Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

ISQOLS Resources

I received this note from Joe Sirgy and wanted to pass it on. I highly recommend connecting with International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) -- visit them today!

QOL Researchers,

Resources Available Through ISQOLS Website

I would like to point out a few resources available through ISQOLS’ website. First, ISQOLS listserv is an important communication tool. As you can see from the e-mail you receive from ISQOLS, the listserv is very active. The distribution list of the listserv is 2,000+. Subscription to the listserv is for free and it reaches a very wide audience of QOL researchers worldwide. It is the fastest and the most expeditious way to make announcements about new programs, books, conferences, workshops, new issues of our journals (SIR, JOHS, and ARQOL), job postings, QOL articles in the mass media, news about QOL researchers, etc. These announcements are then posted on ISQOLS’ homepage for a several months. Don’t hesitate to use the listserv to make announcements of programs, events, or any other piece of news you think the QOL research community at large may be interested in. Also get your QOL colleagues and graduate students to subscribe to listserv. Again, subscription is for free. All you need to do is send an e-mail message to
isqols@vt.edu and say “subscribe to listserv” as your message (or something to that effect).

Second, the website is a goldmine of resources. I would like to draw your attention to the Resources site. It is divided into three sets of pages: (1) Bibliographic Resources, (2) Database Resources, and (3) Educational Resources. The Bibliographic Resources pages contain many references of books and review articles related to many QOL topics. It is indeed a resource goldmine, especially for those who would like to identify key works related to a particular QOL topic (e.g., subjective well-being, QOL and the elderly, children well-being, QOL and the disabled, QOL and the poor, environmental well-being, social well-being, economic/financial well-being, quality of work life, consumer well-being). Check out these resources and see what you might be missing from your own personal library. On the other hand, if you are aware of certain books and review articles related to a particular QOL topic that are not included on ISQOLS website, please let me know. Send a message to me (Joe Sirgy,
sirgy@vt.edu) and I will make sure that these new items are incorporated into the Bibliographic Resources website.

The Database Resources pages contain many references to available data bases capturing QOL (or certain dimensions of QOL) of certain populations. Again, if you are aware of data bases that are available to the QOL research community that are not listed on that site, please let me know and I’ll make sure that the new references are incorporated and publicized on that site. The Educational Resources pages contain links to syllabi of QOL-related courses that you may find helpful—that is, if you are teaching (or planning to teach) a QOL-related course. Again, if you teach a QOL-related course and you would like to share your course syllabus with the QOL research community, send it to me, and I’ll post on that site. The Educational Resources site also contains lectures (video and/or PowerPoint slides). If you have video and/or PowerPoint lectures you would like to share with the QOL community, don’t hesitate to send these to me, and I’ll get them posted. One caveat: these pages are restricted to ISQOLS members only (those who paid their membership dues). If you have not paid your membership dues, then please do and take advantage of these resources.

Third, another goldmine resource is the Oral History page. That page contains a number of oral history videotaped interviews with some of our gurus (our most renowned QOL researchers such as Alex Michalos, Ed Diener, Abbott Ferriss, Richard Easterlin, David Myers, and Richard Estes). Professor Michael Frisch of Baylor University (USA) has labored hard to develop several of these videotapes. If you like to know more about our QOL research gurus, check out the Oral History page.

Fourth, under the Membership icon, there are additional resources you may find valuable. The Membership Directory is a handy tool for many in identifying contact information of QOL researchers and colleagues. The website does not only contain current membership rolls but also past rolls. Also, the Membership Expertise Database is another handy tool. There are two expertise data bases: current and non-current. These databases allow people to identify QOL researchers with expertise in certain areas of research (e.g., children well-being, elderly well-being, QOL and the poor, QOL and the disabled, subjective well-being, leisure well-being, family well-being, quality of work life, consumer well-being). If you are an ISQOLS member and have not completed an expertise profile, please do so (that is, if you like others to identify you as an expert in certain areas of QOL research). Also under the Membership icon there is a listing of research centers that specialize in various aspects of QOL research. If you are trying to identify a research organization that conducts QOL research to help you with your research agenda, consult that list. Conversely, if you do belong to a QOL research organization and you want to be included on that list (with links to your own website), you can do so by becoming an institutional member. Contact the Central Office at
isqols@vt.edu for more details.

Fourth, ISQOLS website has its first certification program posted. This certification program allows QOL researchers interested in community indicators research to be trained and certified as experts in this area of research. This certification program is administered on-line. There is also a scholarship that can assist those in financial need apply for the certification. Contact me at
sirgy@vt.edu if you’re interested.

Finally, you may want to take advantage of ISQOLS publications. We have our own journal (Applied Research in Quality of Life or ARQOL), two affiliated journals (Social Indicators Research [SIR] and the Journal of Happiness Studies [JOHS]), and a variety of monographs and conference proceedings. We also have Social Indicators Network News (SINET), which is our society’s official newsletter. To know more about these publications, visit ISQOLS website at
www.isqols.org and click on Publications.

I hope you may find these resources helpful.

It is the beginning of a new academic year in the U.S. and many other universities in the world. On that note I wish you all a happy new academic year.

Joe Sirgy, Ph.D., ISQOLS Executive Director
Professor of Marketing at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA

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