Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Institute of Social Sciences Information
Phone: 84-4-3. 8253074
Address: No 1B, Lieu Giai Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Giới thiệu Viện Thông tin Khoa học xã hội

 The Institute of Social Sciences Information (ISSI), an institution under the administration of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, was founded according to the Decree No.93/CP on 08 May 1975 of Vietnam Governmental Committee, based on a merger between the two former institutions, including: The Library of Social Sciences (founded in 1968) and The Department of Social Sciences (founded in 1973). 

As a social science information-specialized institution, ISSI has the function of providing different types of information such as: information for research work and information for leadership/management work; information for fundamental research and information for imperative practical research; feedback information and updated information; information from domestic sources and information from overseas sources; information from original sources and information from secondary sources etc… Particularly, the Institute is one of the most significant sources to provide important information in the fields of sciences and development. Following are publications released periodically by the Institute at present: Social Sciences Information Review; Research Newsletter; Social Sciences Almanac; Overseas Social Sciences Information; and, New Publication Announcement. In addition, the Institute also publishes a lot of Vietnamese versions of overseas books…

At the moment, the Institute’s Library contains a large quantity of publications with about 1 million titles, including: 500,000 book titles, 2,000 newspaper titles, and many different Vietnamese as well as overseas newspaper and journal titles, of which 400 are frequently and fully updated. In terms of ancient books, there are 11,223 copies of ancient Japanese books and 31,175 copies of ancient Chinese books (ranked the 4th after the Beijing National Library, the Tokyo University Library, and the Taiwanese National Library). In terms of contemporary books, there are 11,223 copies of Chinese and 40,000 copies of Latin books. The most ancient book in the ISSI Library dates from the 14th century. The most original book found in the Library is sealed with “御” (Royal) of the Qing Dynasty (in the 18th century). A part of the Yongle Encyclopedia (永樂大典) and a part of the Four Stores of Encyclopedia (四庫全書) are particularly valuable books, which even cannot be found fully in China, the place of their origin.       

Stored in the section of traditional literature, there are more than 160 volumes of stories of gods collected from roughly 9,000 villages all over Vietnam (consisting of about 230 thousands pages of holograph; 1,225 village conventions written with the brush in Chinese or Nom language, of which about 50 ones were written in the 18th – 19th centuries; more than 5,000 village conventions written by hand in Vietnamese; more than 3,534 inventories written in Chinese or Nom language on different village cultural aspects such as deification, epitaph, land register, regulations etc…; and, an inventory of geographical names of villages in almost all provinces and cities in Vietnam in 1923.

Stored in the section of maps, there are 9,437 maps (of 3,137 different types) and 122 atlases related to 3 countries in Indochina, which were printed or drawn from 1584 to 1942.  Many of those maps are considered very precious; for example, “the Entire Map of Hoai Duc District” in 1831; or Map of Hanoi in 1873 and Map of Saigon in 1902. There are also more than 400 documents of conferment at Le, Nguyen and earlier dynasties, of which the oldest one dates from the 15th century (the conferment No. VHTS2 issued in 17 June 1602).

Stored in the section of pictures, there are 58,000 pictures of historical, architectural, and archaeological sites as well as cultural activities, of which about 40,000 ones are pictures involved with Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. This section of pictures was formed, based on research works of French and Vietnamese historians, architects, archaeologists, and anthropologists etc… The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) suggested the Institute to submit a file of the collection of pictures for recognition as the Memory of the World.

Achievements gained by the Institute can be summarized by different stages, as below:

1. The 1975 – 1985 Period

a. Building the system of reference and library-information resource exploitation

In 1976, the Institute started to carry out research and apply the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Monographic Publications (ISBD-M) and the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Serials (ISBD-S) of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The application of the international standard bibliographic description marked a great stride of the Institute to improve the library professional competence for the international standards.   

b. Information products and service

Based on the information resources set up several previous years, in 1977-1978 the Institute started to publish periodical information reviews of social sciences, mainly consisting of translations and summaries of local as well as international research works in the fields of social sciences. 

 In 1979, the Institute’s Review was renamed as Social Sciences Information Review according to the license No. 378/GPXB. It therefore became an official organ of the Institute of Social Sciences Information and undertook the task of "doing theoretical research and disseminating new achievements, new viewpoints, new tendencies and new methodology of social sciences in Vietnam and the world”. Quickly afterwards, the review was commonly considered important in providing scientific information for researchers and management officials as well.

c. Library – Information Professional Theoretical Research

As a social science multidisciplinary information institution, ISSI undertook an important task of doing research on particularities of social science information. During that period, guidance documents on annotative methods as well as annotative documents were translated, edited and introduced in the Institute’s Review and other publications. Research summarizing methods were described in information publications of the Institute, aiming at improving skills for those, whose work is involved with scientific information. At the same time, summaries of documents were also provided, helping readers to get a general view of the original document (the primary source).

