Books, Journals and Monographs constitute important social science information resources and play key role in dissemination of information for teaching, learning and research. These longer publications cover a wider subject, tend to delve more deeply into issues, and require additional research and information to support.
Books are definitely one of the biggest sources of knowledge and intelligence. There are wide varieties of books written by different authors covering different areas. Books can be read out of passion as a hobby, or books can also be read to gain knowledge. Google has estimated that as of 2010, approximately 130,000,000 unique titles had been published (https://www.google.co.in/).
2. Social Science
Social science is a broad umbrella linking multiple fields, with contention regarding which fields should be included under its purview. Social science can be regarded as the scientific methods application to all things social (Darity, 2008). Social science refers to the academic disciplines concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society, which often rely primarily on empirical approaches. It is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to anthropology, economics, political science,
psychology and sociology. In a wider sense, it may often include some fields in the humanities such as archaeology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, folkloristic, history, law, linguistics, and rhetoric. Emilee Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber are typically cited as the principal architects of modern social science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_science).
The beginnings of the social sciences in the 18th century are reflected in various grand encyclopedia of Diderot, with articles from Rousseau and other pioneers. The growth of the social sciences is also reflected in other specialized encyclopedias(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_social_sciences).
Its emergence began with the enlightenment and its emphasis on rationality, logic and methodology as applied to the empirical world (Darity, 2008).
2.2 Growth of Social Sciences
The growth of the social sciences is also reflected in other specialized encyclopedias. In the modern period, the term “social science” first used as a distinct conceptual field.
Around the start of the 20th century, enlightenment philosophy was challenged in various quarters. After the use of classical theories since the end of the scientific revolution, various fields substituted mathematics studies for experimental studies and examining equations to build a theoretical structure. The development of social science subfields became very quantitative in methodology. Conversely, the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of scientific inquiry into human behavior and social and environmental factors affecting it made many of the natural sciences interested in some aspects of social science methodology. Examples of boundary blurring include emerging disciplines like social studies of medicine, sociobiology, neuropsychology, bioeconomics and the history and sociology of science. Increasingly, quantitative and qualitative methods are being integrated in the study of human action and its implications and consequences. In the first half of the 20th century, statistics became a free-standing discipline of applied mathematics. Statistical methods were used confidently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_social_sciences).
2.3Social Science Publishing
Analysis of social science literature has taken various forms, viz, investigation into user needs, library surveys, citation analysis, bibliometric studies of the growth of literature, etc. Social Science publishing has acquired a well acclaimed reputation over the years (Parekh, 1982). Most academic work is published in journal article, book or thesis form and are based on some form of peer review or editorial refereeing to qualify texts for publication, the quality and selectivity standards varying greatly from journal to journal, publisher to publisher, and field to field (Skill, 1968).
Like all other branches of knowledge, social science publishing is witnessing major changes, as it makes the transition from the print to the electronic format offering altogether different business models. Since the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common leading to emergence of a large number of electronic databases. Simultaneously an important trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is open access via the Internet. There are two main forms of open access: open access publishing, in which a whole journal (or book) or individual articles are made available free of charge on the web by the publisher and open access self-archiving, in which authors themselves make a copy of their published articles available free for all on the web.
In the 1960s and 1970s, commercial publishers began to selectively acquire “top-quality” journals which were previously published by nonprofit academic societies. Although there are over 2,000 publishers, three for-profit companies (Reed Elsevier, Springer Science+Business Media, and John Wiley & Sons) account for 42% of articles published (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_publishing).
2.4 Some Important Social Science Publishers
Some of the important social science publishers are as under:
- Macmillan Company
- Fitzroy Dearborn
- Dryden Press
- McGraw Hill
- Oxford University Press
- Gale Cengage Learning
- Taylor and Francis
- Cambridge University Press
3. Branches of social science
Social Science fields of study have several sub-disciplines or branches:
The discipline deals with the integration of different aspects of the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Human Biology. The word anthropos is from the Greek for “human being” or
“person.”The goal of anthropology is to provide a holistic account of humans and human nature. The quest for holism leads most anthropologists to study a people in detail, using biogenetic, archaeological, and linguistic data alongside direct observation of contemporary customs
Anthropology is study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social and cultural development of humans. It is the study of mankind (Darity, 2008).Anthropology is the holistic “science of man”, a science of the totality of human existence.
