Sage and Bath University to create Public Data Lab

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Sage Publishing has teamed up with the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath, to establish a Public Data Lab. The facility is aimed at furthering social science research, teaching and public engagement activities around the future of the data society.

Incubated at the Institute for Policy Research under the direction of Prize Fellow Dr Jonathan Gray and Professor Nick Pearce, the lab will mobilise an international, interdisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners and organisations in order to develop and disseminate innovative research, teaching, design and participation formats for the creation and use of public data.

The Public Data Lab will support the experimentation around the use, creation and co-production of digital public data in the service of social research, policy-making, advocacy, journalism and public participation around current and future global challenges – from climate change to tax base erosion, migration to automation.

Sage's president of global publishing Ziyad Marar welcomed the new initiative: 'For Sage Publishing to support the establishment of the Public Data Lab to advance social science research and to initiate its first phase of research and public engagement activities is both exciting and fitting. In an era of unprecedented data flows we are fundamentally changing how we make sense of the world, and Sage firmly believes that social science needs to play a critical role where this impacts on society. It is our hope that the Public Data Lab, with the support of Sage, will become a pioneer of innovative digital tools, methods and born digital data in public policy, research and teaching.'

Jonathan Gray added: 'We are delighted to be working with SAGE to establish the Public Data Lab. Given its world-leading role in publishing social science research and methods texts, as well as its work to support innovative research around the social, political and cultural consequences of datafication – including through venues such as Big Data and Society – Sage is the perfect fit for us.

'We are also particularly appreciative of its role in supporting open access publication. We look forward to exploring how the lab can advance methods and working formats to broaden participation and enrich debate around the creation and use of data in society.'

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