How ICTs reshape business models, markets and economic development. This includes new approaches to collaboration in sharing, contributing and co-producing information products and services, and winners and losers in access, search, and other online activities.

Current projects

  • GeoNet: Internet Geographies: Changing Connectivities and the Potentials of Sub-Saharan Africa's Knowledge Economy

    Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Dr Mohammad Amir Anwar, Dr Stefano De Sabbata, Dr Christopher Foster, Nicolas Friederici, Sanna Ojanperä, Clarence Singleton

    This research project is examining the geographies, drivers, and effects of Sub-Saharan Africa's emerging information economies at a time of changing connectivity and Internet access acros the region.

  • iLabour: The Construction of Labour Markets, Institutions and Movements on the Internet

    Participants: Greetje (Gretta) Corporaal, Dr Otto Kässi, Professor Vili Lehdonvirta

    The iLabour project is premised on the idea that a fundamental change is taking place in labour markets. It seeks to understand the social and policy implications of this momentous shift.

  • Internet Geographies: Data Shadows and Digital Divisions of Labour

    Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Dr Stefano De Sabbata, Joshua Melville

    This project maps and measures the geographies of information on the Internet.

  • Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia

    Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Professor Helena Barnard, Dr Isis Hjorth, Professor Vili Lehdonvirta, Dr Alex J Wood

    This project aims to understand the current and potential impact of Internet and mobile technologies on social and economic development, especially when it comes to the emergence of new and transformative 'virtual' economic activities and work.

  • OXLab: Oxford eXperimental Laboratory

    Participants: Professor Peter John, Professor Helen Margetts, Dr Nir Vulkan, Lucy Bartlett, Ingrid Boxall, Dr Tobias Escher, Dr Scott A. Hale

    Oxford eXperimental Laboratory is undertaking laboratory-based experiments (eg information-seeking tasks) on networked computers in two disciplines: Economics (interactive decision making) and Political Science (evaluating government information online).

  • Wikichains: Encouraging Transparency in Commodity Chains

    Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Joshua Melville, Dr Steve New, David Sutcliffe

    Wikichains is a website that aims to encourage ethical consumption and transparency in commodity chains, by encouraging Internet users from around the world to upload text, images, sounds, and videos of any node on any commodity chain.

  • Wikipedia's Networks and Geographies: Representation and Power in Peer-Produced Content

    Participants: Dr Heather Ford, Professor Mark Graham, Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Bernie Hogan, Dr Han-Teng Liao

    This project brings together OII research fellows and doctoral students to shed light on the incorporation of new users and information into the Wikipedia community.

Past projects

  • Data-driven economic models: challenges and opportunities of big data

    Participants: Dr Monica Bulger, Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Greg Taylor

    The aim of this study is to identify key challenges to the realisation of benefits from big data in the UK economy, along with pathways to overcoming these challenges.

  • Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa

    Participants: Dr Felix Akorli, Claude Bizimana, Dr Christopher Foster, Professor Mark Graham, Charles Katua, Dr Laura Elizabeth Mann, Professor Tim Waema

    By using surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, this project examined the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa and compared those expectations to on-the-ground effects that broadband connectivity is having.

  • Geography of Digital Inequality

    Participants: Dr Grant Blank, Claudio Calvino, Professor Mark Graham

    This project combined OxIS and census data to produce the first detailed geographic estimates of Internet use across the UK.

  • Interactive Visualizations for Teaching, Research, and Dissemination

    Participants: Dr Monica Bulger, Professor Mark Graham, Dr Scott A. Hale, Professor Helen Margetts, Joshua Melville

    "InteractiveVis" aims to support easy creation of interactive visualisations for geospatial and network data by researchers: it will survey existing solutions, build currently missing features, and smooth over incompatibilities between existing libraries.

  • Performance of distributed problem-solving networks

    Participants: Professor Paul Allan David, Professor William H. Dutton, Dr Robert Ackland, David A. Bray, Irene Cassarino, Karen Croxson, Professor Jean-Michel Dalle, Dr Matthijs den Besten, Dr Tobias Escher, Dr Aldo Geuna, Dr Max Loubser, Dr Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Felix Reed-Tsochas, Dr Wolf Richter, Philipp Tuertscher

    Addressing the uncertainties that surround the coordination and performance of 'Distributed Problem Solving Networks' (DPSN), as well as the areas in which these new Internet-based forms offer advantages over more familiar modes of problem-solving.

  • Social Feedback and the Emergence of Norms in the Production of Online Public Goods

    Participants: Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon

    Investigating instances of collective action that have solved an old dilemma: why should people contribute to collective goods (eg online collaborative platforms) when, by being public, they can be enjoyed without making a contribution to their provision?


    Participants: Professor Jonathan Zittrain

    A leading independent authority on trends in badware and its distribution, and a focal point for the development of collaborative, community-minded approaches to stopping badware. The main focus is on research and public education.

  • Using Twitter to Map and Measure Online Cultural Diffusion

    Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Devin Gaffney, Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Ning Wang

    This project is using Twitter data to comprehensively uncover where Internet content is being created; whether the amount of content created in different places is changing over time; and how content moves across time and space in the Social Web.

  • Virtual communities of practice: the open source software community

    Participants: Professor Paul Allan David

    Paul David directed a major international networked project on the 'free / libre / open source' approach to software development, virtual communities and the broader implications of 'the "open source" way of working'.

  • VOSON: Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks

    Participants: Dr Robert Ackland, Professor Bruce Bimber, Markus Buchhorn, Dr Rachel Gibson, Dr Mathieu O'Neil, Dr Steve Ward

    The first stage in the establishment of a 'Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks': a Grid-enabled research environment facilitating cutting-edge collaborative research into the existence and impact of online social and political networks.

  • Who represents the Arab world online? Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa

    Participants: Professor Mark Graham, Dr Bernie Hogan, Dr Ilhem Allagui, Richard Farmbrough, Dr Heather Ford, Dr Ali Frihida, Ahmed Medhat Mohamed, Clarence Singleton

    Using Wikipedia to explore the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the side, in representations of the Arab world online.