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Web Science

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Related to the IA research agenda from the IA Summit, now comes the Web Science Research Initiative with its plans for "web science" and a web research agenda:

There is...a growing realization among many researchers that a clear research agenda aimed at understanding the current, evolving, and potential Web is needed. ...The Web is an engineered space created through formally specified languages and protocols. However, because humans are the creators of Web pages and links between them, their interactions form emergent patterns in the Web at a macroscopic scale. These human interactions are, in turn, governed by social conventions and laws. Web science, therefore, must be inherently interdisciplinary; its goal is to both understand the growth of the Web and to create approaches that allow new powerful and more beneficial patterns to occur.

I know, the web is not IA and IA is not the web, but I see many similarities. For example, from Creating a Science of the Web, I see topics that interest me as an information architect:

  • moving from text documents to data resources
  • reuse of information
  • "policy aware" systems

The Framework for Web Science has more about this research agenda. Where would an IA research agenda overlap, where would it differ?

(Josh has more excerpts, links, and his social web design angle.)