Data Literacy

Data Literacy – what is it and why does it matter? A Workshop colocated on the Web Sci 2015.

Data Literacy Special Issue – Journal of Community Informatics – 2nd Call


Special issue – Community Informatics and Data Literacy – Journal of Community Informatics (

Call for Submission v2 – Important: deadline extended to the 18th of December 2015

A special issue of the Journal of Community Informatics ( will be devoted to Data Literacy. Community Informatics (CI) is the study and the practice of enabling communities with Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). This special issue will focus on the role of data literacy and its possible applications, such as Data Journalism, Smart Cities, E-Government, Data-Based Services, Data Intermediaries, Data Visualization, Statistics for Data Interpretation and Data Collaboration to empower and enable communities. The issue is expected to be published in June 2016. The Journal of Community Informatics is a focal point for the communication of research of interest to a global network of academics, community informatics practitioners and national and multi-lateral policy makers.

Call for papers

The field of CI seeks to explore the potential of information and communication technologies and their applications for social and economic development efforts at the community level. It particularly seeks to ensure that marginalized individuals and communities can benefit from the opportunities that ICTs can provide. Increasingly, data literacy has been identified as a requirement to make effective use of these opportunities. However, very little attention has been paid to defining what data literacy means, how it can be achieved and which are the impact of its applications.

Data literacy refers to the skills, knowledge and context needed to make effective use of data on the web. It includes the ICT skills to find, access and manipulate data; the statistical and subject matter skills to interpret and use the data; and also the context needed to provide the opportunity and motivation to use the data. It can be seen as a characteristic of an individual or a community. Recently there have been calls for greater data literacy from communities as diverse as the open data movement (who see it as essential if open data is to fulfil its promise of greater transparency and engagement) and the citizen science movement (who see it as required for citizens to understand, engage in, and support science). This raises fundamental concerns in CI such as the power of those who are data literate relative to those who are not, and the right of experts to demand skills of the population as a whole. However, these debates need to be underpinned with a clearer and more detailed description of what data literacy is, why it is needed, and concrete examples of success (and fail) cases. Work on data literacy has remained the domain of educationalists and librarians, but the increased use of data in many areas has created a pressing need for a more multi-disciplinary view.

For this special issue of the Journal on Data Literacy, we are inviting submissions of original, unpublished articles. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

  • What do we mean by data literacy?
  • Why do we need data literacy?
  • How should data literacy be achieved?
  • What are the broader political, social and philosophical implications of data literacy?
  • What are the practical implications of data literacy?
  • What is the role of data intermediaries or facilitators? Is Data literacy for everybody, or will we always have the need for intermediaries between the creators/providers of the data and the consumers in order to provide insight on the context and meaning of the data?
  • Using Data Literacy for:
    • Enabling data journalism
    • Making research more sustainable and reproducible over time
    • Enabling smart cities for all
    • Enhancing efficiency of e-Government
    • Enabling data-based services
    • Creating and understanding data visualization
    • Data collaboration and crowsourced data
    • Understanding control/surveilance/access limitation over the Internet
  • The role of statistics for data interpretation

We welcome research articles, along with case studies and notes from the field. All research articles will be double blind peer-reviewed. Insights and analytical perspectives from practitioners and policy makers in the form of notes from the field or case studies are also encouraged – these will be reviewed by the editors.

Closing date for submission of full papers: 30 September 2015 18th December 2015

Submission Process & Guidelines

Authors need to register with the Journal prior to submitting or, if already registered, can simply log in and begin the five-step process. Please indicate that you are submiting to the Data Literacy Special Issue.

Guest editors:

Alan Tygel, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mark Frank, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training, University of Southampton

Johanna Walker, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training, University of Southampton

Judie Attard, University of Bonn, Germany