Conferences Proliferate After Summer Holidays

Although there were a significant number of conferences during the summer holiday months, the scene has become even more robust with the approach of the busy fall season.  September has over 60 events listed in the Information Today Conference Calendar. Here is a sampling of some of them.

Digital Libraries

The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL 2011, Berlin, Germany, September 25-28), formerly known as the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries), is in its 15th year as “the leading European scientific forum on digital libraries”.  Keynote speakers are Thomas Hofmann, Director of Engineering at Google Switzerland; Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition of Networked Information (CNI); and Moira Norrie, Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Institute for Information Systems at ETH Zurich.

A number of workshops follow TPDL on September 29, among which is the 4th Workshop on Very Large Digital Libraries (VLDL 2011, Berlin, Germany, September 29). One might wonder what qualifies a digital library as “very large”.  The Workshop organizers have anticipated this question and have created a special web page to answer the question, but they admit that there is “no clear and well accepted definition”.  The Call for Papers lists some fundamental topics and focuses on the “problems emerging from the marriage of ‘very-large’ Digital Libraries and ‘very-large’ Data Archives, which should make for an interesting program.

Information Architecture

The Information Architecture (IA) Summit has long been organized under the auspices of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).  For those in Europe, the 7th European Information Architecture Summit (euroIAVII) will be held in Prague on September 23-24.   The organizers have commendably provided a detailed explanation of their thoughts on conference topics and even a definition of “European” on the conference website.  They define “information architecture” as follows:

  • The structural design of shared information environments.
  • The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.
  • An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

A list of speakers and extensive abstracts of the presentations is also available.

Library Issues

Library-related conferences in September focus on interlibrary loan, new librarians, libraries in today’s mobile environment, and digital preservation.  Here are the details:

  • The 10th Annual Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference (NWILL2011): Going Global, Staying Local will be in Portland, OR on September 15-16.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Kenneth Crews, Director of the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office (CAO); his address is entitled “Copyright, Licenses, Treaties, and a Bit of Distortion: The Law of ILL in Transition”.
  • The 12th Interlending and Document Supply Conference: Resource Sharing in the Digital Age will be September 19-21 in Chicago.  This conference is sponsored by the IFLA Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Section.
  • The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) 5th New Librarians Symposium, entitled “Metamorphosis: What Will You Become Today?” will take place in Perth, Australia, on September 16-18.  The keynote speakers are Kathryn Greenhill, Associate Lecturer in Information Studies at Curtin University, Perth; David Lee King, Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library; and Mal Booth, acting University Librarian at the University of Technology, Sydney.  Satellite workshops and library tours will be available on September 16; the following two days feature presentations on current topics, some of which are relevant to all librarians, not just new ones.
  • LYRASIS, nation’s largest regional non-profit membership organization serving libraries, is presenting another symposium in its Technology and Insights Series on September 12 in Atlanta, GA. “Positioning your Library in the Mobile Ecosystem: Content and Delivery” will include technology and case studies on its program.
  • The PrestoCentre has organized a training session on digital preservation entitled “Long-Term Audiovisual Digital Preservation: Strategy, Planning and Tools”, to be held September 12-16 in Paris, France.  This 5-day course covers a wide range of topics relevant to preservation and also includes case studies and library tours.

Metadata Applications

The annual International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications will be at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague on September 21-23, with workshops on the 21st, followed by the main program on the following two days.  The program features several plenary and parallel sessions, among which is an “unconference”.  Immediately preceding the Dublin Core conference will be a workshop on Classification and Ontology: Formal Approaches and Access to Knowledge” on September 19-20.  The keynote address at this workshop will be by Patrick Hayes, Sr. Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), who has done extensive research on the semantic web.  His address is entitled “On Being the Same”.

The Dublin Core Science and Metadata (DC-SAM) Community has arranged a workshop on Research and Best Practices in Linking Scientific Metadata to be held in Berlin, Germany on September 29, following the TPDL conference. According to the Call for Papers, the workshop will include a session with invited papers, a working lunch, and work-in-progress reports in the afternoon.  Topics of interest include:

  • Identification systems and standards for scientific metadata,
  • Scientific metadata architecture and Semantic Web models,
  • Interoperable taxonomies and vocabularies in various subject areas,
  • Metadata linking mechanisms and technologies and their applications in scientific metadata, and
  • Organizational and technical challenges in linking scientific metadata.

Information Science and Retrieval

A few summer schools are scheduled for September, including:

  • The 8th European Summer School on Information Retrieval (ESSIR 2011), August 29-September 2, Koblenz, Germany, which includes not only classroom presentations but also poster sessions and discussion sessions with the instructors.
  • Summer School in the Study of Historical Manuscripts, September 26-30, Zadar, Croatia, which is to “acquaint participants with the most recent developments and newly emerged concepts…and provide practical introduction to historical collection management with contemporary approaches to digitization.”

