The Berkman Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, known as the Berkman Publication Series, 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 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.)


Bringing Municipal High-Speed Internet Access to Leverett, Massachusetts

This report provides a detailed account of the development of LeverettNet, Leverett, Massachusetts’ municipal fiber optic network. It includes information about the extensive planning and outreach activities carried out by Leverett from 2011 through 2013, as well as details of the technical and operational characteristics of LeverettNet. Leverett has been successful in mobilizing support for LeverettNet, and the network is being built on schedule with full deployment planned for 2014. Our hope is that this report will be helpful to other cities that are considering launching fiber optic networks.

Authored by
  • Susan Crawford
  • Robyn Mohr

16 Dec 2013

Internet Monitor 2013

Reflections on the Digital World

Internet Monitor 2013: Reflections on the Digital World, the Internet Monitor project's first-ever annual report, is a collection of essays from roughly two dozen experts around the world, including Ron Deibert, Malavika Jayaram, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Molly Sauter, Bruce Schneier, Ashkan Soltani, and Zeynep Tufekci, among others.

11 Dec 2013


Measuring Internet Activity

A (Selective) Review of Methods and Metrics

"Measuring Internet Activity: A (Selective) Review of Methods and Metrics," authored by Robert Faris and Rebekah Heacock, explores current efforts to measure digital activity within three areas: infrastructure and access, control, and content and communities.

Authored by
  • Rob Faris
  • Rebekah Heacock Jones

14 Nov 2013

Privacy and Children's Data

An Overview of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

This overview of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was produced by Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic in advance of the Student Privacy Initiative's April 2013 workshop, "Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem."

Authored by
  • Christopher Bavitz
  • Dalia Topelson Ritvo
  • Ritu Gupta
  • Irina Oberman

13 Nov 2013

Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem

State of Play & Potential Paths Forward

This report draws from ongoing Student Privacy Initiative research as well as participant inputs from an April 2013 exploratory workshop, "Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem," to begin to map the current landscape and connect the often-siloed perspectives of educational institutions, students, parents, and administrators as well as cloud service providers and policy makers.

Authored by
  • Caroline Nolan
  • Urs Gasser
  • Alicia Solow-Niederman

13 Nov 2013

Why We Engage: How Theories of Human Behavior Contribute to Our Understanding of Civic Engagement in a Digital Era

We present this literature review as a means of exploring the intersection of theories of human behavior with the motivations for and benefits of engaging in civic life. We bring together literature from behavioral economics, sociology, psychology and communication studies to reveal how civic actors, institutions, and decision-making processes have been traditionally understood, and how emerging media tools and practices are forcing their reconsideration.

Authored by
  • Eric Gordon
  • Jesse Baldwin-Philippi
  • Martina Balestra

27 Oct 2013

Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy

58% of American teens have downloaded an app to a cell phone or tablet. More than half of teen apps users have avoided an app due to concerns about sharing their personal information—and girls are especially likely to take steps to protect their location data.

22 Aug 2013

Interoperability Case Study: From Crowdsourcing Potholes to Community Policing

Applying Interoperability Theory to Analyze the Expansion of “Open311”

Following the four primary applications of interoperability theory laid out by Palfrey and Gasser, this paper is organized into five Parts: (1) Part One introduces the topic; (2) Part Two establishes interop as “high level theory,” considering its utility both as a frame and an organizing principle; (3) Part Three utilizes interop as a descriptive lens to examine the emergence of 311 (a precursor platform) and Open311 in recent years; (4) Part Four applies interop as a predictive tool to consider emerging issues as Open311 expands; and (5) Part Five draws on interop as a normative device to conclude that while Open311 is moving toward optimal levels of data and technological interoperability, efforts must now be made to increase human and institutional interop; policymakers should employ both regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms to do so.

Authored by
  • Manik Suri

15 Aug 2013

Where Teens Seek Online Privacy Advice

Many teens ages 12-17 report that they usually figure out how to manage content sharing and privacy settings on their own. Focus group interviews with teens suggest that for their day-to-day privacy management, teens are guided through their choices in the app or platform when they sign up, or find answers through their own searching and use of their preferred platform.

14 Aug 2013

Citizen-Centered Governance: The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Evolution of CRM in Boston

During the summer of 2013, in anticipation of Mayor Menino's retirement in January 2014, Prof. Susan Crawford and Project Assistant Dana Walters carried out a case study examining the ongoing evolution of the Boston Mayor's Hotline into a platform for civic engagement.

Authored by
  • Susan Crawford
  • Dana Walters

30 Jul 2013

Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the SOPA-PIPA Debate

This paper uses a new set of online research tools to develop a detailed study of the public debate over proposed legislation in the United States designed to give prosecutors and copyright holders new tools to pursue suspected online copyright violations. For this study, we compiled, mapped, and analyzed a set of 9,757 stories relevant to the COICA-SOPA-PIPA debate from September 2010 through the end of January 2012 using Media Cloud, an open source tool created at the Berkman Center to allow quantitative analysis of a large number of online media sources. This study applies a mixed-methods approach by combining text and link analysis with human coding and informal interviews to map the evolution of the controversy over time and to analyze the mobilization, roles, and interactions of various actors.

Authored by
  • Yochai Benkler
  • Bruce Etling
  • Rob Faris
  • Hal Roberts
  • Alicia Solow-Niederman

25 Jul 2013


Rationing the Digital

The Policy and Politics of Internet Use in Cuba Today

"Rationing the Digital: The Policy and Politics of Internet Use in Cuba Today," authored by Internet Monitor contributor Ellery Roberts Biddle, explores Cuba's complex economy of Internet connectivity, how digital expression is regulated in the country, and how recent developments in infrastructure might change the shape of access and use on the island:

16 Jul 2013

Interoperability Case Study: The European Union as an Institutional Design for Legal Interoperability

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 looks into Electronic Data Interchange interoperability.

