The international conference on Digital Transformation in Governance and Society (DTGS), formerly known as “Digital Transformation & Global Society”, is an academic forum for researchers and experts in the interdisciplinary field of the Internet Studies and Social Informatics. It is held within the framework of the joint conference “Internet and Modern Society" (IMS), held annually in St. Petersburg since 1998. Building on this unique and long-lasting legacy, in 2016 IMS acquired a stronger international dimension under the umbrella of DTGS.

DTGS is also a successor of another significant international event – the international conference on Electronic Governance and Open Society in Eurasia (EGOSE), held by ITMO University annually since 2014. The history of EGOSE can be found here.

History of DTGS

The first international conference "Digital Transformation & Global Society" (DTGS-2016) was held on June 22-24, 2016, hosted by the ITMO University and co-organized by the University of Amsterdam, the European University at St. Petersburg, and the e-Development Partnership in the northwest of Russia (PRIOR North-West). Then we received 157 submissions, out of which 61 papers were accepted, with an acceptance rate of 39 per cent. The conference was organized in five tracks: eSociety, eKnowledge, eCity, eHealth and eScience and started from the poster session.

Two keynote reports were presented as well. Professor Peter Sloot (University of Amsterdam) presented an insightful report on "Complexity Science and the Internet of Things," explaining how the latter may help to understand complex systems, "from a biological cell... to millions of computer systems... to our society." Latif Ladid (University of Luxembourg), Founder and President of IPv6 Forum, shared his view on the future of the Internet and perspectives on the use of IPv6 in innovations, such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and smart cities.

Held for the second time in June 21-23, 2017, DTGS-2017 brought together more than 80 scholars. From DTGS-2017 the co-organizers of the conference are the ITMO University and the National Research University Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg campus), the leading research institutions in Russia. 38 papers were selected out of 134 submissions, making the acceptance rate of 28 per cent.

The conference started with the plenary session and three insightful keynote reports. Daniel Alexandrov, professor at the Higher School of Economics and DTGS'17 co-chair, gave a talk on the interrelationship between the Internet and the modern social sciences. Dr. Ginaluca Demartini from the University of Sheffield and the ACM distinguished scholar gave a presentation on the "Power of Big Data" and how data-driven applications transform our everyday life. The keynote lecture by Dr. Sergey Kovalchuk from the ITMO University was devoted to the innovations that help to enhance public health decision making with computational predictive models. Two more keynote speeches were presented during the conference. Dr. King-wa Fu from the University of Hong-Kong shared the results of his research on the Internet censorship in China and the ways to reveal its trends with automatic methods of data collection and analysis. Prof. Carlos Gershenson (National Autonomous University of Mexico) elaborated on the "Future of Urban Mobility" and digital transformations of urban life in the near future.

The conference proceeded with the Poster session and Panel session. The latter comprised the following tracks: eSociety, ePolity, eCity, eFinance & eEconomy and eHealth.

DTGS-2018 was held for the third time on May 30 – June 2, 2018 in St. Petersburg Russia. That year was marked with a significant raise of interest in the conference within the academia. We have received 222 submissions, carefully reviewed by at least three Program Committee members. 76 papers were accepted, with an acceptance rate of 34 per cent. More than 120 participants attended the conference and contributed to its success. We would like to emphasize the increase in the number of young scholars taking part in the event, as well as the overall improvement in papers' quality. DTGS – 2018 was organized as a series of research paper sessions, preceded by a poster session. The sessions corresponded to one of the following DTGS – 2018 tracks: (1) eSociety: Social Informatics and Virtual Communities; (2) ePolity: Politics and Governance in the Cyberspace; (3) eHumanities: Digital Culture & Education; (4) eCity: Smart Cities & Urban Governance; (5) eEconomy: Digital Economy and ICT-driven Economic Practices; (6) eCommunication: Online Communication and the New Media;

Two new international workshops were also held under the auspices of DTGS: the Internet Psychology workshop, chaired by Prof. Alexander Voiskounsky (Moscow State University) and Prof. Anthony Faiola (The University of Illinois at Chicago), as well as the Computational Linguistics workshop, led by Prof. Viktor Zakharov (St. Petersburg State University) and Prof.Anna Tilmans (Leibniz University of Hannover). The agenda of DTGS is thus becoming broader, exploring the new domains of digital transformation.

Furthermore, we need to mention several insightful keynote lectures organized at DTGS – 2018. Prof. Stephen Coleman from the University of Leeds gave a talk on the role of the Internet in restoring and promoting democracy. The lecture was partially based on his recent book Can the Internet Strengthen Democracy (Polity: 2017), which had been translated into Russian and published by the DTGS team before the conference. Dr. Dennis Anderson (St. Francis College, USA) shared with the participants his vision on the future of e-government and its role in society, while Dr. Christoph Glauser (Institute for Applied Argumentation Research, Switzerland) presented the tools to evaluate citizens' expectations from e-government and the ways e-services can be adjusted to serve people's needs. The keynote lecture by Prof. Anthony Faiola was devoted to e-health technologies, especially to the potential of mobile technologies to facilitate healthcare.

