social science sites of the week

February 24, 2012 951

This week elections took place in Yemen. See our blog for a post of some sources. This is an example of a region of the world where very few local resources are online or can be read by English speakers. In these cases some recommended starting points for background election research include;
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international nonprofit dedicated to strengthening electoral democracy originally launched with funds from USAID.
This has a great current awareness election guide calendar.Each entry links through to basic facts about the electoral system. The election guide digest has links to news and the latest reports from International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).
These include surveys of voters. The ACE Electoral Knowledge Network is a portal to information covering all aspects of elections and electoral systems worldwide. Maintained by leading institutions including: IDEA, EISA, Elections Canada, the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico (IFE), IFES, UNDESA, UNDP and the UNEAD. It has an encyclopaedia of elections with articles introducing key topics Other features are news election calendars, election observation reports and a data centre which includes comparative statistics on voter turnout etc. International IDEA is an election assistance organisation. Its website provides free access to many of its publications and databases. The latter include; voter turnout (regularly updated voter turnout figures for national presidential and parliamentary elections since 1945) A number can now be cross searched on its unified database. Electoral system design. GEPPAL – Gender and political parties in Latin America(This database provides comparative data on women and men in political parties in Latin America, based on a survey of 94 political parties from 18 countries in the region)
Quotas for women. Find data and facts on political systems operating gender quotas.

British Library to set up videogame web archive.
Recently the British library announced that it would be creating a web archive of examples of videogames. This will enable researchers to study the history of games and their impact on society.
Already online is the website of the National Videogame archive at Bradford.
They have some fascinating images of early video game consoles with descriptions of content and prices. See how much the Atari 2600 from 1977 cost! The resources section has basic reading lists for users.

ESDS Government has produced a new teaching dataset The English Housing Survey 2008-2009: Household Data Teaching Dataset The English Housing Survey consists of two datasets: Household data and Housing Stock data.
The Household data contains information from interviews with a member of approximately 17,000 households in England. The interview topics include: household characteristics, satisfaction with the home and the area, disability and adaptations to the home, work done to the property and income details.
The Housing Stock data contains the results of a physical survey of the property conducted by a professional surveyor, a desk-based market valuation and the results of the interview with a member of the household from a sub-sample of approximately 8,000 dwellings. The surveyor provides detailed information about the size and condition of the building, the building materials used and the area it stands in. The teaching dataset is a subset which has been subjected to certain simplifications and additions for the purpose of learning and teaching.
According to the esds the main differences are: the number of variables has been reduced, weighting has been simplified, a reduced codebook is provided

note access is limited to institutions with esds subscriptions
Other teaching datasets can be found listed on the website.

Cartoon in wartime propaganda.
Interesting online exhibition curated by special collections at Kings College London. Images are taken from the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King’s College London, Covers wars from the Boer war to the Second World War Background text on themes relating to recruitment posters, campaigns for boosting morale in World war one, World War Two.

Open Science Resources.
A collaborative project co-funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus programme. The project started in June 2009 and will continue for 36 months.
The consortium is being led by Ecsite, the European Network of Science Centres
and Museums, based in Belgium, along with other leading European universities. It is now launching the Open Science resources portal which will spotlight key resources from museums and research centres in Europe. Use it to find includes numerous educational materials (images of exhibits and scientific instruments, animations, videos, lesson plans, student projects) materials designed for school age and up. Topics include maths, technology, transport, earth sciences, content ecology, and geography biology. There is very strong foreign language content so could be useful for tracing French, German, Spanish teaching sets.

Research data Australia
Site maintained by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS)which aims to provide a single catalogue describing and looking through to Australian statistical data collections. It includes AustLii (Law) collection and material provided by individual Australian universities. Links to some politics databases, museum artefacts, aboriginal cultural artefacts and economic data.In some cases links are at a collection level, in others more detailed. Includes references to materials online and off line.
Other key research for Australia include Trove. This magnificent site from the National library of Australia links to historic newspaper collections (1803-1954) Australian digital theses online

Security in Transition.Security in Transition’ (SIT) is a 5-year-research programme based at the London School of Economics (LSE), funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Its primary focus (as defined by the website) is examining security in the post-communist post 1989 world. Concentrating on the ‘security gap’ which refers to the gap between national and international security capabilities, largely based on conventional military forces, and the reality of the everyday experience of insecurity in different parts of the world.

The key 5 themes are ‘Culture/s’, ‘Geographies’, ‘Indicators’, ‘Rules’ and ‘Tools’. Available from the website are podcasts and publications. Topics covered include a range of topical issues. Material is being added on a rolling basis. Examples include:
A discussion on the Ghosts of Afghanistan by Jonathan Steele (a study of the Soviet and US wars in Afghanistan,)Syria: Yes to intervention, but de-escalate the broader conflict

irevolution from innovation to revolution.
Very useful blog maintained by Dr. P. Meier. He currently serves as Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and previously co-directed Harvard’s Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning. The blog is very influential in highlighting and discussing the way in which web 2.0 can be used in crisis communications, aid
and civil resistance.
More useful links to similar individuals groups can be found on the crisis mappers network.

The Dictionnaire des revues culturelles suisses
Produced by the Groupe de recherche en histoire intellectuelle contemporaine (GRHIC).Includes an online listing of key Swiss cultural periodicals in French, German and Italian with detailed information on the history and nature of each title editors, bibliography, etc. Itis a work in progress, so more titles will be added. Currently there are entries for 26 titles covering the period 1902-1962. Titles include: l’Action fédéraliste européenne (1946-1948), opposition (opposition to nuclear disarmament. Note the content of the journals is not online.
However, the Swiss serials union catalogues can be found on the National library of Switzerland website

Bibliography of Swiss history
Also from Switzerland. This key resource for tracing references to key publications. Now all issues of the Bibliography on Swiss History (BSH) are available online. The BSH volumes 1913-1974 have been scanned, OCRd, structured and uploaded to the website. Current issues can be found on the National Library website from 1975 onwards. The bibliography covers all aspects of political, social, military and legal history. It includes books, book chapters and articles and indexes French, German and Italian language materials.

New labour standards database from ILO: NORMEX information System on International Labour Standards
Includes conventions, protocols and recommendations relating to international labour law. Get text ratifications by country. The site also offers links to NATLEX national labour legislation for hundreds of nations worldwide.

Election site of the week: USA presidential elections.
Council on Foreign Relations.
This leading think tank has created a site which examines and discusses the foreign policy positions of the candidates. Read opinion pieces and articles from the experts.

ALISS is a not-for-profit unincorporated professional society. It is an independent group which was formed in April 2005 by the former committee of (Aslib Social Science Information Group and Network) The aim of the group is to; Provide opportunities for networking and self-development offer a forum for communication create a network of cooperation and a forum for discussion about emerging issues in social science librarianship.

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