This means that, though anthropologists generally specialize in only one sub-field, they always keep in mind the biological, linguistic, historic and cultural aspects of any problem. Since anthropology Arose as a science in Western societies that were complex and industrial, a major trend within anthropology has been a methodological drive to study peoples in societies with more simple social organization, sometimes called “primitive” in anthropological literature, but without any connotation of “inferior.” Today, anthropologists use terms such as “less complex” societies or refer to specific modes of subsistence or production, such as “pastoralist” or “forager” or “horticulturalist” to refer to humans living in non-industrial,non western cultures,such people or folk(ethnos) Western societies that were complex and industrial, a major trend within anthropology has been a methodological drive to study peoples in societies with more simple social organization, sometimes called “primitive” in anthropological literature, but without any connotation of “inferior.” Today, anthropologists use terms such as “less complex” societies or refer to specific modes of subsistence or production, such as “pastoralist” or “forager” or “horticulturalist” to refer to humans
3.1.1Some Important Books in the area of Anthropology
- EVANS-PRITCHARD, E.E. Anthropology and history. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1963.
- CHEATER, Angela P. Social anthropology. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989.
- GELL, Alfred. Anthropology of time. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1992.
- SETTY, Ed. Society and religion. New Delhi: Inter India Publications, 1988.
- MAIR, Lucy. Introduction to social anthropology. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.
3.1.2 Some Important Journals in the area of Anthropology
- Annual Review of Anthropology. Palo Alto: Annual Reviews
- Current Anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
- Human Organization. Oklahoma: Society of Applied Anthropology
- Anthropology & Humanism. Chi Chester: Blackwell Publishing Limited
- Biennial Review of Anthropology. Chicago: Stanford University Press
According to Wikipedia an economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a degree in the subject. Lionel Robbins in 1932 said “economic is the science which studies human behavior as a relation between scarce means having alternative uses.” Without scarcity and alternative uses, there is no economic problem. Briefer yet is “the study of how people seek to satisfy needs and wants. Economics has two broad branches: microeconomics, where the unit of analysis is the individual agent, such as a household or firm, and macroeconomics, where the unit of analysis is an economy as a whole and the study of the financial aspects of human behavior.”
The study of general methods by which men co-operate to meet material needs’ (Sir William Beveridge); the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life’ (A. Marshall); ‘A science which study with human behavior as a relationship between ends and scares means which have alternative uses’(L. Robbins); ‘Economics investigates the arrangements between agents each tending to his own maximum utility’ (F. Y. Edgeworth); ‘Wants, Efforts, Satisfaction – this is the circle of political economy’ (Frederic Bastiat).
The word ‘economists’ was first used by the French Physiocrats in the 1760s. Smith, and his classical disciples, produced theories of growth, value, distribution and taxation. Cantillon, the physiocrats and Ricardo introduced model building into economics (Eatwell, 1998).
The scope of economics is indicated by the facts with which it deals. These consist mainly of data on output, income, employment, expenditure, interest rates, price and related magnitudes associated with individual activities of production, consumption, transportation and trade. Economics deals with a tiny fraction of the whole spectrum of human behavior (Greenwald, 1994).
