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The Conference Circuit: Summer is Here…And So Are Traditional Summer Conferences

Yes, finally summer has arrived, and many of us winter-weary people will say, “Finally!”   That also means that the conferences usually held in the summer months are now approaching, as well as summer schools and other events especially aimed at information professionals working in academic environments.

ITI Calendar Updated with 2012 Conferences

Before proceeding with the usual monthly roundup of upcoming conference, it is important to note that the ITI Conference Calendar has been updated with many 2012 conferences.  Because many of these are well into the future, programs and specific conference websites are not yet available; many of these meetings are simply listed on an events calendar.  The Conference Calendar will be updated with more specific data as it becomes available.

Digital Libraries, Data Mining, and Electronic Publishing

The 4th DML Workshop, “Towards a Digital Mathematics Library”, will take place in Bertinoro, Italy on July 20-21 as part of the Conference on Intelligent Computer Mathematics (CICM). Its objectives are to “formulate the strategy and goals of a global mathematical digital library and to summarize the current successes and failures of ongoing technologies and related projects”.  Besides technical subjects, business models for such a library will be discussed.

Those interested in data mining might want to consider attending the IADIS European Conference on Data Mining 2011, July 24-26 in Rome.  Research topics and applications are of interest to the committee that is organizing the program.

At many conferences, social media are of intense interest, and the 5th Bloomsbury Conference on E-Publishing and E-Publications (June 30 – July 1, London) is no exception.  Its theme this year is “Social Media and the Academy: Enhancing and Enabling Scholarly Communication”, which, according to the conference website means how scholars use social media in the research process.  Scholars from a range of different disciplines will describe their ways of working and predict how social media will change the nature of scholarly communication.

Information Science and Libraries

The program for the 13th International Society of Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) 2011 Conference (July 4-8, Durban, South Africa) has now been finalized.  The main focus of the conference is “current status and advancements of informetric and scientometric theory and applications, with emphasis on the progress of scientometrics and science in developing countries”; it features 30 sessions and over 100 presentations.  Some of the broad subject areas to be discussed are Science, Technology, and Innovation; Journal Analyses; Webometrics; and Mapping and Clustering.

In a more specialized area, the 3rd International Workshop on Advances in Music Information Research (AdMIRe 2011, July 11-15, Barcelona, Spain) will focus on semantic information related to music, such as the meanings of lyrics, or the background of the singer.  Signal processing techniques used in the past cannot capture this information, which has become of interest to many music consumers.

The 6th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6, June 27-30, Manchester, UK) will consider various aspects of evidence-based practice, such as  reflection; outcomes, impact and value; and innovation, education and research.

Kieserman Consulting Group has organized the 2nd Library Management Institute Summer Conference (July 11-12, Glenside, PA), which will have 3 keynote addresses and 25 workshop sessions.  The keynote speakers are:

  • Michael Crumpton, Assistant Dean for Administrative Services for the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro,
  • Kathy Schalk-Greene, Director of the Mount Laurel (NJ) Library and New Jersey Library Association’s “Librarian of the Year” in 2005, and
  • Michael Germano, library faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles.

The significant problems of multimedia information retrieval, such as users’ inability to construct queries precise enough to retrieve the information they are looking for, or the difficulty in extracting relevant semantic features of the multimedia objects, are the focus of the 9th International Workshop on Adaptive Multimedia Retrieval, AMR’2011 (July 18-19, Barcelona, Spain).  Because artificial intelligence plays a significant role in solving these problems, the Workshop will be held in conjunction with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2011).


The next CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication, focusing on open access (OAI7) will be in Geneva, Switzerland, June 22-24.  According to the conference website, “The workshop will follow the successful format of previous workshops mixing practical tutorials, presentations from cutting-edge projects and research, discussion groups, posters, and an intense social program to maximize interaction and communication… Previous workshops have built a strong community spirit and the event is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and contact details with the wide range of people connected to the OA movement.”

Yale University is conducting another in its series of publishing courses this summer.  Magazine and online publishing will be covered from July 10-15, and book publishing (both print and digital) will be July 24-29.  Both courses are on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, CT.  The organizers stress that these are courses, not conferences, and active participation by attendees is strongly encouraged.  Speakers at the courses are typically executives from a wide range of publishing companies.

Peer review continues to be a controversial topic, not about the necessity for it, but with its practical applications and methods.  The 3rd International Symposium on Peer Reviewing: ISPR 2011 (July 19-22, Orlando, FL) will continue the discussions from its predecessors.  It has a large program committee (63 members!) which will apply methods of peer review to the submitted candidate presentations and organize them into the main subject areas of the conference:  quality of peer review, weaknesses and possible solutions, ethics, and new models and systems.

Semantics and Ontologies

Here are several conferences on these very relevant topics:

Society Meetings

Summer is a time when many societies hold their conferences, and of course, the major one is the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Meeting, which is on June 23-28 in New Orleans, LA.  The President’s Program speaker will be Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization that operates Wikipedia and nine other free-knowledge wikis.  She will speak on “Wikipedia: Past, Present, and Future”.

The ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) will meet in Beijing, China on July 24-28.  This meeting is a major event for those working in the information retrieval field, and the lengthy list of accepted papers shows this.

LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries, will hold its 40th annual conference in Barcelona, Spain on June 29 – July 2; the conference theme will be “Getting Europe Ready for 2020: the Library’s Role in Research, Education and Society.”  The 5 invited speakers will speak on a diverse range of topics, including e-science, scholarly communication, and libraries as information spaces.

Here are some other society meetings of note:

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor


The Conference Circuit: Publishing Conferences and Society Meetings Dominate in May and June

May and June are traditionally popular months for society conferences, and this year is no exception.  And judging by the number of conferences on the topic, journal publishing also seems to be a topic of increased current interest.

Journal Publishing

Many of the upcoming seminars and workshops on journal publishing are one-day courses organized by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).  Topics include Effective Journals Marketing, Introduction to Journals Publishing, Journal Development, and The Journal Editorial Office.  These courses will be held in Chicago, IL, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, and London on various dates between May 10 and June 8; see the ALPSP website for further details.

Incisive Media, organizers of the popular online information conference held in London each December, is the organizer of the 4th EPublishing Innovation Forum, with the theme “Innovate – Generate – Monetise:  Wining Digital Business Models”.  The Forum will be in London on May 17-18.  The keynote speaker will be Kate Worlock, Director and Lead Analyst, Education and Social Media at Outsell, Inc., who will present an outlook for the information industry in 2011.  The second day keynote, “Innovation with the Cloud”, will be by David Langridge, Senior Partner Development Director, Worldwide Education Industry Group at Microsoft.  The program also features a keynote interview with Tim Cooper, Director, Digital and Marketing, Harlequin (UK) Ltd., on next generation e-books.

Renew Training is presenting a one-day course on Understanding the Journals Industry in London on May 11.  Topics include Why Journals Exist, The Role of the Library, Sales, and The Researcher as a Consumer.

Information Science

If you fancy a visit to the Caribbean region, you might consider attending the 5th IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS 2011), on the French island of Guadeloupe on May 19-21.  Since this is an IEEE conference, it has a strong computer-science component, but there are also presentations on data mining, business processes, and knowledge management.

The creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing and informing scholarship has been called altametrics.  Anyone interested in this subject should consider attending the Altmetrics11: Tracking Scholarly Impact on the Social Web conference (Koblenz, Germany, June 14-15), which is part of the ACM Web Science Conference 2011.  Scientometrics, bibliometrics, citation impacts, and taxonomy metrics are among the research topics that will be discussed.  In a similar vein, the ALPSP has organized a one-day course entitled “Citation Analysis for Publishers” in London on May 26.  (As an indication of the relevance and interest in this topic, this course is now fully booked, and registrations are being taken on a space-available basis only.)

The International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics (WIMS’11), May 25-27 in Sogndal, Norway has been organized by the Western Norway Research Institute.  Topics on the program include Web Information Search and Retrieval, Semantics and Ontology Engineering, Web Mining, and Natural Language Processing.  A workshop on Social Data Mining for Human Behavior Analysis (SoDaMin) is also part of the conference.

The Center for the Study of Information and Religion (CSIR) at Kent State University has organized the First Annual Conference on Information and Religion at its Kent, OH campus on May 20.  Many of the principles of information science can be applied to the study of religion, and this conference explores some of the reserch projects that have been done.

The Patent Information Users Group (PIUG) will hold its annual conference, entitled “Best Practices Beyond Free-Text: The Value of Indexing and Classification when Searching and Analyzing Patents”, in Cincinnati, OH on May 21-26.  In these days of full-text searching with search engines like Google, a conference on the value of indexing and classification is especially important.  The keynote speaker, Jeff Weedman, is well qualified: he is Vice President of Licensing at Procter & Gamble.

