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Laetus in Praesens

Information / Research Activities for Civil Society -- Index

Reports on initiatives within the Union of International Associations

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This document provides an overview of reports, from 1959 through to 2006, on the information-related activities undertaken within the Union of International Associations. (UIA). These primarily concern information on international organizations, their initiatives (meetings, etc), and preoccupations. The series does not (yet) include reports from the earliest period (1948-1958).

Information / Research Reports
of Union of International Associations

Emphasis has been given in the title to the year of the report, not to the precise date -- as is typically indicated in the introductory banner line of the PHP version. Exceptionally, several reports may have been produced in the same year, notably for meetings of different statutory bodies. A banner line is used to make distinctions, typically explicit in the original, notably with respect to reports by the Secretary-General and/or addressed to statutory meetings.

Indexing: Either the PDF or PHP versions may be rendered accessible via search engines, according to their policies in this regard. The PHP versions may in future be indexed on the related Kairos site. Inadequacies in the heading structure and clustering by topic (see below) which come to light through such indexing, may encourage the modification of the PHP documents to facilitate comprehension across the years.

A useful overview of information production over an extensive period is provided by the Historical review of UIA collaboration with SAUR (2001).

Commentary on form and attribution

Style: It is understandable that the style of report on information-related activities varied over the years in various ways affecting the layout and title of the original document, including its authorship within the UIA Secretariat. Variants include:

PDF originals: The span of decades is matched by the form of the original reports which ranges from the oldest typescript through to conventional word-processing formats. In the earlier decades there was necessarily no electronic form to the documents. In later decades various software applications were used to prepare the reports. The choice was therefore made to make PDFs of all the reports, available by rendering them searchable to the extent that the quality of the original permitted (problematic for the earliest years). Access is provided below to those reports in that format. The document properties of each PDF have been completed to render the document accessible via search engines using a uniform descriptor for the whole series.

The table below offers access to each PDF as a whole (including annexes), and separately to the annexes alone (marked PDFx) to which the PHP web variants also refer. In this sense, for convenience, the PDF as a whole includes any annex, but the annex to the report is presented separately (and therefore duplicated) as a point of reference for the web variants (which do not include such annexes). The annexes notably include images and tables which it was inappropriate to convert.

Web variants: The content of the PDFs was then copied into the standard web format used on this site (PHP). This process necessitated a fairly extensive amount of editing, especially with respect to the general structure (sub-headings, etc), since the copy process was problematic. Efforts to save the PDF directly as HTML gave even more problematic results. Where the copy process from the PDF was especially inadequate, as with early typescript, the texts were retyped for the PHP version. The process of re-editing the PHP variants is in a number of cases incomplete (especially for the period 1985-1999). The PDF version may then be more legible -- especially where refrence is made to tables.

Harmonisation of style and reformatting: Whilst the original style necessarily remains unmodified in the PDF, to the extent possible it was decided to give a common style to the set of reports -- and the titles -- so as better to frame the pattern of information actitivites and preoccupations rather than the reporting format. This provides both a uniform presentation for search engines and enables greater insight into the evolution of the information programme over many decades.

This editorial bias with respect to the PHP versions as a whole means that these are necessarily a far from faithful reflection of the structure of reporting in the PDF versions -- in contrast to the content, however clustered. In the PHP variants use has therefore been made of headings and indents -- not necessarily available with the technologies at the time the report was written and reproduced for circulation.

The approach is designed to enable a sense of continuity and coherence which would otherwise be disrupted by relatively minor changes of subheading and style regarding similar matters appearing over many years. In this sense the PHP versions can be understood as an editorial reframing, from a longer term perspective, of the shorter term perspective offered by the PDF versions.

The adaptation to a standardized web format required further work using a heading structure which does not necessarily correspond exactly to the original (notably because of the difficulties in transforming from PDF to PHP). As noted, some sections have been split or clustered differently. Some web links have also been added. More may be added in the future.

