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!