Annual conferences exploring current issues in information technology & politics

Call for Papers

JITP 2011: The Future of Computational Social Science

May 16 & 17, 2011 at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA
The 3rd annual, two-day Journal of Information Technology & Politics (JITP) thematic conference will be in Seattle, Washington, coordinated by the Department of Political Science and the Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP) at the University of Washington.


Computational social science is an emergent field and source of new theoretical and methodological innovation for social science more broadly. Multidisciplinary teams of social and computer scientists are increasingly common in the lab and at workshops where cross-fertilization occurs in the areas of theory, data, methods, and tools. Peer-reviewed interdisciplinary work is becoming more common as the computational tools and techniques of computer science are being used by social scientists. Previously, large-scale computational processing was the purview of expensive, university-centric computing labs. Now, with the democratization of technology, universities and for-profit firms increasingly provide large amounts of inexpensive computing power to researchers and citizens alike.


It is the potential of these new computational technologies and related Web-based platforms for research, politics, and governance that led to the creation of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics. Previous special issues on "Text Annotation for Political Science" 5(1), "Politics: Web 2.0" 6(3/4), "YouTube and the 2008 Election Cycle in the United States" 7(2/3), and "The Politics of Open Source" (in production) have focused the attention of researchers on the expansive new landscape of digital democracy as well as the architecture and tools that underpin it.


In their 2009 Science article, David Lazer and colleagues highlighted some of the future challenges for scholars working in this area. "Computational social science could become the exclusive domain of private companies and government agencies. Alternatively, there might emerge a privileged set of academic researchers presiding over private data from which they produce papers that cannot be critiqued or replicated. Neither scenario will serve the long-term public interest of accumulating, verifying, and disseminating knowledge." Luckily, the phenomenon of computational social science is distributed so widely and found in such variety that these scenarios are unlikely. The trends towards openness and data and tool sharing are notable breakthroughs in a sphere where proprietary approaches dominate. Data, method, and tool transparency are increasingly watchwords for governments and researchers.


With this background in mind, we invite a wide range of paper submissions on the future of computational social science. Submissions may include, but are not limited to:

  • * Applications of information theory to social science research
  • * Methodologies and tools for studying users and information on social media services
  • * Projects featuring novel uses of computer assisted qualitative data analysis software
  • * Large-scale empirical analysis and modeling
  • * Web technologies and data mining
  • * Interdisciplinary methodologies in collaborative research
  • * Pedagogical issues in computational social science
  • * Computer simulations in political science education and training 
  • * Concepts from social sciences enhanced by computation, such as social network analysis
  • * Innovation in socio-technical network and infrastructure analysis


Authors are invited to prepare and submit to JITP a research paper, policy viewpoint, workbench note, or teaching innovation manuscript by January 30, 2011. Papers accepted for publication will be invited to revise and resubmit their articles for publication in a special issue, or double issue, of JITP. Proposals for full panel presentations will also be accepted. Please contact the conference manager to discuss panels.

Authors should "establish membership" at the JITP website,, to submit a paper. Follow the instructions for regular article submissions, being sure to indicate that the paper is for JITP2011 in the comments section.

Papers will be put through an expedited, blind peer review process by the Program Committee, and authors will be notified about a decision by March 1, 2011. A small number of papers will be accepted for presentation at the conference. Other paper authors will be invited to present a poster during an evening reception. Authors who wish to submit poster presentations directly should email abstracts of no more than 250 words to the conference manager ( by January 30, 2011.



JITP 2011 is pleased to welcome Jaime Teevan as the 2011 Keynote Speaker. Jaime is a researcher in the Context, Learning, and User Experience for Search (CLUES) Group at Microsoft Research. Her work explores how our digital past can help shape our future information interactions. Jaime was named a Technology Review (TR35) 2009 Young Innovator for her research on personalized search. She co-authored the first book on collaborative Web search, and is co-chair of the Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2012 conference.



The author (or authors) of the best research paper will receive a cash prize. The creator (or creators) of the best poster/research presentation will also receive a cash prize.



Gil ad Ariely, Lauder School of Government Diplomacy and Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
Paul M. Baker, Georgia Institute of Technology
David M. Berry, Swansea University, UK.
Chris Bronk, Rice University
Jana Diesner, Carnegie Mellon University
Muzammil M. Hussain, University of Washington
Daniel Katz, Fellow, University of Michigan, Center for the Study of Complex Systems
Jacob Groshek, Iowa State University
Baden Hughes, University of Melbourne
Andrea Kavanaugh, Virginia Tech
Georgios Lappas, Technological Educational Institution of Western Macedonia, Greece
Azi Lev-On, Ariel University Center
Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago
Bruce Neubauer, Albany State University
Andre Oboler, Monash University, Australia
Justin Reedy, University of Washington
Joseph W. Roberts, Roger Williams University
Scott Robertson, University of Hawaii
Derek Ruths, McGill University
Chirag Shah, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Mack Shelley, Iowa State University
Stuart Shulman, University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-chair
Anas Tawileh, Cardiff University, UK
John Wilkerson, University of Washington, co-chair