Community Data Science Collective at ICA 2023

The International Communication Association (ICA)’s 73nd annual conference is coming up soon. This year, the conference takes place in Toronto, Canada, and a subset of our collective is showing up to present work in person. We are looking forward to meeting up, talking about research, and hanging out together!

ICA takes place from Wednesday, May 24, to Monday, May 29, and CDSC members will take various roles in a number of different conference programs, including chairing, presentations, and co-organizing of preconference. Here is the list of our participation by the time order, so feel free to join us!

Thursday, May 25

We start off with a presentation by Yibin Fan on Thursday at 10:45 am in the International Living Learning Centre of Toronto Metropolitan University on Political Communication Graduate Student Preconference. In a panel on The Causes and Outcomes of Political Polarization and Violence, Yibin will present a paper entitled “Does Incidental Political Discussion Make Political Expression Less Polarized? Evidence From Online Communities”.

Later on Thursday, another preconference on New Frontiers in Global Digital Inequalities Research will take place in M – Room Linden (Sheraton) from 1:30pm to 5pm, Floor Fiers will work as a co-chair with a number of scholars from international, various academic institutions, and they will give a presentation on “The Gig Economy: A Site of Opportunity Vs. a Site of Risk?”. This preconference is affiliated with Communication and Technology Division and Communication Law & Policy Division of ICA.

Friday, May 26

On Friday, Carl Colglazier will present in a panel on Disinformation, Politics and Social Media at 3:00pm in M – Room York (Sheraton), and the presentation is entitled as “The Effects of Sanctions on Decentralized Social Networking Sites: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From the Fediverse”.

Sunday, May 28

On Sunday we will be actively taking different roles in various sessions. In the morning, Yibin Fan will serve as the moderator for a research paper panel on Political Deliberation and Expression affiliated by Political Communication Division at 9:00 am in 2 – Room Simcoe (Sheraton).

Then there comes our highlighting paper that won the Top Paper Award by Computational Methods Division: Nathan TeBlunthuis will present a methodological research paper entitled as “Automated Content Misclassification Causes Bias in Regression: Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!” in a panel on Debate, Deliberation and Discussion in the Public Sphere at noon in M – Room Maple East (Sheraton). This is a project on which Nate collaborates with Valerie Hase at LMU Munich and Chung-hong Chan at University of Mannheim. Congratulations to them for getting the Top Paper Award!

Last but not least, we will finish off our ICA 2023 by seeing our faculty members serving as the chair and discussants in the Computational Methods Research Escalator Session at 1:30pm in M – Room Maple West (the same room as Nate’s presentation!). The session is junior scholars who are inexperienced in publishing to have connections with more senior researchers in the field. As the Call for Papers by Computational Methods Division says, “Research escalator papers provide an opportunity for less experienced researchers to obtain feedback from more senior scholars about a paper-in-progress, with the goal of making the paper ready for submission to a conference or journal.” Aaron Shaw, together with Matthew Weber at Rutgers University, will serve as the chairs for the session. Benjamin Mako Hill and Jeremy Foote, together with a bunch of scholars from other institutions, will work as discussants for improving the research presented here.

We look forward to sharing our research and connecting with you at ICA!

CDSC @ FOSSY: Call for Proposals

Help us build a dynamic and exciting program to facilitate conversations between free and open source software (FOSS) researchers and practitioners! Submit a session proposal for FOSSY! The deadline for submissions is May 14 May 18 (Edit: The deadline has been moved.).

A photo of a classroom full of people on laptops. The seating is tiered, with people in the back higher up.
A Spring 2015 CDSC workshop. Photo by Sage Ross, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike

Although scholars publish hundreds of papers about free and open source software, online governance, licensing, and other topics very relevant to FOSS communities each year, much of this work never makes it out of academic journals and conferences and back to FOSS communities. At the same time, FOSS communities have a range of insights, questions, and data that researchers studying FOSS could benefit from enormously.

This gap between research and communities inspired us to propose a track at FOSSY, the Free and Open Source Software Yearly conference. Our track is called FOSS Research for All: The Science of Community.

The goal of this track is to build bridges between FOSS communities and scientific research conducted with and about FOSS communities. We hope to provide opportunities for community members to hear about exciting results from researchers; opportunities for researchers to learn from the FOSS community members; and spaces for the FOSS community to think together about how to improve FOSS projects by leveraging research insights and research.

