HighWire Press is a division of the Stanford University Libraries, which produces the online versions of peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly content in life sciences. HighWire Press hosts also a large repository of free full-text life science articles in the world, with more than 1,500 publications and 2 million free, full-text articles online. The website has been designed to help researchers and libraries search and gain access to the scientific literature. Hosted journals are mainly related to Medical and Biological Sciences although a more limited section is devoted to Social Sciences journal articles. The Political Science section indexes and classifies articles coming from some PS and other social sciences journals. Browsing and search allow users to retrieve metainfo and abstracts of the desired records. Direct downloading is limited by the publisher’s policy (mainly pay-per-view) and reserved to their own websites where users can find abstracts or free samples. HighWire is quite easy to navigate, thanks to its advanced search features and high-tech tools, and it is usable at a good level also by new mobile devices, through new HighWare Innovation tools.
The Stanford University gateway to peer-reviewed journals
Index to Legal Periodicals & Books
A bibliographic database of International legal periodicals
Index to Legal Periodicals and Books is a bibliographical database specifically tailored for attorneys, educators, business people, law librarians, students, paralegals, and others involved with the law. Providing full text of nearly 850 select periodicals as far back as 1994, this site includes extensive coverage of law reviews, bar association journals, university publications, yearbooks, institutes, and government publications published both in the United States and around the globe. The database also provide access to 1,400 monographs per year. Managed and sponsored by the HW Wilson Company, Index to Legal Periodicals offers bibliographical services related to all areas of jurisprudence, including recent court decisions, new legislation, and original scholarship. To access the Index to Legal Periodicals some kind of fee and/or subscription is required, both for individuals and for institutions. Several options are available to facilitate the payment process, including a free 30-day trial and secure shopping. Recommended for academic and large public libraries, the whole site is professionally designed with a high degree of general usability.
A global research gateway for journal articles
IngentaConnect is a global research gateway providing a free online information and search service of published content from reliable research sources. Since its launch in May 1998, Ingenta has developed and grown to become a leading Web infomediary empowering the exchange of academic and professional content online. Ingentaconnect.com supplies access to article summaries and citation data from almost 30,000 academic journals and publications, 13,500 of them online publications. Social sciences are covered with more than 1,200 journals, around 370 of them for Political Science. Full-text access is set by each of its over 250 academic and professional publisher partners, but usually individual subscribers, or individuals within subscribing companies/institutions, are entitled to a free access to full-text versions of IngentaConnect articles. A 30-day free trial is also available, as well as the mobile application. Non-subscribers, or if an article is not available as part of a subscription, can, in most cases, opt for pay-per-view, choosing from electronic, fax or Ariel delivery. IngentaConnect also develops subject-focused websites, built in conjunction with companies, publishers and university presses. This website is quite easy to navigate, being the search and browsing features very well-developed and the interface user-friendliness quite high.
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
Bibliographic records for interdisciplinary research
Based on a large coverage of international material (over 50% of journals covered are published outside US or UK) dating back to 1951, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) is an excellent tool for interdisciplinary research. The site includes four specialized databases (for anthropology, economics, politics and sociology) merged into one, with over 2,600,000 bibliographic records in 60 languages and abstracts in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian — thus reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of today’s social sciences. Managed by the Library at the London School of Economics and Political Science and recognized as a repository for social science resources by the European Union, IBSS material is available online (free registration required for UK higher education institutions, paid subscription needed for other users) as well as in other formats (CD-ROM and printed volumes, published annually by Routledge). Regularly updated with about 100,000 records added annually, the IBSS database can be searched with over 10,000 keywords, thus making the information retrieval process very easy. The user interface is quite simple and various help tools are provided, such as a site index, and a support and training area.
Information system for Spanish scholarly journals
A great example of institution networking aimed at gathering and disseminating bibliographic information about scientific publications in a specific region – in this case, related to Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. This major portal also pursues the sharing of an ever-growing pool of (mostly) spanish-speaking scientific content with the International community at large. Making the best of online tools, the database is very well organized and easy to navigate. The main Directory includes almost 20,000 records, with more than 4,000 links to full-text electronic journals and a selected Catalogue providing descriptive information and additional content (over 3,300 items). Along with a simple search window in each page, users can easily browse several indexes organized by country (over 30 listed), alphabetical letter, subject and title. The social science section offers access to over 9,000 items, further indexed in many sub-sections, providing the needed data and metadata for each publication. Free of charge and with some English and Portuguese information, Latindex is updated daily and comprises about 20 different institutions.