Libraries and Library Operations

Here are several upcoming conferences related to various aspects of libraries.

  • The 100th Deutscher Bibliothekartag (German Librarians’ Day) Conference, entitled “Libraries for the Future – Future for the Libraries” will be in Berlin on June 7-10.  It appears that most, if not all, of the program will be in German.  One of the most unusual features of this conference is the pre-conference bicycle ride and “unconference”, Cycling For Libraries, which begins in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 28.
  • The European Library Automation Group (ELAG) will hold its 35th Library Systems Seminar on May 25-27 in Prague, Czech Republic.  The conference website notes “It is not content but context that will matter most a decade or so from now. The scarce resource will not be stuff, but point of view.”  Thus, the conference theme is “It’s the Context, Stupid.”  Linked data, cloud computing, and digital preservation are prominent on the program.
  • The 3rd Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference (QQML2011) will be in Athens, Greece on May 24-27.  Organized by the International Society for Advanced Science and Technology (ISAST), QQML will be keynoted by Carol Tenopir, award-winning professor at the School of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Director of Research for the College of Communication and Information; and Director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies.  The title of her keynote address is “Beyond Usage: Measuring Library Outcomes and Value”.  Other plenary speakers will speak on knowledge discovery and creation, information literacy, and providing value-added services.
  • The Future of the Academic Library is the subject of a one-day conference on May 17 in Burlington, ON.  Here are some of the questions to be addressed at this event, according to the conference website:

—    In an increasingly complex, information-rich world, how do we assure that we remain relevant?

—    Perhaps more important, how do we establish ourselves and our libraries as change agents on our campuses?

—    This time of uncertainty may be a window of opportunity that may close as quickly as it has opened. How do we prepare ourselves to take advantage of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?”

  • None of us likes to think about disasters, but the reality is that libraries must be prepared for them.  The Association of Caribbean University, Research, and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) has organized its annual meeting on this topic (May 30 – June 3, Tampa, FL).  To underscore the topic, one day has been designated as a “day of solidarity with Haiti”.  Besides disaster preparation and response, research topics will also be presented.

Open Access (OA)

Speakers at the 2nd Annual Symposium on Open Access (May 20, Denton, TX) will discuss current trends in OA and how open source software tools are improving access to scholarship.  The conference is organized as a series of plenary sessions by noted speakers.

The 6th Annual International Conference on Open Repositories (OR11, June 7-11, Austin, TX) will consider the role of social interactions within repository technical communities.  It will feature traditional presentations as well as poster sessions and a 24×7 (24 slides in 7 minutes) session.  User group meetings for the Fedora and DSpace platforms will also take place.

Society Meetings

Here are some of the society meetings scheduled for this period

Society Meeting Dates Location
Canadian Library Association (CLA) 66th National Conference and Trade Show May 25-28 Halifax, NS
Association of American University Presses (AAUP) 2011 Annual Meeting: The Next Wave: Toward a Culture of Collaboration June 2-5 Baltimore, MD
American Theological Library Association (ATLA) 65th Annual Conference June 8-11 Chicago, IL
Society for Imaging Science & Technology Archiving 2011 May 16-19 Salt Lake City, UT
Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) 36th Annual Conference June 2-4 Toronto, ON
International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) 2011 Summer Conference: “Upgrading Information to Knowledge and General Assembly June 7-9 Beijing, China
Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting: MLA ’11 May 13-18 Minneapolis, MN
North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) 26th Annual Conference: Gateway to Collaboration June 2-5 St. Louis, MO
Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) 35th Annual Conference June 5-7 Washington, DC
Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference June 12-15 Philadelphia, PA
Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) 33rd Annual Meeting: It’s What Counts: How Data Transforms Our World June 1-3 Boston, MA


As always, these and many other conferences, including links to their websites, are listed in the ITI Calendar of Events.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

The Conference Circuit–Lots of April Conferences. No Fooling!

April starts with April Fool’s Day, a time for jokes and pranks, but it’s no joke that there are lots of conferences to attend in April.  Here’s a look at some of them; you can find details on many others by consulting the ITI Conference Calendar.

Information Science and Information Retrieval

A new conference on multimedia information retrieval is being sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  The First ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval (ICMR) will be in Trento, Italy on April 17-20.  ICMR was originally proposed as a forum for discussing image and video retrieval, but its focus has broadened to include all types of multimedia.  For example, one will find presentations on browsing and searching, semantic retrieval, relevance feedback.  The keynote address will be by Professor Bernd Girod from Stanford University on “Mobile Visual Search”.

