About Us

The Web Science Trust (WST) is a charitable body with the aim of supporting the global development of Web Science. It is hosted by the University of Southampton.

The Web Science Trust is a private company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with company number 06634408. The registered office address of the Web Science Trust is c/o Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DS, United Kingdom.


The origins of the Web Science Trust can be found in the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) which was established in 2006. WSRI was originally set up as the result of a Memorandum of Understanding between MIT CSAIL and University of Southampton, ECS, with the ambition of coordinating and supporting the study of the World Wide Web. Since the launch of this Initiative the concept of Web Science has been widely disseminated and is establishing itself as an important area of activity.

WSRI’s activities focused on

  1. articulating a research agenda for the broader scientific community
  2. coordinating the development of Web Science educational material and curricula
  3. engaging in thought leadership for this emerging field.

In order to continue with these activities the Directors of WSRI established a charitable body – the Web Science Trust (WST) – which is independent of the original founding institutions of WSRI.

Governance and Strategic Advice

The WST Board of Trustees is legally responsible for the procedural and financial operation of the Trust. They are advised by the Programme Board which determines the research priorities and strategic direction, taking guidance from the Scientific Council.

For information please go to the Board and Fellows page.


WST is working with the World Wide Web Foundation. The Foundation has a mission to advance the Web and empower people via the Web. The Trust and the Foundation have a common commitment to advance the new discipline of Web Science, and will work together on projects that improve our understanding of the Web and promote the Web’s positive impact on society.

For information on other partners please go to the Friends and Supporters page.