Information Technology and Politics

  Fall, 2000

  Newsletter of the Information Technology and Politics Section of the 
American Political Science Association

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Section News:
ITP at the 2000 APSA meeting

2000 Software and Website Awards

2001 Call for Papers

Logo contest

Section Officers


CFP: Virtual Data Center Project

Open Source American Government text


Previous issues:
Spring 00
Summer 98 

inter 98 
Summer 97 

Winter 97 
Summer 96
Archives (1992-1996)

ITP website



Where Do We Want to Go Now? Information Technology, On-Line Experimentation, and the Social Sciences
Kent E. Portney

Summary Statistics of Internet usage in Campaign '98
Eric Loeb

Assessing the Internetís Impact on Teaching and Research at a Jesuit University
Frank J. Smist, jr. and
Zachary M. Stolz

Review Essay :

Can Technology Enhance Democracy? The Doubters' Answer
Philip Howard

Reports and Software Reviews:

Distance education circa 360 B.C.
Gary Klass

Software Review: JMP, V. 4.02,
Micah Altman
Chip Hauss



ITP Section News

ITP at the 2000 APSA Meeting:
Micheal Gizzi, Section president

The newly-renamed Information Technology and Politics is gearing up for the 2000 Annual Meeting of the APSA in Washington, DC. We have a great set of panels covering a wide range of topics involving IT and politics. I hope you will be able to attend several of the panels.

The Section will hold its annual business meeting and reception on Saturday evening in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel beginning at 5:30pm. (Look in the final program for room locations). We will accept nominations for officers at the meeting. If you are interested in running for a seat on the council (or serving on an awards committee), but won't be at the APSA, please email me at prior to August 30th. You'll definitely want to be at the reception, because we will be giving away a Palm organizer!

Gary Klass has done a great job bringing our section newsletter back to life after a one year hiatus. I hope you enjoy the substantive articles that are in this newsletter. Please consider submitting a short piece for the newsletter!

If there are things you would like to see this section do, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to seeing many of you in Washington.

Michael Gizzi
President, APSA Section on
Information Technology and Politics.


Business Meeting Saturday 5:30 pm
Reception Saturday 6:30pm
    (both at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel)


Panel 40 - 1 "Information Technology and Public Policy

Panel 40 - 2: Assessing the Use of Technology in the Classroom

Panel 40-3: Going Virtual: Online Discussion in Political Science

Panel 40-4: Using Technology in Teaching Comparative Politics

Panel 40 - 5: Demonstration Panel: Web-Based Courseware Applications

Panel 40 - 6: Information Technology And Political Science: Roundtable Honoring Gene Rochlin's "Trapped in the Net", Winner of the 1999 Don K. Price Prize for the Best Book on Science, Technology, and Politics

Panel 40-7: Information Technology and Political Science Research

Panel 40 - 8: Roundtable: "Global Politics and Technology: Power, Choice and the State at the End of the Millennium"


PROceedings: APSA papers on-line

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2000 Software and Website Awards

The Information Technology and Politics software and website awards will be awarded at the ITP reception at the APSA meeting and will be announced in this space sometime in late August. 

2001 APSA Call for Papers
(San Francisco, August 30-September  2, 2001)

Division 40. Information Technology
chair: Chip Hauss

Political science has by no means escaped the information technology revolution. The newly renamed Information Technology and Politics Section of the APSA anticipates panels in which scholars along with practitioners will focus on:

                           How IT is reshaping political life

                           How IT affects the way we do research and teach as political scientists

Over the last few years, we have been shifting our focus at the annual meeting away from an emphasis on teaching and have reached a balance of about half teaching/half scholarship based panels. We expect to do the same for 2001 by devoting more of our sessions to the ways:

                          IT is changing political life. Possible topics here could include (but will not be restricted to) privacy policy, activism on the web, electronic democracy. 

                          IT is being used as a tool in our research on substantive topics especially in ways that overlap with traditional quantitative and non-quantitative techniques. Possible topics here could include (but again will not be restricted to) use of online sources of public opinion data, raw data from such sources as the World Bank and the United Nations, and journalistic data banks such as the Foreign Broadcast Information Service's World News Connection.

For all these areas, we are also interested in papers and panels that focus on the role of IT outside the United States in general and in the third world in particular.

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Logo Contest:

The Information Technology and Politics section needs a new logo for both the newsletter and the section website.  So we decided to have a contest! Preferably something green, that can be displayed in large and small images.  The winner will receive some sort of prize, awarded a the 2001 meeting in San Francisco.

Send your entry to Mike Gizzi

Call for Participants  in the Virtual Data Center Project:

The Harvard University Library and the Harvard-MIT Data Center are seeking testers for an open alpha of the Virtual Data Center (VDC) project (, an open source "digital library in a box" intended to support the widespread sharing of quantitative research data, and the development of distributed virtual collections.

Under a grant from NSF's "Digital Library Initiative", and with the assistance of the University of Michigan,  the data server developed by the Harvard-MIT Data Center ( is being rewritten as open source and with extensions that include:

                          Automated storage for multiple collections data and documentation.

                          Distributed cataloging and search.

                          Location independent naming.

                          Integrate online exploratory data analysis.

                          Support the creation, cataloging, and preservation of virtual collections

                          Support for current and emerging digital library standards such as Z39.50, USMARC, DDI (XML), URNS

 The VDC will address some of the problems associated with electronic data including the length of time it can take to access online data-sets and the unavailability of the data that form the basis of many research publications. Data owners will be able to deposit data in many formats and set the terms of access to their data. Users will be able to search for and download data in many formats and will be able to request only the specific variables they need.

 We are seeking participants in an open alpha test, to receive the VDC software, use it to catalog a collection of data , and report their experiences. The first "public alpha" will be available in late fall from and other sites (,, please send a mail message to (with "SUBSCRIBE" as the subject).

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Open Source American Government text:

OpenMind publishing is in the development process of an on-line, open source American Government text by Stephen Frantzich and Stephen Percy and is looking for reviewers, auxiliarry content developers and beta testers. The basic text content will be available free to faculty and students. Enhanced versions and ancilliaries will be provided at a low fee (about 30% of a normal text cost). For further information, contact Paul Elliot at

Steve Frantzich

Upcoming conferences:


The October Oasis (Franklin Institute for Global Education)

EDUCAUSE 2000   Nashville.  October 10-13


Computers on Campus conference
November 12-15, 2000, Myrtle Beach SC

Syllabus Boston -- Nov. 30-Dec. 3,2000


Opening Gates in Teacher Education
February 12-14, 2001


TechEd01 International Conference & Exposition
March 26-29, 2001
Southern California, Ontario Convention Center


20th World Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education
April 1-5, 2001, Dusseldorf, Germany


 IASSIST (Social Science Data Librarians)


Combined ACM/IEEE Digital Libraries


Statistical Scientific Database Managers:




Political Science Conferences (APSA)

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How to Subscribe to this Newsletter.  

This newsletter is prepared for the members of the Information Technology and Politics sections of the American Political Science Association.  APSA members may enroll in the section for a $5 annual fee.  Current APSA members can easily update their section membership here: (choose section 18).

This is the first issue of the ITP newsletter that will not be distributed to section members via postal mail.   All section members for whom we have accurate email addresses should have received an announcement from me pointing to the link for the on-line edition of the newsletter.  A printed copy of the next newsletter will be sent only to those members for whom the APSA does not have a current email address.  All others will receive an email announcement when the next newsletter is available.

If you did not receive that announcement, please e-mail  Gary Klass and I will add your address to our database.

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Section Officers



Newsletter Editor:

Web page editors

Michael Gizzi, Mesa State College (
Kent Portney, Tufts University (
Cecilia Manrique, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (

Robert Duval, West Virginia University (
Steve Frantzich, U.S. Naval Academy (
Mort Sipress, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (
Robert Brookshire, James Madison University (
Micah Altman, Harvard University <>
Tracey Gladstone-Sovell  University of Wisconsin-River Falls <
Lori Brainard, George Washington University <>
Jonathan Wilkenfeld, University of  Maryland <>
Bill Wilkerson, SUNY Oneonta, <>

Gary Klass, Illinois State University (

G. R. Boynton
Margaret Martin <>

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