I have agreed to co-chair the next Web Science Conference, Web Science 2014, which will be held in 2014 at Indiana University. The lead chairs are Fil Menczer and his group at Indiana University, and Jim Hendler at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and one of the originators of the Semantic Web. The dates are 23-26 June 2014.

My mission is to help bring social scientists and humanities scholars to this conference to ensure that it is truly multi-disciplinary, and also to help encourage a more global set of participants, attracting academics from Europe but also worldwide. IU_H_P2_S1_T1

For those who are not quite sure of the scope and methods of Web Science, let me recommend a chapter in my handbook by Kieron O’Hara and Wendy Hall, entitled ‘Web Science’, pp. 48-68 in Dutton, W. H. (2013) (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.The core of the Web Science community sometimes view this as a field or discipline on its own, while I would define it as a topic or focus within a broader, multdisciplinary field of Internet Studies.

In any case, I will be adding to this blog over the coming months as the conference planning progresses, but please consider participating. Information about the conference is posted at: http://websci14.org/#

 


4 Responses to “Web Science Conference 23-26 June 2014 at Indiana University”  

  1. 1 Peter Kraker

    Looking very much forward to the conference! Since the tweet leading to this blog post asked for ideas for the conference, I wanted to leave two of my ideas here:

    1) Opening up the peer review: as pointed out in last year’s conference, disciplinary norms and expectations can be problematic for an interdisciplinary field. What might be considered innovative in an interdisciplinary context, might not necessarily be innovative for every discipline involved. Therefore, I would suggest to open up the peer review, and make the reviewer comments public. This would give the community the chance to discuss different views on the field and what is worth researching under the banner of Web Science.

    2) Open data policy: I would love to see the conference adopting an open data policy for the data-driven parts of Web Science. In my opinion, open data would be very beneficial for Web Science as it allows for reproducible results and gives other researchers the chance to build on existing data. There could even be a separate category for papers that make their data publicly available.

  2. 2 Filippo Menczer

    @Bill thanks for this announcement!

    @Peter, we will pass your suggestions to the Program Chairs, who are still being finalized. Speaking for myself, I especially like your 2nd proposal about open data policy, which is something we have discussed a lot in the past, eg among program chairs of the WWW conference. There are huge obstacles, and valid arguments (as well as strong opinions!) on both sides of the issue.

    We hope to soon have the conference website up at http://www.websci14.org/ with information on organization and program. Please stay tuned!

    -Fil Menczer
    Web Science 2014 General Co-Chair

  3. 3 Peter Kraker

    @Filippo, excellent, it would be great to have an open data policy. In addition to the points mentioned above, this could also be a tipping point for the idea of web observatories.

  4. 4 William Fyson

    I would like to second the idea of making use of open peer review and agree with Peter’s comment that it would be very useful in an interdisciplinary context. It’s clear that each discipline has its own perspective on how scholarly articles should be written and that many of us are familiar with either reading or writing papers from these different viewpoints. Opening the peer review process may ultimately lead to a much more constructive, collaborative and educational experience as we contribute to each other’s understanding and should also hopefully produce more accessible papers for readers from all different disciplinary backgrounds. It may also help to create a broader and more cohesive Web Science community too!

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About

William H. Dutton (B.A. University of Missouri; M.A., PhD. SUNYBuffalo, 1974) is Professor of Internet Studies, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College.