Lecturer in Information Studies, University of Sheffield

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.

Experience

  • –present
    Lecturer in Information Studies and Society, University of Sheffield