Document (#31336)

Author
Mackenzie, M.L.
Title
ASIS to ASIS&T: A society in transition?
Source
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 57(2006) no.13, S.1750-1757
Year
2006
Abstract
In May 2000, the Board of Directors of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) changed the name of the association by adding the words, and Technology (&T). Today this change may be considered minor, but for many involved at the time - it was a change that had purpose and meaning. A study was initiated to trace the society's transition toward a professional association more inclusive of practitioners and applied research. The study was conducted in two stages, using quantitative and qualitative methods. Stage 1 compared the research published in the conference proceedings both prior to and following the society's name change. Stage 2 built upon the assumption that a professional association is a reflection of its membership. The Stage 1 results offer both an aggregate and a comparative view of the papers accepted for and presented at the annual conference. The results suggest that as an association of researchers, the society may be moving toward a renewed focus on practical and applied information. The Stage 2 results suggest that some ASIS&T members welcome the increased focus on technology, applied research, and the topics of interest to practitioners. Others view the changes as negative, perhaps even undermining the value of ASIS. The practical implications suggest that an annual conference can be an association's most important branding opportunity. It should reflect the interests of its membership as well as attract new members. A clear vision, supported by the membership, will guide the activities of the society and, in turn, will effectively serve its members professional needs.

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