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Web science

Web science
Web science
This chapter examines some of the ideas behind the emerging discipline of Web Science, whose ambition is to shape the future development of the World Wide Web and the research agenda that that requires. There are formidable obstacles to this ambition, not least the large scale of the Web, the most complex piece of technology ever devised, and the co-constitution of the Web with its communities of users. Web Science must therefore straddle and integrate computing, mathematics, complexity and network studies on the one hand, together with studies of the social context, using the methods of sociology, law and economics on the other. The chapter defines the Web and differentiates it from the Internet, upon whose infrastructure it depends. Web Science is shown to be a type of reflective practice, made problematic by its scale and by the complexity of its interrelation with embedding societies; in particular it is difficult to integrate the micro-scale of the protocols which define it, with the macro-scale of the social effects that follow from widespread use of particular systems. The example of the development of the Web of Linked Data is used to illustrate difficulties and potential solutions.
web science, web architecture, reflective practice, web topography, semantic web, linked data, trust, politics and the web
978-0-19-958907-4
48-68
Oxford University Press
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Hall, Wendy
11f7f8db-854c-4481-b1ae-721a51d8790c
Dutton, William
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Hall, Wendy
11f7f8db-854c-4481-b1ae-721a51d8790c
Dutton, William

O'Hara, Kieron and Hall, Wendy (2013) Web science. In, Dutton, William (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies. (Oxford handbooks in Business and Management) Oxford, GB. Oxford University Press, pp. 48-68.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

This chapter examines some of the ideas behind the emerging discipline of Web Science, whose ambition is to shape the future development of the World Wide Web and the research agenda that that requires. There are formidable obstacles to this ambition, not least the large scale of the Web, the most complex piece of technology ever devised, and the co-constitution of the Web with its communities of users. Web Science must therefore straddle and integrate computing, mathematics, complexity and network studies on the one hand, together with studies of the social context, using the methods of sociology, law and economics on the other. The chapter defines the Web and differentiates it from the Internet, upon whose infrastructure it depends. Web Science is shown to be a type of reflective practice, made problematic by its scale and by the complexity of its interrelation with embedding societies; in particular it is difficult to integrate the micro-scale of the protocols which define it, with the macro-scale of the social effects that follow from widespread use of particular systems. The example of the development of the Web of Linked Data is used to illustrate difficulties and potential solutions.

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Published date: 10 January 2013
Keywords: web science, web architecture, reflective practice, web topography, semantic web, linked data, trust, politics and the web
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 273097
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/273097
ISBN: 978-0-19-958907-4
PURE UUID: a7c2346b-f708-4a02-bf8c-7b3af5239d60
ORCID for Kieron O'Hara: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9051-4456
ORCID for Wendy Hall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4327-7811

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Jan 2012 10:05
Last modified: 02 Jul 2020 00:27

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