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Emerging Web Science Lexicon

Emerging Web Science Lexicon
Emerging Web Science Lexicon
Web Science is an emerging subject which is fundamentally inter-disciplinary. The term Web Science was first coined in 2006. Subsequently, a growing number of institutions across the world began offering Web Science taught programmes. The majority of Web Science study takes place at Masters or PhD level; however a number of institutions are now also offering Web Science undergraduate programmes. Attempts at creating a formal subject definition for Web Science were made during the early days of formal Web Science teaching, with the Web Science Subject categorisation being released for public use in 2011. However, this was derived using a formal top down, theoretical approach. In practice, Web Science as it is researched and taught differs significantly from the formal model. While it is valuable for educators to have a formal definition of Web Science, the process of manually assembling curriculum guidelines is onerous and protracted. Conventional methods of curriculum design typically involve an international panel of experts meeting, conferring, creating an initial definition and putting it out for consultation with educators. This method is both time consuming and expensive. Within a rapidly evolving field such as Web Science, the definition is also highly likely to become outdated by the time it is formally defined. In order to address this problem, research which identifies from the ground up, the content of Web Science taught programmes, can usefully be used to define the subject.
This is an empirical study, the aim of which is to develop recommendations for a clearer definition of the Web Science field, utilising a ground up approach to develop an overview of Web Science derived from what is being taught, studied and written about Web Science in practice. The strength of such a framework would be its ability to provide academics and students wishing to study Web Science with an updated picture of the Web Science curriculum. Such a definition would also aid with recruitment, University reporting and evaluation, as well as new programme creation. The proposed definition will be achieved utilising a variety of data sources, including a desk survey of Web Science taught programmes and modules, a questionnaire based survey and interviews with Academics and Students in Web Science (or related) fields, as well as a review of existing Web Science conference literature. Data will be analysed using a process of triangulation, involving a mainly qualitative Grounded Theory based approach, utilising thematic analysis of the resources described, also incorporating some mixed methods such as keyword analyses. The final outcome proposed by this project involves the emergence of a framework for a working definition of Web Science with topics drawn from an overview of the Web Science curricula, as well as the current available Web Science literature. This will be supplemented by input from Academics and Students in the Web Science and related fields. The final output of this thesis will comprise of an online resource to be named the ‘Web Science Lexicon’; a taxonomy of the key component topics of Web Science identified from the research described.
University of Southampton
Coskun, Elisabeth, Ann
8297e4a5-f294-43ed-b247-ce4f33c0c0d2
Coskun, Elisabeth, Ann
8297e4a5-f294-43ed-b247-ce4f33c0c0d2
White, Susan
5f9a277b-df62-4079-ae97-b9c35264c146

Coskun, Elisabeth, Ann (2018) Emerging Web Science Lexicon. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 380pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Web Science is an emerging subject which is fundamentally inter-disciplinary. The term Web Science was first coined in 2006. Subsequently, a growing number of institutions across the world began offering Web Science taught programmes. The majority of Web Science study takes place at Masters or PhD level; however a number of institutions are now also offering Web Science undergraduate programmes. Attempts at creating a formal subject definition for Web Science were made during the early days of formal Web Science teaching, with the Web Science Subject categorisation being released for public use in 2011. However, this was derived using a formal top down, theoretical approach. In practice, Web Science as it is researched and taught differs significantly from the formal model. While it is valuable for educators to have a formal definition of Web Science, the process of manually assembling curriculum guidelines is onerous and protracted. Conventional methods of curriculum design typically involve an international panel of experts meeting, conferring, creating an initial definition and putting it out for consultation with educators. This method is both time consuming and expensive. Within a rapidly evolving field such as Web Science, the definition is also highly likely to become outdated by the time it is formally defined. In order to address this problem, research which identifies from the ground up, the content of Web Science taught programmes, can usefully be used to define the subject.
This is an empirical study, the aim of which is to develop recommendations for a clearer definition of the Web Science field, utilising a ground up approach to develop an overview of Web Science derived from what is being taught, studied and written about Web Science in practice. The strength of such a framework would be its ability to provide academics and students wishing to study Web Science with an updated picture of the Web Science curriculum. Such a definition would also aid with recruitment, University reporting and evaluation, as well as new programme creation. The proposed definition will be achieved utilising a variety of data sources, including a desk survey of Web Science taught programmes and modules, a questionnaire based survey and interviews with Academics and Students in Web Science (or related) fields, as well as a review of existing Web Science conference literature. Data will be analysed using a process of triangulation, involving a mainly qualitative Grounded Theory based approach, utilising thematic analysis of the resources described, also incorporating some mixed methods such as keyword analyses. The final outcome proposed by this project involves the emergence of a framework for a working definition of Web Science with topics drawn from an overview of the Web Science curricula, as well as the current available Web Science literature. This will be supplemented by input from Academics and Students in the Web Science and related fields. The final output of this thesis will comprise of an online resource to be named the ‘Web Science Lexicon’; a taxonomy of the key component topics of Web Science identified from the research described.

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Published date: 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 453424
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/453424
PURE UUID: 9295d20c-ddc7-45bb-a170-478a58c77dcf
ORCID for Susan White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9588-5275

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Jan 2022 17:38
Last modified: 15 Jan 2022 02:35

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Contributors

Author: Elisabeth, Ann Coskun
Thesis advisor: Susan White ORCID iD

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