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Call for papers - Special Issue for Social Cybersecurity in Times of Crisis

Monday, February 15, 2021

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Call for Papers

Special Issue for Social Cybersecurity in Times of Crisis

Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory (CMOT) will publish a special issue devoted to the topic of Social Cybersecurity in Times of Crisis.  This includes computational social science papers that address any of the core social cybersecurity themes that are theoretically grounded and methodologically sound. It is anticipated that many  papers will employ one or more of the following methods: simulation, machine learning, network analysis, data or social media analytics. The core areas are:

  • Social Cyber-Forensics: Who is conducting social cybersecurity attacks?
  • Information Maneuvers: What are the strategies used to conduct an attack?
  • Intent Identification: What is the perpetrators motive?
  • Diffusion: Tracing the attackers and the impact of the attack across multiple social media.
  • Effectiveness of Information Campaigns: Quantifying the effectiveness of the social cyber-security attack in real time
  • Mitigation:  How can a social cyber-security attack be mitigated?
  • Governance:  What policies and laws are needed?

Of particular interest are papers that touch on the COVID-19 pandemic, presidential elections, community resiliency in the face of natural disasters, or any other major crisis or change. 


Papers should be in the range of 6000 to 8000 words.  All papers will be refereed.

The editors of the special issue are Dr. Kathleen M. Carley ( and Dr. David Danks (

The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2021.  Papers should be submitted at  When submitting your paper, please select the special issue “S.I. : Social Cybersecurity in Times of Crisis” .

You can suggest either Dr. Danks or Dr. Carley as the editor of choice.

Rationale of this issue

Social cybersecurity is the science to characterize, understand, and forecast cyber-mediated changes in human behavior, social, cultural and political outcomes, and the engineering to build the cyber-infrastructure needed for society to persist in its essential character in a cyber-mediated information environment under changing conditions, actual or imminent social cyber-threats.  Where cybersecurity focuses on hacking machines, social cybersecurity is concerned with hacking people – capturing and altering their hearts and minds.  Social cybersecurity is needed both in times of stability and peace, and even more in times of crisis.

2020 has been a year marked by worldwide crises and changes, including a global pandemic, efforts to increase social justice, nation-shaping elections, massive wildfires and other environmental events, to name just a few. These crises and changes—in particular, their social dimensions—have been directly impacted and shaped by disinformation, influence campaigns, and other efforts to undermine people’s understanding and autonomy.

A virtual conference on Social-cybersecurity in Times of Crisis and Change in October 2020. Advanced research presented at that conference raised a number of questions, that we hope to see addressed in this special issue.  For example, how does the unprecedented scale of false information and its spread impact human activity in times of crisis and social change? And, what are the mechanisms that enable or contain the spread of false information during these times?  In this special issue, we seek papers that address social cybersecurity issues in times of crisis.