The 33rd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2011, April 18-21, Dublin, Ireland) claims to be “the main European forum for the presentation of new research results in the field of Information Retrieval”.  It is organized jointly by the Chartered Institute for IT, Information Retrieval Special Interest Group and the ACM Special Interest Group for Information Retrieval (SIGIR).  On the final day of the conference and co-located with it, Industry Day will be devoted to the special needs of information retrieval practitioners.  Speakers will come from companies with commercial interests in information retrieval, such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, IBM, and others.

The International Conference on Information Science and Applications (ICISA 2011) will be held on Jeju Island, Korea, April 26-29.  Since this is an IEEE conference, many of the presentations have an applied focus; however, one will find sessions on multimedia, visualization, data mining, and content convergence.

LILAC, the Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference, occurs in London on April 18-20.  Besides traditional presentations, including three keynotes, LILAC will feature a pecha kucha session with rapid-fire presentations each 6 minutes 40 seconds long, with 20 slides that are displayed for 20 seconds each.

The 15th Museums and the Web Conference, organized by Archives & Museum Informatics, will be in Philadelphia, PA, April 6-9.  The opening keynote address will by Kristin Purcell, Director of Research at the Pew Internet and American Life project.  She will speak on “Grounding Digital Information Trends”.  Other sessions focus on e-books, information seeking, social media, augmented reality, and linked data.

Data Mining and Open Access

Organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mechanics (SIAM), the 2011 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (April 28-30, Mesa, AZ) is another in a long-running conference series.  It features 4 invited plenary presentations on research topics.  One of the plenary speakers is Susan Dumais, from Microsoft Research, who has done extensive work on information retrieval technologies.  Her talk at the SIAM conference is entitled “Temporal Dynamics and Information Retrieval”; she will discuss how Web content changes over time and how those changes influence users’ site visitation behavior.  Other topics on the conference program include social network analysis, text and Web mining, and data mining for marketing.

The Center for Intellectual Property at the University of Maryland University College at Adelphi, MD is offering another of its frequent courses on current topics of interest.  From April 18 – 29, an online course on “Open Source and Open Access” will focus on these two themes.  Here is the description from the course website:

  • “Ideas and practices of producers and developers who create open source products with the goal of making the products’ source materials widely available, and
  • The growing movement of open access initiatives and the desire to make widely available online digital documents that are free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”

Publishing and Library Issues

In collaboration with iGroup Pte., Ltd (a vendor of electronic content for libraries), the University of Hong Kong Libraries has organized the 9th Annual Library Leadership Institute (April 29 – May 3, Bangkok, Thailand) for library directors and senior librarians in the Asia – Pacific region.  The theme of the Institute is “Reinventing the Academic Library: Challenges and Opportunities.”, and it will feature case studies and presentations.  The principal facilitator will be Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist at OCLC.

The 8th Annual Publishers’ Forum (May 2-3, Berlin, Germany) is entitled “From Editorial to Market”.  This year, it is being co-sponsored by the Frankfurt Book Fair along with Klopotek, AG.  Topics include the future of book publishing, international publishing, and e-book licensing.  Many of the sessions will be conducted in German.

In another of its very useful seminars, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) is offering “Publishers and Library Consortia: Changing Expectations” in London on April 7.  Consortia in both Europe and the US will be discussed as well as negotiation issues from both the publisher and library viewpoint.

The News Industry

Digital Media Europe 2011 (London, April 11-13 is a merger of two conferences formerly offered by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).  Each day will focus on a different theme:  Monday: digital trends, Tuesday: mobile media, and Wednesday:  iPads and tablets.

The IFLA National Newspaper Conference 2011 will be at the National Library of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on April 25-27.  With the theme “The Newspaper in Multiple Scripts and Multiple Languages: Issues and Challenges for National Heritage” it will focus on the challenges faced by libraries collecting newspapers in both printed and digital form. It is being organized by the National Library of Malaysia, Librarians Association of Malaysia and the IFLA Newspaper Section.

Society Meetings

Listed below are conferences of major library associations.  Many other regional and state library association conferences are listed on the ITI Conference Calendar.

