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CfP: Journal of Community Informatics - Special Issue on Open Data / Open Government Data

From: Tim Davies <tim@practicalparticipation.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 20:59:11 +0000
Message-ID: <AANLkTimeeYRoLf4=03AXJEVXSQxfVv+FHazmE5FrHqLB@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-egov-ig@w3.org
Hello all,

I though the call below might be of interest to anyone who has been working
on open data projects in different contexts across the world. We're looking
for articles, analysis, field notes and case studies for a special issue of
the Journal of Community Informatics that I hope can make a positive
contribution to thinking around open gov data - particularly projects like
the current Web Foundation work shared earlier this week.

Abstracts to: jociopendata@gmail.com. Deadline for abstracts: 31st March
(end September for papers).

Please do pass on to others, particularly projects in the field you think
may be interested in contributing.

All the best

Tim Davies

==Journal of Community Informatics: Call for Papers for Special issue on
Open Data==

**Call for Proposals**
The Journal of Community Informatics (http://ci-journal.net) is a focal
point for the communication of research that is of interest to a global
network of academics, Community Informatics practitioners and national and
multi-lateral policy makers.

We invite submission of original, unpublished articles for a forthcoming
special edition of the Journal that will focus on Open Data. We welcome
research articles, case studies and notes from the field. All research
articles will be double blind peer-reviewed. Insights and analytical
perspectives from practitioners and policy makers in the form of notes from
the field or case studies are also encouraged. These will not be

**Why a special issue on Open Data**

In many countries across the world, discussions, policies and developments
are actively emerging around open access to government data. It is believed
that opening up government data to citizens is critical for enforcing
transparency and accountability within the government. Open data is also
seen as holding the potential to bring about greater citizens’
participation, empowering citizens to ask questions of their governments via
not only the data that is made openly available but also through the
interpretations that different stakeholders make of the open data. Besides
advocacy for open data on grounds of democracy, it is also argued that
opening government data can have significant economic potential, generating
new industries and innovations.

Whilst some open government data initiatives are being led by governments,
other open data projects are taking a grassroots approach, collecting and
curating government data in reusable digital formats which can be used by
specific communities at the grassroots and/or macro datasets that can be
used/received/applied in different ways in different local/grassroots
contexts. INGOs, NGOs and various civil society and community based
organizations are also getting involved with open data activities, from
sharing data they hold regarding aid flows, health, education, crime, land
records, demographics, etc, to actively sourcing public data through freedom
of information and right to information acts. The publishing of open data on
the Internet can make it part of a global eco-system of data, and efforts
are underway in technology, advocacy and policy-making communities to
develop standards, approaches and tools for linking and analysing these new
open data resources. At the same time, there are questions surrounding the
very notion of ‘openness’, primarily whether openness and open data have
negative repercussions for particular groups of citizens in certain social,
geographic, political, demographic, cultural and other grassroots contexts.

In sum then, what we find in society today is not only various practices
relating to open data, but also an active shift in paradigms about access
and use of information and data, and notions of “openness” and
“information/data”. These emerging/renewed paradigms are also
configuring/reconfiguring understandings and practices of “community” and
“citizenship”. We therefore find it imperative to engage with crucial
questions that are emerging from these paradigm shifts as well as the
related policy initiatives, programmatic action and field experiences.

**Some of the questions that we hope this special issue will explore are:**

1) How are citizens’ groups, grassroots organizations, NGOs, diverse civil
society associations and other public and private entities negotiating with
different arms of the state to provide access to government data both in the
presence and absence of official open data policies, freedom/right of
information legislations and similar commitments on the part of governments?

2) What are the various models of open data that are operational in practice
in different parts of the world? What are the different ways in which open
data are being used by and for the grassroots and what are the impacts
(positive, negative, paradoxical) of such open data for communities and
groups at the grassroots?

3) Who/which actors are involved in opening up what kinds of data? What are
their stakes in opening up such data and making it available for the public?

4) What are the different technologies that are being used for publishing,
storing and archiving open data? What are the challenges/issues that various
grassroots users and the stakeholders, experience with respect to these
technologies i.e., design, scale, costs, dissemination of the open data to
different publics and realizing the potential of open data?

5) What notions of openness and publicness are at work in both policies as
well as initiatives concerning open data and what impacts do these notions
have on grassroots’ practitioners and users?

6) Following from the above, what are the implications of opening up
different kinds of data for privacy, security and local level practices and
information systems?

**Thematic focus**
The following suggested areas of thematic focus (policy, technology, uses,
impacts) give a non-exhaustive list of potential topic areas for articles or
case studies. The core interest of the special issue is addressing each of
these themes from, or taking into account, grassroots, local citizen and
community perspectives.

A) Different policy and practice approaches to open data and open government
B) Diverse uses of open data and their impacts
C) Technologies that are deployed for implementing open data and their
D) Critical assessments of stakeholders and stakes in opening up different
kinds of data.

Abstracts are invited in the first instance, to be submitted by e-mail to

- Deadline for abstracts: 31st March 2011
- Deadline for complete paper submissions: 15th September 2011
- Publication date is forthcoming

Please send abstracts, in the first instance, of up to 300 words to

For information about JCI submission requirements, including author
guidelines, please visit:

**Guest Editors**
Zainab Bawa -Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) RAW fellow

Tim Davies - Director, Practical Participation (
tim@practicalparticipation.co.uk | @timdavies | +447834856303


07834 856 303.

Co-director of Practical Participation:
Practical Participation Ltd is a registered company in England and Wales -
Received on Monday, 7 March 2011 21:00:09 UTC

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