Finally, two international panel discussions were arranged. The first one – "Cybersecurity, Security and Privacy" - was chaired by Prof. Latif Ladidfrom the University of Luxembourg. Panel participants: Dr. Antonio Skametra (University of Murcia), Dr. Sebastian Ziegler (Mandat International, IoT Forum, Switzerland) and Dr. Luca Bolognini (Italian Institute for Data Privacy and Valorization) shared their opinion on the future of privacy protection in relation to the changes of the EU personal data regulations. The second panel moderated by Dr. Yuri Misnikov (ITMO University) and Dr. Svetlana Bodrunova (St. Petersburg State University) was devoted to the online deliberative practices in the EU and Russia. Prof. Stephen Coleman, Prof. Leonid Smorgunov (St. Petersburg State University), Dr. Lyudmila Vidiasova (ITMO University), Dr. Olessia Koltsova and Yury Kabanov (National Research University Higher School of Economics) took part in the discussion, expressing their views on the role of virtual communities in maintaining democratic practices and better governance.

DTGS-2019 was held during June 19–21, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Program Committee received 194 submissions, and after careful evaluation by reviewers and editors (before and after the conference) 65 papers were accepted for this post-conference volume. In addition to the main conference, two international workshops were organized for the second time: the Internet Psychology Workshop, chaired by Prof. Alexander Voiskounsky (Lomonosov Moscow State University), and the Computational Linguistics Workshop, led by Prof. Viktor Zakharov (St. Petersburg State University). The accepted papers from these workshops are also included in this volume.

An innovation of DTGS 2019 became the Young Scholars' Forum – an updated poster session, where students and young academics could present their research and get feedback from peers. The Award Committee, chaired by Dr. Olessia Koltsova (Higher School of Economics), was formed to assess all posters and select the best ones. By the decision of the Award Committee, several posters were accepted to the final volume after the substantial revision and expansion.

Furthermore, several insightful keynote lectures were organized at DTGS 2019: "Decision Making using Digital Personalities" by Klavdia Bochenina (ITMO University, Russia), "Fast and Accurate Algorithms for Detection of Spread Source in Large Complex Networks with Single and Multiple Propagation Paths" by Janusz Hołyst (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland), and "The Primacy of Presence: Supporting Psychological Wellbeing with Interactive Technology" by John Waterworth (Umea University, Sweden).

DTGS-2020 was held from June 17–19, 2020. This year we have received 108 submissions, and after careful evaluation by the Program Committee and the volume editors 36 papers were accepted for this post-conference volume. The submissions fall into several major tracks of the conference: (1) E-Society: issues related to the social informatics, computational social science, and online media research; (2) E-Polity: e-governance and e-participation issues; (3) E-City: smart cities, urban governance, and planning (4) E-Economy: digital economy, e-commerce, and consumers' behavior online; (5) E-Humanities: digital culture and education and (6) E-Health: digital transformation of healthcare.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Organization Committee had to change the format of the conference. It was organized completely online as a series of synchronous moderated sessions, for all participants to present their papers and get valuable feedback from the colleagues. Also, a special online platform was created, for the participants to get themselves familiar with the materials and ask questions before the conference. Both asynchronous and synchronous parts of the conference went smoothly and provoked fruitful discussions.

The international workshop "E-Health: P4-medicine & Digital Transformation" was organized for the first time within DTGS, chaired by Anatoly Shalyto and Georgy Kopanitsa (ITMO University). This year the session on Smart Cities was held in partnership with the WeGO Eurasia Regional Office. The participants of the session were welcomed by Mrs. Svetlana Openysheva, Secretary General of the organization. As was the case last year, the Young Scholars' Forum was also organized. We received 12 papers from the young scholars. By the decision of the Award
Committee, chaired by Andrei Chugunov (ITMO University), 5 best papers were accepted to the final volume after substantial revision. We thank all members of the Award Committee for their effort and excellent expertise during the forum.

Another special event of DTGS 2020 was the international online seminar "Electronic Participation: Concepts, Technologies and Interdisciplinarity." The mission of the seminar was to discuss topical issues related to the research and practice of e-participation. It brought experts and scholars from Austria, Portugal, Russia, and Switzerland.

DTGS 2021 was held during June 23–25, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the second time the conference was organized in the online format. Despite the challenging circumstances, the virtual format allowed us to organize a full-fledged conference, where the authors could present and discuss their research.

Overall, 95 papers were submitted to the conference this year. For this final post-conference volume, the Program Committee and the Editorial Board carefully evaluated and selected 38 papers, with an acceptance rate of 40 per cent, that fall into the following major sections of the conference: (1) eSociety: issues related to social informatics, computational social science, and online media research, as well as the questions of the digital inclusion; (2) ePolicy: issues of e-governance and e-participation, including the problems of cyberspace regulation; (3) eCity: developments in smart city and digital urban research; (4) eHumanities: digital culture and education research; (5) eCommunication: research on the online discourses and public sphere; (6) eEconomy: issues of e-commerce development, including research on the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That year the session on eSociety was organized in partnership with the Laboratory for Social and Cognitive Informatics at HSE University in St. Petersburg. In addition, HSE University once again co-organized the Youth Forum of the conference. Out of 20 papers submitted by the young scholars, the five best papers were accepted to the final volume based on the evaluation by the Award Committee and substantial revision based on peer-review. Furthermore, the session on eCity was held in partnership with the WeGO Eurasia Regional Office.

In 2022 – 2023 the conference was held as a young scholar poster session only (Y-DTGS), held under the auspices of the IMS Conference. BA, MA and PhD Students had an opportunity to present their research, get feedback from senior experts and scholars. The best posters were selected by the Awards Committee, and the papers were further recommended for publication.