Applied Data Science: Data Translators Across the Disciplines (Springer, Interdisciplinary Applied Sciences)


Douglas Woolford (Western University,, Donna Kotsopoulos (Western University,, and Boba Samuels (University of Toronto,

Contact & Submission Email


How can individuals who may not have a traditional data science background become data translators? People with data literacy proficiency – those identified as “data translators” (McKinsey Global Institute, 2016) – are in high demand. In organizations of all sizes and scopes, there has been an explosion in the need to access ever more complex data sets and growing engagement in data analytics. Of concern, however, is that much data instruction focuses on statistical, computing and other technical competencies. What has received less attention is communication and knowledge translation, using data, and across disciplines. While many users of data may not be considered “data scientists,” they nevertheless are required to translate data to address disciplinary problems and communicate data-driven solutions effectively for specific audiences. By presenting discipline-specific examples of data solutions by both data scientist and non-data scientists, we aim to illustrate effective data translation in practice.


We are interested in contributions that focus on effective data application and communication while simultaneously highlighting the process of producing an effective data science solution. We welcome submissions that advance a broad approach to developing cross-disciplinary data translators across a variety of fields, such as education, health sciences, natural sciences, politics, economics, business and management studies, sociology, and others.

Contributions are sought from authors who may:

  • present case studies of how data is used and translated in various disciplinary contexts
  • share their data science solution lifecycle to illustrate disciplinary constraints and affordances, e.g., using the scientific method of inquiry–namely hypothesis, design, collecting data, analysing data, and reporting results
  • explain not only how data is used within a discipline, but also the way in which data is translated to inform the discipline
  • discuss key considerations that inform their data science solution, such as: data carpentry, visualization and exploratory data analysis, as well as the iterative data modelling process with an emphasis on reproducible research (aka “open science”)
  • share approaches to communicating results and interpretations, emphasizing knowledge translation
  • present pedagogical approaches to developing effective data translators

Manuscript Goals

Each chapter will focus on a specific discipline to support enhanced pedagogical approaches for communicating about data, especially written communication about large data. Each chapter should include description of a data science solution lifecycle as well as discussion of disciplinary conventions. Chapters will be 3500-4000 words in length, including references and notes.

Manuscript Audience

The audience for this collection is professors and teachers across multiple disciplines and fields who teach students how to use data to answer disciplinary problems. It will be of interest especially to those teaching courses for non-data science majors. We hope to encourage cross-disciplinary sharing to inform pedagogies in education, health sciences, natural sciences, politics, economics, business and management studies, sociology, and others. This collection will also be of interest to scholars in higher education pedagogy and in writing studies.

Manuscript Status

We have a publication agreement with Springer for this manuscript, with a submission target of December 2021 and publication in 2022.

Projected Timeline

  • 8 January 2021 Call for Proposals distributed
  • 1 March 2021 Chapter Proposals due
  • 29 March 2021 Authors notified of decisions
  • 26 July 2021 Chapters due
  • 17 September 2021 Chapters returned to authors for revision after peer review
  • 25 October 2021 Final revised chapters due from authors
  • 6 December 2021 Manuscript revisions completed and submitted to publisher

Submission Process

Interested scholars are encouraged to email a submission by the proposal due date of March 1, 2021 to Submissions must be in a Microsoft Word file and include a Chapter Proposal (see below) and a brief (one paragraph) biography of all authors. Please identify the corresponding author for multi-authored submissions.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed prior to acceptance. We will contact the corresponding author of all submissions by the notification date of March 29, 2021 with details regarding acceptance and next steps.

Chapter Proposal Requirements

A brief chapter proposal of 300-500 words (excluding references) should make clear how the proposed chapter responds to the call and advances the goals of this collection.

About the Editors

Douglas Woolford

Douglas Woolford is an Associate Professor of Environmetrics in the Department of Statistical & Actuarial Sciences at the University of Western Ontario (Western), where he also is the Director of the Master of Data Analytics professional science master’s program. Much of his research focuses on the application and development of data science methodology to study wildland fire science and wildland fire management. He has co-led the development of a variety of data science and analytics curricula at Western. His research and his teaching constantly involves the communication of technical data analytics methods and applications to a diverse audience.

Donna Kotsopoulos

Donna Kotsopoulos is a professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario (Western). Donna has been extensively involved in knowledge mobilization activities and social innovation. Her most recently funded SSHRC grant focuses on storytelling with data (or data translation). Her work has been disseminated in premier academic journals and national and international conferences. Her work has also informed policy within the post-secondary sector. Her most extensive body of research explores learning and cognition in the area of mathematics education.

Boba Samuels

Boba Samuels directs the Health Sciences Writing Centre and is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE) at the University of Toronto. She has published research examining writing assignments in university, faculty perceptions and approaches to writing instruction, and graduate student publishing. In 2018 she co-authored Mastering Academic Writing, which provides evidence-based writing instruction for advanced university students. She is currently working on a curriculum design project that explores online modules for writing instruction across the KPE undergraduate curriculum.

