OII Research

OII research focuses on individual, collective and institutional behaviour on the internet. Now that digital connections are embedded in almost every aspect of everyday life, such research is crucial to understand the social, economic and political world.

Our Research

We are a social science department of the University of Oxford with a multi-disciplinary faculty from political science, sociology, law, geography, economics, communications, computer science, anthropology, physics, informatics, history and development. OII researchers use a diverse methodological toolkit, and develop cutting edge methods to understand digital life, such as experiments, social network analysis and big data approaches.

Our work stimulates and informs debate on internet-related issues. It is used by policy-makers around the world to shape policy and practice around the reinvention and use of the internet.

  • Projects

    Our research projects examine individual, collective and institutional behaviour on the Internet.

  • Publications

    Browse all the faculty publications, including books, articles, reports, working papers, and presentations.

  • Blogs

    We aggregate over thirty faculty and project blogs, exploring and discussing all aspects of 'life online'.

New project

Big Domain Data for the Arts

The Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities project works with data derived from the UK domain crawl (1996-2013) to develop a framework for the study of web archive data, and to produce a major history of the UK web.

New project

Online Political Extremism

We form part of the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence, a new EU FP7-funded academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of violent online political extremism and responses to it.


Sampling bias of social data

New paper out on the sampling bias introduced when collecting social data through public APIs, by Ning Wang (with S.González-Bailón, A.Rivero, J.Borge-Holthoeferd, and Y.Moreno): Assessing the bias in samples of large online networks. Social Networks 38:16-27.


The Geography of Big Data

New paper by Mark Graham (with T.Shelton, A.Poorthuis, M.Zook): Mapping the Data Shadows of Hurricana Sandy: Uncovering the Sociospatial Dimensions of 'Big Data' (Geoforum 52: 167-179).


Data Protection Remedies

Technological advances make it ever more important to safeguard the right to privacy. Ian Brown is a co-author of the UK part of a major study on data protection remedies published by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.


Geography and Big Data

Read: Mark Graham, and T.Shelton: Geography and the future of big data, big data and the future of geography, Dialogies in Human Geography 3 (3); with commentary from R.Kitchin, E.Ruppert, M.Batty, M.F.Goodchild, S.P.Gorman and S.González-Bailón.


Predicting Elections

Read: Taha Yasseri and Jonathan Bright: Can electoral popularity be predicted using socially generated big data? They discuss issues relating to data collection, data cleaning, data analysis, and representativeness.


Academics on Wikipedia

Wikipedia coverage of academics is skewed (the wrong way). A.Samoilenko and T.Yasseri: The distorted mirror of Wikipedia: a quantitative analysis of Wikipedia coverage of academics. Read more in The Atlantic (7 Nov).


Dynamics of Protest Diffusion

New publication by Ning Wang and Sandra González-Bailón: Diffusion Dynamics with Changing Network Composition (with R.A.Baños, J.Borge-Holthoefer and Y.Moreno). Published in Entropy 15 (11) 4553-4568.

New project

New Project: Digital Economy

ODEC, the Oxford Digital Economy Collaboration Group, fosters collaboration between researchers, businesses and the public sector in support of the TSB's new Connected Digital Economy Catapult (CDEC).


OxIS 2013 Report Released

78% of the UK population is now online: does this herald the rise of a common Internet culture? The OxIS 2013 Report: Cultures of the Internet (PDF, 3.5MB) analyses ten years of Internet access, use and attitudes in Britain.


Lack of enthusiasm?

The digital divide in Britain continues to narrow, but more than half of the British people who use the Internet do it 'without enthusiasm' (press release: University of Oxford, 1 October 2013). Read the OxIS 2013 topline findings.