Category Archives: WSTNet News

India launches first Web Observatory

BENGALURU: For those into web science research, here’s some good news. India’s first Web Observatory (WO) was launched at the International Institute of Information Technology – Bangalore (IIIT-B) on Tuesday.

WO provides distributed data and analytics resources for the advancement of the economy and social prosperity by empowering governments, business and individuals to engage in web analytics. WO is planned to be a worldwide grid, hosting datasets relevant to web science research and IIIT-B will host the first such node of the grid in India. The observatory has been set up in association with Web Science Trust, University of Southampton.

IIIT-B director S Sadagopan said: “The web is increasingly impacting us in a comprehensive fashion – be it in business, governance or in our personal lives. Web science aims to understand the web in all its dimensions. Particularly for a growing economy like India, the web can act as a much-needed game changer that can empower both individual liberty and collective good.”

Excited about the launch of the WO in India, Dame Wendy Hall, executive director of Web Science Institute, University of Southampton said WO is crucial to providing data and data analytics to support evidence-based policy making and business intelligence.

Article from the Times of India

Vacancy: Assistant professor (UD) in Web Science (Tenure Track) VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Vacancy: Assistant professor (UD) in Web Science (Tenure Track)
VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Department of Computer Science
Vacancy number: 14393
Closing date: January 5, 2015

In collaboration with the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Department of Computer Sciences of VU University Amsterdam is seeking candidates for an assistant professor in Web Science.

VU University Amsterdam is one of the leading institutions for higher education in Europe and aims to be inspiring, innovative, and committed to societal welfare. It comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 25.000 students.

Research at the Faculty of Sciences focuses on the areas of Life & Health, Networked World, Fundamentals of Science, and Energy & Sustainability. The faculty’s teaching activities are directly linked to this excellent research. Cooperation with other faculties on the VU University Amsterdam campus generates attractive, high-quality Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes.

At international level, the faculty cooperates closely with leading scientific institutes and other partners. In the context of the VU University Amsterdam management programme, the faculty is cooperating closely with the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences to optimize the support of teaching and research. During the upcoming period, the faculty, together with the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, will be facing the challenge of how to further flesh out cooperation between VU University Amsterdam’s science faculties and those of the University of Amsterdam.

The VU University Amsterdam Department of Computer Sciences has approximately 170 members, including 35 tenured staff members and 40-50 PhD students. We are currently embarking on an ambitious collaboration with the UvA Informatics Institute. This will result in the largest conglomeration of computer science research in The Netherlands, and one of the largest in Europe.

The department is inviting applications for a tenure track position in Web Science, to be positioned in the Web and Media research group. Web Science is a rapidly emerging new scientific discipline that takes the Web as its object of study. The VU Department of Computer Sciences hosts some of the pioneering research teams in this exciting new field. As a member of the Network Institute, the department is actively involved in Web Science research in collaboration with scholars from social science, law, economics and humanities. The Web and Media research group is actively involved in Web Science research in connection to Semantic Web, Human Computing, Personalized Web-based Systems.


The candidate will be expected to:

  •  Undertake research in the area of Web Science, and to teach Web Science and Computer Science at undergraduate and postgraduate level;
  • Develop research activities by sustaining a personal research plan;
  • Attract, manage and sustain a small research group of PhD students and Research Assistants;
  • Establish an international reputation for research through the regular dissemination of findings through leading peer-reviewed publications, presenting results at conferences, or exhibiting work at other appropriate events;
  • Contribute and develop innovative research proposals, projects and funding bids as self-contained items or as part of a broader programme;
  •  Carry out management and administrative tasks associated with research activities, including risk assessment of project activities, organization of project meetings and documentation and preparation of annual reports. Execute procedures required to ensure accurate and timely formal reporting and financial control;
  • Support the teaching objectives of the Department by a range of contributions to its teaching activities. Deliver teaching of the highest quality across a range of modules and to all levels, through lectures, tutorials, practicals and seminars. Monitor, evaluate and revise course design to ensure excellence and coherence;
  • Contribute to the efficient management and administration of the Department by performing personal administrative duties as allocated by the Head and by taking on appropriate coordinating roles.


We expect the candidate to be member of the Web and Media research group and as such to work with researchers from other disciplines across the University and from around the world. Successful candidates will have a background in Computer Science, will have a significant track record in a core Web Science research area, are able to demonstrate the ability to undertake interdisciplinary research and to contribute to the development of the Computer Science and Web Science education programs at both Bachelor and Master level.

