The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

About Us

Web Science Institute - Bridging the Web and the World

The World Wide Web has affected the lives of everyone, even those who have never used a website, by transforming governments, businesses, civil society and individual lives. The Web Science Institute (WSI) is located at the intersection between technology and society, researching how the Web is changing the world and the world is changing the Web and providing a bridge between the two.



Our vision is that the Web Science Institute will be a globally recognised authority on the development and social impact of Web technologies, offering analysis, tools, data and advice to government, business and civil society.


The WSI will provide insight and intelligence that can lead government policy, business strategy, civic engagement and individual choices to maximise the social, cultural and economic impact of Web technologies.

It will undertake interdisciplinary research to create new knowledge about the impact and direction of the Web; educate students to be effective practitioners in Web-shaped cultures; and provide a valuable source of strategic and tactical intelligence to its partners.


The WSI will always behave with integrity and be open and honest in its dealings with partners. It is at the forefront of ensuring that Web research and Web data are fully integrated into an ethics framework appropriate to a university institute.


The WSI will offer well-grounded critical scrutiny of the digital economy, cultures and social practices built on Web technologies

It will provide a space for interdisciplinary scholarship in response to the challenges posed by Web technologies

It will encourage innovation and creativity in response to the social, technical, political and commercial challenges

It will attract globally relevant leaders and change-makers of the Web, and the most talented and capable students, who will work with the WSI and its partners.

Business Model

The WSI will be an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute within the University of Southampton.

It will be sustained by building a vibrant network of partners in government, business and industry, establishing and maintaining an international profile through active engagement with the Web community and standards and governance bodies.

It will draw on a range of revenue sources, including:

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