1. Introducing a New Transdisciplinary Journal
The rise of the platform is one of the three iconic events of the “digital revolution” [1
], and has changed people’s lives and ways of thinking. Platforms are based on an ethical and economic vision. From an economic viewpoint, platforms intend to improve the efficiency of systems by pooling resources, increasing information and improving transparency in the market. From an ethical perspective, platforms encourage collaboration, sharing and cooperation as new economic and societal values. The creation of wealth has become central for humans and needs to consider sustainability. Platforms can increase the gains of society overall and those of each of its components.
However, there is no universal definition of platforms or consensus on how to classify them. This is reflected in the plethora of terms for identical or similar concepts: “platform economy”, “collaborative economy”, “sharing economy”, “gig economy”, “on-demand economy”, “peer economy”, etc. These are the supposed business models created by digital platforms. This lack of a clear definition, combined with the lack of data, not only makes it difficult to grasp platform economy, but also complicates policymaking in this domain.
The concept of a “platform” is often used to describe either the foundations upon which software products are built, or the digital infrastructures that facilitate valuable interactions between participants (often in the form of marketplace businesses such as eBay, or social networks such as Twitter). A platform is an intermediary for the realization of exchanges between participants, and most major technology companies can be regarded as platform-based enterprises [2
]. Kenny and Zysman [3
] call “platform economy”, or “digital platform economy”, a more neutral term. They say it encompasses the growing number of digital activities in business, politics, and social media, with a “platform” simply referring to a set of online digital arrangements with algorithms organizing and structuring economic and social activity.
This journal aims to understand the dynamics of worldwide platformization of the economy. Scientific observation and analysis of the trends and dynamics of platforms are of increasing interest to researchers, policymakers and managers. In the interest of covering several dimensions, the journal will include at least three sections; we hope that these will be extended by our research community and attract a large audience.
2. Platform Economics and Digital Economics
The first section of the journal will be related to platform economy; in particular, it will address how platforms are transforming the process of wealth creation, markets, labor relations and regulations. Platform economy refers to the economic and social activities facilitated by platforms, online matchmakers or technology frameworks. Platform economy has several impacts on the economy and on society and has the potential to impact economic growth and innovation, lower the cost of goods and services and create new jobs with low requirements.
The effects of the platformization of the economy on the labor market are significant in terms of qualifications (skills), new professions, market flexibility and working conditions. Important societal debates are taking place on how to regulate changes in the labor market in light of the development of platforms and their impacts.
Platform economy has experienced its first stage of development due to certain countries having an advantage in terms of digitalization (the United States, China, the European Union, South Korea, etc.), and we are now seeing a rapid spread of this model in all of the world’s economies. This is because of the current strong progression of digitalization, with the number of Internet users reaching nearly five billion in July 2022 (Statistica, 2022). At the same time, global platforms have established themselves at the heart of economic life and have the power to influence the economies of many countries. Our journal aims to better understand the different impacts of platformization on economic development in general to better analyze the trajectories of countries and their specificities. At the same time, it will seek to understand the profound structural economic transformation induced by platforms.
Contributions and in-depth analyses are expected regarding the effects of platforms on the competition process, on gains made by consumers, and on general well-being. At the same time, the journal will seek to better understand and analyze the macroeconomic effects on international trade, economic integration and the environment. The important question of the impact of platform economy on sustainability warrants attention from the scientific community.
3. Understanding the Trends and Structure of Information on Platforms
The second section of the journal will be dedicated to information sciences, which aim to understand information structure, the technologies behind platforms and how they are adapted to local contexts.
Platforms are multiplying daily and evolving according to the information technologies available. Platformization of the economy forces companies and organizations to review the structure and management of their information. A company or organization is an integral part of a more complex system, and information from its platforms is vital for its business development. These changes give rise to new organizational models. Indeed, a company is connected via platforms to its entire ecosystem and all its stakeholders through a single digital tool. This leads to the sharing of a gigantic data stream, based on which business operating methods and processes are redesigned. A variety of major current innovations affect the architecture of information systems and business models, and it is a matter of survival in many sectors.
Platforms would like to better capture this dynamic and publish high-level research on information systems.
4. The Engineering and Processes behind Platforms
The third section of the journal will be dedicated to the engineering of platforms and aims to understand how developer experience and productivity are improved by providing self-service capabilities with automated infrastructure operations.
The journal aims to better understand the most important architectures for platform development by analyzing the processes put in place by the actors of platform economy; understanding the vertical and horizontal coordination processes between actors; better understanding the structures and modes of interoperability between platforms; and determining how to ensure the continuity of increasingly complex chains with heterogeneous actors. These are technical questions that can only be answered through high-level scientific contributions.
With the increasing footprint of platforms on our economies, it is becoming increasingly important to develop processes and working methods that will ensure the continuity and quality of services. Platform architecture is a particularly thriving area of analysis. Platforms aims to highlight the diversity of approaches and identify the most innovative methods in this field.
5. Platforms: Aims
(ISSN 2813-4176) [4
] is an international, open access journal on platform management, services and policy and all related research, and will publish reviews, regular research papers (articles) and short communications. As platforms are an emerging phenomenon with great societal and economic impacts, we aim to collect theoretical and practical analyses of platforms and their applications in different domains. We welcome theoretical, experimental, empirical and methodological contributions from scientists and researchers. In addition, this journal has the following unique features:
Manuscripts regarding research proposals and research ideas will be particularly welcomed.
If electronic files or software containing the full details of calculations and experimental procedures are unable to be published in a normal way, they can be submitted as supplementary materials.
We accept manuscripts communicating to a broader audience with regard to research projects financed by public funds.
Copies of source codes (if any) may be submitted.
6. Platforms: Scope
The scope of Platforms includes three main areas:
Platform Economics and Digital Economics, which includes the platform economy; digital platforms; digital ecosystems; platform classification; business models; strategies and forms of platform competition; platform development; platform layout; Internet media; monopoly and antitrust laws; platform networking; ecosystem innovation; gig economy (or platform labor); international strategies; sharing economy; the future of platforms; digital entrepreneurship; sustainable platforms; climate change platforms, etc.
Platform Informatics and advanced industry 4.0 platforms, which includes technology platforms; information system platforms; information management platforms; social media platforms; service-oriented platforms; knowledge platforms; artificial intelligence platforms; Internet of things platforms; Big Data platforms; robotics platforms; blockchain-based virtual reality platforms; metaverse platforms; platform architecture; data protection and platforms, etc.
Platform engineering and platform industry, which includes platform engineering; Cloud platforms; industrial platforms and ecosystems; the transformation of traditional industries; future industry platforms; competitive advantage; innovation in platform engineering, etc.
On behalf of Platforms’ Editorial Board and Associate Editors, we welcome scientists and researchers and encourage their theoretical, experimental, empirical and methodological contributions.