Category Archives: Web Science Blog

Web Science Summer School 2017

Summer School participants with their completion certificates.
Summer School  participants with their completion certificates.

This years’ Web Science Summer School – organised by the Web Science Trust and two Russian universities (HSE and ITMO) – was a great success, and plans are in progress for next years’ event at the L3S Research Center in Germany. The School was held from 1 to 8 Julyat St. Petersburg, and during the week we held keynotes, tutorials and project work. Subjects included: Introduction to Web Science, Multimedia analysis, Digital health and online interventions, Risky content detection online, Online gaming, Cities online and, Online experiments for psychology and wider social science.

Our MD Professor Dame Wendy Hall with Olessia Koltsova, Associate Professor at HSE, St Petersburg
Our MD, Professor Dame Wendy Hall with Olessia Koltsova, Associate Professor in Internet Studies at HSE, St Petersburg


Summer School participants at workAs promotion of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration is a key goal of the school, teams were formed of students from different disciplines. Participants worked on specific tasks linked to the datasets provided, and were mentored by local instructors. All teams presented the results of their work on the last day of the school.

DSC09325Participants also presented posters about their current work.  As well as poster submission, participation in the School was also conditional upon delivering a successful team work presentation.

The School also included cultural and social activities, and a final day keynote lecture from a leading Russian Internet industry speaker.

Next years’ Summer School will be hosted by the L3S Research Center in Hannover, Germany. We hope to see you there!

WWSSS'17 poster session
WWSSS’17 poster session


Debrett’s honours Web Science Trust Managing Director

Debretts honours Professor Dame Wendy HallOur Managing Director, Professor Dame Wendy Hall joins Jimmy Wales (Co-Founder, Wikipedia), and Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, (Founder of the Internet educational charity, Doteveryone and contributor to our recent WebScience@10 TV Channel), along with many other luminaries in this years’ Debrett’s 500 list.

Described as ‘a leading light in the development of web services’, Dame Wendy is recognised by Debrett’s for her pioneering role as one of the first computer scientists to embark on serious research into multi- and hyper-media technologies before the existence of the World Wide Web. A Professor of Computer Science within Electronics & Computer Science, Dame Wendy also draws praise as a founding director of the the Web Science Trust, alongside Web pioneer, and WST Senior Fellow, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Compiled in consultation with independent expert practitioners and commentators in each of the categories, The Debrett’s 500 was launched in 2014 to identify and celebrate the most influential people in British society. All the people in the Debrett’s 500 are scrutinised for their level of influence in shaping the lives, choices and ideas of others. Dame Wendy has featured in every Debrett’s 500 list since its launch.

WSTNet Web Science Summer School 2017 – St Petersburg, Russia

This years’ Web Science Network (WSTNet) Summer School (WWSSS17) is being held from July 1 to July 8, 2017 at St. Petersburg, Russia. Organised by the Web Science Trust and the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow, and ITMO University, St Petersburg, the School includes keynotes from:

Wendy Hall
Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Managing Director, Web Science Trust

Professor Tat-Seng Chua
Professor Tat-Seng Chua, National University of Singapore

Professor Jeremy Wyatt
Professor Jeremy Wyatt, Wessex Institute of Health & Research, UK

Dr Pete Burnap
Dr Pete Burnap, Cardiff University, UK

As well as lectures tackling major trends in Web Science, the Summer School provides hands-on training in data processing, analysis and methods, team work, and opportunities to present current research. Participants work on specific tasks linked to the datasets provided, and will be mentored by local instructors. All teams will present the results of their work on the last day of the school.

For more information see the WWSSS17 website.

Data Governance in Finance

John TaysomWeb Science Trust Board member, John Taysom writes on the Importance of Data Governance, with Special Reference to Finance in a recent Royal Society and British Academy publication. The report, Connecting debates on the governance of data and its uses, brings together contributions from leading representatives from academia, government and business; including experts in ethics, law, finance, social and data sciences, machine learning and statistics in order to build connections between existing debates, and identify key questions and gaps.

Download the report pdf 

The Academies have initiated a project examining new uses of data and their implications, and reviewing the data governance landscape. The project will make recommendations for cross-sectoral governance arrangements that can ensure the UK remains a world leader in this area.

Two globally-renowned research institutes join WST Network

WSTNet – The Web Science Network of Laboratories – is delighted to announce that two globally-renowned research institutes have joined the network this month.

The Data Science Institute at Imperial College, London, and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) both become full members of WSTNet, demonstrating the growing reach of the Network, and the long-term global significance of its collaborative focus in Web Science and Data Science.

The Data Science Institute at Imperial College is at the forefront of research in data science, working across Imperial College to support the deployment of cutting-edge technologies in wide-reaching data-driven research. The Institute hopes to expand its collaborations with the Web Science community, in particular to explore the value of big data technology for applications in social machines.

INRIA, the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, promotes scientific excellence for technology transfer and society. INRIA’s 2600 employees – graduates from the world’s leading universities – rise to the challenges of digital sciences. With its open, agile model, INRIA is able to explore original approaches with its partners in industry and academic research, providing an effective response to the multidisciplinary and application challenges of digital transformation.

Established in 2010, the Web Science Network of Laboratories brings together some of the world’s outstanding academic researchers, based in 20 leading research institutes around the world. WSTNet aims to advance global research and education, outreach to industry, and the exchange of ideas. It supports collaborative research and education programmes, facilitates the exchange of researchers and graduate students, runs conferences, workshops and symposia, and aims fundamentally to advance the study and engineering of the Web for the benefit of society.

‘We are delighted to welcome our two new member institutions to WSTNet,’ said Professor Steffen Staab, Chair of the WSTNet Labs. ‘This is a rapidly expanding community, reflecting the significant impact of the Web on every aspect of our lives and futures.

‘Both Imperial College Data Science Institute and INRIA have already played eminent roles in advancing fundamental knowledge and technical approaches in their research areas. We look forward to the contribution they will make to WSTNet and to the high levels of engagement which will result from the increasing opportunities to share and advance our knowledge.’

Fabien Gandon of INRIA commented: ‘INRIA has actively supported the Web since its beginning, participating in the very first R&D that produced the Web in the early 1990s, and as a founding member of the W3 Consortium (W3C). Many of INRIA’s research teams contribute to computer science domains which are very relevant to the Web’s architecture, including data security and privacy enforcement, distributed and decentralized architectures, programming languages, natural language processing, and formal methods.’

Professor Yi-Ke Guo of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College, commented: ‘’The Web Science Network is committed to enlisting the help of research organisations working on the future of the Web. The development of data science will benefit greatly from this revolutionary research. We are excited to be part of the Web Science Network, and we are keen to contribute to this field to ensure the Web is even more integral to our lives.’