Data for Policy 2020

Fifth International Data for Policy Conference will take place in London on September 15-16, 2020 (Pre-conference workshops on September 14).

The Data for Policy conference series is the premier global forum for multiple disciplinary and cross-sector discussions around the theories, applications and implications of data science innovation in governance and the public sector. In partnership with Cambridge University Press, the conference series has also entered into a new open-access peer-reviewed journal venture, Data & Policy, in order to capture and archive scholarly discussions in this fast-growing field.

Currently we have an open call for conference Special Track proposals leading to Special Journal Issues/Collections in Data & Policy, a Data for Policy – Cambridge University Press collaboration supported by the Alan Turing Institute, Office for National Statistics and UCL. 

For more information please click here.

The general Call for Papers, Panels and Workshops will be made in due course. 


International Organisation Committee:

Leigh Anderson – University of Washington
Emanuele Baldacci – European Commission
Jon Crowcroft – University of Cambridge, Alan Turing Institute
Zeynep Engin – University College London
Innar Liiv – Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Christoph Luetge – Institute of Ethics and AI, ITM, Munchen
H. Scott Matthews – Carnegie Mellon University
Barbara Ubaldi – OECD, Paris
StefaanVerhulst – New York University
Barbara Ubaldi – OECD, Paris

Advisory Committee:

Jean Bacon – University of Cambridge
Kenneth Benoit – London School of Economics and Political Science
Anil Bharath – Imperial College London
Gabrielle Demange – Paris School of Economics
Anthony Finkelstein – UK Government Office for Science
Rayid Ghani – University of Chicago
David Hand – Winton Capital Management; Imperial College
Helen Margetts – University of Oxford; The Alan Turing Institute
Beth Noveck – New York University
Alan Penn – University College London
Rob Procter – University of Warwick; The Alan Turing Institute
Peter Smith – University of Southampton
Tom Smith – Office for National Statistics, UK
John Shawe-Taylor – University College London
John Taysom – Privitar
Philip Treleaven– University College London
Dame Alison Wolf – King’s College London
Derek Wyatt – Royal Trinity Hospice; All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics
Milan Vojnovic– London School of Economics and Political Science

Programme Committee:

David Bounie – Telecom ParisTech
Daniel Castro – Centre for Data Innovation
Suleyman Demirsoy – Intel
Bilal Gokpinar – University College London
Jasmine Grimsley – Office for National Statistics, UK
Jose Manuel Magallanes – University of Washington; Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru
Eric T. Meyer – The University of Texas at Austin, University of Oxford
Slava Mikhaylov – University of Essex
Suzy Moat – University of Warwick; The Alan Turing Institute
Mirco Musolesi – University College London; The Alan Turing Institute
Martijn Poel – Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands
Tobias Preis – University of Warwick; The Alan Turing Institute
Ralph Schroder – University of Oxford
Jatinder Singh – University of Cambridge
Akin Unver – Kadir Has University
Michael Veale – University College London
Diana Vlad-Calcic – European Commission
Andrew Young – New York University
Louisa Zanoun – UK Science and Innovation Network


Emre Kazim – Conference Manager, UCL
Andrew Hyde – Data & Policy Journal, Cambridge University Press

Conference Timeline:


Deadline for Special Track proposals 11 February 2020
Call for Papers & Workshops – announcement 18 February 2020
Extended abstract deadline 20 April 2020
Notification of acceptance 18 May 2020
Registration deadline for presenters 17 July 2020
Discussion paper submissions  30 July 2020
Public registration deadline 20 August 2020
Pre-conference workshops 14 September 2020
Main conference 15-16 September 2020

Call for conference Special Track proposals leading to Special Collections in Data & Policy

The Data for Policy conference series is the premier global forum for multiple disciplinary and cross-sector discussions around the theories, applications and implications of data science innovation in governance and the public sector. The conference series has also entered into a new open-access peer-reviewed journal venture, Data & Policy (, published by Cambridge University Press and supported by the Alan Turing Institute, the Office for National Statistics and UCL, in order to capture assess and disseminate scholarly discussions in this fast-growing field.