Position – Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at UBC-Okanagan

There is a competition open for an tenure-track Assistant Professor in Black Anglophone Literature. The position is in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. Competition closes January 16, 2021. A short description is posted below, please visit the job add for more information.

Black Anglophone Literature

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor (research stream) position in Black Anglophone Literature. Additional expertise in one or more of the following areas would be an asset: Black transatlantic studies; Black Indigenous literatures; relevant national literatures (e.g., Caribbean, African, American, and/or Canadian); concepts of place and location; early modern literature; 18th-century literature; modernism; speculative fiction; electronic literature; Afro-futurism; environmental literatures; and life-writing. The position will be held in the Department of English and Cultural Studies and will begin on July 1, 2021.

Update on Canadian Journal for the Study of Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie

A detailed update on behalf of the editors of CJSDW/R, Kim Mitchell and Sean Zwagerman, on their work in the first 5 months. See below for updates on new publications, becoming a reviewer, and a new section called “Writing in Practice”.

New Publications 

The editors have been working on revitalizing the editorial board and discussing future directions for the journal. They recently published a short editorial to help introduce ourselves to the Canadian writing community.

The journal has also seen the publication of several exciting contributions over the summer months which can be viewed on our main journal page. CJSDW/R publishes submissions as they are reviewed and processed in a single issue for the calendar year. 

2020 contributions include:

  1. Two regular journal article submissions have been published since January 2020
  2. Nine articles have thus far been published for the annual section of papers that were accepted to the Candian Writing Centres Assocation (CWCA) conference for 2020 
  3. We would also like to alert you to the 5 articles published in the special section “Reflections on Genre as Social Action”. The special section is a call and response section initiated by some familiar and famous names in the area of Genre Studies. Anne Freadman explores the uptake of genre as social action in the literature, with response articles from Carolyn Miller, Janet Giltrow, Charles Bazerman, and Sune Auken.

Reviewer Interest

One of the most challenging roles of being an editor is finding appropriate reviewers for the papers submitted to CJSDW/R.  The editors are interested in building a strong list of reviewers. If you are interested in reviewing for CJSDW/R, please email Kim Mitchell and Sean Zwagerman (; and list your areas of interest for papers you’d be willing to review. We are especially in need of reviewers who can review in areas of:

  • Indigenous writing
  • Professional writing
  • Quantitative studies
  • Qualitative studies
  • Disciplinary writing/discourse

The editors especially want to hear from you if those who have not reviewed for the journal in the past. Also, anyone who have reviewed for CJSDW/R in the past and are interested in reviewing again. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to become reviewers. Francophone reviewers are also in demand.

Writing in Practice — A new CJSDW section seeking submissions 

Writing in Practice submissions will be short articles (2000-3000 words) they describe a strategy for using writing as a pedagogy in higher education. Approaches to these submissions can be broadly applied. Authors will provide a brief description of a writing assignment or a method of teaching writing, with emphasis on how they are using writing to:

  • Develop writing voice or disciplinary discourse
  • Teach strategies for applying writing processes
  • Writing supervision techniques for theses and dissertations
  • Teach threshold concepts in any substantive area for any discipline
  • Teach about genre or about a particular genre form
  • Teach approaches to research writing and presentation of findings  

The articles are intended to be scholarly in nature, but use of alternate voices to the academic voice are strongly encouraged. Citations should be limited to no more than 10 as the intent is to present readers with a description of a writing pedagogy that can be replicated within or modified for another learning context. Authors should reflect upon the learning that transpired for the student writer(s). Any author uncertain of the fit of their teaching approach for this article category is welcome to email the editors.

See the author guidelines and submission requirements for more information.

Welcome to CASDW/ACR 2020/2021!

We are pleased to welcome new and returning members of the Executive. The Executive met recently to discuss plans for the coming year, namely more serious commitment to diversity and inclusion in Writing Studies and related fields.

Joel Heng-Hartse, Vice President and Conference Program Chair, is working with the program committee on an exciting conference for 2021 (updates to come) and will be in touch with last year’s scheduled presenters. Congress will issue a decision on Nov. 1 to indicate whether the 2021 conference will be hybrid or virtual. Please contact Joel at if you have any questions about the conference.

Also, Kim Mitchell and Sean Zwagerman, co-editors of the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie, are currently fielding three submissions, so keep your eyes out for those.

Best wishes as we continue to unite through these times,

Dana Landry, CASDW-ACR President

Job Opportunities: Writing Studies in Higher Education, University of Toronto Mississauga

The Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy (ISUP) at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is searching for six new faculty members in Writing Studies in Higher Education. These six positions include:

The ISUP was established in July 2020 to promote the study of university pedagogy, especially the experiences of undergraduate students, through collaborative research, instruction, training, scholarship, and assessment.

The ISUP builds on the success of the UTM Teaching and Learning Collaboration and the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre (RGASC). It is also home to the new Foundational Writing Skills Initiative and other writing programs previously administered by the RGASC. Foundational Numeracy Skills courses are being developed.