ACM Web Science 2013, May 2-4th in Paris

Onwards to the USA for WebSci 2014

June 23, 2013
by Lisa Harris

ACM WebSci14 will be hosted by Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. The dates are 23-26 June (these timings are provisional at present)

The papers presented at WebSci13 will be available to view online very soon…

Head Start: nominated for Best Poster at #Websci13

May 16, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Head Start: Improving Academic Literature Search with Overview Visualizations based on Readership Statistics was co-written by Peter Kraker, Kris Jack, Christian Schlögl, Christoph Trattner, and Stefanie Lindstaedt.  Head Start is an interactive visualization of the research field of Educational Technology based on co-readership structures. The abstract is copied below:

“At the beginning of a scientific study, it is usually quite hard to get an overview of a research field. We aim to address this problem of classic literature search using web data. In this extended abstract, we present work-in-progress on an interactive visualization of research fields based on readership statistics from the social reference management system Mendeley. To that end, we use library co-occurrences as a measure of subject similarity. In a first evaluation, we find that the visualization covers current research areas within educational technology but presents a view that is biased by the characteristics of readers. With our presentation, we hope to elicit feedback from theWebsci’13 audience on (1) the usefulness of the prototype, and (2) how to overcome the aforementioned biases using collaborative construction techniques.”

Web Science for Ancient History: winning poster at #websci13

May 16, 2013
by Lisa Harris


The first few days of May, 2013 saw large numbers of a new breed of interdisciplinary researchers gather together at Le Palais des Congres de Paris for the ACM Web Science 2013 conference. The newly emerging discipline of Web Science examines the phenomenon of the Web and examines content, interactions and behaviour online.

The main perspective is one of social and technological co-constitution: the future of the Web is a mix of what is technologically possible, and socially desirable, and that neither social nor technical considerations are exclusively the determinative for the course of future development.

A crowd-sourced vote of attendees at the venue led to the selection of our poster as the winner – a very good sign considering this project relies extensively on public engagement and harnessing public enthusiasm for the subject matter!

The extended abstract for the paper can be accessed here


Reflections on #WebSci13

May 9, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Here is a diverse selection of blog reviews of #WebSci13 so far, which I will add to as more come in:

Science and the Web by Peter Kraker which includes some welcome reflection on the value of open peer review

PhD Progress Blog by Chris Phethean on his experience of presenting in the pecha kucha session

Raminetinati’s Corner by Ramine Tinati showing some neat visualisations of twitter activity and the developing networks

Think Links by Paul Groth contains detailed reviews of Chi 2013 and Web Sci

Quinn Said by Quinn Norton is a transcript of his contribution to the panel

Bugs Become Features by Simon Harper is a review of the pecha kucha session

Web Science 13 by Anne McCrossan – great to see a Storify! Have you been following the #digichamps Anne? :-)

Reflections on WebSci13 by Tim Davies has some very thoughtful reflections on multidisciplinarity and how the event structure and format might be improved going forwards

My time at WebSci and WebSci the Summary reflecting on the event’s highs and lows by Clare Hooper


Best Paper and Poster Award

May 4, 2013
by Hugh Davis

The best paper and poster awards were announced on May 3rd.

The best paper award, selected by the program committee,  was jointly awarded to:

Catherine C. Marshall and Frank M. Shipman: Experiences Surveying the Crowd: Reflections on methods, participation, and reliability
Bernhard Rieder: Studying Facebook via Data Extraction: The Netvizz Application

The best poster, which was chosen by crowd sourcing, was:

Terhi Nurmikko, Jacob Dahl, Kirk Martinez and Graeme Earl. Web Science for Ancient History: Deciphering Proto-Elamite Online


Other papers that were nominated for best paper were:

• Marie Joan Kristine Gloria, Dominic Difranzo, Marco Fernando Navarro and Jim Hendler. The Performativity of Data: Re-conceptualizing the Web of Data
• Gloria Origgi, Trust, Networks and Democracy in the Age of Internet
• Frank Shipman & Cathy Marshall:  Are User-contributed Reviews Community Property? Exploring the Beliefs and Practices of Reviewers
• Nana Baah Gyan, Victor de Boer, Anna Bon, Chris van Aart, Stephane Boyera, Hans Akkermans, Mary Allen, Aman Grawal and Max Froumentin.:  Voice-based Web access in rural Africa
• Harry Halpin: Does The Web Extend The Mind?
• Fabian Eikelboom, Paul Groth and Laura Hollink: A comparison between online and offline prayer

These awards were sponsored by Now publishers.

Saturday Panel: How the Web will Revolutionize Society

May 2, 2013
by Harry Halpin

The very idea of a scientific study of society began in earnest in the wake of the French revolution of 1789, with the term “sociology” being coined by Auguste Comte. Today, we face a new kind of revolution – the digital revolution – whose effects may end up being just as profound as the revolution that spawned sociology. What relationship, and responsibility, does Web Science have to these revolutionary changes in society?

Hosted by Harry Halpin, this panel will invite four guests, each of whom have made ground-breaking socio-technical contributions, to debate the future of society and the Web.

