Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Exploring Planet SOSIG: Sociology

In this edition, Stuart Macwilliam, the section editor for Sociology, gives an overview of the resources likely to be found in his section. This is preceded by news of some 'mutual mirroring' across the Atlantic, involving SOSIG and the Internet Scout Project.

Mutual Mirroring Speeds Access

Internet users in the USA and Europe will be able to discover the best of the Internet much faster (and more cheaply) as a result of a new initiative launched this week. Internet Scout, based in the USA, and SOSIG, based in the UK, will each host a "mirror" of the other’s site. The arrangement will result in quicker access and reduced costs for users on both sides of the Atlantic. The "mirror" is a complete copy of the original site, hosted on a server closer to home, so that users can cut down on the number of transatlantic connections they make.

The Internet Scout Project is based in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA. The Scout Project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation to provide timely information to the education community about valuable Internet resources, and to develop new tools for effective resource discovery on the Internet. Daily and weekly updates on highly selective resources are provided for K-12 and higher education faculty, staff, and students, as well as interested members of the general public. In addition to the general Scout Report, three subject-specific reports focus on Social Science, Business and Economics, and Science and Engineering, and a catalogue of over 4,500 resources on these topics are searchable at the web site.

SOSIG (pronounced "sausage") is the Social Science Information Gateway, based in the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) at the University of Bristol, UK. SOSIG is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to provide access to networked resources and training for social scientists that want to use the Internet. Established in 1994, SOSIG was the first subject-based information gateway in the UK. SOSIG has acquired a considerable reputation among social scientists and offers a catalogue of over 5,000 high quality resources that have been selected and described by subject specialists.

Further collaboration between the two services is planned in the future. The UK mirror of the Scout Report can be found at:

The US mirror of SOSIG can be found at:

UK users should use the local SOSIG service at:

For further information please contact:

Debra Hiom
Institute for Learning and Research Technology
University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square
Bristol, BS8 IHH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)117 928 7117
Fax: +44 (0)117 928 7112