The candidate demonstrates a substantial external reputation in Web Science, experience in interdisciplinary research, evidence of independent research and evidence of academic potential through quality research publications.

The candidate must be proficient in English, willing to learn Dutch and must be prepared to take courses for qualification as university teacher.

Further particulars

The assistant professor position is a tenure track position. Based on performance indicators agreed at the start of the appointment, a tenure track position will lead to tenured position in a period of a maximum of 4 years. VU University Amsterdam is an equal opportunities employer. You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at like:

  •  Remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
  • Generous contribution (65%) commuting allowance based on public transport;
  • Discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);
  • Participation in Individual Choices model.


The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and depending on experience, range from a minimum of € 3,259 up to a maximum of € 4,462 gross per month (salary scale 11) or from a minimum of € 3,950 up to a maximum of € 5,070 gross per month (salary scale 12) based on a fulltime employment.


Here is the online advertisement at the VU:

For additional information please contact:
Dr. Lora Aroyo

Department of Computer Sciences:
Network Institute:


Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and one or two references.

Applications should be sent by email to before January 5, 2015. Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header.

Build Peace – Peace through Technology

April 5 -6 2014, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA

The Build Peace Conference brings together practitioners, activists and technologists from around the world to share experience and ideas on using technology for peacebuilding and conflict transformation.

Technology is altering how we engage with the world, offering new avenues for social change. Over the course of two days, we will explore how information and communications technologies, games, networking platforms and other tools can enhance the impact of a broad range of peacebuilding, social cohesion and peace advocacy initiatives. Most ICT4Peace discussions focus on early warning and crisis response. Few pay attention to the use of technology for attitude and behaviour change, collaboration, dialogue, or policy advocacy. Build Peace aims to complement existing forums by expanding the discussion to encompass other important areas of peacebuilding practice.

For more information on the conference program and upcoming details of the conference live streams, visit the Build Peace or follow on Twitter @howtobuildpeace (or #buildpeace )

Updated WST Web Site


We are delighted to announce the launch of  our new WST website – we have tried to take account of improvement suggestions from our users and to streamline the discovery and display of data.

We’d also like to thank all those who made time to review the beta site and provide feedback.


WebSci MSc Course in Spain

The MediaLab at the University of Alcalá (Spain) started their on-line MSc program on Networked Media and Web Science in 2014. The program is 60 ECTS and prepares for entering the interdisciplinary Phd Program on Communication, Information and Technology in the Networked Society.

More information at:

Inquiries can be sent to the Director of the program, Dr. Miguel-Angel Sicilia

Southampton WebSci centre for doctoral training

Southampton’s new CDTs are in addition to the 72 Centres unveiled by the EPSRC back in November 2013, when three new CDTs involving also Southampton were announced.

The University is leading the CDT in Web Science Innovation, which will train 65 students, says the university – that’s 13 students per year over five years – to innovate in the shaping of Web growth, Web practices and Web policy “to lead UK industry and government to reap the maximum economic and social value from its emerging digital economy”.

“Web Science offers the insights necessary to understand the flow of data and knowledge around the globe, and the social and technical processes that can turn gigabytes and terabytes of raw data and into valuable new applications or evidence-based policy, said Professor Les Carr, one of the directors of the CDT in Web Science Innovation.

“It also helps us appreciate the threats to our online identities but also the opportunities of allowing our personal digital avatars to participate in new kinds of online businesses, online politics and online social engagements.”

– See more at:

WebSci ACM Conference 2014 – 23-26 June



ACM WebSci14 ( will be hosted by Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


The ACM Web Science 2014 Conference will be hosted on the beautiful campus of Indiana University, Bloomington from June 23 to June 26, 2014.

Web Science studies the vast information network of people, communities, organizations, applications, and policies that shape and are shaped by the Web, the largest artifact constructed by humans in history. Computing, physical, and social sciences come together, complementing each other in understanding how the Web affects our interactions and behaviors.

San Francisco Web Observatory Workshop

Students, researchers and web scientists came together for a hackathon-sytle meet-up hosted by Mark Musen and the team at Stanford.

Post-grad researchers Ramine Tinati, Chris Phethean and Ian Brown from Southampton introduced the day with presentations of their research interests including:

  • Social Media effectiveness for Charities,
  • Message propgation in Social Networks and
  • Observation – how observatories are different


the session progressed into a data hack together kicked off by Vinay Goel from our partners at the Internet Archive to look at ways in which complex data sets can be wrangled, analysed and shared.