2. The 1986 – 2004 Period

a. Information Resource Building and Research

During this period, the Institute of Social Sciences Information focused on enriching its resources of high-quality scientific literature. The Institute’s library was supplemented with not only traditional types of publications such as books, newspapers, journals, and microfilms but also many other types such as databases saved in CDs as well as precious bilingual dictionaries, reference dictionaries, explanation dictionaries, great encyclopedias and useful professional encyclopedias, which were just published abroad.

Research projects and professional tasks at the Institute’s level were carried out by specialized departments, aiming at serving fundamental research and meeting the need of information about pressing issues in social sciences and socio-economic development.   

Since 1991, the Institute organized and carried out a lot of Ministerial-level research projects and took part in different State-level research programs. In addition to showing great significance of scientific information in the academic and spiritual life of society, the fact that research projects/programs were conducted by the Institute also proved research capacity of its staff.

b. Publications and Information Service

Bibliographic information

From 1986 to 2004, ISSI published more than 50 series of different bibliographies. Before 1987, the Institute also edited and published professional bibliographies for some social science fields, such as: philosophy, sociology, economics, jurisprudence, literary study, linguistics, historical study, archaeology, and anthropology etc… Later on, the Institute no longer edited and published those bibliographies due to some changes in requirements. It started editing special bibliographies, character bibliographies, and geographic bibliographies etc… Besides, it also published a number of general bibliographies such as: Catalogue of books of social science projects 1953 - 1992 (1993); Conjugate index of Vietnamese literature on social sciences and humanities, Vol.1 (1994); Bibliography of Vietnam village culture: Tradition and Development (1996);…

* Social Sciences Information Review

The Review “Social Sciences Information” (published for the first time in 1978) always conformed to the press principles, providing precisely information about activities in social sciences and humanities in our country and abroad as well. Articles in the Review mainly included research papers, general and brief summaries; some articles of the Review were also translated from overseas academic sources.

Regarding to the Review content, it selected, revised and provided necessary information to be used for socio-economic development programs as well as the Party’s and the State’s guidelines and policy on training - education, sciences – technology, literature, religious and ethnic issues. It described information involved with the renovation, the open policy, international integration, and research programs in social sciences and humanities etc…

Apart from the above-mentioned contents, the Review also provided other types of information in the parts titled: “Portraits of scientists in social sciences and humanities”; “Social Science Information Forum”; “Academic Life – Literature”; and “Introduction of Import Books at ISSI”. In the beginning of 2000, the Review started to have a new column titled “Introduction of Doctoral Dissertations in Social Sciences and Humanities”.

* Speciality Information Magazine

Before 1994, more than 65 volumes of the magazine were published, providing readers with useful information about research activities, new methods and achievements in social sciences and humanities. In 1994, the volumes titled “the new in social sciences” were no longer published, as the Institute changed to publication of new volumes titled “Speciality Information”.

These new volumes provided special information for researchers and lecturers in social sciences. Several tens volumes relating to many different fields were edited and published to serve readers all over the country. Some of them were really useful to set up research orientations, such as: Management Training (1987), Management manner of leaders (1987), Industrialization in several countries in the world (1988), Social psychology and social life (1988), Agriculture, rural and peasants in the world (1994) etc...

Due to some changes in publishing conditions, in 2003 the Institute no longer by itself published the volumes of speciality information, but it started to collaborate with the Social Science Publishing House in publishing speciality collection books. Regarding to this new type of publications, the Institute released some remarkable books, such as: Terrorism and anti-terrorism with international security (2003), Modern capitalism in the US in the early 21st century (2003), Private economy in the period of globalization at present (2003), Literary and linguistic issues - 30 years of literary and linguistic information (2003), Global terrorism: problems and approaches (2004)... The publications of special scientific information opportunely provided necessary information and they were highly appreciated by readers all over Vietnam. It has therefore filled an important place in the information market at present.

* Newsletter "Research Literature" (Breaking news)

Newsletters quickly became a key activity of the Institute, contributing a part into meeting a great demand for information in our country.

