Launch of ICSTI Connections

Launch of ICSTI Connections

Last month, ICSTI launched a new event series, ICSTI Connections, which offers our members an informal discussion forum for sharing experience and expertise on key topics in STI. ICSTI members propose Connections topics and provide a volunteer moderator, who makes a short presentation and then guides the conversation that follows.

The March Connections topic was portfolio analytics, and Mary Beth West, an information technology specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), shared a presentation detailing OSTI's prototype researcher profile tool. This tool is being developed to leverage data resources, tools, and methodologies to support activities such as assessing programmatic impact, identifying collaboration opportunities, and facilitating peer review. Mary Beth explained the wide array of data sources that OSTI uses to inform their researcher profile tool and wider portfolio analytics efforts, including the OSTI.GOV database, other governmental databases such as the USPTO's trademark search, and external resources such as Web of Science, OpenAlex, Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG), and ORCiD.

To provide an example for the open discussion portion of the Connections event, Mary Beth shared screenshots of the prototype researcher profile tool, which generates a composite profile of an individual researcher in the form of a dashboard displaying various metrics for impact comparison, e.g. bibliometric index indicators. Mary Beth then opened the floor to discussion amongst session attendees about their use of portfolio analytics as part of their own research evaluation efforts.

With attendees representing 12 different ICSTI member organizations, the conversation was wide-ranging. The following points summarize a few significant topics of discussion:

  • Qualitative forms of assessment and how alternative metrics such as social network analysis (SNA), leadership activities, press presence, etc., can be factored into portfolio analytics efforts
  • OpenAlex as a quality data source, in comparison to both MAG and to traditional publisher-funded citation indexes such as Web of Science and Scopus
  • Evaluation of researcher openness in support of institutional or national Open Access requirements or commitments, including the concept of Openness Profiles for assessing research
  • Challenges around disambiguation, including mention of Semantic Scholar's author disambiguation algorithm, as well as the ReCiter algorithm and analysis of the accuracy of its author prediction in relation to PubMed publications

By the end of the session, those in attendance came away with new resources to investigate, new questions about their own portfolio analytics efforts, and new connections to others in the ICSTI community doing the same kinds of work.

We thank Mary Beth West for moderating such a fruitful discussion, and thank all who participated for their willingness to exchange information. We look forward to bringing ICSTI members the next Connections session in May. ICSTI members are invited to send session topic ideas to ICSTI's executive manager (



ICSTI and FORCE11, a “community of scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers and research funders” that aims “to bring about a change in modern scholarly communications through the effective use of information technology,” have been exploring a potential partnership and collaboration opportunities since 2019. ICSTI is proud to finally have collaborated with FORCE11 on the FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications conference earlier this month. ICSTI’s executive manager Lisa Curtin has been a member of the FORCE2021 Organizing Committee since April, working with representatives from FORCE11 and many other collaborating organizations, including the AGU, COAR, and Software Sustainability Institute. The Organizing Committee was responsible for planning and hosting the December 7-9 conference.

Lisa provided input and support to the organizing committee throughout the year, including review of community submissions for lightning talk and poster sessions, live-tweeting during the conference, and creating a conference welcome video. ICSTI was further responsible for planning the conference’s final keynote session on December 9. The final keynote topic, “The future of science work: Pandemic implications for the future of scientific communication & collaboration” was selected by ICSTI’s ITOC chair Margret Plank.

ICSTI invited Dr. Anindita Bhadra, Associate Professor and Associate Dean at IISER Kolkata and immediate past Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy, to discuss changes to scientific communication and collaboration between and beyond scientists that we have seen over the past two years. The Tuesday and Wednesday keynote speakers were Dr. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle of UNESCO and Dr. Leslie Chan of the University of Toronto Scarborough. All FORCE2021 session recordings will be available here.

By collaborating on the FORCE2021 conference, ICSTI has made progress towards our goals of outreach and increased awareness of our organization. 1,364 people from 71 countries attended and participated in FORCE2021, reaching a global audience consisting of researchers, publishers, library and information professionals and service providers, policy-makers, and research funders. Working with FORCE11 and many other partners to organize this unique and well-attended event was a unique and much-appreciated opportunity to build ICSTI’s network, and we look forward to working with FORCE11 again in the future.

