Tentative ASIS&T Schedule

ASIS&T 2006 starts in a week in Austin, Texas. My professors, my advisor, Dean Smith whose class I broadcast, and others from GSLIS will all be there. I just sent in my dues for my 2nd year in ASIS&T a few days ago. Having just gotten my ALA renewal, I can say ALA will be a tougher choice; will probably drop ACRL. Add LITA? Don’t know yet.

Here’s a possible and tentative schedule that will end up deviated from for my visit to Austin:

Sun Nov 5th

New Members and 1st Time Attendee’s Brunch

Plenary Session: Albert-László Barabási

Theoretical Topics in FRBR (CR), Allen Renear (moderator), Jonathan Furner, Jerome McDonough, Carl Lagoze

Welcome Reception and SIG Rush — 69th Annual Meeting

Mon Nov 6th

The I-School Movement (ED), Andrew Dillon, Harry Bruce, Michele Cloonan, Leigh Estabrook or Linda Smith, John King, James Thomas, Ray von Dran

Forgetting and (Not) Forgotten in the Digital Future (HFIS), Howard Rosenbaum (moderator), Jean-Francois Blanchette, Michael Curry, Leah Lievrouw, Ronald Day

Designing for Uncertainty (USE), Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson, Marcia Bates, Jennifer Berryman, Sanda Erdelez, Jannica Heinstrom

*Philosophy and Information Science: The Basics, Don Fallis, Jonathan Furner, Kay Mathiesen, Allen Renear

Marcia on use or philosophy with Furner and Renear? Tough one.

Toward a General Approach to Information Organization (CR), Francis Miksa, William Moen, Joseph Tennis, Frank (Little Bear) Exner

Alumni Reception — I’ll be representing our student chapter at this.

Tue Nov 7th

Paul Otlet, Documentation and Classification (HFIS, ED), Boyd Rayward, Jonathan Furner, Kathryn La Barre

Building a Digital Teaching Commons to Enhance Teaching and Learning: The MERIC Experience and Challenges, Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, Sherry Vellucci, William Moen, Francis Miksa, Diane Hillmann

Awards Luncheon

*Education for Digital Librarianship: Employers’ Needs and How They Can Be Addressed (DL, ED), June Abbas, Kyung-Sun Kim, Barbara Wildemuth, Youngok Choi, Javed Mostafa, Kristine Brancolini, Jeffrey Pomerantz, Abbie Clobridge

New Theoretical Approaches
Conception-based Approach to Automatic Subject Term Assignment for Scientific Journal Articles, Eunkyung Chung, Samantha Hastings
Formal Definitions of Web Information Search, Su Yan, Lee Giles, Bernard Jansen
*Modeling Our Understanding, Understanding Our Models – the Case of Inheritance in FRBR, Allen Renear, Yunseon Choi

Collection Analysis
Mapping Interdisciplinarity at the Interfaces Between the Science Citation Index and the Social Science CItation Index, Loet Leydesdorff
Trailblazing Through a Knowledge Space of Science – Forward Citation Expansion in CiteSeer, Chaomei Chen, Xia Lin, Weizhong Zhu
Collection Definition in Federated Digital Resource Development, Carole Palmer, Ellen Knutson, Michael Twidale, Oksana Zavalina

This one’s kind of tough. I much prefer the New Theoretical Approaches but need to be concerned with the 1st two in Collection Analysis for my 590TR paper in a few weeks. Oh well, we’ll see.
Annual Business Meeting

SIG CON: Come see the lighter side of ASIS&T!

Wed Nov 8th

Personal Digital Collections (DL), Deborah Barreau, Christine Borgman, William Jones, Cathy Marshall, Luz Quiroga
Plenary Session: Susan Dumais, Senior Researcher, Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research

Historiography of Information Science (HFIS), Michael Buckland, Julian Warner, Geoffrey Bowker

A Semiotic View of Information – Semiotics as as Foundation of LIS Research in Information Behavior, Sheng-Cheng Huang
Weak Information Work and “Doable Problems” in Interdisciplinary Science, Carole Palmer
Data Realities in Plural Contexts – Appraisal of a Definition [of Social Informatics], Fletcher Cole

Access to Scientific Data (pt 2) – Panel Two will focus on the micro-level: emerging structures at the discipline or personal level to facilitate archival and promote use of data sets and collaboration among scientists.
President’s Reception

Looks like more than enough to do. And this leaves out all of the interpersonal stuff; possibly the most important.

