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Social Sciences on the Web

The range of social science information on the Web is vast; finding it can be haphazard and time-consuming. Two UK-based services are good starting points.

(1) The Resource Guide for the Social Sciences (RGSS) provides links to the bibliographies, online texts, data sets, and gateways which are supported within the UK higher education and research community. It therefore gives a useful conspectus of sources, some of which may be familiar - such as International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), which focuses on economics, politics, sociology and anthropology, or JSTOR’s electronic backruns of major journal titles - but also some others which may be less well-known, for example:

>EGARD, a searchable database of ESRC-funded research projects and their resulting publications and products;

Early Pamphlets in Social Policy and Transport History, an online collection of pamphlets from the 18th to early 20th centuries, which can be downloaded and printed;

Image collection from the HELIX project - 52,000 images illustrating aspects of British social, political and cultural history.

The Resource Guide is supported by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee). It can be found at:

(2) The Social Sciences Information Gateway (SOSIG) is already widely known, but has recently been restructured to extend the range of topics covered, for instance in Law. It provides a catalogue of selected, high-quality Internet resources, each one evaluated and described by a specialist in the field. The links are organised into 16 main subject categories covering most aspects of the social sciences (they include Philosophy, Psychology, Government and Public Administration, and Women’s Studies).

There is also a social sciences search engine which allows users to look for specific keywords in over 50,000 social sciences web pages. And it also offers Social Science Grapevine, an information exchange that allows users to find conferences, courses, colleagues....

SOSIG is supported by the JISC, and forms part of the national Resource Discovery Network (RDN). It can be found at:


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