We are delighted to welcome the 8th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016) to Bellevue, WA, USA, in November 2016. SocInfo is an interdisciplinary venue for researchers from Computer Science, Informatics, Social Sciences and Management Sciences to share ideas and opinions, and present original research work on studying the interplay between socially-centric platforms and social phenomena. The ultimate goal of Social Informatics is to create better understanding of socially-centric platforms not just as a technology, but also as a set of social phenomena. To that end, we are inviting interdisciplinary papers, on applying information technology in the study of social phenomena, on applying social concepts in the design of information systems, on applying methods from the social sciences in the study of social computing and information systems, on applying computational algorithms to facilitate the study of social systems and human social dynamics, and on designing information and communication technologies that consider social context.
This year’s special purpose of the conference is to to bridge the gap between the social sciences and computer science. We see the challenges of this as at least twofold. On the one hand, social scientific research is still largely overlooked and under-utilized in computational arenas. On the other, social scientists seldom take advantage of computational instruments and the richness of online-generated data. Our ambition is to make SocInfo a conference that is equally attractive to computer scientists and social scientists by putting emphasis on the methodology needed in the field of computational social science to reach long-term research objectives. We envision SocInfo as a venue that attracts open minded researchers who relax the methodological boundaries between informatics and social sciences so to identify common tools, research questions, and goals.