Call for Papers: Special Issue on Digital Inclusion

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are crucial for individuals, organizations, and countries to participate in and benefit from today’s digital economy. However, “digital divide” persists, where the ability to access and use ICT effectively remains inequitable (Newman et al. 2017). Increased use of analytics and artificial intelligence has created new challenges where existing disparities and biases in digital inclusion are reinforced (Park and Humphry 2019). It is therefore important to understand this phenomenon of digital inclusion, so as to develop strategies and tactics to promote and enhance digital inclusion, where disadvantaged individuals, groups, and communities can have access to, and the necessary skills, to use ICT. Digital inclusion can also help address broader socioeconomic inequalities (Zaffar et al. 2019). Information Systems and e-Business Management (ISeB) supports such an increasingly important research area of digital inclusion, and plans to publish a special issue of high-quality papers devoted to the topic. The aim of this special issue is to foster research concerning technological, economic, and social factors that promote and enhance digital inclusion. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

•    Explorations and analysis of levels of digital inclusion and engagement in various communities
•    Factors affecting disadvantaged or underrepresented individuals, groups, and communities to adopt and effectively use emerging ICT
•    Role of technological, market, or policy designs towards addressing digital disparities
•    Implications, social welfare impacts, and consequences of digital inclusion in developed as well as developing countries. Examples include empowerment, poverty reduction, and healthcare benefits.
•    ICT designs and processes to promote digital inclusion and/or mitigate digital exclusion 

Submission and Review Process

Authors must submit the complete manuscripts through ISeB’s online submission system at by July 15th, 2020. Only manuscripts deemed to have a reasonable chance of acceptance in an accelerated review process will enter the first round of review. Authors must adhere to a strict schedule for submission and revision of manuscripts.

  • Submission Due: July 15th 2020
  • First Round of Editorial Decisions: September 15th 2020
  • Revision Due: November 15th 2020
  • Second Round of Editorial Decisions: December 15th 2020
  • Final Revision Due: January 15th 2021
  • Final Decision: February 15th 2021

Special Issue Editors

Ram Kumar, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

Chandrasekar Subramaniam, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

Kexin Zhao, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA


Newman, L., Browne-Yung, K., Raghavendra, P., Wood, D., and Grace, E. 2017. Applying a Critical Approach to Investigate Barriers to Digital Inclusion and Online Social Networking Among Young People with Disabilities. Information Systems Journal, 27(5), 559-588.

Park, S. and Humphry, J. 2019. Exclusion by Design: Intersections of Social, Digital, and Data Exclusion.  Information, Communication & Society, 22(7), 934-953.

Zaffar, A., Kumar, R.L., and Zhao, K., 2019. Using Agent‐Based Modelling to Investigate Diffusion of Mobile‐Based Branchless Banking Services in a Developing Country. Decision Support Systems, 117, 62-74.