  • The Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) meets for its 25th annual conference in Vancouver, WA on April 7-10 (URL) with the theme “Go for the Green!”.  The keynote speaker will be Sari de la Motte, CEO, Nonverbal Solutions, speaking on “The Power of the Exhale”, in which she will show how the process of breathing can help us get to a balanced, successful life.  The Roger Summit Award lecturer will be David Meerman Scott, who will speak on “Real-Time Marketing and PR”.
  • Providential Transformation” is the theme of the 43rd annual conference of the American Society for Indexing, to be held April 28-30 in Providence, RI.   The keynote speaker will be Joshua Tallent, founder of, who will present an overview of the e-book market and indexing e-books.
  • At the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) spring meeting (San Diego, CA, April 4-5), Christine Borgman, Professor of Information Studies at UCLA, will receive CNI’s Paul Evan Peters Award and will present a lecture entitled “Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet: Reflections on Three Decades in Internet Time”.  The award is given in honor of the founder of CNI and recognizes achievements in high performance networks and the creation and use of information resources that advance scholarship.  The meeting also features Project Briefings on developments and issues of interest to the members of CNI.
  • The Council of Science Editors (CSE) will meet April 29 – May 3 in Baltimore, MD for its 2001 annual meeting entitled, “Making Science Matter” (URL).  Many issues of current issues to editors and publishers are on the program, such as doing more with less, publishing controversial research, how scientists search for information, and searching for a new Editor-in-Chief.
  • IFLA’s 2011 Presidential Meeting will be April 14-15 at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague.  The theme is “Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge: Action for Europe”.  The speakers are senior library advocates, primarily from major Dutch and European institutions.
  • The International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Editors (STM) will hold its Annual Spring Conference on April 26-28 in Washington, DC, with the theme, “Trailblazing & transforming scholarly publishing 2011 + Stakeholders venture forward”.  The keynote speaker will be David Levy, Professor at the Information School, University of Washington, and his topic will address a problem all too common these days:  “No Time To Think”.  Levy presented an earlier version of this talk at Google’s headquarters, and it is available on YouTubeRick Luce, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries at Emory University will give a plenary talk on “A New Value Equation Challenge: The Emergence of eResearch and Roles for Research Libraries”.  Many other talks of high relevance in the current publishing environment are also on the program.
  • The 34th annual conference of UKSG (formerly known as United Kingdom Serials Group) will be April 5-6 in Harrogate, UK.  Among the subjects to be covered in the plenary sessions are digital research, the future of libraries, the future of the book, filtering in a web-based world, e-book bundles, and open bibliographic data.

London Book Fair

One of the year’s major book fairs, the London Book Fair, will be on April 11-13.   The market focus this year will be on Russia.

After reading this column, you may be tempted to think, “So many conferences and so little time!”. How true that is!  Many of these conferences  have fascinating programs, so be sure to take advantage of those you can.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

ITI’s March Conferences

Two of Information Today’s major conferences occur in March.  First up is Computers in Libraries (CIL) on March 21-23 in Washington, DC (CIL has returned to its former venue, the Washington Hilton, which recently completed a major renovation and restoration project.  CIL is entitled “Strategic Focus and Value for Library Communities”. James Crawford, Engineering Director for the Google Books project, will be the opening keynote speaker; in the abstract of his talk, he says, “The Google Books project has the modest goal of scanning all of the world’s books, converting them to digital form, and making them searchable and accessible. To date, more than 15 million books, containing 5-billion-plus pages and 2 trillion words have been scanned and indexed…”  He will discuss how the emerging e-book market is part of Google’s market strategy.  Tuesday’s keynote will be by Michelle Manafy, former Editor-in-Chief of EContent and now Director of Content at Free Pint, Ltd.  She will be speaking on “Engaging Digital Natives: Strategies, Services & Satisfaction”.  And the Wednesday keynoter will be Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet & Life Project, and a frequent speaker at ITI conferences, who will discuss adding value to local communities.  As always, a full program of presentations by noted speakers on topics of current significant interest will be presented.  The usual exhibit hall, Gaming and Gadgets Petting Zoo, Tuesday evening session on dead and innovative technologies, and pre- and post-conference workshops make CIL 2011 another significant event on the industry calendar.  The program is now available on the conference website, and ITI’s bloggers will be in attendance and posting news and reports on ITI’s LibConf blog.

Internet@Schools East 2011 is co-located with CIL and shares the same keynote speakers and exhibit hall.