3.2.1 Growth of Economics Literature
The growth of economics as a discipline not only brought about the multiplication of materials but also created a need for more immediate channels of communication. The monograph which had been the chief avenue of publication for so long began to lose some of its importance to the periodical. The need to convince a publisher of the validity and interest of one’s idea, or alternatively to publish at one’s own expense, was replaced by interaction with an editor or editorial board drawn from one’s peers. It also permitted economists to build more and more elaborate structures of argument and evidence. Economics has its roots in early Greece and Rome but it was first dealt as the management of slaves and the allocation of manure among alternative agriculture uses (Eatwell, 1998). In the revival of learning that followed the middle ages, economics emerged in a new guise as a branch of moral philosophy concerned with such issues as the ethics of loan interest and the “justness” of market determined wages and price. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the subject had lost most of its theological overtones and had taken shape as an academic discipline, largely as a branch of political theory dealing with problems of government intervention in economics affairs. Then in 1776 the Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith published the first edition of his monumental inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, and economics soon became an independent science. Economics has grown rapidly in recent years, as measured either by the membership of professional associations or by the volume of professional literature. The American economic association was founded in 1885 and the Royal economic society in 1890.
The former had fewer than 200 members in 1886; it passed the 2,000 mark in 1912. The largest increases, however, occurred between 1940 and 1962, during which time the American economic association grew from just over 3,000 members to more than 11,000. In 1959 there were about 5,000 fellows of the Royal economics society. The growth of Economics literature has been just as impressive (Skill, 1968).
3.2.2 Some Important Books in the area of Economics
- ALBERT E. Waugh. Principle of economics. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1947.
- RONALD W. Jones, Ed. Handbook of international economics. New York: North-Holland, 1985.
- M.L. Jhingan. Economics of development and planning. Delhi: P. Ram and Sons, 1966.
- JOHN Eatwell, etc. Ed. New Palgrave: A dictionary of economics. London: Macmillan Reference, 1998.
- PAUL Anthony Samuelson. Economics. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, 2000.
3.2.3 Some Important Journals in the area of Economics
- History of Political Economy. Durham: Duke University Press
- Environment and Development Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Journal of Institutional Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Journal of Financial Econometrics. New Delhi: Oxford University Press
- Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. Chicago: Ohio State University Press
History is the continuous, systematic narrative and research into past human events as interpreted through historiographical paradigms or theories.History has a base in both the social sciences and the humanities. In the United States the National Endowment for the Humanities includes history in its definition of Humanities (as it does for applied Linguistics). However, the National Research Council classifies History as a Social science. The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. The Social Science History Association, formed in 1976, brings together scholars from numerous disciplines interested in social history. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_science#History).
3.3.1 Some Important Books in the area of History
- C.F. VON Weizsacker. History of nature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949.
- M. Mujeeb. World history our heritage. Delhi: Asia Pub. House, 1960.
- F. CROSSFIELD Happold. Approach to history. New Delhi: Indus, 1950.
- JOSEPH Segers. Ascent of history. Bombay: Allied Pub., 1962.
- R.G. Collingwood. Idea of history. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1962.
3.3.2 SomeImportant Journals in the area of History
- Comparative Studies in Society and History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- The Eighteenth Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
- Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Durham: Duke University Press
- Journal of Policy History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Journal of World History. Hawai`i: University of Hawai’i Press
3.4 Political science
Political science is a diverse and broad field of inquiry. It is the study of power and its transfer through political behavior. Political science as a coherent and recognized branch of social science did not develop until the mid- 1800s, although it is widely acknowledged that scholars and intellectuals before that time had been pursuing insights into political behavior for many centuries (Darity, 2008).Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. Fields and subfields of political science include political economy, political theory and philosophy, civics and comparative politics, theory ofdirect democracy, apolitical governance, participatory direct democracy, national systems, cross-national political analysis, political development, international relations, foreign policy, international law, politics, public administration, administrative behavior, public law, judicial behavior, and public policy. Political science also studies power in international relations and the theory ofgreat powers and superpowers.
3.4.1 SomeImportant Books in the area of Political Science
- GILCHRIST, R.N. Principles of political science. Chicago: Henry Regency Co., 1966.
- APTER, David. Political change: Collected essays. London: Frank Cass, 1973.
- Aristotle. Politics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.
- HOBHOUSE, Leonard T. Social evolution and political theory. Calcutta: World Press, 1962.
