Information Processing & Management (IPM) Special Issue Call for Papers (now open for submission and submission deadline: 30 November 2018)

The special issue has been published in the journal Information Processing & Management in May 2020. Link

Du, J. T., Xie, I., & Waycott, J. (2020). Marginalized communities, emerging technologies, and social innovation in the digital age: Introduction to the special issue. Information Processing & Management (IPM), 57 (3), 1-4.[top quartile Q1 journal; ERA A*; IF: 3.892; SSCI]

The PDF version of the call can be downloaded here

Information Processing & Management (IPM), Elsevier

  • SSCI journal
  • 2017 Impact Factor: 3.444 (JCR top quartile Q1 journal)

Guest editors:

  • Jia Tina Du, School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Australia, Australia. E-mail:
  • Iris Xie, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, US. E-mail:
  • Jenny Waycott, School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia. Email address:

Special Issue on “Marginalised Communities, Emerging Technologies, and Social Innovation in the Digital Age”

The Special Issue aims to investigate issues in relation to empowering marginalised and vulnerable communities in the digital age and the creative design and use of emerging technologies to promote social innovation. Researchers from the disciplines of library and information sciences, human-computer interaction, and community informatics are encouraged to submit their related works.

The intersection between digital information worlds and vulnerable communities is a critical research area within information sciences and human-computer interaction. There have been concerns about issues regarding accessibility, bias, social exclusion, cyber-racism, cyberbullying, digital divide, misinformation, usability, and other information sharing hazards in the information and technology experiences of vulnerable groups and populations.

According to Aday (1994), to be vulnerable is to be in a position of being hurt, marginalised, or ignored, as well as helped, by others. Vulnerable people typically include women and children, ethnic people of colour, immigrants, LBGTQI populations, the homeless, and the elderly (Flaskerud & Winslow, 1998). But it should be noted that not everyone in a particular category is vulnerable. A simplistic label of vulnerability risks ignoring people’s resilience and capacities (Gatehouse et al., 2018; Vines et al., 2014; Vyas & Dillahunt, 2017).

Much remains unknown about vulnerability in the context of emerging technologies and social innovation. For example, how do we define or conceptualise vulnerability? What are the main digital disadvantages for vulnerable communities? What are the unique needs and information behaviours of these communities? To what extent do technologies empower the vulnerable communities and what are the associated challenges? What applied methodologies should researchers adopt and adapt in order to have an impact in the area of racial and social justice? How should we evaluate the role of emerging technologies such as virtual reality, social robots, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics in promoting social and emotional wellbeing and are their uses culturally appropriate? To name a few.

The Special Issue is intended to present a unique collection of outstanding studies addressing the relationships among marginalised and vulnerable communities, emerging technologies, and social innovation in the digital age. We look for theoretical and methodological advances and contributions to this important area of study.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Definition and conceptualisation of vulnerability
  • Vulnerable and marginalised communities’ experience of information technologies
  • Big data and vulnerable and marginalised communities
  • Digital libraries and vulnerable and marginalised users
  • Everyday life information behaviour and technology use of older adults
  • Information experience of migrants and refugees
  • Information service model for minorities
  • Information practices of indigenous people in the technology-penetrated society
  • Homeless population in the digital age
  • Technology design and use by people with disabilities
  • Approaches or methods to study vulnerable and marginalised groups
  • Ethical issues and challenges of studying information and technology use with vulnerable and marginalised groups
  • Strategies for good practice in the design and deployment of emerging technologies for vulnerable and marginalised groups
  • Evaluations of technologies for the public good
  • Accessibility and usability guidelines to support people with disabilities


Submission Guidelines:

Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished papers. All submissions will be peer-reviewed and judged on accuracy, originality, significance, quality, and relevance to the special issue topics of interest. Submitted papers should not have appeared in or be under consideration for another journal.

Full papers should be submitted before November 30, 2018.

Paper submission via

Authors please choose article type as Special Issue: Marginalised Communities for their submissions.

Instructions for authors:


Important Dates:

  • Full papers submission deadline: November 30, 2018
  • First round notification: March 30, 2019
  • Revision due date: May 30, 2019
  • Final notification: July 30, 2019
  • Final manuscript due date: August 30, 2019
  • Publication date: November 2019


Aday, L. A. (1994). Health status of vulnerable populations. Annual review of public health, 15(1), 487-509.

Flaskerud, J. H., & Winslow, B. J. (1998). Conceptualizing vulnerable populations health-related research. Nursing Research, 47(2), 69-78.

Gatehouse, C., Wood, M., Briggs, J., Pickles, J., & Lawson, S. (2018). Troubling vulnerability: Designing with LGBT young people’s ambivalence towards hate crime reporting. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paper No. 109.

Vines, J., McNaney, R., Lindsay, S., Wallace, J., & McCarthy, J. (2014). Special topic: Designing for and with Vulnerable People. Interactions, 21(1), 44–46.

Vyas, D., & Dillahunt, T. (2017). Everyday resilience: Supporting resilient strategies among low socioeconomic status communities. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 1, pp. 1-21.