Hard on the heels of CIL, Buying & Selling eContent (BSEC) takes place the following week in Scottsdale, AZ on March 27-29.  Its theme is “Multichannel Success Stories”, and its focus is well stated on the conference website:

“Today, Content must be poised for action. It cannot sit siloed, idling away waiting for users to seek it out; content must reach users where they are. This requires re-envisioning the content lifecycle to achieve maximum flexibility, to empower content to nimbly venture into each new opportunity as it arises. This need for multichannel content delivery impacts content creators and buyers alike and we must work together to meet the needs of end users today and as new channels, requirements, and opportunities emerge.

Key topics will include: Pricing models that work for buyers and sellers, evaluating content usage and ROI, strategic approaches to content creation and distribution, understanding content users, future-readiness, and much, much more.”

A stellar lineup of 40 executive-level speakers, break-out sessions, and a Buyer’s Forum are all on the program, along with plenty of networking events.

The Conference Circuit—Conference Scene Back to Full Strength

After its usual holiday and winter slowdown, the conference scene has returned to its customary level of activity.  Conferences devoted to information science and libraries predominate on the schedule for March.

Two German Conferences

The 12th International Symposium for Information Science (ISI 2011) will be in Hildesheim, Germany (about 30 miles south of Hannover) on March 9-11.  According to the conference website, ISI is the central platform of library and information science (LIS) research in the German-speaking region.  It is organized by the Higher Education Association for Information Science.  One feature of the conference is the presentation of the Gerhard Lustig Award to the author of best thesis in LIS published since the last ISI conference.  The award is given in honor of Professor Dr. Gerhard Lustig, one of the founders of information science in Germany.

Organized by the German Society for Online Research, General Online Research 11 (GOR 11) will be March 14-16 in Düsseldorf, Germany.  Its focus will be basic research, innovative developments, and practical experiences in the field of online research, with emphasis on social media research, market research, and research methodology.  The opening day keynote will be by Joe Walther, Professor, Department of Communication and Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, speaking on “Social Media, Relationship Theories, and Civil Society”; and the second day keynote will be by George Terhanian, Group Chief Strategy and Products Officer at the market research firm Toluna, speaking on “The Future of Online Market Research”

Online Information Asia-Pacific

Incisive Media, organizers of the Online Conference in London each December, have branched out into the Asia-Pacific region with a new Online Information Asia-Pacific conference in Hong Kong, China on March 23-24.  Many of the features of the London conference will also be offered in the Hong Kong one, including an exhibit hall, conference presentations (in an “all plenary” format, with no concurrent sessions), and free seminars.  The first day focuses on information strategy and the impact of new technologies and will be keynoted by Robert Hillard, Partner, Deloitte, Australia and author of Information-Driven Business. His address will introduce two approaches to measuring the way data is held within databases, document repositories and other stores of information across the enterprise.   The end of that day will feature industry expert Stephen Arnold speaking on “The New Landscape for Search”.  The second day will be keynoted by Bonnie Cheuk, Director of Global Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration initiatives at Citi Global Transaction Service.  She will speak on “Leadership 2.0”, and at the end of the day, she will moderate a panel on New Roles for Information Professionals.  On the same day, there will also be a 1-day Business Information Forum sponsored by the Business Information Industry Association (BIIA).

Business Intelligence

If you’re interested in business information but can’t get to Hong Kong for the Online Information Asia-Pacific conference, you might wish to consider the 2nd International Workshop on Business Intelligence (BI) and the WEB (BEWEB) in Uppsala, Sweden on March 25.  The program is presently under development; according to the Call for Papers, topics of interest include how to leverage the huge amount of data that is available on the Web in BI applications, on how to apply Web engineering methods and techniques to the design of BI applications, and on how to use BI knowledge in the design of Web applications.

World Book Summit

The 2011 version of the World Book Summit (WBS) in Ljubljana, Slovenia on March 31 – April 1 will address a wide range of topics highly relevant to book publishing.  It is entitled “Book: the Bearer of Human Development” and is structured into 3 topic areas relating to books:  publishing, reading, translation.