Authored by
  • Félix Tréguer

23 Jun 2013

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they have in the past, but they are also taking a variety of technical and non-technical steps to manage the privacy of that information. Despite taking these privacy-protective actions, teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-parties (such as businesses or advertisers) accessing their data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned.

21 May 2013

Teens and Technology 2013

Smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially and mobile access to the internet is pervasive. One in four teens are “cell-mostly” internet users, who say they mostly go online using their phone and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.

13 Mar 2013

Copyright For Librarians

Copyright for Librarians" (CFL) is an online open curriculum on copyright law that was developed jointly with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Re-designed as a brand new textbook, "Copyright for Librarians: the essential handbook" can be used as a stand-alone resource or as an adjunct to the online version which contains additional links and references for students who wish to pursue any topic in greater depth.

11 Jan 2013

Youth Organizations and Positive Development: Lessons Learned from a Century of Girl Scouting

Since its inception in 2000, the Girl Scout Research Institute has employed a research-to-action approach so that insights from our work with girls and young women can directly inform Girl Scouts of the USA’s program and policy development, as well as impact the larger youth development field. In the last decade, GSRI’s research and evaluation work has touched numerous organizations in the public and private spheres, making a practical impact on the lives of youth and providing other organizations with evidence needed to make a case for their own work.

17 Dec 2012

Engaging Youth, Serving Community: Social Change Lessons from a 4H Rural Youth Development Program

Social change targeted at empowering youth requires youth and adults to work together as equals. Youth-adult partnerships create a platform to amplify youth voices. To succeed, youth-adult partnerships must be built on open communication and equal voice. Using a case study, this paper shares six broadly applicable lessons learned through the Engaging Youth, Serving Community (ESYC) program. Based on evaluation and understanding of the EYSC experience, it highlights examples of how youth-adult partnerships can promote social change and civic engagement.

Authored by
  • Donna J. Peterson
  • Barbara A. Baker
  • JoAnne Leatherman
  • Michael E. Newman
  • Sally Miske

17 Dec 2012

Cultivating Young Women's Leadership for a Kinder, Braver World

There is not much research exploring leadership development and civic participation among youth, and even less among young women. Policymakers and others seeking to better serve youth in pursuit of a “kinder, braver world” should take into account the research that does exist. This research indicates that youth who engage in service to their communities learn leadership skills through civic action and may be more likely to vote and be civically engaged as adults. Youth who demonstrate leadership skills can, and should, be considered current assets to their communities.

Authored by
  • Anna Rorem
  • Monisha Bajaj

17 Dec 2012

How to Engage Young People: Lessons From Lowell, MA

A youth organization’s success depends on young people’s participation within the local community. Many of the issues facing young people today reflect a poor engagement with community politics, cultural identity formation, and risk-taking behaviors based on that identity formation. The Teen Block was founded in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1990 with the goal of addressing these issues. Since that time, it has served over 8,000 young people, integrating social, behavioral, mental, and physical health.

Authored by
  • Sopheap Linda C. Sou
  • Darcie DeAngelo
  • Masada Jones
  • Monica Veth

17 Dec 2012

How Participatory Action Research Can Promote Social Change and Help Youth Development

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a process through which people investigate meaningful social topics, participate in research to understand the root causes of problems that directly impact them, and then take action to influence policies through the dissemination of their findings to policymakers and stakeholders. Like other types of youth organizing, PAR promotes youth’s involvement in their communities and the development of leadership skills. It emphasizes the development of young people’s knowledge, skills, and abilities to be experts on issues of importance to them, and catalyze systemic change in collaboration with their peers and supportive adults.

Authored by
  • Cara Berg Powers
  • Erin Allaman

17 Dec 2012

Out of the Box: Positive Development & Social Change Through the Arts

From early childhood to adolescence, the arts can foster youth movements for social change through positive development. Students who experience high levels of arts enrichment show greater academic performance, enrollment in and graduation from high school and college, civic and community service, news consumption, and engagement in local politics. Moreover, participation in the arts—even as a spectator—predicts increases in civic engagement, tolerance and altruism, regardless of age, race, or education.

Authored by
  • Ping Ho

17 Dec 2012

The Value of Youth Organizing

Across the country, adolescents have become deeply involved in struggles for equity and social justice, as they work to promote a kinder, braver world. Although youth have long been leaders in social change efforts, today’s young people are increasingly supported in this work through youth organizing programs. This paper explains what youth organizing is, identifies four ways in which it benefits the young people involved, offers suggestions for mitigating any downsides of participation, and addresses barriers that youth organizing groups may face.

Authored by
  • Jerusha Conner

17 Dec 2012

Open Wireless vs. Licensed Spectrum: Evidence from Market Adoption

The paper reviews evidence from eight wireless markets: mobile broadband; wireless healthcare; smart grid communications; inventory management; access control; mobile payments; fleet management; and secondary markets in spectrum. I find that markets are adopting unlicensed wireless strategies in mission-critical applications, in many cases more so than they are building on licensed strategies.

Authored by
  • Yochai Benkler

6 Nov 2012

Bullying in a Networked Era: A Literature Review

This research update presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying. The purpose of this document is to “translate” scholarly research for a concerned public audience, which may include but is not limited to parents, caregivers, educators, and practitioners. This translation highlights recent findings and developments in the literature and makes them accessible to the informed but non-expert reader.

Authored by
  • Nathaniel Levy
  • Sandra Cortesi
  • Urs Gasser
  • Edward Crowley
  • Meredith Beaton
  • June Casey
  • Caroline Nolan

17 Sep 2012