The theme on ‘Information-sharing—easy to say, but harder to do well’, which will be published in Public Money & Management in 2018, will bring together and debate issues around the area of information-sharing. The special editorial team for this theme is made up of UK- and US-based academics with the Centre of Information-Sharing Excellence (CEIS: see http://informationsharing.org.uk).
Previous experience in health, care, welfare and education services, where dispersed public services are managed using approaches such as information governance, suggest that it is highly unlikely that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ or purely bureaucratic or procedural approach to information-sharing, based on the requirements of one organizational perspective or governance framework, are going to ‘solve the problem’ on their own. An increase in the number and interconnectedness of information sources has led to an increase in complexity, rather than greater simplicity.
Dealing with complexity in the delivery of public services requires the development of appropriate tools and interpretative skills (both individually and collectively). We are still at the edge of our understanding in this arena. Concerns about Information-sharing are often founded in codes of ethics, confidentiality and ways of working, but can also arise from a lack of confidence in the systems and resource scaffolding supporting or facilitating information-sharing, such as legislation, organizational structures or information systems. Paradoxically, individuals, communities and organizations are increasingly savvy about the need to understand the provenance of information that is being shared—who published what, about whom, when, in what context, and with what authority?—and they need the skills and tools to make judgements based on all of these issues.
Members of the editorial team for this theme recently completed a review for the CEIS and found that the literature on information-sharing is dispersed over a wide variety of academic disciplines, policies, and professional contexts. In addition, the term ‘information-sharing’ is used in a number of different ways, and is taken to mean different things.
This PMM theme will explore whether it is possible to draw a line under the current practices, which suffer from systemic problems, to signal a more sophisticated approaches which could lead to better service co-ordination, practitioner confidence, Information-sharing behaviour and service delivery. The theme will also open up the much-needed debate about how local communities, families and individuals can work together with the state to improve their mutual Information-sharing capacity and relationships (internally and externally).
As well as research papers (up to 6000 words including references), the theme will include a debate articles (up to 1000 words) and new development articles (up to 3000 words). All submissions must be suitable for both academic and reflective practitioner readers. Debate and new development articles will be reviewed by the theme’s editorial team and research papers will double-blind refereed by both an academic and a practitioner. See www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpmm for information on preparing a submission.
Outline proposals of 500 words for debate and new development articles and 1000–1500 words for research papers should be sent direct to Rob.Wilson@ncl.ac.uk (do not use the journal’s online system) by the end of April 2017. Successful prospective authors will be then invited to complete full submissions for full review. Publication is scheduled for 2018.
- Theme Editorial Team: Rob Wilson, Newcastle University (Rob.Wilson@ncl.ac.uk)
- Theme Editorial Team: Sue Baines, MMU Business School
- Theme Editorial Team: James Cornford, UEA
- Theme Editorial Team: Stephen Curtis, CEIS
- Theme Editorial Team: Ramon Gil-Garcia, University at Albany
- Theme Editorial Team: Sue Richardson, University of Bradford
- Theme Editorial Team: Nicola Underdown, CEIS