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"Web Science" Dossier

Science, the Web and Web Science

Daniel Riera (

Doctor in Computer Engineering, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)

UOC Software Engineering Research Group (GRES-UOC)


The evolution of the World Wide Web (or simply the web) since its birth in the 1980s has been staggering. The incorporation of new users, which has been exponential over time, and the constant contributions of new ways of organising data, communicating, sharing information, etc., have led to its gaining a practically unstoppable inertia in just two decades.

The Web Science Research Institute, WSRI, was created in November of 2006 with the main aim of proposing a new discipline, Web Science, to observe the web and all that that surrounds it. It defends the need to analyse what is going on inside and outside the web and, thus, be able to propose improvements and corrections. This idea requires combining disciplines that have, to date, been very disperse, such as IT, psychology, law or economics. This has led to a new professional profile, the Web Scientist, and, likewise, new academic needs.

This article details the work carried out by the WSRI in its first two years of existence, with regard to the new knowledge area of Web Science.


WSRI, education, historical review, web science

Submission date:  September 2008
Accepted in:  September 2008
Published in:  October 2008

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