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Number 2 June 2000

Editorial

Nation-wide Internet web resource for social science research method courses

Sami Borg 15.6.2000

The Finnish Social Science Data Archive arranged last Autumn a nation-wide seminar to university teachers working in the field of social sciences. During the seminar, with its emphasis on quantitative research methods, the need for co-operation between the various university departments and the data archive became evident.

The web resource project envisaged in the seminar is now about to be started. Its aim is to create a web resource supporting extensively social science methodology, research and teaching at Finnish universities. Typical contents to be produced in the web resource are guides related with collecting research material, methods of analysis and teaching material to be used in method courses. For the FSD, the aim is to use the data deposited at the FSD in method teaching.

In many other countries several similar projects are on their way. There is, however, a need for domestic teaching packs and material in the basic teaching at the Finnish universities - especially because the contents of method teaching are not always all that easy to absorb.

Hypertext used in Internet web resources allows a more concise presentation than in printed publications. A significant added value for method teaching is also the possibility to combine exercises on data handling into easily accessible parts of the teaching material.

A planning group will be set up shortly for the project. Its job is to specify, together with a planner to be hired, the contents, technical solutions and utilisation of the project. An active use of the web resource calls for high quality of the contents produced, and above all, easy accessibility to them.

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