Web Science: A Reading List

Web Science is a new subject, and although we have debated the opportunity for being first to write a textbook with an introductory, interdisciplinary perspective, neither we nor any of the other Web Science researchers across the world have so far taken the plunge.

There is the fabulously comprehensive (and reassuringly expensive) Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies but it’s hardly an introductory text. It does have an opening chapter on Web Science, contributed by our own Wendy Hall, but I wouldn’t recommend the complete tome as an introduction for this course. I have had a look at the other books that we recommend for other courses, and none of them is really suitable for this MOOC as they are too focused and go too deep too quickly.


So, I have pulled out and snapped some of the “popular science” titles that address some of the unexpected social and technical phenomena surrounding the Web and the Internet. We use these for our MSc and PhD students, to help them think around the Web and its capabilities. Let me know if you think any of them look interesting or useful.

For a more comprehensive list you can see our complete MSc course library here: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/lac/dtclibrary/