ICSTI thanks FORCE2021’s sponsors, including ICSTI member ISSN, for making it possible to offer the conference as a free event. We hope that all ICSTI members enjoyed the conference, and we appreciate any feedback.

ICSTI General Assembly 2021

ICSTI Virtual General Assembly

ICSTI held our annual General Assembly virtually for a second time this year on October 19, offering both a closed business meeting session and an open Members' Fair session featuring presentations on Open Data and Open Science topics from five ICSTI members.

At the business meeting, a full 90% of our voting members were represented, along with several of our valued partner organizations. Major meeting topics included an update on ICSTI's Executive Director search and needed changes to ICSTI's governance, as well as discussion and a vote on a merger between ICSTI and the WorldWideScience Alliance (WWSA).

With regard to ICSTI staffing and governance, ICSTI president Jan Brase recommended ending ICSTI's Executive Director search. Based on the successful implementation of the interim Executive Manager role, he further recommended shifting ICSTI's staffing and governance model to include an Executive Manager and Board of Directors, which will replace the existing positions of Executive Director and Executive Board. The membership approved this recommendation and voiced their support for retaining Lisa Curtin, who has acted as ICSTI's interim Executive Manager since February 2021, as the permanent Executive Manager.

Along with the WWSA operating agent Lorrie Johnson, Lisa presented the benefits and technical details of a merger between ICSTI and WWSA. Investigation into the feasibility of a merger has been ongoing since ICSTI's 2020 GA meeting. WWSA was born out of connections between ICSTI members, and the two organizations have shared a close relationship and largely duplicate membership since WWSA's inception in 2009. During the business meeting, the ICSTI membership voted to approve a formal merger between the two organizations, which will create greater membership value and offer expanded opportunities to grow organization membership. The details of the merger will be finalized and implemented over the coming year.

Following the business meeting, ICSTI offered a Members' Fair session featuring excellent presentations on Open Data and Open Science from five ICSTI members:

  • ISSN shared details on the international interoperability of metadata within the ISSN portal and other ISSN tools.
  • AII of CAAS detailed their wide-ranging efforts in support of open science in China, as spurred by their joining the OA2020 alliance.
  • TIB provided an explanation of the ongoing German National Research Data Infrastructure project, as well as details of TIB's individual participation.
  • NRC shared an update on Canadian federal open science policy development and the work being done across federal agencies to support government wide open access to research data.
  • KISTI presented the functionalities of their DataON national research data platform which allows users to store, manage, share and analyze data.

The Members' Fair featured these excellent presentations along with great questions and discussion from the audience.

Both sessions from the 2021 General Assembly provided a reminder of ICSTI's most essential value—that of bringing members together to exchange experience, expertise, and understanding. We look forward to offering future events like this as well as other opportunities for learning and collaboration amongst ICSTI's members.

ICSTI Events October – December 2021


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Margret Plank and Brian Hitson, ICSTI's ITOC & TACC chairs, respectively, and Lisa Curtin, ICSTI's Executive Manager, have been working to prepare three virtual events for the final quarter of 2021.

On 19 October ICSTI will host our annual general assembly (GA). At the GA business meeting, ICSTI member representatives will review ICSTI's activities and finances for the 2020-2021 period and discuss and vote on future ICSTI programs and offerings. Following a short break, anyone affiliated with an ICSTI member organization is invited to join us for a Members' Fair on Open Data (register here). Five invited ICSTI members will share short presentations on Open Data-related projects and initiatives. Q&A and discussion time will follow.

ICSTI has been working with FORCE11 and other community-led organizations since April on the virtual FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Scholarly Communications conference. The conference will take place from 7-9 December, and is free to attend, so we invite anyone who is interested to register and attend. FORCE2021 will feature curated keynotes and panel discussions alongside community-submitted posters and lighting talks. Proposal submissions are open through October 15. Please contact the ICSTI office if you need assistance submitting a proposal.

