Category Archives: WSTNet News

Call for proposals to host Web Science Summer School 2019

The Steering Committee of the WSTNet Web Science Summer School (WWSSS) invites interested parties from commercial, academic or public domain to submit bids to host WWSSS in 2019. The call consists of two stages: first an expression of interest and second a full proposal.

Stage 1: Expression of interest (due 23 June)

Parties interested in hosting WWSSS’19 contact Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab from the Steering Committee. Please send your expression of interest in pdf format. 1 page should be sufficient. Please include the following information:

  • Details of proposed site: country, city, and venue
  • Accommodation: number and categories of hotels and hostels in the site’s neighbourhood
  • Local organisation: name(s) and contact information of the local organiser(s), hosting institution
  • Time and duration of the summer school

Optional further information can include any other relevant details that you feel will support your application (e.g. international connectivity and attractiveness of the site, range and average of accommodation costs, experience of the host in organising related events, etc.).

The deadline for submitting the expression of interest is 23 June 2018. The Steering Committee will decide on the submitted bids and inform both successful and unsuccessful applicants until 15 July 2018.

Stage 2: Full proposal submission (due 30 September)

Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.  The full proposal should be sent to Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab from the Steering Committee. Please submit the proposal in pdf format and do not exceed 10 pages. It should contain the following information:

  • Venue: attractiveness of the location, distance of accommodation
  • Timing: targeted event week and key dates
  • Student costs and support: estimated costs for international students, student grants, special conditions for participation and/or accommodation
  • Program: foundational Web Science topics and special lectures, networking events
  • Financial viability: draft of the financial plan including major fixed and variable costs
  • Organisation: local organiser consortium and its expertise in event/hosting management
  • Dissemination and publicity: plans for reaching the target audience, opportunities to share WWSSS materials within Web Science community

Again, you are welcome to include any additional details you feel will support your application, for example hosting facilities, transportation options, social program options and opportunities for personal dialogue with WWSSS lecturers, strategy for acquiring high-quality Web Science lecturers and sponsors, accompanying events (e.g. podium discussions, poster sessions, etc.), potential risks and reasonable fallback options, travel restrictions or special visa requirements, etc.

The deadline for submission is 30 September 2018. The steering committee will decide on the location of WWSSS’19 and inform the applicants until 31 October 2018.

Important dates

  • 23 June 2018: Deadline for expressions of interest
  • 15 July 2018: Notification and call for full proposals
  • 30 September 2018: Deadline for full proposals
  • 31 October 2018: Notification of acceptance

Support and further information

If you have any questions, Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab from the Steering Committee would be happy to help.

WebSci18 Main Conference Day 2 – ACM Turing Award Lecture by Tim Berners-Lee

This morning I entered the VU Amsterdam building to find a huge crowd of people waiting to see Tim Berners-Lee deliver his Turing Award Lecture as part of the Web Science conference. The crowd surged forward into the stunning Aula room and settled down to wait for Tim’s arrival. Hans Akkermans from VU introduced Tim before his lecture, and then Tim took the stage.

Tim introduced the idea of the Web as a cyber-utopia and said that he thinks we are in a difficult place with the Web at the moment. Tim reminisced about the early days of the Web when he wrote a memo originally about the Web, and what he wanted it to be, around the same time that the Berlin Wall was pulled down, and other political moments shook the world. Tim said that his timing was slightly off, not wanted to start talking about the Web when these momentous historical moments were occurring. For Tim, it started as something he wanted to develop and created a drawing of what he thought it would look like. On a good day, Tim says that the Web is simply a layer of documents, an interesting thought.

Of course, Tim moved on to create the first browser, which subsequently created a battle between the browser giants Microsoft and Netscape, we all know how that one played out. Tim has some amazing visuals, showing his first NeXTcube machine, which he ran the Web on at CERN. With stickers all over it asking not to turn it off. He showed a graph that indicated the exponential growth of the Web in the first few years from a few hundred to well over 100,000 hits. Tim says quite humbly that he is always impressed that humanity managed to create something like Wikipedia.

Tim mentioned that for all the time you spend online, some of that must be dedicated to defending your use of it. Defending the ideas behind the Web, what it should stand for, how it should be governed, and that it should remain a free and open space. Of course, people like Tim are now having to defend the Web in governments all over the world that was to introduce net neutrality as a standard.

In 2014, Tim states that many people like him took a step back to look at the Web, and how it was being used, asking how humanity is serving the Web. Tim suggests that we re-decentralize the Web, as a good place to start.

There were hundreds of tweets during the lecture, and it is worth checking some of them out for a live experience of the contents. It was also live-streamed and filmed so no doubt a copy will be made available online. What a thoroughly enjoyable and amazing talk. Tim was funny, and engaging and really made me think about how I see the Web, how I use it and when I defend it.

Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence joins the Web Science Trust Network of research labs

It is with extreme pleasure that we can announce a new lab has joined our network. The Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC DSAI), is based at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and carries out cutting-edge research in Web Science.

RBC DSAI has a variety of interesting research projects:

  • natural language processing and generation, working with text from various social media as well as other sources
  • multi-modal learning with data being derived often from online sources
  • network science and its application to online social media
  • the use of network science with ontologies and linked data.

The Future of Life Institute listed some of RBC DSAI work, on joint representation learning of multi-modal data, as one of the top 25 AI breakthroughs of 2015.

Welcome to the Web Science Trust Network!

Call for Registration and Scholarship Applications for the Web Science Summer School 2018

Scholarship applications by 15 April 2018
Official registration open: 19 March 2018
Early bird registration by 7 May 2018
WWSSS summer school: 30 July – 5 August 2018

The Web Science Summer School 2018 (WWSSS’18) will be held in Hannover, Germany. It is hosted by L3S Research Center and will take place from 30.07.18 till 04.08.18.

Web Science is the emergent study of the people and technologies, applications, processes and practices that shape and are shaped by the World Wide Web. Web Science requires mining and understanding data from the Web, requiring both technical skills for handling big (Web) data as well as fundamental understanding of the social, psychological or legal aspects underpinning online activities.

The WWSSS’18 will address the inter-disciplinary field of Web Science by focusing on lectures which tackle the aforementioned challenges in topics such as data science and data mining, big data processing, information retrieval, Web governance as well as the sociology and psychology of online interactions.


The program includes keynote talks from prominent researchers in Web Science. Alongside lectures from experienced researchers, that will address major trends in Web Science, the Summer School will provide hands-on training in data processing, analysis and methods, team work, and opportunities to present current research. Participants shall 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.


Registration is open to everyone interested with a registration fee of
200 EUR (175 EUR for early bird registration). Full time-students enrolled for Bachelors, Masters or PhD degree in computer science, digital humanities and related fields may apply for scholarship grants funded by the SoBigData project. The organizing committee will evaluate all applications. Every attendee with a successful application will receive a fee waiver. In addition, a minimum budget 300 EUR is reserved for every successful applicant for travel and accommodation refunds.
More details are available on the website.

Follow the updates at, and do not miss the chance to be a part of this enriching experience! Please feel free to contact the chairs of the summer school or the local organization team if you have any queries: