An international conference on social science research and information on the Internet is planned for the 25-27 March 1998. The conference will be held in Bristol in the UK and is being hosted by the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT), home to SOSIG and a number of other social science and Internet related projects. The conference is aimed at social science researchers, practitioners and information professionals who are interested in the role and impact of the Internet on the social sciences and society in general. The conference will also provide a platform for social science information providers involved in publishing over the Internet. The first call for papers was announced in July 1997.
The main themes for the conference will be Internet skills, sites and social effects:
A provisional programme is available from the IRISS'98 website .
The Academic Librarians In the Social Sciences (ALISS) group was set up in 1994 to provide a forum for university social science librarians to meet together and discuss matters of mutual interest or keep abreast of developments in the area. After an initial good start the group faltered slightly as some of the founder members left to take up new positions out of the social sciences. However, after expressions of interest were raised about the continuation of the group a revitalisation meeting was held in July of last year and the membership has since expanded.
The Annual General Meeting of ALISS was held in June this year at the University of Manchester. Delegates met the night before the AGM for a night out in Manchester, this began with a search for an appropriate venue for an evening meal and after a couple of false starts ended with a meal in an excellent curry house.
The more serious business began the next day when new officers to the group were elected and a regional steering committee set up (details of these are on the ALISS web site.) It was agreed that the group should promote co-operation with other organisations and societies with similar interests in the UK and internationally. To this end the new chair of ALISS (John Naylor from the University of Warwick) has since approached ASSIG (ASLIB Social Sciences Information Group) and the two groups will hold a joint meeting at the King's Fund headquarters in London on 20 November 1997 to discuss areas of common ground. Any ALISS members who would like to attend this meeting should contact Steve Lee at the University of Glamorgan (email address given below). ALISS have also established representation on the SOSIG User Group.
It was agreed at the meeting that an annual institutional subscription of £20 should be levied to cover administration costs and allow the group to set up twice yearly events and meetings. Meetings for 1998 were provisionally set for the IRISS'98 conference and the AGM at the University of Warwick.
This years AGM was combined with a MIDAS  seminar at the Manchester Computing Centre. MIDAS is a national research support service providing access to online datasets, including the 1981/91 Census of Population Statistics for Great Britain and other continuous surveys; macro-economic time series databanks and digital map datasets. MIDAS also provides facilities for the storage, access, manipulation and analysis of large and complex datasets for the academic community. The introduction to MIDAS was accompanied by short presentations on two projects also based at Manchester: COPAC , a national consolidated online catalogue of university research libraries and the SuperJournal Project  which is a consortium of publishers, universities and libraries investigating key issues in providing successful electronic journals. Finally Jose Manuel Barrueco from the NetEc  project demonstrated WoPEc - a bibliographic database of economics working papers available over the Internet.
There are currently 168 members on the ALISS Mailbase list lis-socialscience. Anyone wishing to join the group should send an e-mail to:
firstname.lastname@example.org with the message:
join lis-socialscience firstname(s) lastname (replace with your own name)