Call for Papers “Big Data, Big Questions, or, Accounting for Big Data”

Call for Papers “Big Data, Big Questions, or, Accounting for Big Data” 
International Journal of Communication

Previously isolated data sets, from social media and demographic surveys to city maps and urban planning documents, are now routinely interlinked. Combining separate, often disparate, multi-terabyte sets of information reframes our capacity to see into the behaviors of — and relationships between — people, institutions and things. Researchers in fields as varied as computer science, geography, sociology, marketing, biology, economics, among many others, use the term “big data” to capture a wide range of activities revolving around accessing and analyzing these vast quantities of information. What are the implications of big data as a cultural, technological and analytic phenomenon? What are the practices of big data, the underlying assumptions, and ways of modeling the world? Who gets access to it, and what effects does this produce?

This special section will offer a range of critical engagements with the issues surrounding big data and its related models of knowledge. We seek scholarly articles from diverse fields, and a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches: including media studies, communication, anthropology, digital humanities, computational and social sciences, cultural geography, history, and critical cultural studies.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
What is the history (or histories) of big data and its related practices?
What are the epistemological ramifications of big data?
How can computational and social sciences use big data in cross-disciplinary work? What are the strengths and pitfalls of new hybrids?
What are the ethics of big data use, be it in city management, social media research, or political campaigning?
Who gets access to big data? What are the issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, religion and geography?
What are the labour politics of big data research?

The International Journal of Communication is an open access journal ( All accepted articles will be published online. The anticipated publication date for this Special Section is August 2013.
Manuscripts should conform to the IJoC author guidelines. See

Send your abstract, title of your paper and a list of five potential reviewers with their titles and e-mail addresses by October 1, 2012 to Your suggested reviewers will help streamline the peer-review process.

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Crawford at or Mary Gray at

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