Panel Discussion: How to promote information science research in Europe?

Information professionals, in particular librarians, are relatively well organized in European countries. However, information science as a scientific discipline is weakly or only recently established as a scientific discipline except in a handful of European countries, such as the UK, some Nordic countries, and Croatia. In several European countries it is even difficult to identify university institutes/departments that conduct information science research. The low level of institutionalization of European information science is also reflected by its limited research funding and its research output which typically lacks visibility internationally.

This panel will explore potential actions to increase the visibility of information science in Europe. Panel members will engage the audience in discussing the following questions:

  1. What are the main reasons for the weak status of the information science discipline in Europe?
    1. Broad and strongly split information science communities (e.g., digital humanities, scientometrics, information literacy research, information behavior research)?
    2. Language barriers?
    3. Main European initiatives (e.g., the EUCLID – BOBCATSSS conference series) have been mainly devoted to teaching and connecting students who will become professionals?
    4. The cross-disciplinary nature of the information science discipline?
    5. What else?
  2. What actions can/should be taken to strengthen European information science research?
    1. Establishment of a “general” European information science conference?
    2. Foundation of a European information science information journal?
    3. Establishment of a pan-European degree Ph.D. program in information science?
    4. Foundation of a new European information science association?
    5. Membership of all European information science departments in the iSchool organization?
    6. Increased activity by individual researchers in ASIS&T, including the ASIS&T European Chapter, or similar organizations?
    7. Development of a European information science advocacy organization (similar to the Computing Research Association in the US), either separately or under the auspices of the ASIS&T European Chapter?
    8. What else?

List of panelists:
•    Diane H. Sonnenwald (moderator)
•    Christian Schlögl (co-moderator)
•    Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic (former Chair of ASIST EC)
•    Elena Corradini (ASIST European Student Chapter)
•    Tamara Heck (ASIST European Student Chapter)
•    Hans-Christoph Hobohm (Hochschulverband Informationswissenschaft, ASIS&T IRC)
•    Sirje Virkus (Head of the Department of Information Studies)


Panel Session