This issue of Information Research is devoted to papers from the conference on Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists held at the University of Bristol 25-27 March 1998. The papers were selected by the Editor on the basis of their probable interest to the readers of Information Research and all had been refereed previously for inclusion in the Conference.

The papers selected cover an interesting range of topics: Debra Hiom looks at the process of building a gateway into the Web in the form of SOSIG - the Social Science Information Gateway - which is supported as part of the DESIRE project, funded by the European Union. Founded in 1994, SOSIG might be seen as one of the "founding fathers" of the electronic gateway idea; next, Caroline Haythornthwaite looks at how distance learners develop a sense of community through their participation in Web-based learning; Steven Thomsen and colleagues from Brigham Young University, extend the interest in Web communities from the the educational sector to the community at large in their study of interactions on mailing lists; Kate Garland and colleagues from the University of Bristol report on a preliminary study of the Internet as a learning tool based on students taking an introductory course in history.

We are now open to contributed papers, which will be refereed, and to suggestions for "guest" papers.

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Information Research is designed, maintained and published by by Professor Tom Wilson. Design and editorial content © T.D. Wilson, 1995-98