Library Conferences

Registration for some conferences has already closed (a good sign that recovery from the recession is well underway); here are some with space still available:

  • Following on its successful introduction in 2010, EDGE 2011 will again be sponsored by the City Council of Edinburgh, Scotland and will focus on delivery of public services in libraries.  This year’s dates are March 3-4.  Speakers are from major libraries and also include Dave Coplin, Microsoft UK’s Director of Search.
  • The 28th Annual Oklahoma Libraries Conference will be in Oklahoma City, OK on March 3-4.  Its theme is “From Surviving to Thriving: Building Blocks of Success”.  Speakers include Deans of several academic libraries and Tim Collins, President of EBSCO Publishing.
  • The Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians, organized by the libraries of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will take place in Winston-Salem, NC on March 10-11.  The opening keynote speaker is Mary Ellen Bates, widely known for her presentations on information research and searching.  The second day keynote speaker is Katina Strauch, Head of Cataloging at the College of Charleston and organizer of the very popular Charleston Conference, and at the conference lunch that day, attendees will hear from Tim Spaulding, Founder of Library Thing.
  • The International Association of STM Publishers (STM) has organized a workshop on Usage Statistics and Publishers: Implementation and New Insights in London on March 17, which will be devoted to Project COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources).


Electronic publishing will be discussed at several of the March conferences including:

  • Understanding E-journal Technology is a 1-day training conference for non-technologists presented by the UK-based firm Renew Training, which includes discussions of content navigation, access authentication, statistics, discovery, resource management, and open access.  The three trainers have had extensive experience in the publishing industry.  Sessions will be held March 14 in Washington, DC, and March 16 in Philadelphia.
  • In addition to its workshop on usage statistics, STM has organized the 4th Intensive Course in Journal Publishing—Asia, to be held in Singapore, March 13-16, during which attendees will spend time working on a case study and presenting their results to the audience.
  • Entitled “Publishing’s Great E-Blending: The New World of Publishing”, Questex Media Group’s Publishing Xchange conference, will be in Washington, DC, March 22-24.  It is organized into 6 tracks relating to technologies, marketing, and the future of publishing.

Society Meetings

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS) has teamed with the Visual Resources Association (VRA) to produce a joint annual meeting this year in Minneapolis, MN, March 24-28, appropriately entitled “Collaboration: Building Bridges in the 21st Century.”  The opening plenary speaker will be Jule Sigall who has served with the U.S. Copyright Office and will speak about “Works and Fair Use: Can Bridges Be Built between Educational Users and Copyright Owners?”

ACRL (the Association of College & Research Libraries) will be holding its 15th National Conference in Philadelphia on March 30 – April 2.  Its three distinguished keynote speakers are award-winning filmmaker Tiffany Shlain; Raj Patel, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for African Studies; and fashion expert and author Clinton Kelly.  Watch for detailed blog coverage by ITI editors.

The ASIS&T Information Architecture Summit will be in Denver on March 30 – April 3.  The keynote speaker is Nate Silver, creator of the Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm (PECOTA) for predicting and evaluating player performance in baseball.  He also used his expertise in statistics and forecasting to correctly predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election in 49 out of 50 states (see his blog).  The Endnote speaker is Cennydd Bowles, a UK-based user experience designer and writer.  He is the co-author of Undercover User Experience Design and writes a popular blog.

Many other conferences for March as well as the remainder of 2011 are listed in the ITI Conference Calendar.

The Conference Circuit–Major February Conferences

Although February is not one of the busiest conference months, it does feature some very noteworthy ones.

Information Online 2011

The major online conference for Australasia and the surrounding area occurs in Sydney on February 1-3.  Organized by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Information Online occurs every two years and enjoys a large attendance and notable speakers.   The 2011 opening keynote speaker will be Jim McKierlie, CEO of Bullseye Digital, an Australian digital services agency.  Other keynoters include Michael Mace, Principal of Rubicon Consulting, speaking on “E-Books and the Future of Publishing”; Iarla Flynn, Head of Public Policy for Google’s Australia and New Zealand office, speaking on “Information in the Internet Age”; and Sarah Houghton-Jan, Digital Futures Manager at the San Jose Public Library and author of the well-known blog, Librarian in Black speaking on “Digital Libraries: the Phoenix Rising From the Ashes”.  [Watch for a full report on Information Online 2011 in a future issue of Information Today.]

O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) For Publishing

The 5th O’Reilly TOC Conference will be in New York on February 14-16.  With well over 1,000 attendees each year, TOC has become a major “must attend” event on the conference calendar and has been a sellout for its entire existence.  This year’s conference, “Publishing Without Boundaries”, begins with a day of workshops, followed by the main conference on February 15-16.  A stellar lineup of keynote speakers has been recruited, and sessions on cutting-edge topics have been organized.  New this year is a “Publishing Startup Showcase”, in which approximately 20 startups will conduct demonstrations.  A panel of judges will choose the best ones, and attendees will also have an opportunity to vote for their favorite.   The winners will then present their products in detail to the audience.  [Watch for live blog coverage here.]