ICSTI has organized the final FORCE2021 keynote session on the future of science work, with a focus on the long-term effects of pandemic-induced changes to the ways that researchers connect, communicate and collaborate with one another and with the public and policymakers. Dr. Anindita Bhadra, Associate Professor and Associate Dean at IISER Kolkata and immediate past Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy, will discuss the implications of these changes and how they can be carried forward to continue improving accessibility and equitable participation in scientific work.

Finally, also in December (date TBD), ICSTI will offer a virtual session on artificial intelligence and machine learning use cases in scientific and technical information. We look forward to seeing all of our member organizations at these events. Please contact the ICSTI office with any questions.

ICSTI General Assembly 2021


For our 2021 Annual Conference, ICSTI is collaborating with FORCE11 and other participating organizations to present a multi-day virtual event in mid-October. FORCE11 is a community of scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers, and research funders working towards shared goals of improved knowledge creation and sharing in scholarly communications. The conference, titled "FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications,” will take the form of a curated virtual conference with pre-selected topics and speakers, organized in collaboration with multiple community-led or advocacy groups and organizations working towards the future of scholarly communications. The conference program will consist of keynotes, panels, lightning talks, and informal interactive discussion sessions, as well as poster sessions.

Lisa Curtin, ICSTI's Interim Executive Manager, joined the conference program committee starting in April 2021 to represent ICSTI's interests and help guide the choice of topics for each day of the conference. Conference session topics have been finalized and the program committee has begun seeking speakers and panelists. Lisa is working with ICSTI's ITOC and TACC chairs, Margret Plank and Brian Hitson, to identify and nominate potential speakers.

The collaborative nature of the FORCE2021 conference entails pre-conference virtual events, to which ICSTI will contribute. In addition to the FORCE2021 programming, ICSTI will schedule a program of ICSTI member presentations as well as ICSTI General Assembly and Executive Board business meetings.

Renewing ICSTI for 2021 and Beyond

ICSTI Virtual General Assembly

In furtherance of the ICSTI mission to facilitate cooperation between scientific communications stakeholders, in 2021 we are focused on initiating new partnerships and renewing old ones to foster a greater and more diverse membership and to move beyond mere cooperation to collaboration and mutual benefit amongst ICSTI members and partners.

After the pandemic led to the cancellation of ICSTI's planned co-located conference with FORCE11 in 2020, we are moving forward on a collaboration with FORCE11 and other related groups on an October 2021 virtual event addressing the future of scholarly communications. FORCE11 is a truly international organization, whose membership encompasses stakeholders at every level and part of the scholarly communications process. Bringing FORCE11's diverse community of individual researchers, students, librarians, publishers, funding officers, and service providers together with ICSTI's institutional members will create unique opportunities for learning, cooperation, and growth. The panel- and education-focused nature of the virtual event will foster conversations that might otherwise never take place.

ICSTI is also working to strengthen our existing partnerships, including our sponsorship of the WorldWideScience Alliance. The ICSTI Executive Board has commissioned a white paper to explore strengthening the ICSTI/WWSA strategic relationship even further. We will also be seeking to host virtual events in addition to the FORCE2021 conference for ICSTI members and partners and their staff later this year, as we move to demonstrate the value and vitality of our organization.

ICSTI Appoints Interim Executive Manager

Lisa Curtin

ICSTI is very pleased to welcome Lisa Curtin as our new interim Executive Manager. She began her work in February 2021. In her position, Lisa will help keep ICSTI alive and agile. About her mission, Lisa says:

"As the interim executive manager, I will focus on communications, relationship development, and financial management, and I will begin planning for the ICSTI General Assembly meeting in October. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve ICSTI, and hope that my term will set ICSTI up for renewed success as a facilitator of communication and collaboration between diverse STI stakeholders. You can expect regular email communications from me providing updates and seeking your input."

Lisa holds an M.A. in literature from Purdue University and an M.S. in information sciences from the University of Tennessee. She has worked in records and information management positions in a wide variety of fields over the past ten years, including energy, transportation, construction, education and law. It is great to have Lisa with us and we look forward to a constructive collaboration with her!