News May


Keynote, Industry Panels & Workshop Announcements

Web Science embraces the study of the Web as a vast information network of people and communities. It also includes the study of people and communities using the digital records of user activity mediated by the Web. An understanding of human behavior and social interaction can contribute to our understanding of the Web, and data obtained from the Web can contribute to our understanding of human behavior and social interaction. Accordingly, Web Science involves analysis and design of Web architecture and applications, as well as studies of the people, organizations, and policies that shape and are shaped by the Web.To address these diverse goals, the Web Science conference is inherently interdisciplinary, integrating computer and information sciences, communication, linguistics, sociology, psychology, economics, law, political science, and other disciplines. This conference is unique in the manner in which it brings these disciplines together in creative and critical dialogue, and we invite papers from all the above disciplines, as well as those that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.Following the success of WebSci’09 in Athens, WebSci’10 in Raleigh, and WebSci’11 in Koblenz, Northwestern University is proud to host WebSci’12 in Evanston, Il, next to Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.

See for more information

** Regular registration for the conference is now open.

Keynote Speakers

WebSci’12  is pleased to announce the six invited keynote speakers at the conference:
  Luis von Ahn
Carnegie Mellon University
  Sinan Aral
New York University
  danah boyd
Microsoft Research
  Jon Kleinberg
Cornell University
  Sonia Livingstone
London School of Economics
  Siva Vaidyanathan
University of Virginia

Industry Panels

Besides the six invited Keynote speakers, WebSci’12 will feature two Industry Panel sessions with invited speakers from industry:
Industry Panel on Enterprise Social Media
- JP Rangaswami / Salesforce
- Chris Diehl / Jive
- Christian Posse / LinkedIn
Panel on Challenges & Opportunities for Industry Research
- Raghu Ramakrishnan/Yahoo Research
- Neel Sundaresan/eBay
- Ed Chi/Google


WebSci’12 will include the organization of eight workshops in conjunction with the conference which will take place on June 21st (all day) and June 22nd (morning):
Altmetrics 12
Thursday June 21, Full day workshop Workshop organizers:

  • Paul Groth, VU University Amsterdam, NL
  • Jason Priem, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
  • Dario Taraborelli, Wikimedia Foundation, USA


The increasing quantity and velocity of scientific output is presenting scholars with a deluge of data. There is growing concern that scholarly output may be swamping traditional mechanisms for both pre-publication filtering (e.g peer review) and post-publication impact filtering (e.g. the Journal Impact Factor). Increasing scholarly use of Web2.0 tools presents an opportunity to create new filters. Metrics based on a diverse set of social sources could yield broader, richer, and more timely assessments of current and potential scholarly impact. Realizing this, many authors have begun to investigate these altmetrics. Altmetrics12 encourages continued investigation intothe properties of these metrics: their validity, their potential value and flaws, and their relationship to established measures.
Words and Networks: Language Use in Socio-Technical Networks (WON2012)
Friday June 22, Half day workshop (morning) Workshop organizers:

  • Jana Diesner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • David Reitter, Carnegie Mellon University & Penn State
While text analysis and network analysis have evolved into mature yet still quickly advancing fields, new work at their intersection emerges that enhances our understanding of the transformative role that language can play in networks and the relationship between information and networks. By jointly considering text data and network data we can analyze networks along multiple dimensions of human behavior. This has facilitated eminent work on collective problem solving through information propagation, language change, and the adoption of beliefs and sentiments, to name a few areas. The overarching goal with this workshop is to bring together people that bridge the gap between text analysis and network analysis, and to discuss current advances and challenges in this new field.
Teaching the Web with Web Science

Thursday June 21, Half day workshop (afternoon)

Workshop organizers:

  • Stéphane Bazan (Saint-Joseph University of Beirut)
  • Su White (Southampton University)
  • Hugh Davis (Southampton University)
This highly interactive half day workshop will enable Web Science researchers to share their views on how the Web, as a social machine, should be approached in interdisciplinary teaching activities at university or even at school. Previous Web Science curriculum workshops have raised the question of the Web Science curricula in Master degrees, this workshop will address the broader issues of how to introduce and integrate Web culture and knowledge in existing curricula.
Charting Collections of Connections in Social Media: Creating Maps and Measures with NodeXL (CCCSM)
Thursday June 21, Full day workshop Workshop organizers:

  • Dr. Marc A. Smith – Director, Social Media Research Foundation
Networks are a data structure common found across all social media services.  Internet services that allow populations to author collections of connections are wildly popular and consequential. The Social Media Research Foundation‘s NodeXL project makes analysis of networks in general and social media networks in particular accessible to most users of the Excel spreadsheet application.  With NodeXL, network datasets become as easy to create as pie charts.  Applying the tool to a range of social media networks has already revealed the variations present in online social spaces. A review of the tool and images of Twitter, flickr, YouTube, and email networks will be presented.
2nd Workshop on Personalized Multilingual Web Science (PMWS)
Thursday June 21, Full day workshop Workshop organizers:

Search engines have traditionally followed a “one size fits all” paradigm and returned the same results for all users. They do not adapt to the user, the domain, or the search context. Thus, the search process and the number and type of results returned are not tailored to the individual user or her/his search situation. Personalised Web Science is concerned with adapting the search process to the user’s needs. This includes adapting the system, the query-document similarity metrics, the search results, and their presentation to an individual user. The personalisation process can be based on models of the user, the domain, and the search context, but no standard representation or resources have evolved to-date.
2nd Health Web Science Workshop
Friday June 22, Half day workshop (morning)Workshop organizers:

  • Prof. Grant Cumming, MBChB, MD, MRCOG. NHS, UK
  • Dr. Joanne S. Luciano, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Dr. Christopher J. O. Baker, University of New Brunswick. Canada
  • Dr. Erik Cambria, Temasek Laboratories, National University of Singapore, Singapora
Health Web Science studies the web (and technologies that use the internet) and their emergent properties and how these can benefit society in the area of human health. This workshop aims to investigate the application of the discipline of Web Science to the areas of Health research, education, empowerment, and care.This workshop will continue to lay the foundation of this emerging discipline and build on the success of the workshop of 2011. It will develop the community of workers in this field and and provide a platform for collaboration.
Mapping & Clouding: Employing Digital Methods I: The Issue Crawler
Thursday June 21, Half day workshop (morning)Workshop organizers:

  • Richard Rogers, PhD is University Professor and holds the Chair in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam.

More info:

Two workshops will be organized during the Web Science conference around the topic ‘Mapping and Clouding: Employing Digital Methods’. The 1st will focus on The Issue Crawler, whereas the 2nd focuses on The Lippmannian Device.The Digital Methods workshop focuses on mapping website networks with the Issue Crawler. The Issue Crawler, online since 2001, is Web network and visualization software that works in a browser. It consists of crawlers, databases, analysis engines, and visualization modules. The software relies on co-link analysis, a scientometric sampling or network demarcation technique based on citation analysis, adapted for the Web. The workshop provides an introduction to the Issue Crawler as well as its allied tools, including the actor profiler, and export features to Gephi and others.
Mapping & Clouding: Employing Digital Methods II: The Lippmannian Device
Friday June 22, Half day workshop (morning) Workshop organizers:

  • Richard Rogers, PhD is University Professor and holds the Chair in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam.

More info:

WebScii12 will include two workshops on “‘Mapping and Clouding: Employing Digital Methods:” 1. “The Issue Crawler.” 2. “The Lippmannian Device.”The Digital Methods workshop addresses clouding resonance of issue mentions on websites. The workshop in particular concentrates on using and interpreting the Lippmannian Device, the tool developed by Rogers and colleagues in the context of the Mapping Controversies project led by Bruno Latour ( At the workshop, Rogers will present (at least) four ways to use the Lippmannian Device, and also facilitate use by the workshop participants.