San Diego FAQs

What is this meeting for? Are we writing the handbook now?

This is an open call meeting for participants to tell us what, and who, should be included in each section. Which topics should we solicit essays on? Who should we approach to give us essays or shape reviews? What should our call for papers include? How do we get the broadest and most exciting range of essays in your section? You will basically join our editorial board, broadly construed, to shape the FieldGuide and its contents.

Who can apply to the workshop?

Any member of the STS community interested in participating in shaping the Field Guide.

Can you apply in teams for the workshop?

No. Everyone needs to submit an application. Each application will be treated on their own. However, we encourage team submissions for the field guide.

What is the plan for assembling the Field Guide?

The process is emergent and community driven. We expect our vision to evolve. At the moment, we have assembled an editorial team for the three major sections of the field guide. We are putting together an online platform for submissions and peer review. The San Diego Workshop will be an opportunity for participants to voice their opinions on the structure and process for the field guide. After this meeting, and when the platform is online, we will announce a deadline for submissions.

What is the Field Guide? I thought we were writing a Handbook…?

There is already a Handbook for STS (MIT Press) organized by the 4S council, and a new Handbook for Science and Technology Studies coming out from Routledge. We do not want to add to the confusion!

When can I submit a paper?

Following the 4S conference in 2013, we will establish an online platform for submission and review. Please join the digitalSTS mailing list an we will keep you posted. Write to

Do I need to have attended a digitalSTS event before?

No. If this is your first digitalSTS meeting, welcome! You can participate at any time. We welcome new members to help us expand what digitalSTS can be in our community. We will accept new and old members.

What if I can’t make it to 4S, can I still partcipate in the digitalSTS Field Guide?

Yes! The San Diego workshop will be a planning, and agenda setting event. There will be opportunities to join this effort through writing/making contributings, by collaboratively editing submissions, and by volunteering to peer review.

How will things move forward after 4S?

We will establish an online platform for collaborative editing and peer review. All our community members are welcome to participate and interact online to shape the Field Guide.

Why do we need a Field Guide?

Studies of digital systems, infrastructures, and experiences are expanding at 4S. The digital is no longer a specialist field of inquiry. Increasing numbers of scholars are confronting digital systems at their fieldsites, whether at laboratories, hospitals, or protests, and are reaching for the literature to do so. At the same time, STS scholars and literature is being invoked in a variety of domains outside of 4S: communications, human-computer interaction, and technology design among them. The Field Guide will aim on the one hand to bring together existing STS literatures that can help newcomers better analyze and approach the digital from an STS persepctive. At the same time, it is an opportunity to expand on our core strength as a field by developing robust new theory and new methods to fuel the future of STS research.


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