Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Planet SOSIG

Debra Hiom and Angela Joyce provide more updates on the Social Sciences Gateway, including a new range of European sites.

Portals Project

Work is underway on the RDN Portals Development Project. Three prototype faculty-level subject portals will be developed one at each hub, covering the subject areas of biomedical sciences, engineering and social sciences. The portals will enable end-users to extend their searches to include an enhanced range of databases from amongst the JISC’s current content collection. This project will add value to the UK’s learning, teaching and research resources by improving the way these resources are presented to the user. For more information about the project see:


New European Studies Section for Europe

SOSIG is pleased to announce that from March 1st work has begun on a new section for the service. The section will cover learning and research resources in European Studies and will be managed by the University of Birmingham. Although the coverage will be mainly social science related there will also be some regard to related materials in the humanities, geography and the environment. We hope that the new section will be ready for the beginning of the new academic year. For more information about the new section contact Louise Woodcock at l.a.woodcock@bham.ac.uk or Debra Hiom at d.hiom@bristol.ac.uk

Spotlight on Europe

With topical issues such as the Euro, European Union enlargement and the emergence of market economies in Eastern Europe, it is no surprise that "European" and "Union" are among the top search terms used in the SOSIG catalogue. A casual browse through the catalogue sections will find European resources in many sections, including under EU Economics, Banks, Electronic Commerce and Marketing. A search simply using the term "Europe" will find about 1300 hits! Of course not all these come under business or economics, but cover other social science areas too. Articles are divided up by their Resource Type, eg. journal articles, news sites or research centres, which makes browsing easier.

Go to


to access the main catalogue. There are two main approaches to finding European sites: either look under the above sections and browse, or search using terms like "European", "EU" or by combining terms like "European AND business".

What Type of Sites?

These fall into several areas – only a small selection can be given here:

Official European Union sites

The Europa Web site at


acts as a gateway to all of these, and despite the EU reputation for bureaucracy, many of these sites are user-friendly and helpful. They are often classed by a particular EU directorate, such as Environment, Non-EU members, Women or Education. Search under "Directorate-General" for these sites or click on the links in the Europa site.

UK-based sites

Some good UK-based sites are worth a look: European Information Centres at


offers plenty of information for businesses, and the UK government Web site at


has a vast number of European sites.

European official financial sites

Sites for central banks and stock markets are often very comprehensive and generally have an English language version.

The Euro

The Euro is another hotly-debated topic and a whole SOSIG section is devoted to sites. Look under Economics, click on International Economics and then on The Euro to access this growing section. The Eurolandia site, for example, is excellent for schools but appeals to adults too.

Chambers of Commerce.

Eurochambres at


has links to chambers of commerce all round Europe.

Other sites

There are many interesting sites not exclusively confined to the EU or Europe. Try searching under "teleworking", "Eastern Europe" or "European AND business".

Finally, there are of course sites which offer (sometimes heated) debate on EU membership or joining European Monetary Union – either for or against. Search under "EU AND membership" for a selection of these.

Future Expansion

The SOSIG catalogue is a dynamic resource and we are constantly expanding and reviewing its contents. Future plans include cataloguing more sites about emerging economies in Europe, small and medium-sized businesses, EU enlargement and more sites in other European languages. We would also like to add more European business schools and economics departments (see the Grapevine section of SOSIG which has a Departments section).


I hope this has given SOSIG users a taste of the huge variety of European sites we have catalogued. Comments are always welcome. Please email me at


Users’ participation

SOSIG always welcomes suggestions for new sites from users. If you find a quality site with good educational content and design, go to


Author Details

Debra Hiom
Institute for Learning and Research Technology
University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square
Angela Joyce
Biz/ed Library Research Officer
Institute for Learning and Research Technology
University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square