Semantically Mapping Science Project @ VU Amsterdam

Since I started my PhD I have been part of the SMS-project – the Semantically Mapping Science Project (  This project aligned well with my own research of using Web data (when possible) to investigate collaboration in science, as the group of researchers related to the project are all working on different aspects of tracing Web behaviors. The project includes a number of computer scientists interested in implementing Semantic Web techniques and a group of social scientists who are working to analyze traceable Web behaviors to understand a combination of mechanisms within science from structures of science (publication practices), to understanding the dynamics of online behaviors in e-infrastructures. The under lying question that brings it all together is – Can we use Semantic Web techniques to meaningfully detect, retrieve and manipulate such web-traces of activities of scientists in order to improve Scientometrics studies?

A number of concrete projects have already emerged from within this idea with lots of others in the works, including:

work on science blogging: Paul Groth, Thomas Gurney (2010) Studying Scientific Discourse on the Web using Bibliometrics: A Chemistry Blogging Case Study, In Press. In WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line.

a number of projects on altmetrics including: Julie M. Birkholz and Shenghui Wang (2011) Who are we talking about?: the validity of online metrics for commenting on science, & Daphne Duin and Peter van den Besselaar The search for alternative metrics for taxonomy  both presentations at the Altmetrics workshop at the WebSci11 conference, Koblenz, Germany.

I am looking forward to the upcoming academic semester for further expanding on these projects and getting some other ones out the door!




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