International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)

IBSS logo The International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) is an online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research. It supports the needs of students, researchers, lecturers, librarians and information specialists. IBSS includes over 2.5 million bibliographic records relating to the four core social science subjects of anthropology, economics, politics and sociology.

About IBSS

Since 1951 IBSS has been indexing a wide range of social science and related interdisciplinary material including journal articles, reviews, books and selected chapters published throughout the world.

IBSS provides comprehensive and specialist online databases. IBSS adds value to its core coverage by including carefully selected complementary material in related subjects, such as development studies, human geography and environment and gender and sexuality. In this way IBSS's editorial policy promotes and reflects the interdisciplinary and comparative nature of the social sciences today.

  • IBSS covers over 2,800 social science journals from every region of the world. In addition to printed journals IBSS also indexes electronic journals, including Open Access journals.
  • IBSS provides extensive coverage of international material with over 50 per cent of journals published outside the US or UK and with 25 per cent of references in languages other than English. Records include material from 100 countries and in 60 languages.
  • IBSS has records dating back to 1951, further than most other online bibliographies. This means that in addition to the current journals being indexed, IBSS also contains records from a further 1,360 journals which are no longer being published.
  • There are currently approximately 392,000 book records and 39,000 chapter records in the database, with approximately 7,000 new book and chapter records added each year.
  • Abstracts are provided in English for over 75 per cent of current journal articles. Since 2003/04 IBSS has enhanced its international content by expanding abstract coverage to include abstracts in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Abstracts are now included in any or all of these languages (as well as English) whenever they are available.
  • Links from IBSS records to the full text of journal articles can be set up by site administrators at individual institutions. By clicking on these links users can access the full text of articles in journals subscribed to by their institution. Links to pay-to-view full text services can also be set up if desired.
  • The online database is updated weekly to ensure that researchers have access to the very latest information relating to their particular field of interest. Some 100,000 records are added to the database annually.
  • The IBSS Editorial Advisory Board and IBSS editors carry out regular reviews to ensure that journal coverage remains current and relevant to the needs of the social sciences community as a whole.

How to access the IBSS online service

IBSS is available free of charge to students, researchers, academics and staff at UK higher and further education institutions, ESRC-recognised independent research institutes and central government departments. For further information on accessing IBSS, please contact the library at your institution or visit the electronic resources section of your library website.

Further information is available on the IBSS website.

Further information

  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
    London School of Economics and Political Science, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD
    Email: ibss@lse.ac.uk
    Telephone: +44 (0)20 7955 7455
    Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6923
  • ESRC resources team
    Email: esrcresources@esrc.ac.uk
    Telephone: 01793 413180