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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F013604/1
Title: Networks for Web Science
Principal Investigator: Hall, Professor Dame W
Other Investigators:
Carr, Professor LA Shadbolt, Professor N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronics and Computer Science
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2007 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 155,697
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Information & Knowledge Mgmt System on Chip
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies Communications
Related Grants:
EP/F013701/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
30 Apr 2007 Collaborating for Success Through People Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Web is the largest human information system construct. It is both a technical structure engineered on the basis of open standards and open protocols that are agreed internationally, and a social construct created by the millions of people and organisations who fill it with content, and governments who create policies and regulations to control what is and isn't permitted to appear on the Web to varying degrees. Both technically and socially, the Web is a very complex system that is growing at an astonishing rate. It has been estimated that the size of the Web is currently approximately equivalent to the number of neurons in the brain but it will soon be much bigger than this.Technological developments can be extrapolated to forecast the technical underpinnings of the next generation of the Web, but it is impossible to predict how the Web will evolve as new technologies become available because it is very difficult to predict human and organisational interactions over time and what people will and won't do as the Web develops. We are currently living in a Web2 world (the so-called second generation Web), in which the Web is enabling the growth of social networks on the Internet and a second wave of dot-com businesses. Semantic Web, or Web3, technology is just beginning to roll out. We know it will have a significant impact but it is harder to predict what the social and business impacts will be. Web Science brings together computer scientists and engineers, social scientists and policy makers to study complex information systems as personified by the Web. In other words, Web Science is the study of decentralized information systems. Web Science encompasses science, engineering, social understanding and capacity building. The aim of this proposal is to establish networks of researchers from different technical and social science research disciplines to begin to develop a Web Science research agenda through the exchange of PhD students and collaborative workshops, the results of which will be disseminated through detailed review papers.Web Science brings together computer scientists and engineers, social scientists and policy makers to study complex information systems as personified by the Web. In other words, Web Science is the study of decentralized information systems. Web Science encompasses science, engineering, social understanding and capacity building. The aim of this proposal is to establish networks of researchers from different technical and social science research disciplines to begin to develop a Web Science research agenda through the exchange of PhD students and collaborative workshops, the results of which will be disseminated through detailed review papers.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk