Internet Research 4.0

[please distribute widely]

Call for Papers – IR 4.0: Broadening the Band
International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 16-19

Lead organizer Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto

Submission site opens: January 15, 2003
Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2003

Conference Website: |

Digital communications networks such as the Internet are changing the way people interact with each other, with profound effects on social relations and institutions. Yet many remain excluded from access and meaningful participation. It is timely to consider who is included, who is excluded and what we now know about the composition and activities of online communities.

Internet Research (IR) 4.0 will feature a variety of perspectives on Internet, organized under the theme Broadening the Band. As in previous conferences, the aim is to develop a coherent theoretical and pragmatic understanding of the Internet and those that are empowered and disenfranchised by it. IR 4.0 will bring together prominent scholars, researchers, creators, and practitioners from many disciplines, fields and countries for a program of presentations, panel discussions, and informal exchanges.

IR 4.0 will take place at the Hilton Hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto. The conference is hosted by a team led by the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) and its partners at the University of Toronto. The IR 4.0 steering and working committees reflect the growing pan-Canadian network of Internet researchers, including members from Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick, in addition to the local contingent from Toronto, York and Ryerson Universities.

This year's theme, Broadening the Band, encourages wide participation from diverse disciplines, communities, and points of view. Under the umbrella theme, contributors are called to reflect upon, theorize and articulate what we know from within the emerging interdisciplinary space known as Internet Research.

In a cultural sense, the theme calls attention to the need to examine access, inclusion and exclusion in online communities. What role do race, gender, class, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, geography, and other factors play in the degree of online participation? What are the indicators of meaningful participation?

In a technical sense, the theme points to the development of broadband, wireless and post-internet networks and applications that are currently coming on-stream including community, private, public as well as national research networks (e.g. CA*net 4, Internet 2). We plan to use these technologies to make the conference an internet-mediated and internationally accessible event.

In an organizational sense, the theme reflects a widening of AoIR's reach to include more researchers and constituencies involved in the evolution of the Internet. French language presentations will be included in the call for papers for the first time. Researchers and practitioners in the arts and culture sectors are encouraged to participate alongside social scientists and humanities scholars and researchers.

In a thematic sense, “Broadening the Band” suggests widening the scope of topics and problematics considered within past conferences, while retaining the consistent emphasis on rigorous research work. This call for papers thus initiates an inclusive search for theoretical and methodological correspondences between this expanding theme and the many disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that are required to address it with precision.

Possible Topics:
– Who is bridging what: questions and answers on the digital divide
– New directions in digital art
– E-me, e-you? (E- Health, E-Governance, E-Commerce,E-Business, E-games, E-entertainment, E-other)
– Ethnicity, Race, Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Language(s) and Diverse Cultural Contexts Online
– Who Decides: Ethics, Law, Politics and Policy of the Internet
– We can't measure that, can we? Meaningful Indicators for Internet Access, Participation, Use and Effects
– Who owns what? Value, Space, and Commons on the Internet
– Is there an Author, a Publisher, or writing on the internet?
– Transformed by Technics: New Technologies and The Post-Internet Age
– Who is watching your computer, when You're not watching it….
– When we are glocal: the internet in global and local manifestations
– I put my lesson plans on the internet, what changed? Teaching, Learning and the Internet
– Digital media and terror/ism: global flows, economies, and surveillance
– Social movements, net-based activism, and hactivism in a global arena
– Which methods, whose theories? determining approaches to internet research
– Why did we digitize that, and what's it worth? Exploring the value of digital content

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to trigger ideas and encourage submissions from a range of disciplines. The organizers will take an active role in generating and joining the various interests into appropriate formats.

Submission of Proposals

The Association of Internet Researchers invites paper, presentation, and panel proposals from AoIR members and non-members on topics that address social, cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic aspects of the Internet. We welcome interdisciplinary submissions as well as submissions from within specific disciplines. French language presentations will be included in the call for papers for the first time. We especially seek panel proposals that establish connections across disciplines, institutions, and/or continents. We also encourage creative presentations that will make use of Internet technologies and artistic techniques. Proposals for papers should be in the form an approximately 500-750 word abstract. Creative presentations and demonstration projects should consist of an approximately 500-750 word abstract, plus brief illustrative material. Panels will generally include three to four papers or presentations. The panel organizer should submit an approximately 500 word statement describing the session topic, include abstracts of up to 250 words for each paper or presentation, and indicate that each author is willing to participate in the session. Abstracts and proposals may be submitted for review in English or in French.

Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted abstracts on the basis of peer review, coordinated and overseen by the Program Chair, assisted by sub-chairs with expertise in specific areas of scholarly and aesthetic knowledge relating to the Internet.

Proposals can be for three types of contribution to the conference: – papers, creative presentations, and panels. Each person is invited to submit a proposal for 1 paper or 1 presentation. People may also propose a panel of papers or presentations, of which their personal paper or presentation must be a part. Average time allotted for a paper or creative presentation will be 20 minutes. Average time allotted for a panel will be 1 hour and 30 minutes, including discussion time.

Detailed information about format of submission and review is available at the conference website All proposals must be submitted electronically at (_note_ – submission site opens January 15, 2003).


Submission site available: January 15, 2003
Final date for proposal submission: March 1, 2003
Author notification: April 1, 2003
Presenter's Registration to the conference: September 1, 2003
Student Award: Completed paper: September 1, 2003

Graduate Students:

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. They should note their student status with submission in order to be considered for a special Student Award. Students wishing to be a candidate for the Student Award must also send a final paper by 1st September 2003.

Canadian graduate students outside of central Canada should note that funds may be available for travel and subsistence. Notice will be sent out to the AoIR list as soon as funding commitments are confirmed.

To ensure diverse participation, registration fees will be kept low for presenters, and a billeting and room sharing system will be established. Simultaneous French language translation will be available (subject to budgetary considerations) in certain sessions.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Prior to the conference, there will be a limited number of pre-conference workshops which will provide participants with in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals for these pre-conference workshops; local presenters are encouraged to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1000 words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth, hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic connections. These proposals and all inquires regarding pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to the Conference Chair, and will be accepted up to June 15th. Notification of terms and space allocations will be sent out as soon as details are confirmed, with final acceptance required by June 30, 2003.


If you have questions about the conference, program, or AoIR, please contact:

Program Chair: Matthew Allen, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
– All inquiries on review and acceptances

Program Co-chair: David Mitchell, University of Calgary
– Inquiries on conference themes and special technology themes

Conference Chair: Liss Jeffrey, Knowledge Media Design Institute and McLuhan Program, University of Toronto
– All inquiries on Toronto conference and pre-conference workshops

Associate coordinator: Katherine Parrish, OISE/University of Toronto

AoIR President: Steve Jones

Association Website:

Conference Website: |