- THOMSONS, David. Political ideas. England : Penguin Books, 1966
3.4.2 SomeImportant Journals in the area of Political Science
- Annual Review of Political Science. Palo Alto: Annual Reviews, 1932.
- Public Opinion Quarterly. Deerfield: American Association for Public Opinion Research
- Foreign Policy Bulletin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Journal of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939.
- Human Rights Quarterly. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Psychology, or the science of mind, which is often traced to the work of Wilhelm Wundt in the mid to late 1800s, attempts to explain the behavior of individuals through the mechanisms of the psyche (Darity, 2008). Psychology is the science of human behavior as it relates to the functions of the mind. It provides evidence for people experience a gamut of emotions, think rationally or irrationally, and act either predictably or unpredictably to search for the self, to process conflict, to solve problems, and to think critically as well as act pragmatically. Psychology did not become accepted as a formal discipline until the late nineteenth century. According to Gustav Fechner, the scientific method should be applied to the study of mental processes, experimentation and mathematical procedures should be used to study the human mind. The term “psyche”, while personified by the ancient Greeks as a goddess, essentially means “breath,” which was equated with soul or mind (Magill, 1996).
3.5.1 SomeImportant Books in the area of Psychology
- PAUL F. Secord. Social psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.
- GRAY, Peter. Psychology. New York: Worth. 2002.
- ROBERT A. Baron. Psychology. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1995.
- KALAT, James W. Introduction to psychology. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole, 1999.
- WOODWORTH, R.S. Psychology. London: Methuen, 1963.
3.5.2 SomeImportant Journals in the area of Psychology
- Annual Review of Psychology. California: Annual Reviews, 1998.
- Applied Psychology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 1952.
- Journal of Personnel Psychology. Germany: Hogrefe Publishing, 2002.
- Psychological Bulletin. Washington: American Psychological Association, 1904.
- Developmental Psychology. Washington: American Psychological Association, 1969.
Sociology as a coherent and established field of study is the newest of the social sciences, and perhaps the most difficult to define. Sociology is often seen by its practitioners as analogous to social science itself and as integrating the work done in anthropology, psychology, political science, and economics. (Darity, 2008).
Sociology is the systematic study of society and human social action. The meaning of the word comes from the suffix “-ology” which means “study of,” derived from Greek, and the stem “soci-” which is from the Latin word socius, meaning “companion”, or society in general.
Sociology was originally established by Auguste Comte (1798–1857) in 1838. Comte endeavored to unify history, psychology and economics through the descriptive understanding of the social realm. He proposed that social ills could be remedied through sociological positivism, an epistemological approach outlined in The Course in Positive Philosophy [1830–1842] and A General View of Positivism (1844). Though Comte is generally regarded as the “Father of Sociology”, the discipline was formally established by another French thinker, Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), who developed positivism as a foundation to practical social research. Durkheim set up the first European department of sociology at the University of Bordeaux in 1895, publishing his Rules of the Sociological Method. In 1896, he established the journal L’Année Sociologique. Durkheim’s seminal monograph, Suicide (1897), a case study of suicide rates amongst Catholic and Protestant populations, distinguished sociological analysis from psychology or philosophy.
Sociology evolved as an academic response to the challenges of modernity, such as industrialization, urbanization, secularization, and a perceived process of enveloping rationalization. Because sociology is such a broad discipline, it can be difficult to define, even for professional sociologists. The field generally concerns the social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, communities and institutions, and includes the examination of the organization and development of human social life. The sociological field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes. In the terms of sociologists Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, social scientists seek an understanding of the Social Construction of Reality. Most sociologists work in one or more subfields (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_science#Sociology).
3.6.1 SomeImportant Books in the area of Sociology
- THEODORE Caplow. Sociology of work. Minneapolis: Univ of Minesota Press, 1957.
- KARL Mannheim. Essays on the sociology of culture. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1959.
- GIDDENS, Anthony. Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1997.
- PIERRE L Venden. Race and ethnicity: Essays in comparative sociology. New York: Basic Books, 1970.