The Public Affair Information Service database
Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) Archive database includes publications from over 120 countries worldwide. In addition to English, some of the indexed materials are published in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. In 1998, PAIS International started indexing and abstracting electronic journals and acting as a peer-review/access for full-text downloadable ejournals. The PAIS Archive database comprises a retrospective conversion of the PAIS Annual Cumulated Bulletin, published 1915-1976 as well as references to monographs, periodical articles, notes and announcements with the original historical subject headings. PAIS is now available through CSA Illumina, which offers hundreds bibliographic and full-text databases and journals divided in four main editorial areas: natural sciences, social sciences, arts & humanities, and technology. Detailed factsheets are available for each of CSA Illumina databases (among which PAIS International) on the CSA website and include sample records, update and size information as well as links to other data. CSA website is well structured and provides an excellent set of help tools, including a very clear and precise tutorial. Non-subscribers can try the product tools before payment and have free access to the Hot Topic section where full-text articles can be downloaded.
Parlit, Parline and Women in Politics
The Inter-Parliamentary Union Databases
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), on the basis of official information provided by national parliaments, provides three free databases with bibliographic references (no abstracts) on books and articles dealing with relevant topics related to parliaments and legislatures. Parlit is a database with references on national parliaments, electoral systems, constitutional law, history and political science, parliamentary law and legislative elections throughout the world. Over 7,000 books and studies as well as 30,000 articles taken from 160 periodicals are indexed but the database is no longer updated after 2002. Two other IPU databases – regularly updated – are Parline and “Women in Politics”. The first provides general information on each parliament’s chambers, description of the electoral system, results of the most recent elections, information on the presidency of each Chamber and on the mandate and status of MPs. The latter gives bibliographic references on books and articles dealing with women’s participation in political life. Links to parliaments worldwide and to topic-related websites are also available for each database.
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
A very large dissertation abstracts database
With more than 2,3 million entries, the Dissertation Abstracts database is a very useful source for information about doctoral dissertations and master’s theses in the United States in over 700 graduate schools and universities. More than 70,000 doctoral works are added yearly to the database, which includes bibliographic references from the first U.S. dissertation (dated 1861) to those held last semester. About 550,000 dissertations in the social sciences areas (i.e., about 65,000 in political science, 110,000 in sociology, 90,000 in economics, etc.) are recorded. An abstract, written by the author, is also provided for those dissertations published from 1980 forward as well as a shorter one for master’s theses from 1988 forward. To access the entire database participation in a subscribed institution is needed. Institutional subscribers receive online access to the complete dissertation list since 1997. Material is retrievable in pdf format and tiff images and free trials (only for institutions) are offered. Being a subscription-only database, PQDT offers free access to citations and abstracts for graduate works from partner universities. For graduate works published from 1997 forward, a full text PDF will usually be available for free download as well.
Social Sciences Citation Index and Social SciSearch
A bibliographic and citation index for social sciences
Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and Social SciSearch are indexes and abstracts services of the Thomson Scientific, part of Thomson Corp., including many ISI Web of Science products. These services aim at providing access to current research information and are the online version of several Citation Indexes. Social Sciences multidisciplinary databases index around 2,400 journals covering over 50 disciplines. Articles from about 90 political science and 100 sociology journals are abstracted. Subfields like international relations, urban studies, psychology, law, public administration are also covered. These databases provide cited references, bibliographic info and authors abstracts. Nonetheless access to these services requires a fee-based subscription. Non-subscribers are not allowed to access any content. Although the database services are user-friendly, and many online tutorials are offerd in order to better use the products, this website is not the best example for usability and accessibility.
The International Political Science Abstracts
An authoritative and comprehensive PS abstracts archive
A landmark publication of the International Political Science Association, the International Political Science Abstracts provides abstracts of political science articles published in journals and yearbooks worldwide on the most important topics in the discipline. Started in 1951 as a printed journal, it covers nowadays over 1,000 journals. In each issue articles are classified by six main categories such as methods and theory, international relations, national and area studies, etc. Abstracts are mostly in English, while French is used for articles written in languages other than English whenever an author’s English version is not available. Titles in languages other than English are also translated into English. Access to the International Political Science Abstracts online database (over 280,000 records from 1989 to the present, updated four to six times a year with about 8,000 records added annually) is available only by subscribing EBSCO or Ovid, professional database suppliers. IPSA members can access it by paying an additional fee to the association. Free trial is available to all users. The International Political Science Abstracts is also available in print version, published bi-monthly by the International Political Science Association in Paris.