April 28, 2009

The Politics of Open Source

Category: Events — Biella @ 7:42 pm

Call for papers:

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

Full Paper Submission Due Date: January 10, 2010

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 Eric von Hippel (MIT) and Clay Johnson (Sunlight Labs) as the daily keynote speakers for JITP-2010.

Paper Submissions
Authors are invited to prepare and submit to JITP a manuscript following one of the six submission formats by January 10, 2010. These formats include research papers, policy viewpoints, workbench notes, review essays, book reviews, and papers on teaching innovation. The goal is to produce a special issue, or double issue, of JITP with a wide variety of approaches to 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 http://www.jitp.net/. 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. 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 Friday evening reception. All posters must include a “YouTube” version of their research findings.

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
Jeremy Hunsinger, Virginia Tech
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. & OpenOffice.org
Anas Tawileh, Cardiff University & Meedan.net


  1. According to the instructions for authors submitting papers to this conference (via JITP):

    Authors [...] are required to sign an agreement for the transfer of copyright to the publisher. All accepted manuscripts, artwork, and photographs become the property of the publisher.

    I was inclined to consider writing something, since they mention one category being a “book review”, which could encompass a 3-6 page review of a government report (e.g. New York State’s Electronic Documents Report, which i’m interested in). But with copyright terms like that, i won’t bother submitting anything i write to the conference. I don’t feel like i can even comfortably recommend the event to other people who i know are producing interesting work (ideas, political theory, and public policy) on this topic, either. :(

    Why is a forward-thinking conference about free information so regressive in its internal copyright and information reproduction demands? Cui bono?

    Comment by Daniel Kahn Gillmor — April 28, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

  2. I was wondering, will the proceedings/special issue be free (i.e. freely available)? CC or something of the sort?

    I am glad I found your blog with this occasion. Looks like a good source and will certainly read your papers.

    Comment by Adrian Craciun — April 29, 2009 @ 12:34 am

  3. the beautiful thing about a copyright waiver… is you can edit it, i strike things i don’t like.

    Comment by jeremy — April 29, 2009 @ 4:48 am

  4. Indeed Jeremy. I just went through an interesting negotiation process with a publisher and it was really quite instructive! I hope to blog about it soon.

    Comment by Biella — April 29, 2009 @ 5:17 am

  5. Thanks for posting the CfP. And thanks for raising these questions. We have revised the CfP to address some of what you raise here. The Proceedings will be made available online with a CC license. Only the special journal issue will be subject to the copyright provisions listed on http://www.jitp.net.

    Comment by Michelle — April 30, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  6. [...] The Politics of Open Source (gabriellacoleman.org) [...]

    Pingback by I Became OSUM Leader of My University « Burak DEDE Weblog — August 16, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

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