The Berkman Klein Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, which is jointly published with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Below is a selected list of these works, which includes scholarly papers as well as books, written by Berkman Klein faculty and fellows. To be notified when new reports are added to this list, sign up for our reports release email list.

(For additional writings and blog posts from Berkman community members and projects, which are not included in this series, see our aggregated community blog feed.)

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Interoperability Case Study: Cloud Computing

This case study is part of an ongoing series developed in support of a larger text on interoperability by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser - Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems (Basic Books, June 2012). It suggests that greater scientific and technological reform, balanced with salient consideration of legal and social factors (such as user behavior and expectations), is required for successful interoperability in cloud computing.

Authored by

16 Aug 2012

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E-books in Libraries: A Briefing Document developed in preparation for a Workshop on E-Lending in Libraries

This briefing document was developed with helpful inputs from industry stakeholders and other practitioners in preparation for the “E-Books in Libraries” workshop, hosted on February 24, 2012, by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society with the generous support of the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

Authored by

29 Jul 2012

Municipal Government ICT in 3.11 Crisis: Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis

A structured field survey of ICT divisions in 13 municipalities in areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011 revealed 1) lack of ICT business continuity plans (BCP), 2) importance (and lack of) a comprehensive data backup policy, 3) necessity to deal with diverse situations, 4) importance of organizing a collaborative network among governments and private sectors, 5) importance of securing power and network supply, among many other observations. Recommendations are made based on the findings on how to formulate a BCP that can deal with a diverse range of situations, and policies in creating a collaborative network of a diverse range of organizations to protect vital information infrastructure in crisis. Strong interests were shown toward the use of cloud technologies for future backup purposes.

Authored by

30 Jun 2012


Public-Private Partnerships for Organizing and Executing Prize-Based Competitions

Prizes can be effective tools for finding innovative solutions to the most difficult problems. While prizes are often associated with scientific and technological innovation, prizes can also be used to foster novel solutions and approaches in much broader contexts, such as reducing poverty or finding new ways to educate people. Now that the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act has given all government departments and agencies broad authority to conduct prize competitions, agencies may find themselves looking for resources to learn about prizes and challenges. This paper describes how government agencies can design, build, and execute effective prizes – though these models can easily be adapted to meet the needs of foundations, public interest groups, private companies, and a host of other entities with an interest in spurring innovation.

Authored by

10 Jun 2012


Open Access

In this concise introduction, Peter Suber tells us what open access is and isn’t, how it benefits authors and readers of research, how we pay for it, how it avoids copyright problems, how it has moved from the periphery to the mainstream, and what its future may hold.

Authored by

1 Jun 2012

Interoperability in Information Systems in the Furtherance of Trade

Urs Gasser and John Palfrey have continued to contribute to the World Trade Institute’s NCCR Trade Policy project with a particular focus on the interoperability as an enabler of innovation and creativity in international trade. Over the course of two years, this project has developed three in-depth exploratory studies. This paper takes a historical and institutional approach and focuses on key instances where interoperability at the physical and logical layer of core infrastructure elements has driven innovation in international trade.

Authored by

31 May 2012

Fostering Innovation and Trade in the Global Information Society: The Different Facets and Roles of Interoperability

Urs Gasser and John Palfrey have continued to contribute to the World Trade Institute’s NCCR Trade Policy project with a particular focus on the interoperability as an enabler of innovation and creativity in international trade. Over the course of two years, this project has developed three in-depth exploratory studies. This study discusses the guiding questions mentioned above from an international law and policy perspective, looking at the interaction among interoperability, innovation, and trade.

Authored by

31 May 2012

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Mapping Cloud Interoperability in the Globalized Economy: Theory and Observation from Practice

Urs Gasser and John Palfrey have continued to contribute to the World Trade Institute’s NCCR Trade Policy project with a particular focus on the interoperability as an enabler of innovation and creativity in international trade. Over the course of two years, this project has developed three in-depth exploratory studies. This study is focused on the role, current debates, and associated benefits and challenges in establishing a system of interoperability for information and information systems in the service of trade in a global economy over time.

Authored by

31 May 2012

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Briefing Document: Public Networks for Public Safety

A Workshop on the Present and Future of Mesh Networks

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to present this briefing document, which was developed as part of our March 30th workshop on "Public Networks for Public Safety: A Workshop on the Present and Future of Mesh Networking.” The event provided a starting point for conversation about whether mesh networks could be adopted within consumer technologies to enhance public safety communications and empower and connect the public while simultaneously improving public safety.

Authored by

29 May 2012

Salience vs. Commitment: Dynamics of Political Hashtags in Russian Twitter

Social media sites like Twitter enable users to engage in the spread of contagious phenomena: everything from information and rumors to social movements and virally marketed products. In particular, Twitter has been observed to function as a platform for political discourse, allowing political movements to spread their message and engage supporters, and also as a platform for information diffusion, allowing everyone from mass media to citizens to reach a wide audience with a critical piece of news.

