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Exploring the Feasibility of A Digital Government Journal

Exploring the Feasibility of A Digital Government Journal -...

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Page 1 Copyright, Center for Technology in Government, 2004 Highlights: Exploring the Feasibility of A Digital Government Journal Sharon S. Dawes, Natalie Helbig, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany/SUNY 1. S UMMARY The last ten years have been a time of growth and formalization for digital government (DG) research. An emerging community of DG researchers is comprised of scholars from computer and information sciences, as well as the social and behavioral sciences. Questions being addressed by DG researchers cut across almost every domain of public service and every aspect of information management, technology, and infrastructure. In addition, the rising number of collaborative projects, cross-disciplinary studies, and multi-method approaches, and their growing appeal to multiple audiences, demonstrate the breadth and scope of DG research initiatives. This kind of research is non-traditional and is often not well suited to publication in traditional disciplinary journals. Therefore, two main questions were explored by this study. First, to what extent is there a need for a journal which is dedicated to the publication of digital government research? Second, what is the feasibility and desirability of a dedicated journal compared to other publication strategies? Survey results indicated that DG researchers do experience problems publishing their work in traditional disciplinary journals. More than half of the respondents reported that they often experienced difficulty identifying suitable journals in which to publish their work, encountered reviewers who do not sufficiently understand DG issues, and were forced to disaggregate multidisciplinary research into disciplinary elements in order to be published. As a result, respondents gave roughly equal endorsement to two publishing strategies that they felt would further their own publishing agendas as well as promote the visibility, legitimacy, and influence of DG as a field of research. These strategies included organizing DG special issues in existing disciplinary journals and creating a new journal dedicated to digital government research. The vast majority of respondents said they would submit articles to these sources, would serve as reviewers and editorial board members for a new journal, and would also organize special issues in existing journals. The next sections briefly detail the research study design and key findings.
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Page 2 Copyright, Center for Technology in Government, 2004 2. M ETHOD For purposes of this study, we defined digital government research as the application of computer and information sciences, as well as the social and behavioral sciences, to the information-related needs, problems, and missions of government agencies and democratic societies. A 62-item survey was created to elicit the publishing experiences, opinions, preferences, and professional characteristics of individuals conducting digital government research.
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