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Weekly News Digest

May 17, 2022 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

The Scholarly Kitchen Looks at the Future of Academic Conferences

Marco Marabelli writes the following in “Guest Post—Hybrid Versus In-Person: What Will Be the Future of Academic Conferences?” for The Scholarly Kitchen:

Healthcare, I believe, taught us a very important lesson during COVID, as it served as a natural experiment in how current technologies were being underused before an impelling need required their adoption. And a similar consideration should apply to conferences. When the pandemic first forced most, if not all, scientific gatherings to move online, it became apparent that the population attending (online) conferences was substantially different than in the past. More people from less wealthy universities (in the US) and worldwide were joining international conferences for the first time. This also included PhD students (generally with low travel budgets) and junior faculty, for whom it is extremely important to attend conferences and build networks. …

Our data analysis highlighted three distinct issues related to attending conferences, which were substantially mitigated by remote options. First, financial issues: most people reported that they were able to attend an international conference for the first time, as they couldn’t otherwise afford travel costs. Second, flexibility: several study participants noted that they could better manage their professional and personal (family) commitments by attending remotely and being able to watch recordings of sessions. … Last, safety: this concerned health (because of COVID), but also other aspects of travel safety. For instance, people reported being afraid to travel because of their citizenship, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. … [C]onnectivity issues and more challenging ways to network during ‘around the clock’ meetings were mentioned as downsides. But, overall, the message was clear: hybrid conferences would increase the attendance of people from low-income countries, with benefits substantially outweighing the challenges.

For more information, read the blog post.



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