- NORMAN Birnabaum. Towards a critical sociology. New York: Oxford Univ Press. 1973.
3.6.2 SomeImportant Journals in the area of Sociology
- Annual Review of Sociology. California: Annual Reviews, 1975.
- European Sociological Review. London: Oxford University Press, 1985.
- Current Sociology. Madrid: International Sociological Association, 1952.
- The Canadian Journal of Sociology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.
- American Journal of Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1895.
4. Social Sciences: Publishing Growth
In recent decades there has been a growth in academic publishing in developing countries as they become more advanced in science and technology. Although the large majority of scientific output and academic documents are produced in developed countries, the rate of growth in these countries has stabilized and is much smaller than the growth rate in some of the developing countries. The fastest scientific output growth rate over the last two decades has been in the Middle East and Asia with Iran leading with an 11-fold increase followed by the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Cyprus, China, and Oman. In comparison the only G8 countries in top 20 ranking with fastest performance improvement are, Italy which stands at tenth andCanada at 13th globally.
By 2004, it was noted that the output of scientific papers originating from the European Union had a larger share of the world’s total from 36.6 to 39.3 percent and from 32.8 to 37.5 per cent of the “top one per cent of highly cited scientific papers”. However, the United States’ output dropped 52.3 to 49.4 per cent of the world’s total, and its portion of the top one percent dropped from 65.6 to 62.8 per cent.
Iran, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa were the only developing countries among the 31 nations that produced 97.5% of the most cited scientific articles in a study published in 2004. The remaining 162 countries contributed less than 2.5%. TheRoyal Society in a 2011 report stated that in share of English scientific research papers the United States was first followed by China, the UK, Germany, Japan, France, and Canada. The report predicted that China would overtake the United States some time before 2020, possibly as early as 2013. China’s scientific impact, as measured by other scientists citing the published papers the next year, is smaller although also increasing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_publishing).
One of the earliest research journals is the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, created in the 17th century. The Journal des sçavans (later renamed Journal des savants), established by Denis de Sallo, was the earliest academic journal published in Europe. Its content included obituaries of famous men, church history, and legal reports. The first issue appeared as a twelve-page quarto pamphlet on Monday, 5 January 1665. This was shortly before the first appearance of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, on 6 March 1665 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_publishing).
The Bath University study recognized that counting social titles was a crude way of measuring the literature and that there were problems in defining both ‘serials’ and ‘Social Sciences’. How-ever, the unavailability of any suitable data base of social science serials which could be analyzed led the re-search team to- initially develop a Check List of Social Science Serials (CLOSSS). Although the intention was to include all serial titles from all over the world in CLOSSS, it was acknowledged that as developed, the Check List was somewhat weak in non-English language serials, particularly from Asia and Africa.
By the end of 1974, CLOSSS included nearly 4,000 current titles. This was considerably larger than the approximate 2,600 titles in the UNESCO sponsored World List of Social Science Periodicals (4th edition) but much smaller than Ulrich’s Internati6nal Periodicals Directory (15th edition), which listed more than 21,000 titles in the field. This wide discrepancy arose because the World List defined both ‘social sciences’ and ‘periodicals’ more narrowly than the Bath study; Ulrich’s definition of the field was not only wider but it also included a large group of general social science periodicals such as news journal, house organs and some government serials. The main primary journal literature in the sciences is perhaps five times the size of the social sciences in terms of number of current titles produced. An analysis of the CLOSSS file revealed that approximately 9 per cent of the titles were general and covered the whole field.-The largest proportion of titles included nearly 26 per cent, were devoted to economics; education and political science accounted for 10 per cent titles each; 6.5 per cent titles belonged to the field of psychology, 5 per cent each to geography, law, linguistics, social welfare and 4 per cent to the field of sociology (Parekh, 1982).