From June 1993, the Institute initially released the newsletter “Special Reference” with limited volumes (from 25 to 30 volumes each year) to serve particular readers. Containing multidimensional information of social sciences and humanities translated from different sources, this newsletter aimed at giving diversified information to be used for management and critical work of the Party organizations and the Governmental institutions at all levels from the local to the Central. It was therefore highly appreciated by the Party and the Government leaders as well as researchers in our country. In the second half of 1990 alone, 40 volumes of the newsletter with 300 copies on several outstanding issues relating to evolution of socialism, ownership, the State and people, economy and culture etc… were issued to be distributed to 200 readers, who were leaders, management officials and scientists. For the period from 1992 to 1994, ISSI disseminated more than 118 thousands publications of different types to readers, providing them with useful references involved with different aspects of research and development. Consequently, it gained significant achievements in its information activity. The effectiveness of this activity was shown by regular orders from a lot of information users. Particularly, the Institute received a lot of praise of the information publications.

From 1994 to 2004, ISSI issued more than 70 volumes of internal references, speciality collections books, social sciences information reviews, and nearly 1,000 copies of the research reference newsletter (including both Breaking news and Special Reference Newsletters). Types of the Institute’s publications were more and more diversified and service patterns were also more flexible; Information users not only received separate volumes but also selections of released newsletters, enabling them to get systematically research references. This contributed a positive part into satisfying information demands and disseminating information to readers.

For the year 2000 alone, the Institute provided nearly 4,000 users in the whole country with 57,149 copies of research documents, of which 10,899 ones were given to leaders of the Central and local Party organizations and governmental institutions; and 46,520 ones were sold directly to information users.

In spite of limited funding, the Institute introduced its products to nearly 10,000 information users every year. In 1999, for example, the Institute exceeded its plan in releasing and providing social science information for users, making a contribution into affirmation of social sciences of the country.

3. From 2005 up to now

a. Library – Information and Publishing Activity

From 2005 up to now, the Institute’s Library has been increasingly higher appreciated not only at the national but also at the regional stature, owing to its development potentials. At the moment, ISSI is building a plan to develop the library, making it become the top library of social sciences in the region.

Since Vietnam has joined the Berne Convention on the copyrights, previous ways to disseminate information are no longer appropriate and they cannot meet requirements of modern information society. The Institute, consequently, has to change step-by-step its activities, in order to be suitable to the new context.

For recent years, the Institute has released two new types of information publications, including: Social Sciences Information Yearbook and Overseas Social Sciences Information Yearbook. Although there are only selective readers, these two types of publications have been highly evaluated by researchers, practitioners and social management officials.

In 2006, the Social Sciences Information Review was initially released fully online (open access with some latency) with the database of Vietnam Social Sciences Review at the website It has been released periodically and frequently since then. By the end of 2012, more than 1,000 papers of the Social Sciences Information Review were provided for the database, attracting a lot of readers from all over the world. The number of access people has been getting higher and higher. By now, there are about 10,000 hits every month and 2,000 downloads for every volume.

In 2007, the Institute started to release the English version of the Social Sciences Information Review. There are 4 volumes published each year. The Institute has, consequently, received positive feedback from overseas readers about the Review. Actually, this is a great effort made by the Institute for international integration.

The Institute has also taken the initiative in building and development of a synchronous database for recent years. In 2013, a large corresponding database was built at the international standards for all types of publications at the library. At present, the computerized literature set, diversified searching tools and especially the Millennium software-base search engines are really useful for readers to search and exploit information conveniently. Valuable documents have been known by more readers and service quality of the Institute’s library has reached the international standard. A lot of data can be accessed via the internet etc…

b. Research and International Cooperation

For the period from 2005 to 2012, the Institute was assigned to carry out 1 State level program, 16 Ministerial level projects, 13 Ministerial level tasks, and 81 Institute level projects. From 2005 up to now, the Institute has announced important research findings in form of professional publications of high quality, such as: On the value and Asian values (2005, 2007); Culture and development in the context of globalization (2006), Private economy in Vietnam after two decades of Doi moi: Actual status and problems (2006); Vietnamese language study from the perspective of modern theories (2006)...

Together with Doi moi in the whole country, international cooperation of the Institute of Social Sciences Information has been more and more diversified. At present, the Institute has official collaborative linkages with more than 80 centers of information, libraries and universities from more than 30 countries in the world, such as: Russia, China, France, USA, Japan, and India etc… Besides, the Institute sends its staff abroad every year to exchange library-related experience and enhance professional competence.

After 37 years of establishment and development, the Institute of Social Sciences Information has gained a lot of noble rewards from the Party and the State, such as: the Independence Medal (the third class); the Labor Medals (the first class); the flag of excellent emulation from the Parliament; the certificate of merit from the Prime Minister; and a lot of certificates of merit from the president of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences as well as leaders of other Ministries and sectors.