.L. Vaughan: User Services Librarian, UNC-CH Health Sciences Library (firstname.lastname@example.org) Jon Jablonski: Science Librarian, University of Oregon (email@example.com) Speakers: Cameron Marlow: PhD Student, Electronic Publishing Group of the MIT Media Laboratory (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sunir Shah: Editor, MeatballWiki; MS Student, University of Toronto Information School and the Knowledge Media Design Institute (email@example.com) Ross Mayfield: CEO, Socialtext (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emerging at first as popular culture phenomena, Wikis and Blogs have become information tools that many professionals use every day for scholarly and corporate collaborative work. Leaders in the field will discuss wikis and blogs as community building technologies, and will address issues of creation, maintenance, and evalution of the tools.
Cameron Marlow originated and manages Blogdex, a service that tracks the diffusion of links and ideas through the population of webloggers. He designed Blogdex to analyze the "information epidemics" that occur when informal social networks form around bloggers who link to, and write about, the news, society, and the internet.
Sunir Shah edits the MeatballWiki, a “metawiki” focused on building online communities. Self-defined as a "community of communities: an intercommunity or metacommunity", it seems to be a community only because it is a group of people that has come together online to talk about what it means to be a community. What differentiates the MeatballWiki from many online meta-communities is that participants spend most of their time talking about sociology rather than technology; and when they do talk about technology, they do so in a social context.
Ross Mayfield is the CEO of Socialtext, a company that markets “enterprise social software” to help businesses manage and enhance their information products through collaborative models. Products include the Socialtext Kwikspace, a prepackaged wiki designed for the technically savvy, and Socialtext Workspace, a hybrid wiki/blog that allows online collaboration and simple publishing of results.
21-23 November 2003 – DASER
SIG/STI co-sponsored the ASIST Summit on Digital Archives for Science & Engineering Resources (DASER) which took place 21-23 November 2003, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This summit conference explored issues surrounding the creation of digital archives, including standards, repository systems, long-term preservation and handling large data sets.
Subject-Based Virtual Reference: Avenues and Vehicles for Success
Jennifer Edelman; Jiangping Chen; Jeffrey Pomerantz; Diane Kresh
This panel will discuss research and opportunities in the area of subject-based virtual reference. With larger numbers of users utilizing the internet for reference, and many libraries offering virtual reference desks, there are many opportunities for success and some potential problems. Today's internet user expects "instant answers," which may not be possible unless they can tap into some subject expertise, or expert system. In this panel, three different avenues of subject-based virtual reference will be discussed. Presentations will focus on the following topics: 1) the potential of multi-library systems and consortia offering virtual reference services staffed by subject specialists in a particular area of expertise; 2) a discussion of progress in automatic question answering systems, and a strategy to take advantage of automatic answering systems and subject specialists to best satisfy users' needs 3) question categorization and automatic routing; and 4) automated question routing based on fielded data.
The Impact of Digitization of Scientific Information on the Scholarly Communication of Scientists
Cokie Anderson, Oklahoma State University; Tony Bremholm, The University of Oklahoma; Cecelia Brown, The University of Oklahoma; Brad Hemminger, University of North Carolina Moderator: K.T.L. Vaughan, University of North Carolina Sponsors: SIGs--STI and DL
The possibility of a freely accessible universal open archive containing all scholarly material is quickly becoming a reality. This is especially the case for scientific information where the increase in openly available scientific material, such as e-prints, e-journals, as well as genetic sequences, experimental results, and statistical analyses is beyond that believed imaginable a decade ago. Not only is an array of scientific information available on the Internet as soon as it is created, but older information, as well as less mainstream information, is also being mounted on the Internet for the benefit of the global scientific community. In order to be useful, however, electronically archived materials must first be digitized and then classified and indexed in order for scientists to retrieve the information quickly and easily. How this is accomplished has a direct impact on the ways in which scientists work and communicate. The panelists in this session will discuss current research on the challenges and solutions for the digitization of scientific information employing adaptations to XML. Also a project describing how a variety of digital scientific objects can be stored and retrieved using a single generic framework based on the Open Archives Initiative standards and Dublin Core metadata will be presented. Additionally the effects of digitization on the influence of a small state scientific association’s proceedings upon the communication of scientific ideas to the wider scientific community will be discussed. Lastly, a panelist will describe a project exploring the use and usability of bioinformatics databases. The panelists’ insights will provide both a behind the scenes and a front stage view of the creation, management, and use of freely available electronic scientific information.