Number of Articles: There have been no studies, counting the number of articles in the social sciences and its subfields. However the Bath study estimated that averages of 37 articles were published -in a journal in a year. As a tentative conclusion, this meant “that the number of ‘worth-while’ articles produced per year in the social science journals probably does not exceed 200,000”; this is only a fourth or fifth the ‘number given by conservative estimates for worldwide annual production of scientific and technical articles. Growth: Of the current titles listed on the CLOSSS file only 56 titles existed in 1850, 380 in 1900, 993 in 1930, 1,806 in 1950 and 2,470 in 1960. The growth rate of social science serials calculated for the time period of 1950 to 1970 was found to be 3.35 per cent annum. The literature of individual subjects show’ different growth patterns. Education, linguistics and planning have all shown a rapid growth since 1950. Some subjects such as management had a fairly late start but a very rapid growth in the early years. Other subjects such as law and economics reached maturity earlier and the growth since 1950 has consequently been less rapid in relative terms. Other Characteristics: Nearly 28 per cent of current titles were published quarterly, 20 per cent annually, 15 per cent monthly. Less than 4 per cent titles are published with more than 12 issues ‘a year. About one-third of all titles were published by learned societies or associations and a further 22 per cent by educational institutions of all kinds. Government and international– bodies are responsible for 18.4 per cent of all social science serials; commercial publishers publish fewer than 18 per cent serials (Parekh, 1982).
For information on social science monographs, the Bath study depended on UNESCO’s Statistical Yearbook, and acknowledged that the data were very coarse. The Yearbook indicated that the number of monographs published from 66 countries of the world in all subjects in 1970 was 546,000. By including estimates of other countries, world monograph literature in 1970 was expected to be 750,000 titles.
When figures for 66 countries were analyzed into 10 broad classes, 105,000 monographs were found to belong to class 3 (which included politics, economics, education, sociology, law and commerce, but did not include psychology, linguistics, geography and history). If these subject areas were included, the figures could be a good deal higher, perhaps by as much as 50 per cent. Of these 105,000 monograph titles, nearly 29 per cent were classed as politics and economics, 16 per cent as education, .9 per cent as commerce and 7 per cent as sociology. Analysing book title production for the 1960s a fairly steady linear growth appears as the main trend. A. more rapid growth was seen in the social science monographs in the sixties than in the pure and applied sciences. By 1970 both the social- sciences and science and technology each accounted for 30 per cent of total monograph production. India was ranked as the eighth largest monograph producer in the world. Of the approximately 15,000 monograph titles recorded in the UNESCO Statistical Yearbook from India, one-third belonged to class 3. This would mean that roughly 5 per cent of world social science mono-graphs are published in India. Statistics of monographs arranged by language of publication do not exist(Parekh, 1982).
4.3 Other Formats:
Other literature formats such as dissertations, conference papers, reports, etc. are not insignificant in the social sciences but no estimates have been made of their size. Other formats such as standards, patents and trade literature which are significant for the scientist have no equivalence in the social sciences. Of special significance to economists is the recent increase in the number of working papers in the field being circulated prior to publication (Parekh, 1982).