Off to take a nap; then more productivity

I gave a presentation on “authority control” in an international environment to Terry Weech’s LIS590IL Global Perspectives in LIS class this morning. Kathryn LaBarre had been invited as a guest speaker in Dr. Weech’s class and she asked me if I’d “freshen up” some of the international bits from my “Free the Authorities!” presentation.

It allowed me to spend a few hours looking a bit further into some things I find interesting and exciting. I mostly talked about various recent and ongoing projects, many of which are European-based. I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening on it, and got up at 5:30 this AM to put some finishing touches on it. I hope someone found part of it interesting, at least.

Then I went and visited the lawyer again about my stupid deposit check. I’m at the decision point as soon as they return a phone call to him. I may just take what they offer as I don’t think suing them is worth my time for the amount they are “stealing” from me. *sigh*

Now I’m off to take a nap. I got up early and didn’t sleep so well knowing I had a presentation to proof/finish.

Then I hope to get productive and maybe do a little cleaning around here. Maybe it’ll cloud up while I nap and then the sun will come out when it’s time to be productive. For some reason, I feel much better about cleaning when it is nice and sunny and bright naturally in the apartment.

After that it is on to more prepping for leading my 590TR class discussion on Thursday on Boundary Work and Collaboration. That’s the next “big” thing on my schedule. Need to relook the three articles we’ll discuss this week. There are a couple more that we won’t get to until our next class (16 Nov) because we are trying to finish some from last week too. So, I’ll relook the ones for this week and check the notes I already took. Maybe add a little more structure and connections/differences of the articles to my notes.

Back to earth

I seem to have exhausted all benefits of having one class over already. I have spent all day so far (till 4:30 PM) on Marked Exercise 2 for Allen. Unit 2 is on Data-oriented modeling: Relation-based systems. This is the 2nd entire unit that I “missed” most of; luckily it is the last to be missed now.

I am answering questions on data independence, defining and explaining relations, schemas, instances, keys, etc. Then there are questions on relational algebra and some definitional stuff on tuple relational and domain relational calculi. There are a few relational algebra operations to explain and show a row or more that results from the operations. There is one optional tuple relational calculus question that I think is just going to have to stay optional.

It is due at 6 AM tomorrow and I pretty much “left” it for today. Luckily, I got far further than I expected. I only have one last question to answer about completeness in respect to relational languages. It is certainly not my best work, but we are only getting a passing acquaintance with most of this anyway. Seeing as that is what I seem to be gleaning, I guess I’ll try to be a bit more satisfied with it all.

I’m heading back towards exhaustion soon too. Been up late lately. Doing a lot, pretty much nonstop. I have been doing lots of things that I would like to comment on here, but there is no time (generally, nor at the moment). I have found some time to relax over the last few weeks, though, which seems evident. If I hadn’t relaxed for just a bit after Pauline’s class ended I wouldn’t have survived as well as I have. I was actually pretty “up” for a while there.

As for relaxing, I’ve been to four live music shows lately. I saw:

The Wailin’ Jennys at Krannert Auditorium on 11 Oct, Ani DiFranco at the Chicago Theatre on 13 Oct, Jolie Holland at the Highdive on 26 Oct and then my friend Kurt had a spare ticket to Jeff Tweedy at Foellinger Auditorium on Friday evening. I chose to go and was glad I did. He played various acoustic guitars and such, solo. It was very nice, and very relaxing, to say the least.

Yesterday was the Beta Phi Mu induction and meeting. Last night was the Halloween Party at Basil Estates. I didn’t get enough pictures because I failed in the battery department, although I had a new 8-pack of Duracell Ultra Digitals at home. *sigh* I adjusted quickly and had a good time anyway. Our friends, Angela and Chris, who recently moved to Michigan State surprised us all by showing up. As Miss E said, there was a lot of squealing.

