Big Data and Public Policy Workshop

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Miami, Florida

Submit Your Paper Now!

The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) invites the submission of papers for a special workshop on “Big Data and Public Policy" to be held on November 11, 2015, just prior to the start of the APPAM Fall Research Conference in Miami, Florida.  Papers will be accepted until May 15, 2015.

About the Workshop

The new availability of data – administrative records, mobile devices, sensors, and many private sources – as well as new processing and analytical techniques, has the potential to transform the practice of science.  In the social science context, the new data can potentially offer information for policy-makers that is much more current, granular and richer in environmental information than data produced by statistical agencies from surveys.  Yet with the unfolding of new research opportunities, there are challenges associated with making use of the new data that are no longer generated and disseminated by statistical agencies, but can be harvested from many individual public, and some private, actions.

Examples of particular challenges for the policy community include:

  • Inadequate understanding of coverage, incentive and quality issues, together with the lack of a comparison group, can lead to incorrect policy advice.   For example, overreliance on, say, Twitter data, in targeting resources after hurricanes might lead to the misallocation of resources towards young, internet savvy people with cell-phones and away from elderly or impoverished neighborhoods.
  • The lack of obvious data stewards who can be entrusted with preserving confidentiality, which can result in questions about the ethical use of new types of data.   For example, since there are no clear rules or guidelines governing the appropriate use of the new types of data, Institutional Review Boards may hesitate to allow new types of research.

Nonetheless, important scholarly work has been done that uses big data in a way that is valuable to policy makers – in areas as varied as finance, labor, education, science, innovation, transportation and development.  This JPAM workshop seeks to assess as well as showcase cutting edge empirical work in this vein. We invite papers that explore how to use big data in a variety of policy arenas. We invite both original papers as well as papers which provide syntheses of applications in particular policy contexts.

In addition to being considered for the workshop, submissions may also be considered for a special Big Data and Public Policy issue of JPAM.  JPAM is the flagship journal of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management. It typically ranks among the top public policy journals. While JPAM readership is sophisticated, we would like the papers to be written in a way that makes them accessible to wide audiences.  Demonstrations of the usefulness of these approaches must be focused on policy and public management issues that have broad ramifications for policy and decision makers at the state, local or federal levels of government.

How to Submit Your Paper

All submissions for the workshop should be made through the regular online submission process for the journal.  To submit your paper, please use the button below or click here.

Submit Your Paper Here!

Please indicate with your submission that you would like your paper to be considered for this special issue. Initial submissions for this worskhop will be accepted until May 15, 2015. Dr. Julia Lane and Dr. Paul Decker will serve as special guest co-editors for this symposium along with JPAM editor-in-chief, Dr. Kenneth Couch.

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