Convening for the fifth time in September 2020, the International Organisation Committee for the conference invites Special Track proposals at the conference, leading to the peer-review and potential publication of a Special Collection of articles in Data & Policy after the conference. 

Topics covered include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Data, Governance and Policy: Digital era citizenship, governance and democracy; data and sustainability, data and politics, evidence and information, data-algorithm-policy interactions, public-private sector collaborations, best practices;
  • Governance Technologies (GovTech): Machine Learning (ML) / Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Blockchain Distributed Ledger and Smart Contract Technologies, Behavioural and Predictive Analytics, Internet of Things, Information Security, location-based technologies, user-interaction technologies (chatbots, platforms etc.), and other relevant technologies;
  • Systems & Infrastructure: Data collection, capture, storage, sharing/transactions, processing and visualization systems, mobile applications and web services, high performance computing, distributed and decentralized systems, and other relevant topics;
  • Data Processing & Knowledge Generation: Data representation and pre-processing, data integration, real-time and historical data analysis, mathematical and statistical models, ‘data-driven’ analysis, mixed methodologies, secondary data analysis, web mining, Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), gaps in theory and practice, other relevant topics;
  • Policy for Data & Management: Data governance and regulatory frameworks; General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); data ownership, curation, sharing and linkage; meta-data, standards and interoperability, responsible innovation in governance;
  • Trust, Privacy, Ethics & Law: Personal data sharing, data integrity, algorithm agency and accountability, ‘trustworthiness’ of autonomous systems, algorithmic transparency and interpretability, citizen-government-private sector interactions, citizen/public rights and free speech, other social/ethical concerns and technology responses. 

Instructions for Special Track submissions: 

Those interested in organising a Special Track at Data for Policy 2020 Conference should send a brief description (up to 1000 words) through the conference submission system. If the Special Track is proposed by a group, one person should be identified as the Chair to coordinate with the Data for Policy Team in submissions and the review process. 

The Special Track descriptions should cover the following information: 

  • The title of the proposed Special Track;
  • An overview of the motivation and topics to be covered;
  • How the collection fits within the scope of the conference themes;
  • Your plans to circulate your Special Track announcement to reach relevant communities and networks;
  • Whether you are interested in editing a Special Collection in Data & Policy, deriving from the Special Track, which will involve guiding submitted articles through the journal’s peer review process, supported by the Data & Policy editorial team and publisher.

The deadline for Special Track Proposals is 11 February 2020

Following review, Special Track leads will be informed and successful proposals will be featured in the main call for papers for the conference.  

Special Track assessment process: 

The timeline for the Data for Policy 2020 Conference, including assessment of the Special Track proposals, the Call for Papers and assessment of those papers, is provided at the end of this announcement. 

If their proposal is accepted, Special Track Chairs will play an active role in the run up to and during the conference. We expect Special Track Chairs to: 

  • Circulate an announcement about their Special Track to their networks, following the Call for Papers sent by the Data for Policy conference team on 11 February 2020 that will ask interested authors to submit extended abstracts; 
  • Review the extended abstracts relevant to their Special Tracks and make a recommendation to the conference Organisation Committee, who will notify those accepted to present at the conference on 18 May 2020; 
  • Organise the programme for their Special Track at the conference, in conjunction with the conference Organisation Committee – which will, for example, involve the grouping of submissions into panels; 
  • Observe the presentations and panels related to their Special Track at the conference and briefly report back on its success to the conference Organisation Committee; 
  • Make assessments about the potential for publications arising from the Special Track, especially if the Chair wishes to edit a Special Collection in Data & Policy.

Special Collections in Data & Policy

Following the launch of Data & Policy at the last Data for Policy conference, we invite Special Track Chairs to also become actively involved in the process of editing a Special Collection in the journal related to their Track.

This does imply additional work beyond the timeline of the conference, so it is not required, but it is something we encourage in the interest of further disseminating scholarly discussion about data science, governance and the public sector. 