I am getting really excited because this time next week I’ll be at ASIS&T in Austin listening to this: Theoretical Topics in FRBR, Allen Renear (moderator), Jonathan Furner, Jerome McDonough, Carl Lagoze.

I added a comment form page to my blog (see the Contact Me! tab above) and also pointed the Contact tab at my domain to point to this one for now. I tested it and the resulting message was flagged as possible spam by my ISP. Hope to get that issue worked out easily. So if you have something to say and don’t want to leave a comment, or want to say more than in the public comment, or whatever, feel free to contact me this way.

Damn! Trying to crank out a “comprehensive” update quickly is an issue when your internets are not responding!

I also noticed that there is another upgrade to WordPress out. Damn! When will we get some stable tools? Or is that a stupid question in today’s world?

Anyway, I wanted this to be a bit more and contain a lot more links, but most of my outgoing (not all) internets seem to be broken. Can’t get to flickr (multiple accounts), other blogs, etc. But I need to stop fighting because it isn’t working. On to other things….

Firefox 2 and Zotero

Between yesterday afternoon and evening I got both the PowerBook and the PC desktop upgraded to Firefox 2. All went smoothly; I only lost a couple extensions that aren’t that necessary. I did lose the UIUC Firefox toolbar extension. It can be useful, but I have a link to the Library Gateway on my browser start page.

Just a few minutes ago I installed Zotero on the Mac. Seems like it could be useful. I have stuff spread across EndNote (on the PC), RefWorks, multiple hard drives and now Zotero. It doesn’t appear that it will (automatically) help me control all the stuff on my laptop. It certainly has a ways to go before it can be “the answer.” For now, I’ll have to decide if it is the best partial answer.


My friend, Annette, commented on my 16 Sep. post, Good news, bad news just a bit ago. When I went to read it I ended up reading the post, too.

Kind of funny. I had to go back to my Student Services lawyer again today. He sent a letter on 3 Sep. blah blah. Bottom line: Barr Real Estate (perhaps?) is stopping payment on the months old check and issuing a new check to be delivered to the lawyer’s office “so we all know it got delivered.” It’d be really sweet if I got that before Austin. 🙂 “Slow down, sonny.”

I’m excited about Austin! 4-9 Nov. ASIS&T Annual Meeting. Lots of things to do before then though. Including…

…so Annette commented on my post where I wrote about my welcome letter to Beta Phi Mu, the aforementioned post [was named “Good news, bad news” for a reason]. [To Annette: I’m glad you finally found that post. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing you Saturday. I miss you! Are you bringing your man?] To everyone else: Annette, one of my very first GSLIS buddies, is an on campus CAS student like me, but she’s pursuing other things and they have her out of the department this semester. 🙁 I also like her man Ben, who works on campus but is a distance student in the department because of work/travel demands. So I usually only “see” my man Ben mediated by chat.

So Saturday is our Beta Phi Mu induction/bloodletting/spanking/thing.

Our after-luncheon speaker will be Valerie Hotchkiss, Head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Professor of Medieval Studies at the UIUC…

I’m having luncheon on Saturday, thank you very much.

I’m getting a haircut tomorrow probably [prep for ASIS&T, and I need one] and shaving on Sat. morning. Being “cleaned up” is not helping with the costume part for Saturday night, though. Oh well, I think I have it figured out. And a costume is perhaps less lame than no costume, no?

Oh, one more thing ’bout my friend Annette. She’s the other co-moderator of Drinking GSLIS this year. Actually, she’s the only co-moderator at the moment, but that only highlights how unoften we see each other lately.

Had me a “Jenica” day

Wow! I’m proud of myself. I had a “Jenica” day. While I am quite convinced that Jenica has lots of kind of days, for me, a “Jenica” day is one that is very productive. I am in awe of the productivity of this woman. Nonetheless, I did pretty well myself today.

I did all of this and many other things besides:

  • Verified had NetFiles account and Helen could access
  • Washed load of clothes
  • Put all clothes away (a lot of clothes were waiting to be put away)
  • Put away summer clothes
  • Organized fall and winter clothes
  • Paid bills
  • Washed dishes
  • Lined up some graphics help
  • Read (multiple things, multiple times)
  • Grocery store & home office shopping
  • Updated Helen and NetFiles with work I did yesterday, and earned a half hours pay doing it.
  • Read Sunday newspaper

Now it’s time to calm down before bed. Need to step away from the computers.

