European Information Science?

 I participate yesterday a panel on the Europeanisation of Information Science at the International Symposium in Information Science in Hildesheim, Germany as a representant and chair of the ASIS&T European Chapter. We had an interesting discussion on the existence of a European Information Science community, a need for one and possible means to create such a community. All panelists and the public were rather unanimous about the non-existence of such a community especially on the research side but at the same time multiple benefits of more tight cooperation between European information science researchers. The non-existence is probably mostly related to regional traditions and the lack of obvious common language rather than the competition of conflicting paradigms or perspectives.

 

ASIS&T-EC will naturally be active on this field and function as an existing forum for future cooperation. At the moment, the chapter is more or less virtual without too much practical activities, but this is about to change. Perhaps slowly, but anyway. The participation in ISI as an associated association was an important step and the workshop in Cork (CfP is out now at http://aew2011.ucc.ie) in June will be another one. There are also a couple of other initiatives that will be launched later this year.

 

Some practical conclusions of the panel discussion were to promote active participation and consideration of European colleagues as potential cooperation partners. it was suggested that a survey of European information science research could increase knowledge of the work of colleagues around the continent and lower the threshold to communicate. Other possible actions could be to establish a European Journal of Information Science with a possibility for publishing research results at the same time in native languages and English either as two complete versions, short versions, summaries or abstracts. Further, it is seriously worth discussion whether there would be a need for a general European Information science conference. There are already a large number of conferences, but no European and not too many (if any) truly international general conferences that would gather all information science researchers.

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