About the Journal

Big Data & Society (BD&S) is a SAGE open access peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes interdisciplinary work principally in the social sciences, humanities and computing and their intersections with the arts and natural sciences about the implications of Big Data for societies.

The Journal's key purpose is to provide a space for connecting debates about the emerging field of Big Data practices and how they are reconfiguring academic, social, industry, business and government relations, expertise, methods, concepts and knowledge.

BD&S moves beyond usual notions of Big Data and treats it as an emerging field of practices that is not defined by but generative of (sometimes) novel data qualities such as high volume and granularity and complex analytics such as data linking and mining. It thus attends to digital content generated through online and offline practices in social, commercial, scientific, and government domains. This includes, for instance, content generated on the Internet through social media and search engines but also that which is generated in closed networks (commercial or government transactions) and open networks such as digital archives, open government and crowdsourced data.  Critically, rather than settling on a definition the Journal makes this an object of interdisciplinary inquiries and debates explored through studies of a variety of topics and themes.

BD&S seeks contributions that analyse Big Data practices and/or involve empirical engagements and experiments with innovative methods while also reflecting on the consequences for how societies are represented (epistemologies), realised (ontologies) and governed (politics).

BD&S is a digital-only journal and its platform accommodates a variety of multimedia to present complex images and dynamic visualisations and video and audio content. Contents include peer reviewed research articles and colloquia as well as sections on bookcasts, commentaries, state-of-the art demonstrations, and work by early career researchers. The Journal is open access thus making its content widely accessible to readers.  For its first three years, the journal was published without article processing charges (APCs) for authors. As of 1st July 2017 Original Research Articles which are submitted and subsequently accepted after peer review will be subject to an APC of $800. Authors who do not have funding for open access publishing should request a waiver from the publisher, SAGE, once their Original Research Article is accepted after peer review. For all other content (Commentaries, Editorials, ERC essays, Demos) and Original Research Articles commissioned by the Editor the APC will be waived.
Digital Enhancements

Big Data & Society is a born-digital publication and its content is more than simply the mere transposition of a paper version. It will be published on a platform that attends to the presentational issues that Big Data analyses demand (e.g., visualisation, multimedia, interactivity, code) and the challenges that digitisation presents for the future of scientific publishing (e.g., scholarly standards, protocols and scrutiny).  

One of the Journal’s goals is to allow for various digital media in the presentation of research. Some content can be best conveyed using multiple illustrations or video accompaniment. While still adhering to limits in article length, we encourage authors to use rich media and multiple visualisations and, when possible, to include links to data sources in the body of the article. We avoid the use of supplementary files and instead embed all components (figures, tables, video, and any additional data files) in the article. And finally we will provide a space to link articles to other related work such as working papers, blogs, project sites and other relevant materials. In this way peer reviewed articles will be understood as only one element of a network of dissemination and scholarly communication.

We will also use the power of open access to make our content as widely available as possible. We have designed a platform that allows for simple and clean presentation of a variety of content. But the initial platform is only the beginning. BD&S will solicit on-going feedback from readers and authors to make the design and presentation of content as accessible and usable as possible.

Journal Sections

While peer reviewed research articles are the Journal’s core content, we will also publish a variety of other content to advance research on and communication about Big Data practices:

Peer reviewed research articles.  Double blind, triple peer reviewed articles, some of these will also be accompanied by invited short podcasts/vodcasts.

Colloquia. Also sometimes referred to as symposia, external guest editors will be invited to convene debates/discussions.

Bookcasts. Rather than a book reviews section, authors and one interviewer will be invited to do a brief overview and review of relevant books in video format.

Commentaries.  This section will provide a space for short submissions on topical issues, controversies, questions, etc.

Demos. The Journal editors will annually invite curators to compile and reflect on projects related to the concerns of the Journal and present this in the form of an essay, images, and links.

Early Career Researcher Forum. Short articles will be invited from postgraduate students and early career researchers about their work and projects on Big Data.

Editorials.  These accompany special themes and are written by Guest Editors.