‘night all.

habitually probing generalist1

habitually probing generalist

In a bit under 2 weeks, we’ll be discussing Boundary work and Collaboration in LIS590TR ITCS. I am the discussion leader for these topics and readings. Besides the instructor assigned readings (below), I get to pick one to be read. Excerpt from syllabus here:

A. Discussion facilitation. Each student will be responsible for in-depth reading and analysis in one of the topic areas covered during weeks 6-13. As a discussion leader you will need to identify key themes from the syllabus material and facilitate the discussion for the assigned class session. While you should give some attention to all of the designated readings for the week, you may concentrate on the items that you find most central or pertinent to your interests. Please let the class know in advance if you plan to emphasize particular readings.B. Selection and analysis of additional reading. For your discussion week you will also be required to select one supplementary reading for the class that relates to the topic area for the week. The article or chapter can be from the LIS literature or another field of study. Make a copy available to class members at least 3 days before the scheduled class session. In class you will provide an introduction to the paper and facilitate a discussion of the paper’s contribution to LIS and science studies. Turn in a short 2-3 page paper discussing the rationale for your selection and a brief critique of the paper.

Everyone else has brought a copy for the others the week before. Being one of the last, I’d like to reciprocate; thus, have to have it picked out and multiply photocopied by noon on Thursday.

To that end, I am reading the assigned articles (see immediately below) so I can find another good angle or something that bears repeating.

  • Palmer, C. L. (1999). Structures and Strategies of Interdisciplinary Science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 50(3), 242-253.
  • Cummings, J., & Kiesler, S. (2005). Collaborative research across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Social Studies of Science, 35(5), 703-722.
  • Hara, N., Solomon, P., Kim, S.-L., & Sonnenwald, D. H. (2003). An emerging view of scientific collaboration: Scientists’ perspectives on collaboration and factors that impact collaboration. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 54(10), 952-965.
  • Haythornthwaite, C. (2006). Learning and knowledge networks in interdisciplinary collaborations. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(8), 1079-1092.
  • ??? Picked by me.

I read the Palmer last night and this morning. The “study explores the information processes and work situations of interdisciplinary scientists” (242). It “examines the process of boundary-crossing inquiry, identifying how researchers use information, develop knowledge, and work within various structures to conduct interdisciplinary research” (243).

About halfway in it got very interesting for me. The Discussion section just slowly built through “Research Structures” into “Research Modes,” where things really started warming up. In “Information Practices” things got very intriguing; I discovered that I am a “prober” and maybe even a “generalist.” Seeing as the “groupings … are not mutually exclusive,” at least some of these categories are really making sense as I can see myself in them (247). “Knowledge strategies” made me conclude that Carole had, at the very least, described me perfectly.

At the bottom of p. 249 (Info Practices) I had sketched out a small t-shirt design that read: habitual prober / citation. On the next page (Knowledge stategies), after verifying my generalist tendencies and deciding Carole had described my educational soul, I sketched: habitually probing generalist / citation.

The above picture is an early try at what I want. I just don’t do graphics very often.

There are four key research modes: Team Leader, Collaborator, Generalist, and Problem-oriented. Against these research modes are plotted Approach, Info Practices, Knowledge Strategies, Scope and Outcome. Approach consists of: managerial, cooperative, individualistic, and multi-modal. Info Practices are gathering, finding and probing. Knowledge strategies are: recruiting, consulting and learning. Scope is breadth or depth, or some mix. Outcome is productive, integrative, or both.

For all the combinations (and other reasons), read the article. The Generalist (generally) uses an individualistic Approach, probing Info Practices, learning Knowledge Strategies, breadth of Scope, and integrative Outcomes (from Fig. 3, 248).

Generalists tend to work alone, building their personal base of knowledge to address broad research problems (248).Probing is exploratory in nature–searching for the unknown, often in unfamiliar domains (248).

Building one’s own personal knowledge base is achieved by learning (248).

Breadth refers to the practice of asking broad questions and endeavoring to master more than one domain (248).

