Prepared by Darlene Hull, 11/1/99.
Reviewed by the Political Science Department, 10/18/99.
The Political Science Department offers work through the Ph.D. degree. As well as offering a Master of Arts in Political Science, the department offers a Master of Arts with Concentration in Survey Research, and a Master of Public Affairs Degree. "These programs are designed to prepare political scientists for teaching, research and management positions in the public and private sectors. The graduate curriculum of the Department of Political Science is structured to serve the individual needs of students as they prepare for the variety of opportunities that the field offers. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the dynamics and institutions of political life, preparing for the realities of public policy and administration, and learning the methods necessary for empirical research and analysis."
In it’s recent departmental self-study, Political Science identified the following areas of focused excellence:
Full time faculty: 27 (1 Stamford; 1 Hartford); undergraduate majors: 355; master: 67; doctoral: 79
The graduate program is centered at Storrs. Additionally, the MPA program has a significant off campus student body. Undergraduate study of political science is also concentrated at Storrs. Some representative 200-level course enrollment figures (Fall 1998) are: Storrs 1045; Stamford 35; Greater Hartford 31; Torrington 28; Waterbury 15; Avery Point 10. Students rely on both physical and remote access to information resources for the period of their course work and dissertation writing. Undergraduate, as well as graduate study and faculty research, often relies on access to very current source materials most successfully obtained through full-text online resources.
Political Science (SSPOLI): $50,000.00 annually base budget.
Typical breakdown: Monographs $18,500 (including videos); Journals $31,500 (including continuations)
Separately funded programs spending from 30%-50% of their budgets on political materials include: African Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies.
Networked Services: $25,000.00
Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library’s Networked Services budget which primarily (or in some cases significantly) support research in Political Science include: Academic Universe, CIAO (Colombia International Affairs Online); CQ Library Online; NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service); PAIS International (Public Affairs Information Service); World News Connection, JSTOR, Project Muse, Index to Legal Materials. Total estimated cost for these services is $25,000.00.
Total annual expenditures for political science: $105,000.
Political Science relies more heavily on journal literature than information produced in monographic form. Additionally, there will be an increasing need for electronic data that can be downloaded and manipulated with statistical software.
B. Collection Development
Political economy with emphasis on international areas (i.e., OECD and developing countries); public budgeting and finance (both domestic and international) ; international and comparative politics; American politics; public opinion, survey research, and voting; political parties; political culture, political behavior, public law; crime and justice.
Monographic purchases focus on English language materials from major domestic academic and university presses. Works on theoretical issues are emphasized. In acquiring monographs we look for titles that are apt to remain important for a number of years. Topical issues, like the progress of privatization in Eastern Europe or the security situation in South Asia, are better approached, in our view, through journal articles and materials available on the web. Though it appears to be a declining perspective within Political Science, the library still approaches its task of reviewing the available literature in area studies terms. We acquire works on European politics and society in French, German, Italian and, very selectively Spanish. Selective acquisitions are also made on West Africa and Quebec in French. Somewhat more robust collecting is focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, where we collect in Spanish and, to a lesser extent, French and Portuguese. Although monographs are no longer acquired in Russian, the Library continues to devote significant resources to sources on Russia. In light of recent changes in the composition and general direction of the Political Science program, it is not clear whether these investments remain appropriate.
The following sources are relied upon for selection:
Additional ordering is generated from faculty
recommendations and investigating the previous publications
of specific authors.
Journals purchase will also focus on English language materials. Coverage from other countries and world areas in the vernacular will depend on intensity of University area study programs. New journal subscriptions in political science are generally ordered pursuant to a student or faculty request. We require special justification, or evidence of demand from our document delivery statistics, to consider titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their titles. Also, addition of new titles will likely require trade-offs (i.e., cancellations) of currently held titles.
c. Documents and Legal
C. Access Development
In order to assist Political Science researchers to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document deliver and interlibrary loan. The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services, as well as those specific to Political Science (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet this objective.
User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.
We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.
We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.
One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.
Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, ".uconn.edu".)
The political science liaison maintains a web page for political science resources that is part of the Libraries’ web site. The political science pages provide a starting place for students and faculty seeking local political science resources of various sorts and promote locally licensed electronic resources. The political science liaison is open to suggestions for the improvement of this page and is willing to set up specific links to resources being used in connection with local courses. See /research/bysubject/polisci.htm
1998 ILL/DD transactions for Political Science: 649 total (78% graduate ; 22% faculty)
Breakdown by type: 55% journals ; 44% monographs ; 1% other
Comparable transaction totals: Sociology 376; Economics 543
The Library is beginning to collect key statistical data in digital formats that users can download and manipulate with statistical software. U.S. government agencies are beginning to make some of their key data sets available over the Internet in this fashion. Many international agencies, however, are not this far advanced. Moreover, where digital data is available it generally comes on windows based CD-ROMs that are very difficult to network and often employ less than state-of-the-art software. In order to fully integrate data into Library services for research needs it may mean a shift in staffing resources. The Library sees a need to move in this direction but still sees problems in succeeding.
In the field of Political Science, which relies more heavily on journal literature, we will continue to rely heavily on document delivery. Networked indexing and abstracting sources such as PAIS International, makes it easier for us to identify needed materials. We will need to also continue to monitor the journals budget. As we have already done in the recent past, we may need to continue to make choices to rely exclusively on electronic versions of some journals.
We are currently buying more monographs in political science than we can afford. We will need to closely monitor expenditures on monographs, videos, and digital data, as well as journal inflationary encroachments on the monographs budgets.