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Data (Re)Makes the World
Call for Papers
ABSTRACTS DUE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST.
We invite paper submissions for Data (Re)makes the World, a conference hosted by the Information Society Project to be held at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 31-April 1, 2023.
Artificial intelligence, data science, and algorithmic approaches to decision making often assume we can better describe and predict social phenomena through the collection, imputation, and manipulation of data. But the problems and issues of how to measure, how to count, and what counts in counting, have a long history that predates the digital revolution. Quantifying social life shapes not only what we know but how we know. It simultaneously describes, imposes perspectives, and presupposes values.
New forms of quantification and data analysis displace earlier ways of understanding. They may transform and threaten existing practices and professions, and, in the process, create social conflict and breed distrust. Using machine learning systems to augment or replace human decision making may conflict with existing social norms, political values, and legal interpretations. The rise and spread of machine learning systems, and of algorithmic decision making more generally, have spurred calls for legal and social reform. But these technologies may also change people’s existing values, lead to new political and cultural norms, and novel conceptions (and measures) of community, justice, and equality.
We seek paper submissions that investigate the ways our quantification practices are informing and reshaping our values and our communities—including the effects on democratic representation, civil rights, civil liberties, civil and criminal justice, and the promotion of sound public policy. We are particularly interested in papers discussing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithmic decision-making, but also welcome papers that explore quantification practices across different times, places, and cultures.
We hope to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, technologists, and policy activists working in and outside of the academy, including but not limited to those working in and across the disciplines of history, public health, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, computer science, statistics, mathematics, economics, cultural studies, medicine, and law.
We will cover travel, accommodation and reasonable travel expenses (as per Yale University policies and procedures) for participants invited to present papers at the conference.
Please submit your 400-word abstract (not including references) in a PDF file that also includes your name and email by 11:59 pm EST on November 28, 2022 via this submission form. Authors whose papers are accepted will be expected to provide full paper drafts two weeks prior to the conference, which will be circulated to all conference participants. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reading your submissions!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Can we submit multiple abstracts?
A. We will only consider one paper per author. If we receive multiple submissions from the same author, we will only consider the first submission submitted for that author. Please note that a co-authored paper counts as one paper for all authors. If an author submits a solo-authored paper and co-authored paper, we will only consider the co-authored paper.
Q. Is the expectation that the submissions be solo-authored? Is it OK to have co-authors?
A. Co-authored papers are great! However, please note that for multi-author papers, we may only be able to provide for travel to the conference for one author.
Q. Is this a blind review, or are employment/affiliations and CVs taken into consideration for evaluation of submissions or through identification of submissions?
A. We will first conduct a review to rank submitted paper abstracts. In cases of papers of equal merit, we will favor early career and independent scholars over senior scholars. Institutional affiliation will only be considered so as to maximize the number of participants from different institutions. We do not collect CVs or bios.
Q. Are the conference proceedings archival or non-archival?
A. The proceedings will be non-archival. The conference is an ideal opportunity to present new work or to continue to workshop something that is under review or intended for future publication. We are considering the possibility of some form of future publication for interested conference participants as part of a peer-reviewed edited collection or edited journal volume, but have no official plans to do this at this time.
Q. I am unsure of whether my current project fits within the scope of the conference’s focus. Has this conference occurred in the past/are there papers I can look to for guidance on what you might be looking for?
A. Regarding what we "are looking for," special care was taken in drafting the CFP, so that really is the best source for getting a sense of potential topics for the conference. The ISP is, of course, in a law school, so papers looking at legal and policy issues and concepts surrounding practices of quantification (including data collection, imputation, prediction, etc.) are very welcome! We're also interested in examining practices of quantification through a range of methodological approaches and disciplinary perspectives besides law. You might look at conference abstracts for papers on quantification, AI, and machine learning at the Society of the History of Technology (SHOT), History of Science Society (HSS), or Society for the Social Studies of Science (4s) to get a very general sense of the range of topics and methods we are amenable to featuring.
Q. What is the expected length of full papers that will be submitted by accepted paper presenters in March 2023?
A. There is no required minimum or maximum paper length for conference papers; however, we strongly recommend papers to be between 3,000 and 12,000 words. Keeping the papers to this length will help ensure that other conference participants will have time to read the papers circulated.
Q. Are papers strictly examining legal and policy perspectives of the conference theme eligible?
A. Yes. We expect (and hope!) to have papers from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including but not limited to papers discussing law and policy questions. We are interested in papers that also engage with questions/concerns that span multiple disciplines and/or multiple ways of knowing, but this is not required.
Q. I’m confused about the guidelines provided in the CFP. Does the abstract have to be submitted without references, or are references not counted in the 400-word limit?
A. Please do include references and citations in your abstract. For the purposes of the 400-word limit for abstracts, reference citations do not contribute to your word-count limit. (The point of this policy is to allow you to cite as many references as you wish to include in your abstract.)
Q. Are there any guidelines on formatting and/or citations for the abstract?
A. Other than the instructions regarding abstracts in the call for papers (i.e., that your abstract PDF also include your name and email; and be limited to 400 words), there are no additional guidelines regarding formatting. We do have the usual scholarly expectation that references cited are given full citations, however the particular citation format conference presenters choose to use is up to them. Chicago, MLA, and APA formats are all fine. Other citation formats such as those used in law journals and computer science proceedings are, of course, also acceptable.
Q. I have an idea for a conference paper. Can I get specific feedback on the proposal, including whether the topic is appropriate for the conference?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot give feedback on individual abstracts/proposals.
Q. I have concerns regarding obtaining a visa, and worry this may prevent me from attending the conference in person. Should I still submit an abstract?