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The context of the public sector is full of technology challenges such as network interoperability, information integration, and the preservation of government records in electronic form. New knowledge is necessary to understand the practices of government and governance in contemporary society. New attention must also be given to questions about how communities can talk to one another more effectively, taking lessons learned from research and bringing them to bear in public sector environments, and conversely, using knowledge and expertise about practice held by these practitioners to guide research agendas.

The National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop to bring together leaders from social and information science research and government to explore these grand challenge questions and to develop a next generation research agenda.