NFAIS Annual Conference

The NFAIS Annual Conference (Philadelphia, PA, February 27 – March 1 ) has a most appropriate theme for the current hot topic in the information world:  “Taming The Information Tsunami: The New World of Discovery”.  The opening keynote speaker will be Dan Gillmor, author of We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (O’Reilly Media, 2004) and Director, Knight School of Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University.  His topic will be “Challenges to Information Discovery in a World of Abundance”.  Susan Feldman, Research Vice President, Search and Discovery Technologies, IDC, and several other speakers will follow with further looks at information abundance and overload.  The Miles Conrad Lecture will be presented by Dr. Ben Shneiderman, Founding Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and member of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland.  The final keynote (speaker to be determined) will examine the future of information discovery.  The NFAIS conference is always highly relevant and stimulating, and this year’s event promises to continue that tradition.

Personal Digital Archiving

Libraries and corporations are not the only entities engaged in creating digital archives of their data.  With the widespread proliferation of digital cameras, scanners, and cell phone cameras, individuals are also creating vast digital archives of personal data.  And photos are not the only records they are digitizing; personal records such as financial and medical data are also included.  The Personal Digital Archiving 2011 conference (PDA 2011, February 24-25, San Francisco) will examine this growing phenomenon, including technical, social, and economic issues.  The conference website notes,

“…the early work of the Nobel Prize winners of the 2030s is likely to be digital today, and therefore at risk in ways that previous scientific and literary creations were not. And it isn’t just Nobel winners that matter: the lives of all of us will be preserved in ways not previously possible.”

The conference will be hosted by The Internet Archive, and one would be hard put to imagine a more appropriate organization to do so.

iConference 2011

The iConference is “an annual gathering of researchers and professionals from around the world who share the common goal of making a difference through the study of people, information, and technology.”  The 6th annual conference (Seattle, WA, February 8-11) will feature Colin Burke and Susan Dumais as keynoters, over 85 peer-reviewed presentations, poster sessions, and workshops.  Burke is a historian of information science from the University of Maryland, and Dumais is Principal Researcher and manager of the Context, Learning and User Experience for Search (CLUES) Group at Microsoft Research and has published widely on human-computer interaction and information retrieval.


The 2011 BOBCATSS conference (the name is an acronym of the first letters of the nine cities of the universities that organized the initial conference in 1993) will be January 31 – February 2 in Szombathely, Hungary and is entitled “Finding New Ways”.  The conference is organized by library and information science students from universities in Hungary, Norway, and Austria.  It focuses on the new ways people use libraries and the new ways that librarians work.

Society Meetings

Here are some society meetings scheduled for February:

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

The Conference Circuit–A Look Back at 2010’s Conferences

Now that 2010 is passing into history, we can look at some interesting statistical data on its conferences.

I listed 651 conferences held in 2010 on the ITI Conference Calendar, and mentioned 246 of them in my 11 monthly columns.  As shown in the figure below, 2010 followed the usual pattern, with the busiest periods of the year in the spring and fall. The spring period, April through June, had 200 conferences, and the fall period, September through November, had 224.  Each of these periods accounts for approximately 1/3 of the yearly total.  And also as usual, dips were observed in the year-end months and in July.

Conferences were held in 209 different cities in 21 countries.  Here are the cities in which 5 or more conferences were held.

London, UK

New York, NY 15
Washington, DC 15
Toronto, ON 11
San Francisco, CA 10
Boston, MA 8
Bilbao, Spain 7
Paris, France 7
New Delhi, India 6
Geneva, Switzerland 5
Philadelphia, PA 5

London heads the list, as it usually does, followed by New York, and Washington.  The reason Bilbao, Spain appears is that it was the location of the DEXA Society’s annual event, at which several co-located conferences occur.

On a country basis, the US had the most conferences, with 143.  Countries hosting 4 or more conferences are shown below.  Four conferences were virtual—held online only.

US 143
UK 43
Canada 24
Spain 16
Germany 15
Sweden 12
France 10
India 10
Australia 8
Greece 8
Switzerland 8
Netherlands 7
China 6
Italy 6
Denmark 5
Austria 4
Czech Republic 4
Portugal 4
South Africa 4

Here are the organizations that organized more than 5 conferences in 2010.

Information Today, Inc. 22
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) 17
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) 14
ACM 11
Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC) 11
Third Door Media 10
International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM) 9
DEXA Society 7
Academic Conferences International 6
Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) 6

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor