Volume 12 Number 5
Broad-topic Digital Library Conferences
Earlybird registration discounts for the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 2006 end on May 15. I hope many of you have already registered for this conference, which is inarguably the most important broad-topic digital library conference held in the United States each year.
There are many terrific conferences worldwide that would be of interest to the diverse professional and technical audience of D-Lib Magazine readers. A link from D-Lib's home page leads to a Calendar of Events that lists most of them. (If you know of others that should be listed there, please let me know.)
For specialists, a natural inclination is to attend focused events, such as conferences specifically about, for example, information retrieval, electronic publishing, distance education, knowledge management, data mining, etc. And that's a good strategy, because attending those more specialized conferences puts attendees in contact with others who are tackling research very close to that in which they themselves are engaged.
But attending a more general conference like JCDL, the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL), the International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries (ICADL), and the International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) provides researchers the opportunity to meet and network with others who are engaged in digital library research outside the researchers' specific area of expertise. These broad-topic conferences enable researchers to get a wider view of where their specific research fits and perhaps to perceive synergies that they might otherwise miss.
The JCDL, ECDL, ICADL, and ICDL conferences share D-Lib Magazine's stated overall objective "to help digital libraries be a broad interdisciplinary field, and not a set of specialties that know little of each other." The increase in the number of D-Lib readers over the past ten-plus years and the increase in the number of attendees at the three major digital library conferences mentioned above indicate that this objective is being met.
I urge you to consider attending one or more of the broad-topic digital library conferences this year or in a future year.
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