Those accepted to present at the conference will be given two complementary options for disseminating their paper and related materials. They will be encouraged to use the Data for Policy community platform on Zenodo (, an open repository, in order to make their conference paper and any related materials – such slides, audio, video, datasets and code – available at the time of the conference. 

In addition, authors will have the option of submitting their paper to Data & Policy, in order to undergo a peer review process that could potentially lead to formal publication in the journal. 

Special Track Chairs wishing to become involved in the editorial process are invited to act as Guest Editors of Special Collections in Data & Policy. This will involve:

  • Short-listing of the Special Track papers to those that form a thematically coherent collection of publications, presenting the key issues; 
  • Guiding submitted papers through the journal’s peer review process (inviting reviewers, recommending decisions to the Data & Policy Editors-in-Chief); 
  • Writing an editorial to introduce the Special Collection.

Note that the timeline for Special Collections will extend well beyond that of the conference, with submissions and peer review beginning 30 July 2020 and potentially taking place through 2021. All submitted articles will be peer-reviewed independently, and accepted or rejected on their own merits according to the journal’s process. 

Data & Policy is a collaborative effort to produce for this community a peer-reviewed and authoritative resource about the potential and implications of data science for governance, and Special Track Chairs interested in editing Special Collections will receive plenty of support from both the Data & Policy editorial team and the journal’s publisher, Cambridge University Press. 


For all questions related to Special Tracks at the conference, please contact; and for questions relating to Special Collections in Data & Policy, please contact


Currently submissions are open for Special Track proposals – main conference paper call will be announced soon.




 Abstract Submission Guidelines:

Submissions will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. Special Track: Those interested in organising a Special Track at Data for Policy 2020 Conference should send a brief description (up to 1000 words) through the conference submission system. If the Special Track is proposed by a group, one person should be identified as the Chair to coordinate with the Data for Policy Team in submissions and the review process.
  2. Individual Research/Policy/Practitioner Proposals:Up to 1000-word extended abstract should be submitted including a title, research/policy question, research methodology and data used, and key findings. All submitted research papers will be considered for special journal issues.
  3. Session Proposals: Session proposals welcome a combination of 3-4 presentations from researchers and/or practitioners each providing a max-1000 word abstract. A max 500-word description of the panel should also be submitted.
  4. Poster Submissions:All individual submissions to the conference will first be considered for oral presentation and then for poster sessions at the conference. Those who wish to make submission for the poster sessions only should make a standard submission indicating at the top that they are only interested in presenting a poster. Please note that all posters at the conference will be considered for the poster competition at the conference and if you want to omit this option, please indicate this at the top of your submission.

Submissions will be assessed according to following criteria:

  • Potential contribution to the debates in the field
  • Potential for stimulating debate in the Conference
  • Freshness of the content, novelty and originality
  • Formulation of the research/policy question
  • Data and methodology
  • Quality of writing and presentation

Extended abstract submissions should be made via EasyChair. Authors are invited to enter their name(s), title and abstract, and keywords. A number of ‘Submission Categories’ are then presented, from which authors can choose the most relevant.



In order to make a submission for the pre-conference workshops and tutorials, authors must first download the pre-conference workshop form:

Workshop Submission Form 

After completing this form, the submission should be made via EasyChair. Authors are invited to enter their name(s), title and abstract, and keywords. This is largely repeated in the form.

In the ‘Submission Category’ section, please select ‘Pre-Conference Workshop or Tutorial’.


Discussion paper submission guidelines:

Accepted authors will be invited to submit their Conference Papers on the Zenodo platform (Data for Policy community profile). Authors who cannot submit full papers will be invited to upload presentations. Instructions for uploading to Zenodo (

  1. After logging in to Zenodo click on the ‘Upload’ tab. Following this select the ‘New Upload’ option.
  2. After ‘Dragging/Choosing files’, search ‘Data for Policy’ under the ‘Communities’ section (users will need to scroll down the options and identify the Data for Policy logo).
  3. The next step is to select from the ‘Upload Type’. Here, those submitting Discussion/Forum Papers should select the ‘Publication’ option. Then, select ‘Conference Paper’ from the ‘Publication Type’ option. Those submitting Presentations should choose the ‘Presentation’ option.
  4. Zenodo will generate a DOI, as such under the ‘Basic Information’ section authors should fill only the ‘Tile’, ‘Authors’, ‘Description’ and ‘Key Words’.
  5. The default option under ‘Licencing’ is Open access. This option is encouraged, however, when appropriate authors can select the restricted options.
  6. At this point, authors will be able to ‘Publish’, all other information is optional.

