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General Assembly 2002, Stockholm

These messages from ICSTI got stuck in my voluminous pending folder!
The summary report is cut and paste from word file which was tricky to

Dear All,

Please find attached a short summary of the deliberations at the General
Assembly of ICSTI In Stockholm.

There are a number of interesting proposals for activities which Members
invited to participate in. In particular I draw your attention to the
proposal for a study of the socio-economic effects of STI, which will
arguments for support of STI funding actions. You will find details of
who to
contact if you wish to participate in the attached document.

Barry Mahon

Summary Report of the ICSTI General Assembly, Stockholm, Sweden, 
June 15 to 19 2002

The General Assembly was hosted by KTHB in the new library facilities,
officially opened on 18 May 2002. These are truly magnificent, providing
a wonderful mix of the old and the new, with state of the art library
and meeting facilities. ICSTI is extremely grateful to KTHB for the
invitation and for all the effort put in by Marie Wallin, Gunnar Lager
and all the other people who worked so hard to make the 2002 Assembly so

35 Members were present in Stockholm and this year we had two observers
from the developing world, from India and Sri Lanka, whose attendance
was funded by the Swedish Development Agency. 

During the Technical Meeting held on June 17, attended by over 80
people, we heard a wide ranging series of papers on the Challenges of
Creating and Maintaining Access to STI. This included an overview of the
techniques for measuring use of the newer access facilities such as the
web by Elliot Siegel of the NLM; a masterly overview of the prospects
offered by the second generation web - the Semantic Web, by Professor
Assmann of Linkoping University, a series of views from users by Ian
Buttwerworth of Imperial College and Ana Maria Cetto on the developing
country prospects; then we had the overview of the Swedish scene from
the viewpoints of the provider of a Web based dissertations storage
service and a very interesting experiment in remote teaching at the
Karolinska Insitute. Finally we had a round up of the opinions from the
private sector users in the Chemical industry, from the publishers,
Elsevier, from the secondary suppliers, INIST, and then an overview of
NordInfo´s role given by the National Librarian of Sweden, Dr Tomas

During the working meetings of ICSTI´s various committees Members
discussed a wide range of topics. 

The Technical Activities Co-Ordinating Committee reviewed the status of
the work on Digital Preservation, in particular the progress towards the
publication of the Proceedings of the February 2002 Seminar and a paper
on Advocacy by David Russon. Members will provide David with further
input by 1 September and then the ICSTI´s position paper on how and why
digital material might be made available permanently will be finalised.
The discussion forum on the ICSTI web site will be used to generate the
various viewpoints.  

The committee also reviewed the progress on the preparation of the
Technical Meeting for Winter 2003, which will be held in Paris on
January 23 and 24, 2003. The subject will be the state of the art on the
issues surrounding access to the STI generated by Public Institutions.
INIST and INSERM will be hosting the meeting with ICSTI. The meeting
will follow a meeting in September 2002 at the National Academy of
Sciences in Washington and precede a meeting to be hosted by UNESCO,
CODATA and ICSTI amongst others, in March 2003, on the same subject. 

A proposal was made by CISTI that ICSTI Members should participate in a
project on measuring the socio-economic impacts of STI. As pressure on
government and other resources for funding becomes more intense and as
funding agencies are demanding increasing justification for funding of
information activities in the light of the development of the Internet
and other apparently "free" resources, the STI Community needs to be
able to justify its activity. The Members present welcomed the proposal
and a number of those present undertook to subscribe to the projects.
The opportunity to participate is still open to ICSTI Members, and the
preliminary results will be available by January 2003. If you want
further information please contact Bernard Dumouchel at CISTI, Canada by
email at bernard.dumouchel@nrc.ca immediately. 

Finally a proposal to examine the effect of offering journal material on
the Web on subscriptions to the journal was discussed. It was felt the
project was viable but needed further study. If you have views on this
area please contact Elliot Siegel at siegel@nlm.nih.gov 

The Information Policy Committee discussed a number of proposed
Directives in the field of information recently launched by the European
Union. Members are invited to comment on these so that ICSTI can
formulate an input to the decision making process. The details will be
communicated to Members as soon as possible. 
The Committee also discussed the various implications for distribution
of STI to small and medium sized enterprises by libraries under the new
licensing arrangements that are increasingly being implemented by
publishers. It was agreed that Members affected would exchange opinions
with a view to formulating a position form ICSTI on the topic.
A number of policy related issues concerning the use of CrossRef like
facilities to provide access to STI and particularly to interlinking
sources were raised. The whole question of how the various linking
options provided by suppliers was working was a topic which was of
interest to ICSTI Members. The Secretariat will be sending Members a
series of questions on these for their input and experience which will
then be collated and circulated to ascertain what actions might be
Another topic of interest was the effect that automatic translation
services was having on the IPR issues surrounding STI. Again Members
will be asked for their experiences which will be gathered before
deciding on actions. 
Finally the Information Policy Committee addressed the effects of
increasing automation on the authenticity of STI as more and more
versions of documents are distributed and the efficiency of automated
indexing in ensuring that the information was available for searching. 

Overall, the IPC meeting concluded that there were a number of matters
with policy implications or potential implications for the STI community
and that Members should be kept alerted to these as they came along. 

The Annual Meeting approved the audited accounts for 2001 and the
Secretary General´s report for 2001. The status of Membership gave rise
to some  anxiety and the new Chairman of the Membership Committee Wally
Finch of NTIS appealed to Members to make special efforts to recruit new
Members. The Web committee would be working closely with the Marketing
Committee to ensure that the ICSTI web site became the centre of
activities for Members now that the secretariat situation was

Overall the 2002 General Assembly was a very successful meeting, helped
considerably by the programme of events organised by our hosts and the
wonderful Stockholm weather. 

The 2003 General Assembly will be held in Ottawa, Canada, May 8-12 2003,
hosted by CISTI.

Barry Mahon, June 20 2002


VISITING GENEVA? See http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/geneva02.html

Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html

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