The International Conference on Digital Information Management (ICDIM 2011), September 26-28, Melbourne, Australia, is a multi-disciplinary conference covering a wide range of topics in digital information management.  This is an IEEE-organized conference, so many of the topics are highly technical and have a software engineering flavor, but many others are highly relevant to information professionals.  A lengthy list of topics of interest appears on the Home Page of the conference website.

Content management, privacy, context prediction, and information extraction are a few of the subjects of presentations at the 7th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Modeling and Using Context (CONTEXT ’11), September 26-30, Karlsruhe, Germany.  The three keynote speakers will speak on interpretation in context, modeling context-dependence in dialog, and context for mobile games on phones.

The Conference on Multilingual and Multimodal Information Access Evaluation (CLEF 2011, September 19-22, Amsterdam) is organized as a traditional conference followed by a series of “laboratories” and workshops.  The traditional conference addresses such topics as information retrieval evaluation, crowdsourcing, and visual techniques. The laboratories focus on activities such as image retrieval, plagiarism, question answering, log file analysis, and music search engines.

The 14th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD 2011) will be in Cape Town, South Africa on September 13-17.  About two dozen papers and an equal number of poster presentations have been accepted by the program committee.

What do we mean by “information”?  Is it making a difference in our lives?  How is it changing our environment?  These and similar questions are the subjects addressed in a very interesting looking interdisciplinary conference, “The Difference That Makes a Difference”, to be held September 7-9 in Milton Keynes, UK.  It has been organized around four broad themes:

  • What is information?
  • Understanding with Information,
  • Engaging with Information, and
  • The Impact of Information.

The conference website explains:

As we move further into the ‘information age’, we need to make the bridge between information of the information technologist and understanding of information in other disciplines. As researchers and practitioners in diverse fields grapple with an understanding of information – what it is, how it can be modeled and tools for coping with it – now more than ever is the time to share insights and bring some clarity and coherence to these differing perspectives.”

Each themed session will be led by two keynote speakers and will focus on how information is conceptualized within a different set of disciplines: philosophy, science, business/education, and social science.

Finally, the World Summit on the Knowledge Society will hold its 4th conference on the island of Mykonos, Greece on September 21-23.  Its website gives its raison d’être:

This annual Summit  brings together key stakeholders of the Knowledge Society development worldwide, from Academia, Industry, Government, Policy Makers, and active citizens to look at  the impact and prospects of the Information Technology, and the knowledge-based era it is creating, on key facets of living, working, learning, innovating and collaborating in today’s hyper-complex world.”


Here are some conferences relevant to scholarly publishing:

  • The 3rd International PKP (Public Knowledge Project) Scholarly Publishing Conference will be held September 26-28, 2011 in Berlin, Germany, the first time it has moved outside of Vancouver, BC.  Open access presentations are prominent on the program.  Once again, a “hackfest”, the opportunity to rapidly develop a project based on the PKP software, will be held at the conference.
  • Publishers and others looking for new revenue streams may wish to consider attending the 3rd Annual Niche Digital Conference and Publisher’s Online Video Workshop in Chicago on September 26-28.  Subject sessions include e-marketing, the mobile web, establishing a revenue-centric website, and digital magazines.
  • and Digital Science (a unit of Macmillan Publishing) have collaborated to organize Science Online London, to be held at the British Library on September 2-3.  According to the conference website, “This year’s Science Online will bring together a global mix of technologists, data curators, science communicators and researchers to discuss issues surrounding how science is carried out and communicated online.”  Four current workshops, “Data Visualization”, “Beyond Scholarly Publication”, “Online Communication Tools”, and “Dealing with Data using Synapse” are part of the conference.

Society Meetings

The 22nd Database and Expert Systems Applications (DEXA) Society Conference (DEXA 2011) will be in Toulouse, France, August 29 – September 2.  The DEXA conference includes a number of concurrent meetings and workshops on specialized subjects, such as database and expert systems applications (DEXA ’11), data warehousing and knowledge discovery (DaWaK ‘11), and information technology in bio- and medical informatics (ITAM ’11).  The complete list is available on the main conference website

Here are some other society meetings scheduled in this time period:

Society/Meeting Dates Location
Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) IN Meeting September 18-20 Arlington, VA
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) National Library & Information Technicians Conference: “Back to Basics” September 12-16 Perth, Australia
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) International Conference, 2011 September 14-16 Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, UK
REFORMA National Conference IV September 15-18 Denver, CO


Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

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