Globalisation, Inclusion and the Web in the Context of COVID

The Web has enabled a globally connected network of individuals and communities, but divides still exist and emerge in various online environments. Fostering an inclusive and just online environment is a persistent challenge: Web technologies can hinder or promote equity, and can exacerbate intersectional disadvantages. In recent years, this challenge has been amplified by the increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence and the automation of Web-based tasks as well as ongoing divides in Web access, use, and skill.

The theme for WebSci 2021, Globalisation, Inclusion and the Web in the Context of COVID, calls attention to these challenges, particularly in light of the ongoing global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 these pressing issues.

This year’s theme seeks to call attention to core issues facing the field, but as always we welcome a broad array of submissions relevant to Web Science.

Here are some highlights from last year’s conference:

Many of the sessions from last year are reviewed in our blog.

Latest news

Once again the ACM Web Science Conference will run as an online conference this year. The theme is Globalisation, Inclusion and the Web in the Context of COVID.

Web Science is an inter-disciplinary field dedicated to understanding the complex and multiple impacts of the Web on society, and vice versa. The Web has enabled a globally connected network of individuals and communities, but divides still exist and new ones emerge. Fostering an inclusive and equitable online environment is a persistent challenge. In recent years, this challenge has been amplified by the increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence and the automation of Web-based tasks, as well as ongoing inequalities in Web access, use, and skills.

The conference will call attention to these challenges and how they might be addressed, particularly in light of the ongoing global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeing, for example, just how important  global collaboration within and between scientific communities has been to swift vaccine development, and the essential role of the Web in timely and effective public health communications.  

Presenters and participants will have multiple opportunities to engage over a full week of talks, Spotlight Panels, workshops, social events and “Meet the Author” informal discussions. New events are being added to the programme all the time, but we already have a growing list of Keynote Speakers:

Daniel Weitzner, who is the director of the MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative, and Baroness Martha Lane Fox, CBE, co-founder of LastMinute.com.

In 2020, the Web Science conference registration costs were kept low, and the intention is to continue this for Web Science 2021. The core programme will take place in European time, and there will also be satellite workshops/events in SE Asia and the USA. All sessions will be recorded, so you don’t need to cover every time zone in one day! More details of the presenters and other conference activities will be shared in the lead up to the event. Keep an eye on our tweets via the #WebSci21 hashtag, and check out our website for further updates and registration information.

We look forward to welcoming you to the second wholly online Web Science conference in June.

Important Dates

Feb. 12, 2021 Feb. 19, 2021 Abstract Submission Deadline

Feb. 19, 2021 Feb. 26, 2021 Paper submission deadline

April 9, 2021 Notification

May 10, 2021 Camera-ready versions due

June 21-25 Conference dates