The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting will be held February 16-20, 2017 in Boston. You may know AAAS primarily as the publisher of Science, that venerable and highly regarded journal that ranks among high-impact journals; see rankings at NIH (some thoughts on the failings of the journal impact factor are at the end of this piece). As the American Library Association liaison to AAAS, let me tell you more.
AAAS is “an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people” and the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society. Participating in the AAAS Annual Meeting is a remarkable experience for the breadth and depth of the content shared in a relatively manageable venue (typically just two hotels, side by side, instead of the relentless complexity of ALA Annual conferences flung throughout a dozen hotels and cavernous convention sites). Within the space of a few days, you can learn amazing things in a vast array of scientific research and come away blinking from the brilliance of stellar presentations. You can also witness the public outreach of AAAS to teachers, students and the public in the enormous popularity of Family Science Days, and benefit from opportunities to network with science writers, science librarians, government officials, policy makers, and the inevitable crowd of exhibitors that support science education and research. View the program online.
It is an exciting experience, and I am honored to serve in the role of ALA liaison to the AAAS. Part of that role is facilitating participation by librarians in the annual meeting; every year for at least a decade, AAAS publishing division has sponsored 30 librarians by paying the meeting registration fee for each person. Some sponsored librarians have given poster sessions as well as full session presentations. This year’s gathering will include an evening reception with Bill Moran, Science publisher. Contact me if you would like more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding the journal impact factor (JIF), a report earlier this year delves into the “opaque” process followed by Thomson Reuters for gathering and analyzing data to determine the JIF. A research team representing eight publishers and universities developed an alternative method for the process. John Bohannon summarized the report in “Hate journal impact factors? New study gives you one more reason.” DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0643. The full research paper appears as a preprint in BioRxiv.
Alison Ricker, Procedures Manual Coordinator, Oberlin College