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University of Bath

The Public Data Lab

A collaborative project which explores the creation and use of public data by mobilising a broad, interdisciplinary consortium of experts.

The Institute for Policy Research (IPR) collaborates with a group of researchers across Europe in the Public Data Lab.

The Public Data Lab seeks to facilitate research, democratic engagement and public debate around the future of the data society. It seeks to develop and disseminate innovative research, teaching, design and participation formats for the creation and use of public data.

It is a collaboration between an interdisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, journalists, civil society groups, designers, developers and public institutions across the world.

The Public Data Lab approach characterised by an interest in:

  • Intervention around social, political, economic and ecological issues;
  • Participation through involving different publics in the co-design of our work;
  • Artisanship in advancing the craft of developing data projects and experiences;
  • Openness in sharing our research, data and code for all to use.

Its first project, ‘A Field Guide to Fake News’, was launched at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. Further projects have involved research into data activism on air quality and tracing ‘public facts'.

Project team

The lab is coordinated by an interdisciplinary team of leading researchers in digital sociology, digital methods, science and technology studies, internet studies, policy studies and design studies.

In addition to the IPR at the University of Bath, the lab’s initial network currently includes researchers from:

  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (University of Warwick, UK)
  • Citizen Data Lab (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands)
  • Density Design (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
  • Department of Digital Humanities (King’s College London, UK)
  • Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Global Studies Institute (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Innovation Insights Hub (University of the Arts London, UK)
  • INRIA (France)
  • Media of Cooperation research group (University of Siegen, Germany)
  • Médialab (Sciences Po, Paris, France)
  • Techno-Anthropology Lab (Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • University of Ghent (Belgium)
  • University of Groningen (Netherlands)
  • Université de Rennes 1 (France)