WebSci’22 Call for Papers

The Old vs. the New Normal

Web-based technologies have proven to be playing a vital role in enabling us to cope with the global pandemic. Having experienced two years of “crisis,” many new norms have been forming, both socially and technologically. While some people long to return to how things were before the pandemic, others are questioning whether that is a state worth returning to. The main theme of this year’s conference, therefore, is the old vs. the new normal. Even though the conference accepts a wide range of topics (see below), papers discussing this overall issue would be particularly welcomed. 

Web Science is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to understanding the complex and multiple impacts of the Web on society, and vice versa. As such, the field of Web Science is particularly well situated to address pressing issues of our time. 

Methodologically, Web Science is a discipline that is agnostic to specific methods. We welcome quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research, including methods from the social sciences and computer science. In addition, we welcome work that explores the ethics of Web-based data collection and research and those which have a broader perspective on the Web and that combine analyses of Web data and other types of data (e.g., from surveys or interviews) to better understand user behaviour (i.e., online and offline).

Building on our theme for 2022, we especially welcome contributions on:

  • Successful cases of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary Web research
  • Trends in globalisation, fragmentation, rejoining, and Balkanisation of the Web
  • Automation and AI in all its manifestations relevant to the Web
  • Interrogate questions of discrimination, representation and fairness
  • Bring lenses such as intersectionality or design justice to questions of marginalisation and inequality
  • Ethical challenges of technologies, data, algorithms, platforms, and people in the Web
  • Modeling Web-related structures, data, users and behaviours
  • Impact of AI and machine learning on the development of Web Science
  • Detecting, preventing and predicting anomalies in Web data (e.g., fake content, spam, algorithmic and data biases)
  • Data curation, Web archives and stewardship in Web Science
  • Safeguarding and governance of the Web, including anonymity, security and trust
  • Temporal and spatial dimensions of the Web as a repository of information
  • The architecture and philosophy of the Web
  • Social machines, crowd computing and collective intelligence
  • Analysis and modeling of human vs. automatic behaviour (e.g., bots) and their influence on the structure of the Web and responding behaviour
  • Critical analyses of the Web and Web technologies 
  • Web economics, social entrepreneurship, and innovation
  • Analysis of online social and information networks
  • Legal issues including rights and accountability for AI actors
  • Humanities, arts, and culture on the Web
  • Inclusion, literacy and the digital divide
  • Politics and social activism on the Web
  • Online education and remote learning
  • Health and well-being online

Format of the submissions

Please upload your submissions via EasyChair.

There are two submission formats:

Full paper should be between 6 and 10 pages (inclusive of references, appendices, etc.). Full papers typically report on mature and completed projects.

Short papers should be up to 5 pages (inclusive of references, appendices, etc.). Short papers will be primarily reporting on high-quality ongoing work not mature enough for a full-length publication.

All accepted submissions will be assigned an oral presentation (of two different lengths). The option of additional poster presentations and other details will be decided in due time depending on the technical setup and other factors.

All authors of accepted papers (including those who opt out of proceedings) are expected to present their work (in-person or virtually) at the conference.


Template

All papers should adopt the current ACM SIG Conference proceedings template (acmart.cls). Please submit papers as PDF files using the ACM template, either in Microsoft Word format or with the ACM LaTeX template on Overleaf platform which is available as ACM Conference Proceedings “Master” Template.

All contributions will be judged by the Program Committee upon rigorous peer review standards for quality and fit the conference, by at least three referees. Additionally, each paper will be assigned to a Senior Program Committee member to ensure review quality.

Review is double-blind

Please anonymize your submission: do not put the author(s) names or affiliation(s) at the start of the paper, and do not include funding or other acknowledgements in papers submitted for review. References to authors’ own prior relevant work should be included, but should not specify that this is the authors’ own work. It is up to the authors’ discretion how much to further modify the body of the paper to preserve anonymity. The requirement for anonymity does not extend outside of the review process, e.g. the authors can decide how widely to distribute their papers over the Internet. Even in cases where the author’s identity is known to a reviewer, the double-blind process will serve as a symbolic reminder of the importance of evaluating the submitted work on its own merits without regard to the authors’ reputation.

For authors who wish to opt out of publication proceedings, this option will be made available upon acceptance. This will encourage the participation of researchers from the social sciences that prefer to publish their work as journal articles.

 

Programme Committee Chairs

  • Oshani Seneviratne (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
  • Ingmar Weber (Qatar Computing Research Institute)
  • Taha Yasseri (University College Dublin)

For any questions and queries regarding the paper submission, please contact the chairs at websci22@easychair.org

Key Dates

Submission: Feb 10, 2022

Notification: Mar 3, 2022

Camera Ready: May 12th, 2022

UTW Episode 26: Sandra González-Bailón

The Role of Research

In this episode, we chat with Sandra González-Bailón, who is on the faculty at the Annenberg School for Communication. Her research lies at the intersection of network science, data mining, computational tools and political communication. She is the author of Decoding the Social World, published by MIT Press in 2017, and was also the keynote speaker of the ACM Web Science Conference in 2019.

During this conversation, Sandra discussed some of her research about people’s news exposure — and what it surprisingly revealed. She also explains how the medium of data that gets studied — the web v.s. apps data and desktop v.s. mobile data — can impact results. And she digs into how exactly research can help the world — but also that the world needs to know the right questions to ask. To hear all this and more, take a listen of this episode.

 

UTW Episode 25: Nigel Shadbolt

Semantic Web Science

In this special 25th episode of Untangling the Web, we talk with one of the founders of web science, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt. He’s Principal of Jesus college and professorial Research Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Oxford.  As information adviser to the United Kingdom government, he encouraged the release of many 1000s of public sector data sets. He was knighted in 2013 for services to science and engineering.

During this episode, Nigel recounts some of those founding conversations and intentions surrounding the creation of the web science field, as well as some of his more recent work. Nigel, who was on the forefront of the Semantic Web, also explains exactly what that means — and what the web might look like today if it had expanded. To hear to this and more, listen to this episode.

 

Russian Government spat with YouTube over misinformation

The Russian government has threatened to block YouTube and take “other retaliatory measures” unless it reinstates two German-language channels of the state broadcaster RT which have fallen foul of YouTube’s expanded misinformation policies around vaccines

On Wednesday, YouTube deleted the two channels for violating Covid-19 misinformation guidelines prompting the Russian foreign ministry to call YouTube’s action an ‘unprecedented act of media aggression’ 

YouTube has stated that it would now block all anti-vaccine posts that contradict health authorities’ medical information about vaccines such as claims that flu shots causes infertility or the MMR vaccine can cause autism.

Posts that contain misinformation on the substances in vaccines will also be blocked as part of the updated policy.

The BBC reported that, RT’s YouTube channel RT DE had already received a warning from the platform for violating Covid-19 misinformation guidelines and was also issued a one week suspension from uploading content on the platform RT DE proceeded to use a second channel – Der Fehlende Part – to post videos that also violated YouTube policies. As a result, YouTube deleted both channels on Wednesday.

RT’s channels have been accused by German authorities of ‘manipulative’ reporting on anti-lockdown protests, and spreading divisive content ahead of last week’s election.

 

This article orginally appeared in Computing 30th September, 2021