Dr Jo Bates
Lecturer in Information Studies and Society
BA (Keele), MA (Nottingham), MA (Manchester Metropolitan)
|Telephone (UK):||0114 222 2648|
|Telephone (International):||+44 114 222 2648|
My main research interest is the political economy of data, particularly datasets that are produced by public bodies and which are often referred to as Public Sector Information or PSI.
Data is increasingly being recognised as a valuable economic and political resource. Resultantly, there has been much recent activity around the development of public data policy, one example being the emergence of Open Government Data initiatives, initially in the UK and USA and now internationally.
My research focuses on understanding the social-cultural and political economic factors shaping these developments, including the ideas, practices and policies shaping the production and distribution of public datasets and their re-use by third parties including citizens and businesses.
My PhD research focused specifically on the UK's Open Government Data (OGD) initiative. Using a theoretical framework based on ideas developed within neo-Gramscian critical political economy, I developed an explanatory framework aimed at better understanding the social forces and interests across civil society, state and industry working to shape the UK's Open Government Data initiative, and to what ends, during the first two years of the Coalition government (2010-12).
My broad research field therefore incorporates topics such as state transparency and openness, political economic power, data-driven democratic and civic participation, re-use of public sector information, data policy communities and campaigns, and ‘open’ models of information distribution and re-use.
I am involved in the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI).
Much of my teaching focuses on the relationship between informatics, digital technologies and society. This includes teaching topics related to information policy, politics and ethics (for example, intellectual property, transparency, surveillance) across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.
At undergraduate level, I am module co-ordinator for INF121 Informatics in Society, and I teach on INF340 Information Systems and the Information Society.
I also teach on the following postgraduate modules: Information Systems and the Information Society, Health Information and Information Governance.
Bates, J, 2013, The Domestication of Open Government Data Advocacy in the United Kingdom: A Neo-Gramscian Analysis. Policy & Internet, 5(1), pp. 118–137.
Bates, J, 2012, ‘This is what modern de-regulation looks like’: co-optation and contestation in the United Kingdom’s Open Government Data initiative, Journal of Community Informatics (Special Issue on Open Data), 8(2), Available online:
Bates, J & Rowley, J, 2011, ‘Social reproduction and exclusion in subject indexing: a comparison of public library OPACs and LibraryThing folksonomy’, Journal of Documentation, 67(3), pp.431 – 448
Bates, J. 2013. Information Policy and the Crises of Neoliberalism: the case of Open Government Data in the UK at International Association for Media and Communication Research Conference, Dublin, June 25-29 2013.
Martin C, Davies T, Bates J. 2013. Socio-Technical Transitions Pathways for UK Open Government Data at ACM Web Science 2013, Paris, May 2-4 2013
Bates, J. 2012, Building consent: strategy and power in the development of the United Kingdom’s Open Government Data initiative at 22nd World Congress of Political Science, Madrid, July 2012
Bates, J. 2012. The Politics of Open Government Data: A Neo-Gramscian Analysis of the United Kingdom's Open Government Data Initiative. Manchester Metropolitan University. Available at: http://e-space.openrepository.com/e-space/handle/2173/303783
Invited blog posts
Bates, J. 2013. Big data lets global corps bet on the threat of climate change, The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/big-data-lets-global-corps-bet-on-the-threat-of-climate-change-19501
Bates, J. 2013. Placing Bets on the Climate, SPERI Comment (hosted by Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield). Available at: http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/10/24/placing-bets-climate/
Bates, J. 2013. Productive Freedom and the Political Economy of Hacking, Mobilizing Ideas (hosted by Center for the Study of Social Movements, University of Notre Dame). Available at: http://mobilizingideas.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/productive-freedom-and-the-political-economy-of-hacking/
Bates, J. 2013. Opening Up Public Data, SPERI Comment (hosted by Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield). Available at: http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/05/21/opening-public-data/
- Careers Liaison Officer
- Deputy Ethics Coordinator
MOLE Governance Group