Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Planet SOSIG: SOSIG Expands into Europe

Louise Woodcock introduces the new European Studies section for SOSIG and Helen Wharam provides an update on the Resource Guide for the Social Sciences.

SOSIG Expands into Europe

SOSIG will soon be providing a new main subject section focussing on information to support European Studies. The new section is due to go live in time for the start of the new academic session. It is being maintained by a team of information staff based at the European Resource Centre at the University of Birmingham.

The new section will provide access to Internet resources about Europe as a region covering for example:

In addition it will cover individual European countries with a particular emphasis on countries currently under-represented in the database, for example those located in Central and Eastern Europe.

For more information contact Louise at the address below.

Update on the Resource Guide for the Social Sciences

The Resource Guide for the Social Sciences has been funded by JISC and the ESRC since November 1998. The Guide offers a range of FREE information and flexible awareness raising and training opportunities that reflect the time constraints and challenges faced by staff and students in the social sciences. The objectives of the Resource Guide for the Social Sciences are to provide an overview of the key ESRC and JISC funded resources of relevance in the social sciences and to raise awareness of these as widely as possible (particularly to novice users). We also aim to promote effective use of the resources by developing a range of information, documentation and training materials and opportunities in co-operation with resource providers (eg promotional materials, Web site, workshops, seminars, presentations etc). The project is intended to support the work of information specialists (and others) who currently undertake the promotion of resources in their institution. We meet our objectives by distributing promotional fliers and other materials across HE institutions through key academic support staff and directly to social science related departments and also offer a range of face-to-face activities to support the work of staff and students (eg workshops and presentations).

We are pleased that further funding has been made available for the Guide to continue after October 2001. JISC is also considering rolling out a similar service for five more subject areas, using the model for promotion and training which has already been developed by the Resource Guides for the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.

An event for Resource Guide providers was held recently in Bristol (funded by JISC Assist). People from provider services whose resources are included within the current remit of the Resource Guide for the Social Sciences were invited, together with staff from JISC Assist and the Resource Guide. The event offered a forum for providers to:

A full evaluation of the Resource Guide for the Social Sciences is due to be completed by October 31, 2001. Depending on the outcome of this evaluation, Resource Guide staff are planning to up-date promotional materials, continue to deliver workshops and attend conferences such as Online 2001 and UmbrelLA next year. A mailshot of current promotional cards to university departments will be completed before the end of the evaluation phase, to coincide with the start of the new academic year.

Full details of the Resource Guide, including a report from the Providers’ Event, are available from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/subject/socsci/

Author Details

Louise Woodcock
Information Services,
University of Birmingham,
Birmingham B15 2TT
Email: l.a.woodcock@bham.ac.uk

Helen Wharam
8-10 Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1HH
Email: helen.wharam@bristol.ac.uk