4.4 Patterns of literature use
Most studies of information requirements of scientists have concluded that the use of literature as representing the formal information system constitutes but a part of the total sources of information. Use of books, periodicals and other published and non-published material is supplemented heavily by personal communication both oral and written, leading to the idea of the existence of ‘invisible colleges’ linking specialists interested in specific areas of research. Within the formal information system, both social scientists and scientists depend heavily on monograph literature and serials. However, social scientists are estimated to use a higher proportion of books and journals as compared to scientists and technologists. In the latter field, “something like 80 percent or more of document use and citations is accounted for by the primary journal literature; whereas in the social sciences the value is lower at around 50 per cent or 70 percent” (Roberts, 1980). Use of trade literature is fairly heavy by scientists working in the applied field, while there is no equivalent information source for social sciences. Theses and research re-ports were not considered particularly useful either by scientists or social, scientists (Skelton, 1973). The INFROSS study of Bath University (1971) seemed to indicate that there are variations in the use of different formats within the subfields of social sciences. Periodicals, conference papers and research reports were most heavily used by psychologists, government publications by economists, monographs by anthropologists and thesis by educationists (Line, 1981). On comparing eleven citation studies in different fields of social sciences, Broadus (1971) found that social scientists draw their material from various fields. Reliance on the literature of their own discipline varied markedly from approximately 30 per cent in sociology to 60 per cent in education and 72 per cent in economics. Although extensive use is made of the literature of the other social sciences, disciplines like political science and sociology drew 35 per cent to 50 per cent citations front fields outside the social sciences. This dependence on literature of areas other than social sciences is considerably lower in the case of economics and education where the range of such citations is from 10 per cent to 33 per cent. Illustrating the increasing inter-dependence between the social sciences, Clifton Brock (1967) wrote: “The political scientist of the previous generation studying the politics of the Gold Coast might have been content with the London Times, and a few publications of the British Colonial Office. Today his successor wants to know the world market price of cocoa, the amount and content of US economic assistance to Ghana and the tribal distribution of population, etc.” The need for literature of different disciplines is, however, accompanied by a narrow geographical interest. Many social scientists are interested in issues of local interest and do not field it necessary to examine literature referring to other geographical milieus. This preoccupation with local concerns is noticed even in social science journals. Comparing the major association journals in political science in four nations, Hajjar and others (1973) found that “each of the journals emphasise research subjects specific to their own nation and its political affairs”. It is fairly well accepted that there is extensive and pervasive under utilization of published and nor-published literature. Many libraries and information services contain large numbers of documents that are rarely, if ever, used. In some libraries the frequency of use of three-quarters of the stock is less than once per year; many professional journals reach only a very small audience and the average journal article is never cited two or three years after publication” (Roberts and Britain, 1981). Social sciences are less cumulative than the mathematical, natural and technical sciences. In the latter, accepted relevant literature gets integrated into newer materials thus continuing a process of ‘obliteration by incorporation’. In the social sciences, the process of integration is not as even or as exhaustive as in the natural sciences and there is need to go further back in one’s literature search. However, the social scientist generally does not undertake as systematic or thorough a literature search as a chemist (Parekh, 1982).
Social science publishing is growing at a tremendous speed in all its formats. A churning within traditional subjects is going on simultaneously giving birth to new areas of learning and research and formation of new subjects. Social science’s direction at the start of the twenty-first century is difficult to discern. Increasing attacks from postmodernist thinkers provide some reason for concern. Perhaps more alarming, however, are the internal divisions confronting the social sciences. A wide array of sometimes competing methodologies and theories has led to frequent infighting among social science practitioners, and the absence of an accepted grand theory creates science’s branches, however, namely economics and psychology, seem to be gaining in prestige. In the case of economics, this is mainly due to the increasing weight given to the marketplace as a predictor of many facets of human behavior; in the case of psychology, it is due to the field’s growing ties to the biological sciences.
There are other positive developments afoot as well. Social science, especially within sociology and anthropology, has increasingly recognized the need for minority perspectives. As a result, an increasing number of minority scholars have made their way into the social sciences since the 1960s. New areas of study loosely affiliated with the traditional social science disciplines have also emerged: African American studies, Chicano studies, queer theory, and women’s studies, all of which have made important contributions to the social science.
Furthermore, the social sciences have increasingly found a place in governmental and corporate entities, tacking everyday issues confronting society
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- Darity, William A. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Ed. 2, 7 Vol. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2008.
- Eatwell, John. Ed. etc., New Palgrave: A dictionary of Economics. 2 Vol., Hampshire: Palgrave, 1998.
- Greenwald, Douglas. McGraw-hill Encyclopedia of economics.Ed. 2. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994.
- MaGill, Frank N. Ed. International Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2 V, London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1996.
- Parekh, Harsha. “Social Science Literature: Size, Use-pattern and Bibliography”, Economic and Political Weekly Journal 17(35) 1982, pp 1423+1425-1428.
- Skill, David L. Ed. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 5 Vol. New York:Macmillan company, 1968.