Authored by

10 Apr 2012

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Guide to the IRS Decision-Making Process under Section 501(c)(3) for Journalism and Publishing Non-Profit Organizations

Until and unless there is action in Congress to facilitate tax exemptions for journalism non-profits, news organizations seeking 501(c)(3) status must learn how to structure their operations to meet the existing standards applied by the IRS. To that end, this guide is intended to provide practical information regarding the standards that the IRS applies in determining whether to grant federal tax-exempt status to a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3).

Authored by

2 Apr 2012

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Mapping Russian Twitter

Drawing from a corpus of over 50 Million Russian language tweets collected between March 2010 and March 2011, the Berkman research team created a network map of 10,285 users comprising the ‘discussion core’ of Russian Twitter, and clustered them based on a combination of network features. The resulting segmentation revealed key online constituencies active in Russian Twitter. The major topical groupings in Russian Twitter include: Political, Instrumental, CIS Regional, Technology, and Music.

Authored by

20 Mar 2012

Exploring Russian Cyberspace: Digitally-Mediated Collective Action and the Networked Public Sphere

This paper summarizes the major findings of a three-year research project to investigate the Internet’s impact on Russian politics, media and society. We employed multiple methods to study online activity: the mapping and study of the structure, communities and content of the blogosphere; an analogous mapping and study of Twitter; content analysis of different media sources using automated and human-based evaluation approaches; and a survey of bloggers; augmented by infrastructure mapping, interviews and background research.

Authored by

2 Mar 2012

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Final Report: Symposium on Youth Meanness & Cruelty

As part of the official launch of the Born This Way Foundation, The Symposium on Youth Meanness and Cruelty took place at Harvard Law School on February 29th, 2012. Generously supported by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Symposium brought together experts, researchers, policymakers, foundation representatives, youth, and others to discuss research and findings related to bullying, meanness, and cruelty, while also emphasizing positive concepts like healthy relationships, civic engagement, and digital citizenship. In addition to an introduction to the program overall (Section I), this report provides: high level notes from each of the sessions that took place during the Symposium (Section II), answers generated by Symposium participants in response to four driving questions that framed the discussions (Section III), and the central themes that emerged during the day (Section IV). These sections reflect the collation of immediate takeaways from the Symposium, a synthesis of central themes, and participants' feedback.

Authored by

29 Feb 2012

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Changing the Culture: Ideas for Student Action

The purpose of this document is to provide positive action items that students can take to make their schools and communities healthier places and to challenge meanness and cruelty. It is presented as a list of ideas. While none of these initiatives have been evaluated, they are grounded in a research-driven understanding of interventions, practices, and actions that can be helpful in improving school culture.

Authored by

23 Feb 2012


Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality

Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities.

Authored by

23 Feb 2012

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Bullying Prevention 101 for Schools: Dos and Don’ts

This document provides a list of dos and don’ts for schools in developing anti-bullying practices and policies. The purpose of this document is to provide concrete ways in which schools 1) can assess if they’re doing the right things; 2) have tactical recommendations aimed at improving their school culture, curricula, and school policies. Findings are grounded in research findings on actions and activities that have been shown to help schools improve anti-bullying efforts.

Authored by

23 Feb 2012

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An Overview of State Anti-Bullying Legislation and Other Related Laws

This document provides an overview, as of January 2012, of existing state anti-bullying laws, pending state and federal anti-bullying legislation, and other relevant federal and state laws. It is meant to inform the discussion of legal policy issues around bullying, in particular at the Symposium on Youth Meanness and Cruelty being held at Harvard Law School on February 29, 2012 as part of the Kinder & Braver World Project.

Authored by

22 Feb 2012

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Intellectual Property Strategy

In this book, intellectual property expert and Harvard Law School professor John Palfrey offers a short briefing on intellectual property strategy for corporate managers and nonprofit administrators. Palfrey argues for strategies that go beyond the traditional highly restrictive “sword and shield” approach, suggesting that flexibility and creativity are essential to a profitable long-term intellectual property strategy--especially in an era of changing attitudes about media.

Authored by

7 Oct 2011

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Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users

In partnership with colleagues at the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Berkman Center is pleased to release a report on “Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users,” by Erica Newland, Caroline Nolan, Cynthia Wong, and Jillian York.

Authored by

20 Sep 2011


2011 Circumvention Tool Evaluation

Given the rising awareness of the potential of the Internet as a political space and increasing government control over the space, it is easy to understand the widespread interest in finding technical solutions to Internet filtering. In this report, we focus on questions of utility—the ability for a tool to be installed and used in a particular location, and the accuracy and speed of the tool. Additionally, we address concerns about security, usability and openness when appropriate.

Authored by

18 Aug 2011