Integrative modes publish fewer papers, but they take a broad perspective and strive for synthesis across domains (248).

I am glad that these aren’t strict categories, as I do have some of the Collaborator and Problem-oriented, and even Team Leader, in me when needed. And, of course, I gather, find, recruit, consult, go for depth, etc.

Information probing, however, takes place on a grander scale, and is an intentional effort to change ideas and directions by searching or browsing in new domains. As pertinent information is assimilated, the realm of relevant subjects to search and keep current in is altered and, in most cases, expanded.Probing was emphasized by the problem-oriented researchers and the generalists who found it good for gaining exposure to new information. Yet, the scientists who do a lot of information probing are faced with the task of sifting and evaluating all the ideas and “pet theories” they encounter. Moreover, with each new domain there are terms and concepts to learn and analytical approaches to understand (249).

[Damn, I knew I was setting myself up.]

The results of this study support Klein’s (1990) assertion that interdisciplinarians need to know “what information to ask for and how too acquire a working knowledge of the language, concepts, information, and analytical skills pertinent to a given problem, process, or phenomenon” (p. 183) Petrie (1986) suggests that researchers must acquire an interpretive level of tacit knowledge to do interdisciplinary work, designating two basic criteria: knowledge of another discipline’s observational categories and understanding the key terms in the other disciplines (250).

…scientists who practice in the generalist mode strive for comprehension beyond the understanding of terms and categories (250).

These descriptions are better than any horoscope, web quiz, or whatever, at getting at an important essence of what is to be, and experience “learning” as, me.

I showed my design to Carole today and she loved it. I told her it felt like she had laid bare my educational soul. She suggested we should be recruiting “habitually probing generalists” to LIS.

So I am going to try and get myself a shirt made. Maybe some others like, “interdisciplinarians united” and who knows what else? “Interdisciplinarians” is such a fun word to type. And I’ll bet it is an awesome or handsome word in the right font. Perhaps both with and excellent font. And a t-shirt with a footnote is, by default, a winner.

Klein, J.T. (1990). Interdisciplinarity: History, theory, and practice. Detroit: Wayne State University.

Petrie, H. G. (1986). “Do you see what I see? The epistemology of interdisciplinary enquiry.” In Interdisciplinary analyis and research: Theory and practice of problem-focused research and development (pp. 115-130). Mt. Airy, MD: Lomond. Reprinted from Educational Researcher, 5(2), 9-15.

Quote of the day, week 9

Each week, in my Info Transfer and Collaboration in Science seminar (590TR), we each post a “quote of the day” from one of our readings for that week. Carole makes copies for everyone. Then, during class we each read our own and say why we chose it.

For today, I posted the following from the article chosen by this week’s discussion leader:

Therefore, it is the particular cultural identity of the specialism that shapes patterns of scholarly communication and information seeking practices, even more than the discipline. To this end information science must recognize and reflect in its own practices the knowledge producing formations of scholars, rather than clinging to overly coarse-grained analyses that better suit the conveniences of data gathering than the scholarly communities that we endeavor to serve. [28, from conclusion]

Fry, Jenny and Sanna Talja. “The Cultural Shaping of Scholarly Communication: Explaining E-Journal Use Within and Across Academic Fields.” Proceedings of the 67th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, vol. 41, 2004: 20-30.

I like Lian’s choice from another article, too.

The perspective of epistemic cultures, as an approach to understanding knowledge production, keeps sight of the fact that science is pursued not only by individuals or collections of individuals. Knowledge-making must be understood in terms of the material and symbolic dimensions needed to run experiments and communicate with others in the field. This notion helps to maintain an analytic stance that avoids technological determinism (the idea that technology determines social relations), that keeps sight of the contents and specificities of different types of work and that doesn’t overly focus on the technical requirements of new tools

Wouters, Paul and Anne Beaulieu. “Imagining E-Science beyond Computation [chap. III].” Hine, C. (Ed.), New Infrastructures for Knowledge Production: Understanding E-Science. Hershey: Information Science Publishing, 2006.

The important question, for me, is what these ideas—taken seriously—mean for the design of systems that serve interdisciplinary “scientists?” And, of course, the myriad questions that simple one implies.