Web Science: What Other Disciplines Are Contributing To Web Science And In What Way?


Web science. What other disciplines are contributing to web science and in what way?

I am doing research about web science in general (Definition, history, other disciplines, research questions and concluding)

I want you to do this part only (What other disciplines are contributing to web science and in what way?) by discussing the other disciplines that contributing to web science and describe how they contribute?

All the reference must be from the conference papers presented in WebSci09 and WebSci10 which published in


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Web science has evolved a great deal as a discipline over the last 50 years. This discipline has benefited from contributions from many other disciplines during this duration. The evolution of the Web has evolved from situations where documents were availed for humans to read to scenarios whereby data and information could be manipulated using computers.


Web science has benefited greatly from semantics, whereby the interpretation of symbols takes center stage in the way meaning is derived (EPSRC Networks for Web Science, 2009, p. 7). The semantic theory has also contributed greatly to an account for meanings in web science, whereby logical connections between terms are established, thereby making interoperability between systems possible.

            Meanwhile, there is an increase in the need for shared semantics and the web of information and data that is derived from it. Integration remains a major demand with regard to the handling of heterogeneous and diverse data sets with origins in distinct communities of scientists who belong in separate subfields.

            The need for scientists, regulatory authorities in genomics, researchers, proteomics, epidemiology, clinical drug trials, and so on to integrate different components on the web has resulted in the adoption of conceptualizations known as ontologies (EPSRC Networks for Web Science 2009, p. 11). There are ontologies for medicine, biology, genomics, and other related fields. All these communities have been continually developing language standards for deployment on the Web. What began in life sciences is now spreading into other disciplines. For instance, in environmental science, integration of ecology, hydrology, climatology, and oceanography is already underway.

            The interdisciplinary nature of Web science is always clear judging by the diversity in the scholarly background of the people who always indicate an intention of making presentations during Websci09 and Websci10 conferences. During Websci09, academics from different disciplines attended. The doctoral students who attended came from diverse areas of academic interests, and all of them were fighting for a chance to make a presentation. The result of this was the incorporation of new theories and methodologies, all of which are worth analyzing in greater detail.

            The Web Science Research Initiative promotes a joint work of different scientific fields, with a core aim of comprehending fundamental issues on how the World Wide Web can be improved. The main areas of improvement are design and usage. Since scholars from different disciplines use the World Wide Web, their views have to be integrated into the redesign efforts, thereby making a multidisciplinary approach unavoidable. The most indispensable knowledge, in this case, is from computer science, physics, and computer science.

            The multidisciplinary nature makes this new science a peculiar and exciting one to research on. The most notable peculiarity is the interaction between social scientists and computer scientists. The interactions center on issues of social sciences, e-commerce, e-culture, e-learning, tagging systems, and cybercrime. In the Websci09, these researchers discussed multidisciplinary problems such as privacy, openness and control, and trust. The conference also discussed issues of how people behave as well as how they derive motivation while they are online.

            The necessity for an interdisciplinary approach to be adopted is clear for social scientists and computer scientists alike to see. Today, discussions of the World Wide Web cannot be complete without social, technical, political and legal issues being addressed. This is because the web is unique research for scholars in all fields. These scholars, therefore, have to think about the way of addressing the Web’s many challenges. In this sense, multidisciplinary approaches in web science conferences are normally best organized and coordinated through methodological panels.

Being an extremely young discipline, web science faces many challenges relating to the drawing of clear-cut interdisciplinary and cultural differences. However, the Websci09 Conference’s major theme was an assertion that the discipline was no longer the interest of a few scholars; it had grown tremendously in terms of diverse interests, universal acknowledgment, and scholarly contribution. Without an interdisciplinary approach, this scholarly contribution would not have been tremendous in the way that it turned out to be.

During paper sessions, it is clear that more attention is often focused on the social aspects of web usage compared to the infrastructural aspects. For instance, in the entire Websci09 conference, the only one session, entitled ‘Web of Data’ was dedicated to technological developments relating to web usage. However, there is an underlying problem of achieving a balance among a myriad of different aspects that are clamoring for attention in this new discipline.

             A multidisciplinary approach is necessary for attention to be drawn towards the different ways in which confusion manifests itself in the way web science is understood. In this regard, a key aspect involves the specification of the different web technologies that exist today. The attempt to bridge the gap between social science and computer science in the Websci09 appears to have been successful judging by a number of web designers, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, and computer scientists who made presentations.

Different disciplines offer insightful answers to different questions relating to web science. The community of today’s web scientists comes from diverse disciplinary backgrounds; they range from internet economists to internet lawyers and social networking analysts. All contributors get a common platform, including the opportunity to venture in areas that are outside their fields.

            Today, a significant amount of focus is on semantic web technologies and how they can be used to solve problems. This is an area of research that requires a lot input from professionals in different disciplines, in order to contribute a coherent meaning of different issues. In other words, web science is not by any means a single discipline. It is merely space where elements of different disciplines are brought together on a platform of shared interaction.

            The main contribution of humanities in web science is the facilitation and interpretation of sources on the web. For data analysts, the greatest contribution to web science is divulging information on the issues that are being discussed in any given web science discourse. In social science, sociology is a pivotal discipline in expounding issues of how the Web continues to change societies around the world. Although there were some efforts to ‘throw out’ some of the disciplines presented in the WebSci09 conference, this did not happen. Nevertheless, not all disciplines that are of relevance to Web Science were represented.


            The relationship between social sciences and computer science and their convergence in web science are often likened to macro and micro aspects of technology respectively. This is clear in the way in which a small technical innovation possesses the ability to launch a very large social phenomenon. For example, the blogosphere, which was introduced in 1999, presents an average person with a platform for publishing his ideas. Through the blogosphere, like-minded people started coalescing into large online communities.

The exact number of people who are in the blogosphere is difficult to determine without resorting to a multidisciplinary approach (Shadbolt 2008, p. 4). As blogs continued to blossom, researchers started creating interesting measurement techniques, tools, and data sets for tracking the dimensions of different topics through blog spaces.

            One of the main future challenges for Web science is creating awareness of what this discipline is really all about. One of the ways of shedding light on what discipline is all about is nurturing interdisciplinary perspectives. For instance, the concept of plasticity from biology can be of great usefulness. The concept is based on the adaptation of the brain and the nervous system to lifetime activities by forming and deleting various connections between neurons (Shadbolt 2008, p. 9). Neurons act simply as nodes in the body’s neural networks. Changes in connections always occur in the form of a response mechanism that is triggered by activities within the network, including disuse, learning, and aging. The concept of ‘nodes’ is already use in the assessment of different web networks and the factors that determine their levels of effectiveness.

            Web science covers many issues that are of interdisciplinary importance, particularly laws on intellectual property, copyright, and the sharing of digital material. The information gathered from these disciplines is of great importance to web scientists. Without this information, it is virtually impossible for a web scientist to succeed in his work of making the Web a better virtual environment to live and work.

            Indeed, the concept of ‘virtual environment’ is one of the many terminologies that are often used by web scientists, yet it derives its origin from outside this discipline. The incorporation of such terms in web science reflects the ease of using conventional terminology usage that can be derived through the use of an interdisciplinary approach.


EPSRC Networks for Web Science, 2009, Web Science Student Exchange Programme: Student Report, Retrieved from   on October 4, 2010.

Shadbolt, N, 2008, Scientific American, 2008, Web Science Emerges, Retrieved from  on October 4, 2010.

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