Tag Archives: AIIP

Adding value – the business of independent information professionals

The October/November issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (http://www.asist.org/bulletin.html) has a special section of articles contributed by AIIP members, including myself. The articles address the topic of bringing value to client projects in a range of areas. I collaborated with Scott Brown on Social Media: Essential for Research, Marketing and Branding (http://www.asist.org/Bulletin/Oct-10/OctNov10_Blakeman_Brown.html). A PDF of the whole edition is available at http://www.asist.org/Bulletin/Oct-10/Bulletin_OctNov10_Final.pdf

The individual articles are:

Adding Value: The Business of Independent Information Professionals
by Crystal Sharp, Guest Editor Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 74k)

Looking Back, Looking Forward
by Susanne Bjorner Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 93k)

PART I – Research: Much More Than Search and Retrieval
by Crystal Sharp, Guest Editor Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size:60k)

The Unexpected Value of Research in Biomedical Business
by Liga Greenfield and Cindy Shamel Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 118k)

Patents in the Realm of Independent Information Professionals
by Tom Wolff and Stephen Adams Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 121k)

The IIP and the Small Business High Tech Client
by Jane John, Jocelyn Sheppard and Jan Knight Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 139k)

Government Information: Adding Value as an Expert Guide
by Peggy Garvin Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 84k)

The Independent Information Professional as Government Contractor
by Phyllis Smith Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 72k)

Competitive Intelligence: How Independent Information Professionals Contribute to Organizational Success
by Arthur Weiss and Ellen Naylor Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 149k)

Business Research Beyond Borders
by Eiko Shaul Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 71k)

Today’s Genealogist: Providing Value-Added History
by Missy Corley Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 87k)

Part II – Services: Marketing, New Media, Writing, Consulting and Information Management
by Crystal Sharp, Guest Editor Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 58k)

Information Professionals and the Nonprofit Sectors
by Margaret King Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 77k)

Enhance Your Marketing Productivity: Hire an IIP
by Marjorie Desgrosseilliers Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 93k)

Consulting: Helping Clients Plan, Adapt, Choose…and Much More
by Ulla de Stricker Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 87k)

Social Media: Essential for Research, Marketing and Branding
by Karen Blakeman and Scott Brown Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 577k)

From Reference Interview to Project, Proposal: Defining Client Needs to Ensure Research Success
by Sarah Hager Johnston Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 78k)

The Accidental Knowledge Manager: Another Role for Independent Information Professionals
by Deb Hunt Full Text:  HTML | PDF (Size: 94k)

Tapping into expert networks: email discussion lists

With all the hype and fuss surrounding the newer Web 2.0 stuff one ‘old’ technology seems to have been forgotten, or has not even been noticed, by many people as a valuable collaborative tool. Email discussion lists have been around for years and are still one of the best ways of tapping into expert knowledge. (I refuse to use the Web 2.0 phrase “wisdom of crowds” as crowds – or should that be mobs? – are rarely wise).

Email discussion lists can be subject specific e.g. BUSLIB-L for business information,  profession specific e.g. LIS-LAW for information professionals working in the legal sector,  or activity related e.g. UKeiG Intranets for anyone involved in … er… Intranets.

My own interest is business information and the two lists that I read religiously every day are AIIP (The Association of Independent Information Professionals) and BUSLIB-L -the Business Librarians list. The former is only available to members of AIIP but the latter is open to all. For those of you unfamiliar with email discussion lists this is how they work:

1. You sign up to a list with your email address. The procedure used to involve arcane commands that had to be sent via email to a long winded address. Woe betide the person who inserted an extra space, missed a comma, or added extraneous text to the end of the message such as a signature. Nowadays, nearly all lists offer simple web based sign-ups.

2. You should then receive an email back form the list asking you to confirm. This is to stop people signing up on your behalf and an attempt to block spammers.  Click on the link provided or reply to the message and you are in!

3. All correspondence is conducted via email. When you post a query or a comment it goes to everyone else on the list, and you receive everything that everyone else sends to the list. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of individual messages hitting your mailbox, some lists have a daily or weekly digest to which you can subscribe.

Most lists have searchable archives so, before posting your query, investigate those first  to see if your question has already been raised and answered.

JISCmail hosts a wide range of lists and although it has an academic and research bias, it is open to commercial subscribers and worth investigating if you are new to email lists. Usually, though, good discussion lists are discovered by chance or recommendation.

For those of you who. like me, are interested in business information BUSLIB-L is a must-have. It is a US based list with a North American bias but there are  plenty of European researchers as well. Many well known business information specialists are members and willingly share their expertise. Post a problem and within an hour or two someone will have posted a response. It might be along the lines of  “I don’t think this can be easily answered – you will probably have to pay significant dosh for bespoke market research” or “Have you tried these free resources……”.

Even if you do not have a question yourself, it is worth following the list just to keep up to date with new search techniques, resources, and alternative approaches to locating information. Towards the end of a recent thread on ethics Barabara Quint, editor of Searcher Magazine, reminded us that she used to write editorials on the role of information professionals using the acronym R-A-T-S, Rigorously Aggressive Trained Searchers. “We get the cheese without getting caught in the traps”. Perhaps that should be BUSLIB-L’s motto? Or maybe the start of new professional body – only RODENTS need apply.  (Suggestions as to what R-O-D-E-N-T-S could stand for in the comments section please).