ISA 14th World Congress Montreal: RC35: Session 'Social Sciences in the World Wide Web'

Dr. Carl Cuneo

Director
Network for the Evaluation of Education and Training Technologies (EvNet)
Dept. of Sociology
Professor, Sociology:
Kenneth Taylor Hall, Room 608
McMaster University,
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M4

eMail: cuneo@mcmaster.ca ; evnet@mcmaster.ca
Tel: (905) 525-9140, x24021;
Fax: (905) 523-1158
WWW: http://www.mcmaster.ca/socscidocs/cuneocj.htm

Internet Quality Standards for Sociology

The explosion of material in the social social sciences in general, and sociology in particular, on the world wide web, with few if any quality controls, raises the issue of the development of standards for internet publication arrived at consensually within the international sociological community. Unless the international sociological community quickly arrives at a set of standards, we will lose control over the quality of material that passes for professional sociological research, courseware, and other resources on the World Wide Web. The proposed paper will outline a set of fourteen criteria for evaluating the publication of sociological resources to the web. A skeleton outline of these evaluative criteria can be viewed at: http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/srnet/toolkit/evalnet2.htm. These criteria go beyond the standards for refereed electronic journals, since much quality material is being published of a non-refereed nature. The proposed standards are meant to stimulate discussion in this area rather than impose a set of rigid criteria on an unwilling sociological community. However, since the author is now reconstructing the WWW Virtual Library: Sociology, which can be found in beta development at http://www.mcmaster.ca/socscidocs/w3virtsoclib/index.htm, it is proposed that we employ such standards for deciding whether or not to list a resource within this electronic library.