From Anytime, Anywhere to All-The-Time, Everywhere: Learning Objects, Broadband and Wireless Reshape Digital Libraries for Learning and Research
Vicki L. Gregory, University of South Florida Diane Austin, University of South Florida Richard Austin, Florida State University Tom Terrell, University of South Florida
Learning objects are among the latest types of materials to be included in digital libraries. These are small portions of lesson material designed to be used in multiple configurations for multiple instructional applications, ranging from distance learning to interactive simulation. As broadband and wireless technologies change the expectations and performance patterns of the user, learning objects change the nature of content and the way that it must be managed. The size and diversity of digital collections affect the options through which these materials can be accessed. Many libraries are offering wireless access to their networks and many individuals are accessing digital libraries off-site using broadband technologies. Each of these trends affects decisions made for collection development, portal design and network design, and those decisions dictate specific technological requirements for access.
This panel session highlights management and infrastructure issues of digital libraries as they relate to learning objects, broadband and wireless technologies.
The Role of "Unpublished" Research in the Scholarly Communication of Scientists: Digital Preprints and Bioinformation Databases (SIGs STI, PUB & BIO)
The publication of research findings in a peerreviewed journal has long been the hallmark of scientific communication. En route to journal publication, research might be communicated through conference proceedings, technical reports and preprints. With the advent of the digital age, new models for scientific communication include virtual conferences, email and online journal publication. In fact, in some disciplines, electronic preprints have become a primary mode of information dissemination. In contrast, however, biomedical scientists are reluctant to accept electronic preprints for their scholarly work, though they do share DNA and protein sequence data through deposits in more than 200 publicly available Webbased databases.
You will learn about:
- Current and potential impact of large, dynamic, yet not peerreviewed, information warehouses on the scholarly communication of scientific researchers.
Cecelia Brown, University of Oklahoma
Joan C. Bartlett, University of Toronto
Kate McCain, Drexel University
Pat Krietz, SLACSPIRES
Greg Paris , Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research
Moderator: Julie Hurd, University of IllinoisChicago
The Changing Face of Scientific Communication: Developing New Models for Scholarly Publishing in the Electronic Environment (SIGs STI & PUB)
The systems of scientific and scholarly communication are changing rapidly with the growth of the Internet, and not all of these changes are positive. The 20-year crisis in subscriptions costs, paired with the increasing recognition that copyright management is vitally important to the flow of information, has prompted many in scholarly communication fields to call for a sea change in how scientists formally share information. But is the Internet the solution and, if so, how will the Internet future look?
You will learn about:
- Legal, social and political questions – pertaining to copyright, peer review, tenure and promotion practices, cost, access versus ownership, and archiving – facing scientists and libraries
- The impact of these issues on projects and new journals being published in a variety of venues
K.T.L. Vaughan, NCSU Libraries Scholarly Communication Center
Julia Blixrud, SPARC
Karla Hahn, University of Maryland McKeldin Library
David Cohn, Journal of Machine Learning Research
Virtual Reference Services: Exploring the Open Source Options (SIGs DL, ED, LAN & STI)
Virtual reference services are rapidly becoming essential, particularly in academic libraries, and several well-established commercial vendors have moved into the market to provide virtual reference systems. However, by incorporating one of the available open source packages, libraries can fully customize their virtual reference services to better meet their institutions' needs. This session provides an overview of three opensource packages, discusses how they are being used and examines their role in providing academic reference services.
Pascal V. Calarco , Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
Jody Condit Fagan, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Sam Stormont, Temple University Libraries
Rong Tang, SUNY Albany
Rob Casson, Miami University
Virtual Reference: Evolving the Vehicle, Evaluating the Service and Optimizing the Link Between Providers and Users (SIGs STI, ED & MGT)
Interactive reference service over the World Wide Web is now offered or coming soon at most academic libraries and a growing number of public libraries. Virtual reference allows library staff to provide better service to remote users and to reach a growing population of users who have adopted the Web as their preferred medium for communicating and conducting business. As providers of a realworld service, library administrators want to see that they have an optimal hardware and software environment to deliver the best possible product to users. The three panelists will explore how virtual reference is developing and how quality can be measured.
You will learn about:
- LSSI's interactive reference interface and what has been learned about how the hardware and software environment maximize the effectiveness of the provider
- Issues related to developing statistics and measures for the project, "Assessing Quality in Digital Reference," which includes public, academic and state libraries
- Data and perspectives from a recent study of the 24x7 collaborative digital reference service offered by eight academic libraries in Illinois
Steve Coffman, VP, Product Development, LSSI Library Systems and Services
Charles R. McClure, Florida State University
Bernie Sloan , University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Co-Moderators: Ruth E. Fenske, John Carroll University; Penny O'Connor, Cleveland Public Library
NSDL: The National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Digital Library
Building on work done as part of the Digital Library Initiative, the National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL) is under construction with funding from the National Science Foundation. The NSDL, expected to be one of the largest and most heterogeneous digital libraries yet built, will offer Internet access to highquality educational materials.
You will learn about:
NSDL's support of education at all levels: preK-12, undergraduate and lifelong learning
Some 60 NSDL projects focused on four major areas:
- coordination and management of the library's core collections and services
- aggregation and management of a subset of the library's content within a coherent theme or specialty
- services which support users and collection providers and which enhance the impact, efficiency and value of the library
- exploration of specific topics that have immediate applicability to collections, services and other aspects of the development of the digital library
John Saylor, Cornell University
Saifur Rahman, Virginia Tech
Moderator: Deborah Helman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building Digital Repositories: A New Role for Academic Libraries
Increasingly, university libraries are being called on to take an active role in developing systems to capture, manage, distribute and store the digital collections and research products developed by their institutions. In this session, speakers will explore how several libraries have addressed the technical and policy challenges associated with developing an institutional digital repository.
You Will Learn About
- System design and architecture
- Metadata issues
- Authentication and authorization
- Rights management
Mackenzie Smith, Harvard University
Thornton Staples, University of Virginia
Michael Bass, HewlettPackard Company
Margret Branschofsky , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
From Print to Electronic: Studies of Use of Electronic Scientific and Medical Journals
(SIG STI, USE)
Electronic scientific and medical journals are coming of age. Research libraries are spending increasing amounts of money to develop digital collections, many of which now include thousands of electronic journals. Such journals offer many advantages for users including powerful searching capabilities and the ability to navigate easily among articles and databases to explore almost any current topic. For libraries, though, the growing popularity of electronic journals poses many challenges. Development of library collections based on electronic resources requires not only major funding, but also brings ongoing commitments for maintenance and staffing that are more extensive and qualitatively different from those associated with print resources. In this session, speakers will report on their studies of how universities are using these powerful, but costly new resources and what impact it is having on use of print resources. Their findings provide insights on the level of acceptance of electronic journals and suggest new directions in the management of digital resources.
You Will Learn About
- An analysis of the effect of electronic journals on the use of corresponding print titles
- An examination of how the basic and health sciences faculty at one university are using electronic journals, databases, and other digital resources to support their teaching and research activities
K.T. Vaughan, North Carolina State University
William Clintworth, University of Southern California
David Morse, University of Southern California
Deborah Blecic , University of Illinois, Chicago
Martin Brennan, University of Illinois, Chicago
Ann Weller, University of Illinois, Chicago
Julie Hurd, University of Illinois, Chicago
Genomics, Proteomics and Beyond: Meeting the Information Needs of Bioinformatics Researchers
The Human Genome Project has been called by some researchers the single most important development ever in biology and the biomedical sciences. Because of the project and related research initiatives, vast amounts of biological sequence data (both genes and proteins) have been compiled in a myriad of databases. Now researchers face the tremendous challenge of making sense of these huge amounts of data. The need to manage this vast pool of information resources has led to the rapid expansion of the field of bioinformatics, which encompasses the generation, handling, storage, retrieval and analysis of biological sequence data. Unlike traditional bibliographic databases, bioinformatics resources must be capable of storing, manipulating and analyzing huge quantities of nontextual biological information. In this session, speakers will discuss the burgeoning field of bioinformatics and the challenges posed by such large and complex information resources.
You Will Learn About
- The current and future information needs of bioinformatics researchers
- The accessibility and use of available information resources and services
- Problems that must be solved as research moves from the relatively "simple" world of gene sequencing to the more complex world of protein structure and function
Joan Bartlett, University of Toronto
Barbara Rapp, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine
JoAnne Sparks, BristolMyers Squibb
Kate McCain, Drexel University