Implied strategic framework and quest for coherent global significance

(To be completed)

  Strategic questions Studies
Statistics Periodical
International organizations Through what structures is international activity organized -- globally? A long-standing preoccupation of the UIA, and an inspiration for its foundation          
International conferences As a primary form of international activity, how can this modality be enabled, and the significance of its outcomes be recognized?          
World problems            
Global strategies            
Human potential            
Knowledge organization classification conceptual organization          
Symbols logos          
Multinational enterprises How is the controversial role of for-profit international initiatives to be distinguished from not-for-profit initiatives?          
Conference reporting Given the importance attached to such exchanges, what insightful trace of their productivity can be provided?          
Who's Who            
International associations How can associative activity, and relations between organizations, be facilitated? How might any coherent "union" of associations be comprehended and enabled? online        
Legal status Given emphasis on the rule of law, what enabling provisions have been made for international organization?          
Information networks            

Strategic text / map (to be added)

  1960-69 1970-79 1980-89 1990-99 2000-06    
International organizations Yearbook
1 / 2 / 3
1 / 2 / 3
1 / 2 / 3
print print print / CD print / CD print / CD / online    
statistics statistics statistics statistics statistics    
International conferences Calendar
print print print / CD print / CD print / CD / online    
statistics statistics statistics statistics statistics    
World problems   Encyclopedia Encyclopedia 1 Encyclopedia 1 Encyclopedia 1    
    print print / CD print / CD online    
      graphics graphics graphics    
Global strategies   Encyclopedia Encyclopedia 2 Encyclopedia 2      
    print print / CD print / CD online    
      graphics graphics graphics    
Human potential   Encyclopedia Encyclopedia 3 Encyclopedia 3      
    print print / CD print / CD online    
Knowledge organization              
International associations Periodical Periodical Periodical Periodical      
Multinational enterprises   Section          
Conference reporting              
Organization periodicals              
Who's Who              
Legal status              
Information networks / technology              

Web-oriented strategy: As an indication of the framework through which developments were envisaged in the later years of the above period, of particular interest is the Proposed UIA Web-oriented Development Pathway, as opened for discussion at the General Assembly in 2003.

Clustering contents by topic: In endeavouring to ensure a degree of commonality over decades of information production, an interesting issue was how to distinguish or cluster:

The arbitrary decision was to force any mention of publications under two headings:

Attribution: The emphasis in rendering accessible the series indicated above is on their focus and not on their authorship. In the earliest decades reporting was done primarily as an integral feature of the report of the Secretary-General to statutory bodies of the UIA.

From the 1970s, the more extensive reports were for the most part prepared as a function of direct responsibility for the publications, their development and their adaptation to computer-based technologies. Hence the case for their presentation on this site (being that of the author of those reports), especially since the originals required scanning and indication of properties (as PDFs) to render them accessible to search engines. The earliest years required retyping (as indicated above). It could be argued that as editorially "reworked", the PHP variants are of a significantly different form designed to highlight the progressive development of a documentary preoccupation, especially as enabled by emerging information technologies.

In the table above, links are also provided (left-hand column) to checklists of articles and documents produced in those decades by the author of the reports from the 1970s. They reflect the research enabled by that function, whether formally or informally, and however commisioned. A proportion originally appeared in the UIA journal, whether titled International Associations or Transnational Associations (as indicated in the articles), and as such may also appear on the UIA website. The final row of the table provides access to the checklist of articles produced subsequent to the author's retirement from the UIA. With respect to the author's editorial involvement in the publications mentioned in the reports above, this is detailed separately in a section of the author's biography (UIA-related Publication and Meeting Initiatives).

It is appropriate to note that it was not the house style of the UIA to indicate editorial responsibility for individual publications, most notably its reference books. If at all, this appeared only on the reverse of the title page or in the acknowledgements.

Variant understandings of the Union of International Associations

As a context for understanding the range of activities of the UIA indicated in the above reports, there is some relevance to the inclusion of the following table prepared on 24 October 1999 to aid reflection on the variety of images of the UIA -- whether for those external to it, or for those engaged in particular activities within it. The table was redistributed in 2006. Clearly many of these function would have been significant to different degrees over the period covered by the above reports,

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