CALL FOR PAPERS: State of the Art of Computing in Social Science

Subject: CALL FOR PAPERS: State of the Art of Computing in Social Science
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 15:24:15 -0400

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Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 15:24:15 -0400
Subject: CALL FOR PAPERS: State of the Art of Computing in Social Science

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 in the next issue).

Sample issues of SSCORE may be obtained by contacting:

Interest in the "State of the Art" 2000 issue may be directed to the

VOLUME 17, NO. 3 (FALL, 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. The simulation also
illustrates innovative used of spreadsheets as a social science tool.

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

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 education.


G. David Garson Editor, Social Science Computer Review
NCSU Box 8102 Full Professor, Department of Political
Raleigh, NC 27695-8102 Science & Public Administration, NCSU

Express Mail, add: Tel. 919-515-3067
106 Caldwell (PSPA) Fax 919-515-7333 or 7856
Hillsborough St. E-mail:

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