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What difference do data make? Data management and social change

What difference do data make? Data management and social change The purpose of this paper is to expand on emergent data activism literature to draw distinctions between different types of data management practices undertaken by groups of data activists.Design/methodology/approachThe authors offer three case studies that illuminate the data management strategies of these groups. Each group discussed in the case studies is devoted to representing a contentious political issue through data, but their data management practices differ in meaningful ways. The project Making Sense produces their own data on pollution in Kosovo. Fatal Encounters collects “missing data” on police homicides in the USA. The Environmental Data Governance Initiative hopes to keep vulnerable US data on climate change and environmental injustices in the public domain.FindingsIn analysing the three case studies, the authors surface how temporal dimensions, geographic scale and sociotechnical politics influence their differing data management strategies.Originality/valueThe authors build upon extant literature on data management infrastructure, which primarily discusses how these practices manifest in scientific and institutional research settings, to analyse how data management infrastructure is often crucial to social movements that rely on data to surface political issues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Online Information Review Emerald Publishing

What difference do data make? Data management and social change

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1468-4527
DOI
10.1108/oir-02-2018-0052
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to expand on emergent data activism literature to draw distinctions between different types of data management practices undertaken by groups of data activists.Design/methodology/approachThe authors offer three case studies that illuminate the data management strategies of these groups. Each group discussed in the case studies is devoted to representing a contentious political issue through data, but their data management practices differ in meaningful ways. The project Making Sense produces their own data on pollution in Kosovo. Fatal Encounters collects “missing data” on police homicides in the USA. The Environmental Data Governance Initiative hopes to keep vulnerable US data on climate change and environmental injustices in the public domain.FindingsIn analysing the three case studies, the authors surface how temporal dimensions, geographic scale and sociotechnical politics influence their differing data management strategies.Originality/valueThe authors build upon extant literature on data management infrastructure, which primarily discusses how these practices manifest in scientific and institutional research settings, to analyse how data management infrastructure is often crucial to social movements that rely on data to surface political issues.

Journal

Online Information ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 9, 2019

Keywords: Civic data; Data activism; Data infrastructure; Police data; Statactivism

References