Monday 15 May 2023

2023 Call for Special Theme Proposals for Big Data & Society

 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 2024/25. BD&S is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, scholarly journal that publishes interdisciplinary social science research about the emerging field of Big Data practices and how they are reconfiguring relations, expertise, methods, concepts and knowledge across academic, social, cultural,  political, and economic realms. BD&S moves beyond usual notions of Big Data to engage with an emerging field of practices that is not defined by but generative of (sometimes) novel data qualities such as extensiveness, granularity, automation, and complex analytics including data linking and mining. The journal attends to digital content generated through online and offline practices, including social media, search engines, Internet of Things devices, and digital infrastructures across closed and open networks, from commercial and government transactions to digital archives, open government and crowd-sourced data. Rather than settling on a definition of Big Data, the Journal makes this an area of interdisciplinary inquiry and debate explored through multiple disciplines and themes.

Special Themes can consist of a combination of Original Research Articles (6 maximum, 10,000 words each), Commentaries (4 maximum, 3,000 words each) and one Editorial Introduction (3,000 words). All Special Theme content will have the Article Processing Charges waived. 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; Data, Power, and Racial Formation; Digital Phenotyping; Social Data Governance; The State of Google Critique and Intervention; Machine Anthropology; and Mapping the Micropolitics of Online Oppositional Subcultures.

See to access these special themes.


While open to submissions on any theme related to Big Data we particularly welcome proposals related to Big Data from the Global South / Global Majority; Indigenous data and data sovereignty; queer and trans data; and Big Data and racialization.

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, including 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, 2023 to the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Prof. Matthew Zook at The Editorial Team of BD&S will review proposals and make a decision by October 2023. Manuscripts would be submitted to the journal (via manuscript central) by or before February 2024. For further information or discuss potential themes please contact Matthew Zook at