CfP A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society

Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 September 2011

Location: Social Sciences Manor Road Building, University of Oxford

Registration: Please email your name and affiliation to or telephone +44 (0)1865 287209

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The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the journal, Information, Communication and Society (iCS) are co-organizing a symposium to critically assess the last decade of social research on the Internet and identify directions for research over the next. The symposium will be held in Oxford from the afternoon of 21 September until noon on the 24th. This event will be punctuated by a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the OII, providing an opportunity to relate broader lessons for the field to the case of one of the first departments at a major university focused on the societal implications of the Internet and related information and communication technologies. Ten years is only a moment in the span of social research, but eons in Internet time. Has social research across the disciplines been up to the challenges?

There will be parallel sessions across the days, with late-afternoon plenary sessions, and ample time for informal discussion. One plenary session will focus on the Anniversary of the OII. The parallel sessions will focus on the presentation of papers submitted for review in response to this call.

Abstract Submission

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of unpublished, original work for initial review as symposium papers. Abstracts for papers should be limited to approximately 500 words; abstracts for proposed panels or workshops to 1000 words, including information about participants.

Abstracts for papers or panels should be submitted by 8 December 2010 to: and have ‘iCS Symposium’ in the subject heading. Authors for whom abstracts are accepted will be asked to upload a completed paper to the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) by 5 September 2011, and provide a link to the OII (

Abstracts and papers may address any topic concerning social research on the Internet and related technologies. Proposals can be made for individual papers or for a panel. They will be evaluated on the basis of their originality and promise for shaping theoretical, methodological or empirical advances in the study of the Internet. Work that has a promise to shape research, policy or practice in this emerging field would be especially welcomed.

Thematic Areas

Themes of parallel and plenary sessions are likely to focus on change over time, including, but not limited, to such themes as:

  • The diffusion of the Internet: shifts and plateaus in digital inclusion and divides across geography, generations, and society
  • Sizing the Internet economy and its growth over time and space
  • Changing patterns and requirements for digital literacy and skills
  • Trust over time and across areas of Internet use, from commerce to public services and news and information
  • Emerging roles of networking in democratic institutions and processes, such as in election campaigns, democratic accountability and the rise of a Fifth Estate
  • Evolution of digital academe, including digital collections, formal and informal learning, e-research and academic publishing
  • The quality and changing sources of information – from news to research – and their consequences
  • Collaboration – myths and realities of new forms of collaborative network organizations and technologies
  • The developing role of the Internet in social networking, whether in the workplace, everyday life, or in shaping major life chances
  • The dark side of the Internet: growth of cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism, malicious computing, and approaches to addressing these problems
  • Collective action – the evolving role of the Internet in social and political movements
  • Privacy and surveillance trends and research
  • Localism – the new Internet frontier
  • Closing of the Internet through appliances, aps, and regulations
  • The rise of Internet governance and regulation – for better or worse – in areas ranging across the wide range of policy arenas, from standards and domain name registration to freedom of expression?

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