Submissions should align with the instructions provided by the Data & Policy Journal.   

Please name your file as:

  • Submission Number_Last (family) name of the corresponding author for the paper
    (e.g. 141_Brown)

All submissions will be first used for conference discussions and then considered for conference proceedings and other post-conference publications (e.g. special journal issues and policy reports).

Participant guidelines: 

All participants of the conference are kindly required to read the following guidelines to ensure smooth running of the programme:

Guidelines for Audience & Participants:

  1. Kindly reach the venue on time. There are several parallel sessions, as such, participants should choose which panels they will attend in advance and plan accordingly.
  2. There will be plenty of opportunities to debate, ask questions and share your views. In addition to Question & Answer sections, there are other opportunities during breaks and other networking times for further discussions and private conversations.
  3. Kindly avoid using mobile phones during the sessions. However, you are encouraged to send social media updates about the discussions in the session.

Guidelines for Oral Presenters:

  1. All accepted Discussion Papers/Abstracts will be made available to the conference attendees.
  2. All presenters will be allotted 12-15 minutes (depending on the number of presentations per session) to make their oral presentation, this includes question and answer.
  3. Presenters must bring a copy of their presentation in suitable format saved in a USB stick/Flash drive.
  4. Organize the contents of the slides selectively. The content of the slides need not to be 100% same as the Extended Abstract/Discussion Paper.
  5. You may consider bringing 10-15 sets of hard copies/photocopies of your Extended Abstract or Full Paper or PowerPoint slides/handouts based on your preference.

Guidelines for Poster Presenters:

  1. Please ensure you provide the following information on your poster: (a) Title and your name (clearly highlighted), (b) Contact information for yourself and co-authors, their affiliations, addresses and e-mails (c) Background of your project (d) Method (e) Results (f) Conclusions / Future work (if any) (g) Literature cited 4. The size of the poster should be A1 paper size (height = 841mm; width = 594mm) in portrait orientation.
  2. Please avoid using too many words. The ideal poster should contain between 700-800 words maximum.
  3. Your poster should provide a clear flow of information from introduction to conclusion, and focus on major findings.
  4. You can use the following websites for sample poster templates:,, .
  5. You are advised to prepare a 3-min oral summary of your poster for delegates interested in your poster.
  6. You may consider bringing 10-15 sets of hard copies/photocopies of your Extended Abstract or Full Paper or PowerPoint slides/handouts based on your preference, to distribute to interested participants.

Guideline for Session Chairs

Activities before the session:

  1. You are kindly expected to check the Conference Schedule and be clear about the exact date, time, venue and room of the session that you are chairing.
  2. Please also read the Guidelines for Authors and Guidelines for Audience/Participants to avoid any communication gap.
  3. Your main role is to encourage the presenters to share their knowledge on the topic and encourage the participants to have an intellectual discussion on the subject.
  4. We also invite you to note any critical issues raised during presentations/discussions, to contribute to the post-conference report.
  5. We kindly invite you to familiarise yourself with the Extended Abstracts/Discussion prior to the session.
  6. Announce that the total time allocated for the session is 60 minutes, with 45 minutes for presentations and 15 minutes for discussion. Depending on whether three or four presentations are in the session, each speaker should be allocated 12-15 minutes and 4-5 minutes for Question and Answer. It is up to you to make a decision whether to take questions for each presentation after the main talks or have a combined 15-minute discussion at the end.

Activities during the session:

  1. As an expert, we also encourage you to share your views, reflections and observations on the paper as per the time available.

