Call for papers: "The Politics of Open Source"

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New JITP Annual Conference Web Site:

Call for Papers

“The Politics of Open Source”
May 6-7, 2010 – Amherst, Massachusetts

A two-day University of Massachusetts Amherst conference jointly hosted by the:
Department of Political Science
Science, Technology, and Society Initiative (STS)
Journal of Information Technology & Politics (JITP)
Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP)
National Center for Digital Government (NCDG)

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FOSS) has made significant advances, both technically and organizationally, since its emergence in the mid-1980s. Over the last decade, it has moved from a software development approach involving mostly volunteers to a more complex ecology where firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and volunteers may be involved. Moreover, the production paradigm continues to expand to other areas of digital content (e.g., Creative Commons, Wikipedia, Connexions, etc.). In this conference we use the phrase “open source” to capture this broader phenomenon. The Program Committee encourages disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of open source, broadly defined.

“Politics” in the conference title, can have many interpretations. Political issues closely tied to the free and open source software movement(s) include: national government policies related to the adoption of open source technologies or questions related to interoperability and open standards, software patents, vendor lock-in, and copyright. These are central themes we expect may be discussed in this forum. In this context, we welcome international submissions since differences in the political perspective appear in international contexts. However, topics related to how the concept of openness has led to various interpretations, adaptations, and applications of “open source” in other domains, and political issues that surround these broader innovations, are also welcome. Specific topics might include,
but are not limited to:

General topics related to the politics of open source
•How open source software or its principles are changing politics
•Emerging transparencies in software, systems and society
•Open source in the developing world and other international contexts
•The political economy of open source
•Digital divides and open source

Open source and the public sector
•Open source software and transparency in government
•Government policies toward open source and open standards
•Regulation and open source

Open source and democracy
•Open source and democratic engagement
•Open source voting systems
•Activism, political mobilization and open source

The expansion of open source into other domains
•Understanding how open source collaboration works and how it can be
extended into other areas of collective action
•Policy areas, such as the effects of free textbooks on education
policy or the politics of “One Laptop Per Child”
•The political implications of open source in other cultural domains

Keynote Speakers
We are pleased to confirm Clay Johnson (Sunlight Labs) as one of the daily keynote speakers for JITP-2010.

Paper Submissions
Authors are invited to prepare and submit a research paper, policy viewpoint, workbench note, or teaching innovation manuscript to JITP by January 10, 2010. A small number of papers will be accepted for presentation at the conference. Other paper authors will be invited to present a poster during the Thursday evening reception. All accepted authors will be asked to submit a “YouTube” version of their research findings. Accepted paper and poster authors will be invited to resubmit their papers to JITP after the conference with the goal of producing a special issue, or double issue, of JITP on the broad theme of “The Politics of Open Source.”

How to Submit
Everything you need to know about how to prepare and submit a strong JITP paper is documented at Conference 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 10, 2010.

Conference proceedings, including both paper manuscripts and poster summaries, will be made publicly available under a Creative Commons license. Authors who wish to contribute to the JITP special issue will be asked to sign the publisher’s copyright agreement when they resubmit their manuscript.

Best Paper and Poster Cash Prizes
The author (or authors) of the best research paper will receive a single $1,000 prize. The creator (or creators) of the best poster/research presentation will also receive a single prize of $1,000.

Program Committee
M.V. Lee Badgett, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Paul M.A. Baker, Georgia Institute of Technology
Deborah Bryant, Oregon State University Open Source Lab
Andrea Calderaro, European University Institute
Mark Cassell, Kent State University
Edward Cherlin, Earth Treasury
Gabriella Coleman, New York University
Doug Downham, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert English, Daystar Computing & University of Massachusetts Amherst
Joseph Feller, University College Cork
Jelena Karanovic, Rutgers University
Dave Karpf, University of Pennsylvania/Miller Center for Public Affairs
Andrea Kavanaugh, Virginia Tech
Jose Marichal, California Lutheran University
Jens Hardings Perl, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Charlie Schweik, University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-chair
Stuart Shulman, University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-chair
Megan Squire, Elon University
Krishna Ravi Srinivas, Research Information System For Developing Nations
Louis Suarez-Potts, Sun Microsystems, Inc. &
Anas Tawileh, Cardiff University &