  • Amelia Andersdotter represents the Pirate Party as a member of European Parliament, where she has heavily campaigned – and won – on Web issues such as fighting ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), and is now working on eID and Data Protection amongst other topics.
  • Nigel Shadbolt of University of Southampton is not only one of the founders of Web Science, but has helped establish the first state-sponsored open data portal and now co-directs the Open Data Institute with Tim Berners-Lee.
  • Louis Pouzin, winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize and member of the Internet Hall of Fame, invented the “datagram” – sending a packets of data across a network and reconstructing them later – whe he built the CYCLADES Network, a design that later fundamentally influenced Vint Cerf in the construction of the Internet.
  • Jérémie Zimmermann is co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a grassroots citizen advocacy group that defends freedom online against threats such as ACTA, and is a contributor to Julian Assange’s 2012 book Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet.

So there’s good reason to stay till Saturday! See you Saturday morning to debate the role of Web Science in shaping the digital revolution throughout society.

#WebSci13 Presenter Profile: Takis Metaxas

April 30, 2013
by Lisa Harris

The Rise and the Fall of a Citizen Reporter (Analysis of the Mexican Narco-tweets)

“Big Data” present an opportunity (even an obsession) to many researchers and companies, but they can miss some important human stories behind the data. Analyzing the “narco-tweets” sent by Mexicans trying to protect themselves from the war between competing drug cartels, the Police and the Army, we detect how  anonymous citizen reporters can become sources of trusted information filling the gap left by News organizations. Big data analytics point to some unusual patterns in the online presence of the most prominent citizen reporter, but they cannot tell what really is happening. She is accused falsely as collaborating with the drug cartels, her real identity exposed and terrorized.  In this paper we describe how we managed to match the important twitter messages to events on the ground and figure out what really happened. The paper, co-authored with Prof. Eni Mustafaraj, will be presented at the WebScience 2013 conference this Friday, May 4, at 2PM.

Prof. P. Takis Metaxas is interested in research on social networks, multimedia, parallel computing, image dithering and CS education. His current projects involve studying the predictive power of social network data, especially related to the prediction of political events, and in developing tools to support the privacy of the user while evaluating the trustworthiness of the information the user receives. He is a member of the CRA’s Board of Directors, a senior member of the ACM, and a member of LACS, IEEE Computer Society, SIGWEB, SIGCSE and SIGACT.

The #WebSci13 conference runs from 2nd – 4th May in Paris. More information about the programme is available here

Any other #websci13 presenters who would like to be featured on our blog, please contact @lisaharris


#WebSci13 paper features in the New Scientist

April 26, 2013
by Lisa Harris

The WebSci13 Conference features in the latest issue (27Apr2013) of the New Scientist. The journalist who wrote the article was in fact triggered by the title of the paper he found in the WebSci conference program:  “Voice-Based Web Access in Rural Africa”.

The paper reports on a project which is giving a voice to people in Africa who cannot read or write, or who lack a computer. Nana Baah Gyan from Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands is the first author and presenter of the paper. The other authors are Victor de Boer, Anna Bon, Chris van Aart, Stephane Boyera, Hans Akkermans, Mary Allen, Aman Grewal and Max Froumentin.

#WebSci13 Presenter profile: Henry S Thompson

April 26, 2013
by Lisa Harris

_URIs in data: for entities, or for descriptions of entities: A critical analysis_

by Henry S Thompson, Jonathan A Rees and Jeni Tennison

This paper arises from our long-running effort as members of the W3C’s Technical Architecture Group to improve interoperability for data which includes URIs as identifiers.  Underspecification in the foundational specs for the Web has led to incompatible ‘extensions’ as regards what URIs ‘mean’ or ‘identify’ or ‘denote’, particularly when they occur outside HTML pages, e.g. in JSON, RDF or XML.  Having concluded that there is no prospect of eliminating these incompatibilities, we have turned our efforts instead towards best practices for achieving interoperability despite them.

Henry S. Thompson divides his time between the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, where he is Professor of Web Informatics, based in the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation, and independent consulting on XML- and web-related business strategy.

He was a member of the SGML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium which designed XML, a major contributor to the core concepts of XSLT and W3C XML Schema and is currently a member of the XML Core and XML Processing Model Working Groups of the W3C. He has been elected five times to the W3C TAG (Technical Architecture Group). He was lead editor of the Structures part of the XML Schema W3C Recommendation, for which he co-wrote the first publicly available implementation, XSV.  From 2002 through 2010 he was a member of the technical staff of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), where he worked in the XML Activity.  He has presented many lectures, papers and tutorials on SGML, DSSSL, XML, XSLT, XML Schema, XML Pipelines and Web Architecture in both industrial and public settings over the last sixteen years.

The #WebSci13 conference runs from 2nd – 4th May in Paris. More information about the programme is available here

Any other #websci13 presenters who would like to be featured on our blog, please contact @lisaharris



April 19, 2013
by Lisa Sugiura

Two prizes of EUR 250 will be awarded for the best paper and best poster. The winners will be announced during the conference (tbc).



Registration for the conference is open. Pick your payment option:




Now Publishers

Now Publishers

Now Publishers




Web Science Trust


Southampton University


Sign in to Lanysd

WebSci13 Organisers