Activities after the session:

  1. Please kindly complete your Session Chair’s Report on the same day and email to conference conveners. This report should include: Any feedback on presentations, on session arrangements, and critical questions raised during your session, which have potential to contribute to post-conference publications.

Please refer any questions to our team at

Registration via Bank Transfer:

We accept registrations via bank transfer* to:

Data for Policy CIC
National Westminster Bank (NatWest)
Account Number: 33915806
Sort Code: 56-00-31

International transfers:

IBAN: GB78NWBK56003133915806

[IMPORTANT NOTE]: If you are registering via bank transfer, please send full delegate information – full name including title, email address, institution, and submission number (presenting delegates only) – and the payment reference to after completing the bank transfer.

Terms & Conditions

We take receipt of a completed registration form as acceptance of the following terms and conditions:

  • Registration with full payment of the conference fees must be received before the registration deadlines:
    • Presenting delegates must register by 31st of May, latest to secure their time slot in the main conference programme. Each delegate can register to present only one paper at the conference and if multiple papers are accepted from the same author, they should either invite co-authors to present additional papers or indicate their preferred paper for presentation at the conference.
    • Public registration to the conference is limited and places will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. If the spaces are filled earlier, the registration will be closed before the deadline. Please note that access to the conference venues will not be permitted without advance registration.
  • Registration fees are non-transferable and cancellations of registration with full refund are allowed until the registration deadline that applies to the delegate. Registration fees are non-refundable after deadlines.
  • Delegates are responsible to arrange their accommodation and travel. Organisers of the conference recommend these arrangements to be made as early as possible to avoid any disappointment as the conference dates may coincide with other major events in the UCL region.
  • Organisers cannot accept any liability for personal injuries or for loss or damage to property belonging to the delegates, either during, or as a result of the conference. Please check the validity of your own personal insurance before travelling.
  • Photography and video-recording will take place at conference venues to be used for post-conference publications and other related online/printed material to be produced by Data for Policy. Any reservations about this condition should be sent to prior to the conference to avoid any disappointment in the future.
  • “I agree to Data for Policy processing personal data contained within the registration process, or other data which may be obtained from me or other people whilst I am applying for the conference.  I agree to the processing of such data for any purpose connected with my attendance at the conference, or my health and safety whilst on event premises.”
  • The organisers reserve the right to change conference programme and venue details, and to cancel the conference in case of any unpredictable event.

Registration Fees:

Standard registration (Government/Industry): £850
Academic/Non-profit registration: £550
Student registration: £350
Pre-conference Workshop/Tutorial registration: £150

Programme Details will follow in the lead up to the conference.

The Data for Policy 2020 Conference is being hosted by University College London.

University College London
Wilkins Building
Gower St, Bloomsbury,
London WC1E 6BT

UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university. Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was the first university in England to welcome students of any religion and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men.

UCL operates in a global context and is committed to excellence, innovation and the promotion of global understanding in all of its activities: research, teaching, learning, enterprise and community engagement. Its distinctive approach seeks to inspire its community of staff, students and partners to transform how the world is understood, how knowledge is created and shared and the way that global problems are solved.


UCL is located in the Bloomsbury district at the very centre of London.

Bus: UCL’s Gower Street site is served by many Transport for London bus routes. Buses travelling from north to south stop in Gower Street, immediately outside UCL’s main gate, while those travelling from south to north stop outside Warren Street station, about five minutes’ walk from UCL. Services to these stops include route numbers: 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390.

London Underground: The closest tube stations to UCL’s Gower Street site are Euston Square (Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and Circle lines), Warren Street (Northern and Victoria lines), Euston (Northern and Victoria lines) and Russell Square (Piccadilly line)

Rail Overground: London has many mainline rail stations. Most of these are a short journey away from UCL, with the stations at Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras being within easy walking distance. Trains from London serve destinations across the UK.


Delegates are responsible for securing their own accommodation whilst in London. There are numerous hotels and other accommodation options within walking distance of the Conference Centre.

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