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This special issue focuses on the mechanisms for tackling issues of accountability in socio-technical systems. The goal is to provide a forum for proposing, describing and evaluating specific accountability mechanisms; exploring the challenges of transforming more abstract notions of accountability into practical implementations; for critical perspectives on different accountability approaches; highlighting the successes as well as challenges from practical use-cases; and so forth.

Recognizing that the challenges are socio-technical, we solicit papers from a range of disciplines. Given the practical focus of this special issue, we specifically encourage papers that discuss accountability from a technical, organisational, legal or STS perspective. We see this special issue as a way to close these gaps by engaging with the existing debate on accountability.

Potential areas of interest for submissions include, but are not limited to:

– user cognition and human behaviour in relation to the design of interfaces that promote accountability
– increasing the accountability of automated decision-making systems and decision-support systems;
– ensuring accountability in public sector systems
– perspectives to accountability in the context of real-world technologies
– contributions that bring together technical and non-technical perspectives
– critical examinations of existing accountability technologies and mechanisms aimed at gaining new insights about their socio-technical characteristics and implications.

In all these and further areas, accountability in socio-technical systems needs to be addressed more systematically. The concrete implementation of such accountability mechanisms has so far received only limited attention. Similarly, the challenges arising during such transformations of abstract accountability concepts into concrete implementations as well as the critical evaluation of respective implementations are only rarely covered by existing research. We see this special issue as a way to close these gaps by engaging with the existing debate on accountability.

Submission Guidelines

Authors should follow the Journal guidelines for paper submission. Full details are available here: