Research on the Internet and Society: Update

Bill Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute

A burgeoning number of researchers are focusing on the network of networks called the Internet and its social, political and economic aspects. A virtual network of centres for Internet research is emerging as well, which includes units with a variety of perspectives on Internet studies. The following list provides general categories of centres with illustrations of each. Comments on the categories and suggestions of centres that should be included or excluded should be directed to Bill Dutton at Director at

1. Internet Studies (research on the social economic and political aspects of information and communication technologies, such as the Internet)

Center for Advanced Studies and Research in Information and Communication Technologies & Society (ICT&S), University of Salzburg

Center for Internet Studies, University of Washington

Digital World Research Centre (DWRC), School of Human Sciences, University of Surrey

e-Horizons Institute, a virtual centre linking the Oxford Internet Institute and the Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC) at the University of Oxford Internet Institute

Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) at the Open University of Catalonia

Netvision Institute for Internet Studies, Tel Aviv University

Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford

Singapore Internet Research Center, School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University

Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) a collaboration of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT and the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton

2. Centres anchored in studies of the Information Society, Social Informatics, including:

Center for the Study of the Information Society (InfoSoc), University of Haifa

Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (Ciber), University College London

Center for Research on Technology and Organizations (CRITO), University of California, Irvine

Interdisciplinary Informatics Hub (IIH) in the Science and Engineering faculty at Queen Mary, University of London [Launched in January 2007]

Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics, a virtual centre linking researchers across several departments at Indiana University

School of Information, University of Michigan

Social Informatics Research Unit (SIRU), Department of Sociology, University of York

3. Centres more focused on Internet Law, Policy and Regulation, such as:

Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School

Center for Information Policy, College of Information Studies University of Maryland

Information Society Project at Yale Law School

Media Center, New York Law School

Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall)

Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society (CIS)

4. Centres anchored in Telecommunication, Media, Communication and Cultural Studies, with major interest in the Internet, such as:

Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California

Annenberg School for Communication at USC

Centre for Society, Technology and the Media (STeM), based in the School of Communication at the Dublin City University

Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, Columbia University

Media and Communication Department, LSE (Media @ LSE)

Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies (RCCS)

Sarai, Delhi, India

5. Centres more focused on Studies of Science, Technology and Society, including ICTs, such as:

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Emerging Technologies (CITE), University of Montreal, Canada

James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization (JMI), Said Business School, University of Oxford

Program on Emerging Technologies (PoET) at MIT

6. Centres more focused on Application Areas, such as Learning and Education or Government, such as:

Futurelab, UK

Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York

7. Centres more focused on Human Computer Interaction, such as:

Augmented Human Interaction (AHI) Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London

8. Centres more focused on Technology, Standards and Innovations

Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation Institute for Interdisciplinary Applications of Computer Science (CRI),

California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calt2)

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), UC Davis

Center for Internet Research at ICIR, Berkeley

MIT Media Lab

MIT Program on Internet & Telecoms Convergence

Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC), Oxford University Computer Laboratory

9. Networks and Integrated Projects involving Individual Researchers and Centres, including:

ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, (CCi), Australia.

Association of Internet Researchers

Communications Innovation Institute, Cambridge-MIT Institute funded interdisciplinary collaboration between Engineering, Computer Science, Policy Study, Management Science and Economics departments at MIT, Cambridge, UCL and BT Research

e-Society Programme of the Economic and Social Research Council, which is coordinated at the University of York

European Network for Communication and Information Perspectives (ENCIP)

National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) links projects and centres focusing on the role of advanced Internet and Grid technologies in research, and is centred at the University of Manchester

The Surveillance Project at Queensland University, Canada