Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Call for Special Theme Proposals for Big Data & Society (due August 15, 2022)

 Call for Special Theme Proposals for Big Data & Society


The SAGE open access journal Big Data & Society (BD&S) is soliciting proposals for a Special Theme to be published in 2023/24. BD&S is the highest ranked journal in the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary category of the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) with an impact factor of 5.987 in 2021. BD&S is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, scholarly journal that publishes research about the emerging field of Big Data practices and how they are reconfiguring academic, social, industry, business and government relations, expertise, methods, concepts and knowledge. BD&S moves beyond usual notions of Big Data and treats it as an emerging field of practices that is not defined by but generative of (sometimes) novel data qualities such as high volume and granularity and complex analytics such as data linking and mining. It thus attends to digital content generated through online and offline practices in social, commercial, scientific, and government domains. This includes, for instance, content generated on the Internet through social media and search engines but also that which is generated in closed networks (commercial or government transactions) and open networks such as digital archives, open government and crowd-sourced data. Critically, rather than settling on a definition the Journal makes this an object of interdisciplinary inquiries and debates explored through studies of a variety of topics and themes.

Special Themes can consist of a combination of Original Research Articles (10,000 words; maximum 6), Commentaries (3,000 words; maximum 4) and one Editorial (3,000 words). All Special Theme content will be waived Article Processing Charges. All submissions will go through the Journal’s standard peer review process.


Past special themes for the journal have included: Knowledge Production; Algorithms in Culture; Data Associations in Global Law and Policy; The Cloud, the Crowd, and the City; Veillance and Transparency; Practicing, Materializing and Contesting Environmental Data; Spatial Big Data; Critical Data Studies; Social Media & Society; Assumptions of Sociality; Data & Agency; Health Data Ecosystems; Algorithmic Normativities; Big Data and Surveillance; The Turn to AI in Governing Communication Online; The Personalization of Insurance; Heritage in a World of Big DataStudying the COVID-19 Infodemic at Scale; Digital Phenotyping; Machine Anthropology; and Data, Power, and Racial Formation. See for full listing


While open to submissions on any theme related to Big Data we particularly welcome proposals related to racialisation, indigenous data, health and education.

Format of Special Theme Proposals

Researchers interested in proposing a Special Theme should submit an outline with the following information.


  • An overview of the proposed theme, how it relates to existing research and the aims and scope of the Journal, and the ways it seeks to expand critical scholarly research on Big Data.

  • A list of titles, abstracts, authors and brief biographies. For each, the type of submission (ORA, Commentary) should also be indicated. If the proposal is the result of a workshop or conference that should also be indicated.
    Short Bios of the Guest Editors including affiliations and previous work in the field of Big Data studies. Links to homepages, Google Scholar profiles or CVs are welcome, although we don’t require CV submissions.

  • A proposed timing for submission to Manuscript Central. This should be in line with the timeline outlined below.


Information on the types of submissions published by the Journal and other guidelines is available at  .


Timeline for Proposals

Please submit proposals by August 15, 2022 to the Managing Editor of the Journal, Prof. Matthew Zook at The Editorial Team of BD&S will review proposals and make a decision by October 2022. Manuscripts would be submitted to the journal (via manuscript central) by or before January/February 2023. For further information or discuss potential themes please contact Matthew Zook at