New On-Line Technology Leads to Innovative Offerings for ASA Members
Preliminary Program On-Line in 2000
ASA is unfolding a new approach for the Preliminary Program of the Annual Meeting in 2000. In light of innovative opportunities for electronic access rising costs of printing and postage, and the increased interest among members in receiving and using information electronically, ASA Council has approved an electronic edition of the Preliminary Program and a summary print edition in Footnotes.
With the website innovations that are coming on-line this year (see story on page 1), ASA will be able not only to provide interested persons with the Preliminary Program on the ASA homepage but also to offer search capacities to permit users to organize and identify information in a number of user friendly ways. " What we can do will go beyond the text edition that is now available on our homepage," says Executive Officer Felice J. Levine. "Members have often requested diskettes of the program to search for topics and people of special interest to them and to create a personal schedule.
The Footnotes edition will cover meeting highlights and provide in compressed form all vital information (e.g., participants' names but not full paper titles) so that members or participants know what is scheduled when. This version will be similar to the "pocket program" which is part of the Final Program packet. A further benefit is that this expanded edition of Footnotes will be sent to members and non-member participants, potentially giving other social scientists a broader flavor of what ASA is and does.
"Key for us in making this recommendation is the cost savings," says Levine. "With rising costs for printing, postage, on-site staff, food and beverage, and audiovisual equipment at the Annual Meeting, it is prudent to consider economies. The Preliminary Program over time has just become a pre-publication copy of the Final Program, which is distributed at the Annual Meeting. We estimate that the change in delivery of the Preliminary Program will yield savings of about $25,000."
The complete Preliminary Program will be available electronically on the ASA website by mid-May; the Preliminary Program will be copied (on-demand and at no charge) for members who request a hardcopy due to lack of internet access.
In 2000 each sociology department will receive a hardcopy of the Preliminary Program as part of the mailing from ASA to department chairs. This is considered transitional; over time, the utility of doing so will be assessed.
Remember to look at the homepage (www.asanet.org) for many useful updates, including the Preliminary Program and all registration information, available in mid-May.
New Benefit Offerings for Members and Sociology Departments
ASA has established two new collaborative initiatives with JSTOR and Sociometrics this fall that will allow us to expand ASA's benefit offerings to members and sociology departments.
In early fall 1999 ASA finalized negotiations with JSTOR to offer individual access to ASA journals to our members as an additional add-on benefit. While institutional subscribers, such as libraries and academic institutions, have been able to subscribe to JSTOR since 1998, this new offering will enable individuals to purchase access. For $60 for the full 2000 calendar year, ASA members can purchase access to all ASA journals in the JSTOR program - currently American Sociological Review, Contemporary Sociology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Sociology of Education. Access to ASA journals is available through JSTOR from the inaugural year of each journal through the volume published five years prior to the current year. (For example, full-text issues of the American Sociological Review are available from 1936 through 1994.)
Social Science Electronic Data Library
Beginning in 2000, Sociometrics Corporation has agreed to provide ASA members and sociology departments discounted subscriptions to the Social Science Electronic Data Library (SSEDL). SSEDL is a digital collection of over 300 data sets on behavioral, health, and social science. The data sets were created from over 200 studies covering such topics as families, AIDS, disability, adolescent pregnancy/pregnancy prevention studies, maternal drug abuse, and aging. About 80 percent of the collection is unique and unavailable from other sources including the data archives of ICPSR or the federal government.
ASA and Sociometrics have agreed on the following discounted offerings:
ASA Department Affiliates will receive a 20 percent discount and non-affiliate departments will receive a 15 percent discount off of the $2,995 retail price. Departments will receive the entire SSEDL on CD-ROM as well as web access.
For individual ASA members, a discounted price of $269, or $130 off of the $399 retail price, will be offered. Individual subscribers will receive web access authorization to the datasets.
To obtain additional information on or to purchase JSTOR and/or SSEDL, please visit the ASA Online Member Services at www.asanet.org/memarea.
[As of July 2004, this discount subscription is no longer available through Sociometrics.]