The purpose of ISSST is to accelerate the formation of what we call a Conoscente, which is a new word we coined during a the ISSST2013 Cincinnati keynote address.
A Conscente is a group of knowledgeable acquaintances. It is a scientific society for the 21st century that transcends the technology of the printing press to include digital media and advanced information-communication-technologies (ICT) for the co-creation and sharing of expert knowledge.
Despite the emphasis on digital forms of interaction, traditional forms of publication are still important to archiving and organizing knowledge, and to the tenure and promotion cases of junior faculty. Therefore, one of the goals of the Conoscente is to strengthen and streamline traditional peer review by incorporating digital tools.
One of key elements of disrupting peer review is the in-real-life (IRL) ISSST itself. When done well, ISSST gives authors an opportunity to receive real-time feedback from ISSST participants engaged in their topic, and in a way that will get their work to publication faster.
The ISSST Session Chairs are the linchpin of this IRL review process. They moderate the presentation sessions, they manage submission of the draft conference papers, and they facilitate feedback to authors. Consequently, it is essential that the Session Chairs be experts in the areas in which they are serving, and serve as Conoscente leaders in guiding the production of scholarship.
Lastly, ISSST Session Chairs have the opportunity to co-author an editorial for publication in the archival record of their ISSST theme. This publication is one way of crediting their contribution to the transformation of the production of science scholarship.