[CODATA-international] CFP - OA Book Call for Contributions: Making a Difference! Novel Research Methods in the Datafied Society

Tracey P. Lauriault tlauriau at gmail.com
Fri Jul 30 07:21:28 EDT 2021

OA Book Call for Contributions:

Making a Difference!
Novel Research Methods in the Datafied Society


Schäfer and Lauriault are critical, theoretical and practice based scholars
who do data work within and beyond the academy. While doing so they have
experienced the tension between the expectations of traditional forms of
scholarly funded research, and doing novel forms of socially relevant
empirical work. This rewarding research is engaged, and often involves
relationship building with partners from  government, the private sector
and civil society. This also requires relationship building, time, learning
by doing, and knowledge mobilization often at odds with the publish or
perish model.

They want to hear from others whose research practices actually make a
difference in the datafied society.  This edited book Making a Difference!
Novel Research Methods in the Datafied Society invites scholars,
instructors, practitioners and professionals in academia, government, the
private sector and civil society who do the same and want to share their
critical, participatory and entrepreneurial data work to improve social and
material outcomes, and create systems that are fair, accountable and

Making a Difference! also matters in the classroom, especially with
students at different stages in their academic and professional life
trajectories who seek impactful and meaningful learning opportunities. This
is also true in boardrooms, as there is also the call for evidence-informed
decision making and for responsible data practices. It has proven difficult
for many however to balance the traditional mission of the university and
the desire to have a positive impact on society. This is especially the
case when doing data work with practitioners, administrators and
professionals. Some in the university are adapting and evolving their
research practices in unique and interesting ways, others are doing
critical research outside the academy, and some are doing both. We want to
hear how you address these challenges.

Making a Difference! will feature bold ideas from researchers,
practitioners, designers, and instructors who have developed collaborative
ways of doing critically informed data work. This may include digital
methods and analytical approaches to conduct joint projects with
government, media, corporations, and civil society partners. This work may
be funded by both traditional and novel forms of financial arrangements.
This direct engagement with external partners often connects research
agendas to address urgent societal needs, which often allows students to
incubate new ideas and create new occupations. In addition to reconfiguring
relationships with practitioners, entrepreneurially minded scholars have
maintained independence while producing rigorous and critical research.
These emerging and mutually beneficial approaches to doing critically
informed data work increasingly recognize team efforts, transdisciplinary
cooperation, and entrepreneurial skills that have made difference.

Chapters for this OA book will be between 3000-8000 words and will be
organized into the following broad areas:


   Theoretically informed applied research;

   Methodological approaches to doing engaged and participatory research;

   Transdisciplinary and multi-sectoral research projects;

   Case studies (may be shorter chapters 3000-4000 words);

   Novel pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning (3000-4000 words);

   Position statements that identify pressing challenges about doing this
   type of critically informed data work (could also be shorter chapters
   3000-5000 words).

The following is a list of potential topic areas:


   Action, engaged, and participatory scholarship and research

   Entrepreneurial research (as an example see this video

   Socially transformative interdisciplinary collaborations

   Multi-sectoral team-based collaborations

   Applied basic research and practices from STEAM disciplines, in the
   humanities, social and/or natural sciences, data science, HCI, etc.

   Academic-community knowledge transfer

   Co-creation, co-design and forms of public engagement

   Citizen science, crowdsourcing, and open data

   Engaged pedagogical approaches, community partners in the classroom;
   multi-purpose assignments, and etc.

   Maintaining impartiality, autonomy and research integrity with private

   Scholars as experts, practitioner, and as academics

   Impact measurers, metrics, indicators, and theory of change

   Data practices that address equity & inclusion and anti racism, sexism,
   LGBTQ, ableism, Indigenous issues, labour, etc.

   Other issues that arise from AI/ML, data infrastructures, systems, and
   technologies through these novel forms of conducting research

   Suggest an idea!

Making a Difference! Will be organized as follows.

1. Theoretical Approaches about doing critically informed transdisciplinary
and multi-sectoral data work that challenge traditional humanities and
social science scholarship

In this section chapters (3000-8000 words) contextualize emergent forms of
engaged scholarship through in-depth theoretical reflections about how to
transform the academic status quo in terms of research and pedagogy. Here
we also imagine chapters that might include methodological and pedagogical

2. Case Studies about Doing Critically Engaged Data Work

Chapters here might be shorter (3000-5000 words) and include one or more
case studies that apply theory and describe novel approaches to engaged
research, teaching and collaboration. We are particularly interested in
contributions that track a project’s societal impact, and that emphasize
how challenges to traditional forms of university research have been
overcome, including  those encountered by those outside the academy working
with scholars.

3. Position Papers on Pressing Challenges

Chapters here might address practical solutions to the challenges imposed
by the transformation of the academy and societal needs for critically
engaged data work. Authors would take a position on productive paths
forward on topics such as (but not limited to) obtaining funding, ensuring
research integrity, awarding recognition, avoiding cooptation, implementing
new metrics, creating incentives, conducting open access and open data
research, and conceptualizing new roles for researchers and students.

About the editors:

Mirko Tobias Schäfer is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University, and a
co-founder of the Utrecht Data School <https://dataschool.nl/en/>.
m.t.schaefer at uu.nl

Tracey P. Lauriault <https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1847-2738> is Associate
Professor of Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and
Communication, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
Tracey.Lauriault at Carleton.ca


We seek contributions from scholars, instructors, practitioners and
professionals in academia, government, the private sector and civil

We hope to receive works from any of the following: geography,
anthropology, media studies, communication, journalism, organizational
studies, business, public administration, sociology, social work, gender
studies, criminology, philosophy, digital humanities, HCI, data science and
others that do critically engaged data work for an open access book
entitled Making a Difference! Novel Research Practices in the Datafied
Society to be published by Amsterdam University Press by the spring of

Submission Instructions:

Please send a 250 word abstract proposal by August 13th, 2021 to both Mirko
Schäfer, M.T. <m.t.schaefer at uu.nl> and Tracey P. Lauriault
<Tracey.Lauriault at Carleton.ca>.

In the subject line of your email, include:


   Making a Difference!

In the body of your email include:


   Chapter title

   Section you are submitting to

      Section 1: Theoretical approaches;

      Section 2: Case studies; or

      Section 3: Position papers.

   250 word abstract

   Name of author(s), title(s), institution(s), & email addresses.


   We will send out confirmations by August 30th, 2021

   First drafts are expected by November 30, 2021.

We look forward to your submission!
*Tracey & Mirko*

Tracey P. Lauriault
Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data
Communication and Media Studies
School of Journalism and Communication
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