University of Pittsburgh
October 12, 2006

New Publication, Led by Pitt Researcher, to Examine IT's Role in Politics

Inaugural issue of Journal of Information Technology & Politics to appear fall 2007
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Political campaigns and social movements have seen an explosion in the use of information technology (IT) in recent years. Stuart W. Shulman, who is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in Pitt's School of Information Sciences and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, has recently been named editor of the quarterly Journal of Information Technology & Politics (JITP). The journal's inaugural issue will be published in fall 2007.

JITP will be an outlet for interdisciplinary manuscripts focusing on how IT is changing politics, a domain "not typically well represented by scholarly articles in leading political science journals," said Shulman, who also is director of the Qualitative Data Analysis Program in Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research. "We'd like to establish a top-tier interdisciplinary journal, one that brings social scientists together with information and computer scientists in emergent research areas," he said.

For example, JITP might feature a special issue on political blogs, with an emphasis on the possibility of new, large-scale, IT-enhanced data collection, analysis, and visualization. "It's unlikely you'd see that in any but a few of the other social science journals," said Shulman.

The Haworth Press, which will publish JITP, is affiliated with the Organized Section on Information Technology & Politics (ITP) of the American Political Science Association. At a September business meeting, the section voted to adopt JITP on a trial basis, with a vote planned in 2008 regarding adoption as ITP's official journal.

In addition to research papers, review essays, book reviews, and policy viewpoints, JITP will feature sections titled "Teaching Innovations," which will focus on how people are using IT to improve student learning in political science and related fields, and "Workbench Notes," brief evaluations of new IT tools that are being deployed in the study of politics.

The journal's Senior Editorial Board includes leading political scientists studying IT and politics as well as recognized leaders from the fields of communications, computer science, geography, and public administration. It will begin operations with a reviewer database of 275 researchers. For more information, visit the JITP Web site at