This track will include opportunities for:

  • researchers to talk with practitioners (about their research)
  • practitioners to talk with researchers (about their needs)
  • researchers to talk with other researchers (for learning and collaboration)

FOSSY runs July 13 – 16, and we are hoping to have 2-3 days of content. Towards that end, we are seeking proposals! If you are a researcher with work of relevance to FOSS community members; a FOSS community member with experiences or opportunities relevant to research; or just want to be involved in this conversation, please consider proposing in one of the following formats:

  • Short Talks. Do you have a recent project to share in some depth? A topic that needs time to unpack? Take 20 minutes to present your thoughts. Following each presentation there will be time for group discussion to help participants apply your work to their practice.
  • Lightning Talks. Want to make a focused point, pitch, or problem report to a great audience? Bring your 5-minute talk to our lightning round.
  • Panels. We will be facilitating dialogue between researchers and community members. Would you be willing to share your thoughts as a panelist? Let us know your expertise and a few notes on your perspective so that we can develop a diverse and engaging panel. Contact us directly (details below) if you are interested in being on a panel.

If you have an idea that doesn’t fit into these formats, let’s chat! You can reach out to Kaylea (, Molly ( or submit your idea as a proposal via the FOSSY form.

Submissions are non-archival, so we welcome ongoing, completed, and already published research work. Non-archival means that presentation of work at FOSSY does not constitute a publication. It’s just a way to get your work out there! Work that synthesizes or draws across a body of published papers is particularly welcome.

What kind of research are you looking to have presented? 

We are interested in any topic related to FOSS communities! This might include research from computing (including software engineering, computer security, social computing, HCI), the social sciences and humanities (including management, philosophy, law, economics, sociology, communication, and more), information sciences, and beyond.

For example: how to identify undermaintained FOSS packages and what to do about it; community growth and how to find success in small communities; effective rule making and enforcement in online communities. 

If it involves FOSS or is of interest to FOSS practitioners, we welcome it! We are eager to help you put your results into the hands of practitioners who can use your findings to inform their own community’s practices and policies on social, governance, and technical topics. 

We hope to welcome scholars and researchers from across academia, government, industry, or wherever else you are from!

Who will I be speaking with?

We expect a multi-disciplinary audience. FOSSY will be bringing together free and open source software practitioners including community managers, designers, legal experts, non-profit and project leaders, technical developers, technical writers, and researchers.

The track is being organized by:

Kaylea Champion, Community Data Science Collective and the University of Washington

Molly de Blanc, Community Data Science Collective and Northwestern University

Benjamin Mako Hill, Community Data Science Collective and the University of Washington

Aaron Shaw, Community Data Science Collective and Northwestern University

Kaylea to present at ‘Women in Data Science’ Conference

Women in Data Science Puget Sound is part of a 50+-country conference series founded and organized in cooperation with Stanford University’s Data Science coalition. Anyone may attend, regardless of gender: events feature a speaker lineup composed of women in data science. The Puget Sound event is Tuesday, April 25 at the Expedia HQ in Seattle, and numerous affiliated regional and online events are scheduled in the coming weeks.

If you’re in the Seattle area, you might like to catch CDSC member Kaylea presenting a workshop! Here’s the pitch for attending her beginner-friendly session:

Let’s Re-think Political Bias & Build Our Own Classifier

How can we think about political bias without falling into assumptions about who's on what side and what that means?

Data science and ML offer us an alternative: we can parse political speech about a topic and use NLP/ML techniques to classify articles we scrape from the web.

In this hands-on workshop, we'll parse the Congressional Record, build a classifier, scrape search results, and analyze texts. You'll walk away with your own example of how to use data science to analyze political framing.

The full lineup of speakers for the Puget Sound conference is posted here. Tickets for the single-day event are $80 (see this link to request a discount code for half off).

Topics on the schedule for this event look juicy if quant work is your jam: AI, BERT, hypergraphs, visualization, forecasting, quantum computing, causal inference, survival analysis, writing better code and career management, with examples ranging from search, sales, and supply chain to economic disparity, DNA sequencing and saving wildlife!