UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
 
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The International Committee for Social Science Information and Documentation, ICSSD;
partner in the MOST Programme

NGO network with formal consultative relations with UNESCO

Associate member of ISSC

Krishana G. Tyagi, India - President

Catalina Saugy, Argentina Secretary General

ICSSD Secretariat, (c/o Clacso), Callao 875 - 3 º p., Buenos Aires 1023, Argentina

Email: saugy@clacso.edu.ar

The International Committee for Social Science Information and Documentation, ICSSD, was established in the fifties on the initiative of UNESCO. As an NGO the Committee has been granted consultative status. In the course of time it adopted several functions and developed into a policymaking body, designing guidelines and organisational and technical rules and tools for documentation and operating bibliography.

The Committee's membership comprises representatives of large international associations and organisations in the fields of social science research and information as well as renown professionals in these fields, co-opted on the basis of their qualifications. Also the adequate geographical distribution of the Committee's membership is taken into account. Associations and organisations which are regularly represented in the Committee are f.e. the International Sociological Association, ISA, the International Political Studies Association, IPSA, the International Association of Legal Studies, IALS, the International Economic Association, IEA, the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Studies, IUAES, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, IUSSP, the International Union of Psychological Studies, IUPsyS, the Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales, CLACSO, the Association of Development Research and Training Institutes of Asia and the Pacific, ADIPA, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA, the International Federation of Library Associations, IFLA, and the International Federation of Information, FID, and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, INASP. UNESCO-SHS/SRP and the International Social Science Council, ISSC, have permanent observers.

In its more than forty years of existence the Committee has achieved much that is of lasting value. Among its many achievements the annual four volumes of the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, containing references in economics, political science, sociology and social and cultural anthropology from all over the world, stand out. In the nineties, facing a politically, economically and socio-culturally changing world, a changing intellectual landscape and rapidly developing new media and patterns of information and communication, the Committee issued its latest Position Paper/Mission Statement (1992) and launched a new programme of activities.

The ICSSD emphasises the interconnection between social science research and research policy, on the one hand, and social science information and documentation, on the other, as integral components of the process of knowledge creation. The reinforcement of the social science's national, regional and global infrastructure, capacity-building through workshops and seminars and the promotion of the availability of secondary and primary scientific information in less privileged countries and regions are in the centre of the Committee's concern. Recently, the ICSSD - in consultation with UNESCO - has taken care of the practically free of charge distribution of the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences to a number of important research and information centres in various continents. Also it installed a small task group to look into possibilities of providing better access to primary literature for researchers in less prosperous countries. The Committee's endeavours tie-in logically with the aims of UNESCO's MOST Programme.

Apart from the Committee's research projects in the matching of supply and demand of social science information and a variety of activities in networking, conferencing and publishing, the ICSSD has made explicit contributions to the development of MOST. It was involved in several consultations in the very beginning of the MOST Programme and participated in its conceptual development. Documents such as The Interplay of Research and Information in MOST (1994), The MOST Clearing House, an information management system for merit review (1996), Guidelines for Data Sharing in International Comparative Social Science Research within the Context of MOST (1996), and the very successful ICSSD-UNESCO/MOST-CLACSO Latin American Regional Training Teleworkshop are playing a role in the creation and operation of the MOST Information Clearing House.

The ICSSD will make further progress along the path it has chosen on the basis of its 1992 Policy Paper and Mission Statement. It will co-operate with the MOST Secretariat and its Clearing House in promoting the dissemination of social science secondary and primary information for research and policy, in stimulating networking to reinforce the social science's international infrastructure and in organising training seminars and workshops aiming at capacity-building in information and documentation and in archiving and analysing empirical survey data.

For further information about the ICSSD and its work, please, contact the ICSSD Secretary General Catalina Saugy at CLACSO, Argentina, or the ICSSD President,  Krishana G. Tyagi, Social Science Research Council, India, or Paul de Guchteneire, UNESCO


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