The University of Waterloo Library in Ontario, Canada, has created the Scholarly Societies Project (SSP) to facilitate access to information about scholarly societies around the world. First announced as a gopher site in February 1994, it is now a webpage maintained by librarians Jim Parrott (email@example.com) and Christine Jewell (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Library's Internet Resources Team.
The bulk of the SSP consists of links to scholarly society webpages or gophers which meet the Library's selection guidelines: scholarly in nature, containing at least two links to related documents, and including more than one kind of information. The Project excludes state or local chapters of larger societies and some selective institutes. Links to society resources that do not meet the guidelines are kept in the "workspace," which is available for public use.
The links to society webpages/gophers are arranged both alphabetically by name and by 34 useful subject categories such as physics, women's issues, or music. There is also a limited search function which will be expanded into a more effective tool in the future.
The typical society webpage or gopher contains information on membership, conferences, jobs, grants, scholarships, and publications, and some also include full-text archives, bibliographies of print publications, and pointers to other Internet resources. Some of these items, such as full-text archives and conference announcements, are duplicated in a helpful separate menu choice by the SSP.
The SSP also includes four essays on the history of scholarly societies and their roles in publishing, the history, guidelines, and procedures of the Project, and forms to submit feedback. Although this source has a few of the typical Internet problems - outdated links, etc. - overall it is a very well organized and maintained resource that looks to have a long future on the Net.
The SSP will be most useful to faculty, other professionals, and students working in the particular disciplines covered. The links to other related sources, bibliographies, and full-text archives will also be useful to librarians or others seeking information of a scholarly nature.
Electronic Resources Librarian
Austin Peay State University
May 17, 1995