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Call for Papers: “Research Methods for Community Informatics”

The Journal of Community Informatics has issued a call for papers for a special issue on “Research Methods for Community Informatics.” Both full-length papers and notes from the field are solicited for double-blind peer review. Papers are due by November 15th, 2014; notes from the field by December 15th. Submissions should be made via the Web site of the Journal of Community Informatics. For further details you can view the full call below, or if you have questions or queries, please contact guest editor Dr. Colin Rhinesmith at (before August 1, 2014) or (after August 1, 2014).

Call for Papers: The Journal of Community Informatics (

Special Issue – Research Methods for Community Informatics

The Journal of Community Informatics (JoCI) is seeking scholarly articles and notes from the field for a special issue on Research Methods for Community Informatics. Community Informatics is the study and the practice of enabling communities with Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). JoCI is an international journal that focuses on how researchers and practitioners work with communities towards the effective use of ICTs to improve their processes, achieve their objectives, overcome the “digital divides” that exist both within and between communities, and empower communities and citizens. This is possible in areas such as health, cultural production, civic management and e-governance, among others. JoCI is a focal point for the communication of research of interest to a global network of academics, community informatics practitioners, and national and multi-lateral policy makers. JoCI is currently indexed in the IBSS and Google Scholar as well as several indexes of Open Access journals. Efforts are underway concerning additional scholarly indexing. More information regarding JoCI is available at

The guest editors for the special issue are: Dr. Colin Rhinesmith (University of Oklahoma, USA), Dr. Mark Wolfe (University of Alberta, Canada), and Andy Bytheway (Retired Professor of Information Management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa).


This special issue will focus on the methods used to investigate how ICTs can support local economic development, social justice, and political empowerment. Community Informatics (CI) is a point of convergence concerning the use of ICTs for diverse stakeholders, including community leaders and activists, nonprofit groups, policymakers, users/citizens, and the range of academics working across (and integrating) disciplines as diverse as Information Studies, Management, Computer Science, Social Work, Planning and Development Studies. This diversity brings with it a range of methodological approaches – and tensions – to the field of CI. The special issue seeks to both disentangle and organize the use of existing methods in CI research and to explore innovative new approaches used by researchers and practitioners in their work with communities.


This special issue seeks articles focused on methodological topics and issues related to community informatics research. We encourage contributions that come from a wide range of perspectives, including (but not limited to):

  • Conceptual foundations. What are the pros and cons of positivist, interpretivist, and critical methods in the CI context?
  • Data elicitation. What techniques are needed for reliable data to be collected in local communities, and what is the role of the cloud, “big data,” and data analytics in this context?
  • Measures of success. What is the extent to which key variables and measures of CI investment success are actually understood?
  • Ethics. How are research ethics understood in the context of CI work?
  • Comparative analysis. How can shared local and global research resources be developed for comparative studies in different regions of the world?
  • Cross-cultural studies. How are data elicitation techniques and methods used in a cross-cultural context?
  • Extant theory. What is the applicability of other extant theories from related research areas (e.g., MIS, anthropology, science and technology studies, etc.) to the field of CI methodology?

We also invite authors to submit “Notes from the Field” from CI practitioners and policy makers that describe relevant methodological topics and issues.

Submission procedure and deadlines

Full original and unpublished articles for this special issue should be submitted via the JoCI website. Authors are invited to submit full-length papers between 5000-7000 words and notes from the field between 3000-5000 words. All full-length research articles will be double blind peer-reviewed. Notes from the field containing insights and analytical perspectives from practitioners and policy makers are also encouraged – these will not be peer-reviewed. All authors should provide a note to the editors via the website indicating their interest in having their submissions considered for the special issue on “Research Methods for Community Informatics.” Interested authors should consult the journal’s editorial policies and author guidelines for submissions at

Full article draft submissions due: November 15, 2014.
Notes from the field due: December 15, 2014.

All inquiries should be directed to: Colin Rhinesmith, Guest Editor; Email: (before August 1, 2014) / (after August 1, 2014)