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The H-Net Community: Building Bridges

The American Political Science Association and H-Net

The American Political Science Association and H-Net have an agreement to work together to develop Internet resources for political scientists. Many political scientists participate in H-Net, which runs the world's largest association of scholarly discussion lists and websites. Collaboration amongst the American Political Science Association, its organized sections, and H-Net will lead to the development of a wide-range of new discussion lists, webpages, and other Internet projects specifically aimed at political scientists.

As part of this Project, H-Net and its host institution, Michigan State University, provides the following services to the APSA and its organized sections:


    H-Net runs its own listserv and currently sponsors over 80 scholarly lists in the humanities and social sciences, reaching over 60,000 subscribers daily. H-Net will create new public lists for the APSA, its organized sections, and other affiliated societies. (H-NetŐs professional staff will handle all the technical needs of the lists and train the editors.)

    These lists, which will be owned jointly by the APSA and H-Net, will be full members of the H-Net family of lists. They will be edited by scholars chosen by the APSA and its affiliated sections, and the APSA will provide support for the editorial activities of their list editors. In addition, the list editors will have access to all services provided to H-Net and will be full voting members of the H-Net editorial staff. H-Net will publicize these lists widely. While the APSA lists will be based in political science, membership in H-Net will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue.


    H-Net is the world's largest publisher of online scholarly book reviews (http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews). H-Net's e-reviews are published within months of book publication, are not limited by artificial size limitations imposed by printing costs, and allow for interactive discussion of new works amongst reviewers, authors, and subscribers. Reviews are available through e-mail and over the world wide web where they are fully searchable and retrievable. Reviews are widely cross-posted through H-Net and thus reach a diverse interdisciplinary audience.

    H-Net will make the facilities of its review project available to all APSA sponsored lists that wish to participate. The H-Net review project at Michigan State University provides a central clearinghouse for obtaining books, distributing them to reviewers, copyediting final reviews, posting them to the worldwide web, and sending copies to publishers. The individual lists will be responsible for appointing review editors who will have full editorial control over their own reviews.


    H-Net provides the APSA and its organized sections with space on the worldwide web, along with maintenance, and programming assistance. H-Net's servers at Michigan State sit directly on the Internet backbone. MSU has committed resources to provide for a continual upgrade of servers and storage space as well as sophisticated programming so as to ensure seven day a week/twenty-four hour a day rapid access to the site. By early 1998 H-Net will also have mirror sites in Europe and Asia to speed international connections. As of August 15, 1997, the H-Net website was recording over 150,000 real hits a week.

    A partnership with H-Net and use of the H-Net webserver thus will provide the APSA and its sections with high quality service and extensive usage. Editorial control over political science webpages will remain in the hands of the APSA, its sections, and the scholars who develop the pages, but H-Net will provide the programming necessary to maximize their usefulness.

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