This message is the annual call of the "Social Science Computer Review" for
nominations and self-nominations for contributions to SSCORE's annual "State of
the Art of Computing in the Social Sciences" issue. Whereas other issues of
SSCORE are peer reviewed, the state of the art issue is commissioned. We are
presently seeking to commission articles for an issue to appear approximately
summer, 2000, with contributions due at the end of this year.
Below is attached a description of this year's special issue (Vol. 17, No. 3,
for Fall, 1999) as an indication of the nature of what is wanted, which is an
article of general interest in each of the social science disciplines and
related fields. (This year there was no psychology article, but there will be
one in the next issue).
Sample issues of SSCORE may be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interest in the "State of the Art" 2000 issue may be directed to the editor,
SOCIAL SCIENCE COMPUTER REVIEW
ADVANCE TABLE OF CONTENTS
VOLUME 17, NO. 3 (FALL, 1999)
STATE OF THE ART OF COMPUTING IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, 1999
This year's annual special issue on the state of the art of computing in the
social sciences features articles of general interest in each of the following
social science disciplines and related fields: anthropology, economics,
geography, political science, sociology, research methodology, the study of the
social impacts of computing, and telecommunications and multimedia. The essays
reflect the continually growing importance of the World Wide Web in social
science computing, but also show renewed interest in social science computer
simulation as well.
In anthropology, Douglas R. White, Vladimir Batagelj, and Andrej Mrvar make an
interesting and comprehensive presentation of their innovative software for
analysis of large kinship and marriage networks. This software, Pgraph and
Pajek, has generously been made available online without charge. It is highly
pertinent not only to anthropology, but should be of considerable interest to
small group researchers in sociology and psychology, network analysis
researchers in political science, and other research communities focusing on
relationships among finite groups of individuals.
In economics, Betty Blecha, a leader in economics instruction using technology,
presents a careful and very useful overview of use of the web in economics,
assessing its instructional effectiveness. She makes the case that such use has
"fundamentally altered" cost effectiveness considerations, then goes on to
present an economic analysis of why diffusion cannot be expected to occur
without new university policies.
In geography, Scott Orford, Richard Harris, and Daniel Dorling present their
work on information visualization, relevant not only to GIS but to the social
sciences generally. Examples are included from geography, economics, political
science, psychology, and social statistics. They also discuss the diffusion of
data visualization approaches from the natural sciences to the social sciences.
In political science, Mark A. Boyer presents a computer simulation dealing with
mixed motive negotiations. Illustrated from the field of international
relations, the simulation is also relevant to labor relations, legislative
bargaining, and game theory. Moreover, the simulation is designed for classroom
use, giving students access to the concept of mixed motive negotiations without
need for immersion in heavily formal theoretical constructs.
In sociology, Edward Brent and G. Alan Thompson, who have worked extensively on
expert systems in the social sciences, discuss the literature on intelligent
agents in relation to the possibilities for modeling various types of social
interaction. A typology of uses of intelligent agents is presented, and the
authors conclude with an assessment of the potential of intelligent agent
modeling in the social sciences.
In the area of research methodology, Barbara K. Kaye and Thomas J. Johnson
extend the continuing coverage of this journal regarding computer and
web-assisted survey research. Focusing on the Internet and based on their own
practical experiences with online surveys, the authors outline challenges
associated with this approach and present recommendations in the areas of survey
design, sampling, data collection, response analysis, and related matters.
In the area of the study of the social impacts of computing, Nicole B. Ellison
examines the state of the art of research on telework and telecommuting,
presenting a framework for understanding this subfield. Six major thematic
concerns are presented, dealing with the definition, measurement, and scope of
the subject; management of teleworkers; travel-related impacts of telework;
employee isolation in relation to organizational culture; and delineating
home/work boundaries in relating to household impacts.
Finally, Edwin H. Carpenter, Fred H. Wolfe, Jennifer Richards, and Erik Norvelle
discuss distributed learning course creation, providing valuable details on how
state of the art hybrid web/CD-ROM online courses are delivered. Generously
providing how-to information for which educational consultants often charge a
great deal, this article will be of immense value to any social scientist
seriously considering setting up or improving lab facilities for distance
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