September is the great month of academic conferences. This also holds true for information and documentation specialist conferences. Members of EINIRAS, the European Information Network on International Relations and Area Studies are meeting 16-18 September in Madrid to discuss how the development of the internet and changing user behavior is affecting their work – and I have the opportunity to represent the ISN and its great achievements for this occasion.
EINIRAS is an association of research institutions dealing with information and documentation on international relations in research and political practice, bringing together institutions from 24 countries. The ISN plays a prominent role in it and is represented on the EINIRAS’ steering committee.
The topic of the conference is of great relevance for us and for our colleagues since nearly all of IR & security-related information services are delivered online nowadays. Technologies like RSS and GIS offer great opportunities to present information, mobile internet and e-book readers open up new delivery channels, and powerful new players in the market like Google are potential threats to the big shots in the field.
On the other hand, not all libraries, academic institutions or research bodies are known as early adoptors of the latest IT gadgets and features – sometimes for good reasons. Thus I look forward to seeing how my colleagues from all over Europe approach the issue and to learn what they see as valuable additions to our information services. More on that by the end of this week!