Professional Growth & Development Opportunities

  • NFAIS;
  • Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP);
  • Association of Research Libraries (ARL) & the University of Washington Libraries;
  • NFAIS Conference Report

Dates: Tue. May 15, 2018 1:00 PM – Wed May 16, 2018 4:00 PM

Location:

Embassy Suites Alexandria Old Town
1900 Diagonal Road
Alexandria, VA 22314

Blockchain technology—known for powering Bitcoin and originally introduced as a means of securely managing cryptocurrency—is now quickly moving toward broader adoption and has begun to emerge in other fields, including scholarly publishing.  The capabilities of this new technology are prompting a direct exchange among stakeholders, as blockchain promises a more structured, secure approach that has the potential to significantly impact researcher workflows—from data collection to peer review to access and published work.

This conference will examine blockchain’s potential applications, case studies of current application, and the challenges and opportunities it could enable across the scholarly communication value chain.

Attendees will learn about:

  • How blockchain could be integrated into scientific research and researcher workflow.
  • Applying blockchain technology to the publishing workflow, including the peer review process, contracts, and the collection and sharing of data.
  • The potential impact of blockchain on interoperability and current business models. 

For more information about the NFAIS Blockchain for Scholarly Publishing Conference or to respond to our Call for Presentations, contact Nancy Blair-DeLeon, NFAIS Director of Professional Development, nblairdeleon@nfais.org, 443-221-2980 (ext. 102).


The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) has announced that its keynote speakers for the SSP 40th Annual Meeting to be held May 30-June 1, in Chicago will be Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble and Steve Mirsky.

Noble, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication, will present her address, Toward an Ethic of Social Justice in Information, on Wednesday, May 30. Noble’s academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms and their impact on society. Her monograph on racist and sexist algorithmic bias is, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and co-editor of two books: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online (2016), and Emotions, Technology & Design (2015).

Mirsky will give his address, How Cialdini’s Six Principles of Persuasion Can Help Us Transform Scholarly Communication, on Thursday, May 31. Mirsky has been an editor and columnist for Scientific American since 1995. He freelanced for numerous magazines before joining the staff of Scientific American. In 2004-2005, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. He started the Scientific American podcasts in 2006. In 2009 he received an honorary doctor of science degree from his alma mater, Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York.


According to ACRL Insider “the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the University of Washington Libraries, and the Conference Steering Committee invite paper and poster proposals for the 2018 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment. This seventh biennial conference will be held in Houston, Texas, December 5–7, 2018, and is co-hosted by the University of Houston Libraries and Texas A&M Libraries.

The conference goal is to build and further a vibrant library assessment community by bringing together interested practitioners and researchers who have responsibility or interest in the broad field of library assessment. The event provides a mix of invited speakers, contributed papers, posters, and pre-conference workshops that stimulate discussion and provide workable ideas for effective, sustainable, and practical library assessment.

Proposal Topics

Paper and poster proposals that cover any aspect of library assessment in any type of library are invited. The conference steering committee especially encourages assessment-related proposals in the following areas:

  • Collaborative assessments
  • Data management and visualization
  • Digital libraries and repositories
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Measurement and measures/indicators…

Presentation Formats

Proposals are invited as papers and posters. Brief descriptions of the various formats are provided on the conference website. Proposals are required to include a title, author names, format, and abstract (maximum 500 words) describing the paper or poster.

Papers will be included in the conference proceedings and are due by January 15, 2019.

Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Notification, Publication

To submit a proposal, please visit the proposal submission site. The primary author will be required to create a profile. One author will complete the form submission and enter co-author information. Proposal submissions are due by Monday, May 7, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific daylight time.


Information Today’s report on the 60th Annual (aka diamond anniversary) Conference of the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) notes that “from Feb. 28 to March 2, close to 150 attendees explored the conference theme, Information Transformation: Open, Global, Collaborative.

The conference theme was embodied throughout the 2.5-day program. Openness was demonstrated by the wide range of organization types represented—nonprofits and foundations (the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others), universities (such as the University of Oklahoma), established publishers and vendors (ProQuest, Elsevier, etc.), government agencies, startups, and others too numerous to mention…

Still, there were vigorous debates­, perhaps most notable in participants’ contrasting assessments of and approaches to OA publishing. On the one hand, Ralf Schimmer (Germany’s Max Planck Digital Library) advocated for the principles of Open Access 2020 and a shift from library subscription and licensing to article-processing charges (APCs) as publishers’ revenue. He asserted that “there is already enough money in the system” to support the APC business model. On the other hand, Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver) presented a comparison of his own school with the California Institute of Technology to demonstrate that under the APC model, some academic institutions would experience dramatic increases in cost, while others would see dramatic reductions. So, even if there is “enough money in the system,” it isn’t equally distributed.

Facing Challenges Through the Years

Opening speaker Cameron Neylon (Curtin University) reviewed 60-plus years of scholarly communication history in a fitting anniversary keynote. He described the series of challenges and responses that characterized this history …

Annual Events: Miles Conrad Lecture and Startup Shootout

The second day included the NFAIS conference’s annual centerpiece, the Miles Conrad Memorial Lecture. It was given by this year’s Miles Conrad Award recipient, C. Lee Giles, the David Reese Professor at Penn State University’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and co-creator of the CiteSeer system as well as many other services that have enhanced scholarly communication. …

Looking Forward With Blockchain

Joris van Rossum (director of special projects at Digital Science) provided a fitting bookend to the conference and follow-up to Neylon’s opening keynote. In his closing keynote, “Academic Publishing, Blockchain, and Shifting Roles in a Rapidly Changing World,” van Rossum reviewed the changing roles and responsibilities of scholarly publishers …”

Click here to read the entire report.