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Networked Inequality: Studies on Diversity and Marginalization

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Systemic inequality makes life disproportionately challenging for disadvantaged people and groups. Such inequalities are pervasive across societies and institutions and are perpetuated within networks. Address­ing systemic inequality depends, at least in part, on effectively modeling it, describing its antecedents and outcomes, and identifying effective network interventions. Bringing a networked lens to the study of inequality has profound implications for the improvement of societal and individual well-being, and could lead to more effective access to education, reductions in income inequality, changing relationships to power, and/or stemming the deleterious effects of discrimination, to name just a few. Thanks to the availability of rich data on human interaction, approaches from network science and data science can be applied to examine the complex processes that produce and perpetuate inequality.

There are many ways that network science can be used to reduce inequality, including (but not limited to): identifying at-risk people and communities; highlighting opportunities for network interventions; interrogating power imbalances; revealing identity-based biases and under representation across a variety of domains (human mobility, public health, career success, political influence, scientific collaboration, etc.) This special issue aims to attract innovative original research that applies network science to study human inequality. The basis for inequality may be gender, race, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, and/or any other factors that lead to marginalization. The importance of such studies has been recognized by the United Nations, where at least two Sustainable Development Goals are related to the special issue: SDG5 (Gender Equality) and SDG10 (Reduction of Inequalities).

We invite submissions that use network science theories and methods from a broad range of disci­plinary backgrounds and approaches, including (not not limited to) social sciences, physics, humanities, computer science, mathematics, and geographical sciences. We encourage academics of any field, gender, race, age, socioeconomic background to submit their work on this special issue. We also particularly encourage multidisciplinary works.

Finally, being aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has been accentuating pre-existing inequalities, this call also aims to help less favoured researchers to publish in this challenging time. Some support for the publication costs is available for researchers who, for any reason, are not able to cover the publication fees. In summary, the goal of this special issue is twofold: to become a venue for research on inequality in networks and to encourage underrepresented researchers to publish their work.

Manuscripts relevant to this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Social Mobility
  • Epidemics
  • Meta population models
  • Inequalities, Gaps and Differences (e.g. Gender, Race, Socioeconomic, Age)
  • Social Movements and Activism
  • Misinformation and Media Manipulation
  • COVID-19 impact
  • Economic Inequality
  • School and Educational Networks
  • Organizational Networks and Career Success
  • Evidence-based policy-making and network science
  • Scientific networks
  • Brain networks
  • Knowledge flow, sharing, and collaboration
  • Ego, multilayer and multiplex network analysis

It is worth pointing that meta-analysis and review papers can be considered.

Important Dates

Abstract submission: August 30, 2021
Full submission invitations: September 17, 2021
Full manuscript submission deadline: December 1, 2021

Full manuscripts will be peer-reviewed as they are submitted and authors may be asked to revise and resubmit. Invitation to submit (or re-submit) a manuscript does not guarantee publication. 

Submission Instructions

We invite authors to submit a brief expression of interest containing an extended abstract (approx. 1000 words), including the topic, key concepts, methods, expected results, conclusions, and if possible one representative figure. Authors from underrepresented, marginalized, and/or disadvantaged groups are especially encouraged to apply. For abstracts submission, please contact the Guest Editors listed below. Abstracts should be submitted via EasyChair at the following link - 

Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit their full manuscripts through the journal submission system at . Please note during the submission process, choose the relevant special issue under the Additional Information section when asked “Are you submitting this to a Thematic Series?”. The special issue is available as “S.I: Networked Inequality”.

Lead Guest Editors

Brooke Foucault Welles -
Department of Communication Studies, Northeastern University, USA

Olga Sarmiento -
School of Medicine, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia

Guest Editors

Ana Maria Jaramillo - 
BioComplex Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, University of Exeter, UK

Mariana Macedo -
BioComplex Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, University of Exeter, UK

For more information, get in touch with one of the guest editors above.

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