Ralph Schroeder has interests in virtual environments, social aspects of e-Science, sociology of science and technology, and has written extensively about virtual reality technology. His current research is mainly related to e-science.

email: ralph.schroeder@oii.ox.ac.uk

tel: +44 (0)1865 287224

Ralph Schroeder was formerly Professor in the School of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden). He completed his PhD about Max Weber at the LSE in 1988. His publications include Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (Stanford University Press, 2007) and Being There Together: Social Interaction in Virtual Environments (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is also the author of ‘An Age of Limits: Social Theory for the 21st Century’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2013) and, with Eric T. Meyer, of ‘Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities’ (MIT Press 2015).

He is currently working on the social implications of e-science and on big data in the social sciences.

Areas of Interest for Doctoral Supervision

Big data, e-research, ethics, human-computer interaction, virtual environments

Research interests

virtual environments, social aspects of e-Science, sociology of science and technology

Positions held at the OII

  • Senior Research Fellow, January 2009 –
  • MSc Programme Director, January 2009 – October 2016
  • Director of Research, October 2009 – September 2012
  • James Martin Research Fellow, September 2004 – December 2008

Students supervised at the OII

Current students

Past students


Latest blog posts

Current projects

  • Data for Policy

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Eric T. Meyer

    A study of big data and other innovative data-driven approaches for evidence-informed policy making.

Past projects

  • Big Data for Advancing Dementia Research

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Ulrike Deetjen

    The aim of this study is to undertake an in-depth examination of the practices in data sharing to advance the science of dementia and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Josh Cowls

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

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

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

    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.

  • Accessing and Using Big Data to Advance Social Science Knowledge

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Linnet E. M. Taylor, Josh Cowls

    The project will follow 'big data' from its public and private origins through open and closed pathways into the social sciences, and document and shape the ways they are being accessed and used to create new knowledge about the social world.

  • Using Web Archives: A Futures Perspective

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Arthur Thomas, Professor Eric T. Meyer

    Web archives are the best hope for future researchers to understand the web of yesterday and today, but efforts to ensure that archives will be useful are lagging. This report asks what challenges web archives face, and suggests how to address them.

  • Physical Science Information Practices

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Dr Annamaria Carusi, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Lucy Power, Dr Monica Bulger, Dr Andrea Scharnhorst, Dr Will Venters, Dr Monica Bulger, Dr Melissa Terras, Dr Sally Wyatt, Avgousta Kyriakidou, Peter Williams

    Exploring the information seeking, organizing, archiving and communicating capacities of physical sciences communities as a study case (and role model) for effective information processing regimes and behaviours in complex problem-solving tasks.

  • Humanities Information Practices

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Dr Annamaria Carusi, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Christine Madsen, Tim Davies, Dr Kathryn Eccles, Dr Monica Bulger, Grace de la Flor, Dr Tim Webmoor, Dr Claire Warwick, Dr Melissa Terras, Dr Sally Wyatt, Smiljana Antonijevic, Dr Anne Beaulieu

    Many humanities scholars are enthusiastic users of digital resources, however there is a potential mismatch between what (and how) resources are offered, and how scholars might use them. How should they be designed to ensure maximum use by scholars?

  • eResearch 2020

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Kathryn Eccles

    Aiming to better understand the organizational, collaborative and technological developments in e-Infrastructures which are effective in supporting virtual research organizations in different fields.

  • Digitised Resources: A Usage and Impact Study

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Mike Thelwall, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Christine Madsen, Dr Kathryn Eccles

    This project combined quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure the impact of online scholarly resources and to develop a best practices toolkit that allows assessment of the impact of digitisation projects by researchers and funding bodies.

  • World Wide Web of Humanities

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Robert Ackland, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Christine Madsen

    Establishing a framework for e-Humanities research using available open source tools and technologies and archived web content to create novel research interfaces to the first of many, scholarly, e-Humanities web collections.

  • PEACH: Presence Research in Action

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Malte Ziewitz, Professor Eric T. Meyer

    Presence research focuses on understanding and controlling the cognitive experience of being somewhere, or someone: we are analysing social impact scenarios to raise and address potential ethical and policy issues relating to Presence technologies.

  • Embedding e-science applications: designing and managing for usability

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Professor Anne Trefethen, Grace de la Flor, Sharon Lloyd, Mustafizur Rahman, Dr Monica Schraefel, Dimitrina Spencer, Andrew Warr

    The 'embedding e-science applications' project addressed the difficulty of managing requirements for usability in e-science projects, and developing collaborative approaches to system development that allow for communication of these requirements.

  • OeSS: The Oxford e-Social Science Project

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Paul Allan David, Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Dr Annamaria Carusi, Dr Matthijs den Besten, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Kathryn Eccles, Professor Christopher Millard, Professor Michael Parker, Dr Justine Pila, Professor Tina Piper, Dr Michael Spence, Professor David Vaver

    The Oxford e-Social Science project aims to understand how e-Research projects negotiate various social, ethical, legal and organizational forces and constraints, in order to help researchers avoid these problems when building scientific collaborations.

  • The e-Horizons Institute

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Paul Allan David, Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Professor Anne Trefethen, Professor Paul Jeffreys, Professor Eric T. Meyer

    The e-Horizons Institute researched the coming technological breakthroughs in e-science that will have cross-sector social and economic implications as they are taken up by business, government and other actors.

  • The World Wide Web of Science: emerging global sources of expertise

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Ralph Schroeder, Professor Alexandre Caldas

    The World Wide Web of Science project assesses whether, and to what extent, the Internet and the Web are transforming access to sources of scientific expertise, and whether these sources are becoming more concentrated or more diversified.

Books

Chapters

  • Schroeder, R. (2017) "Michael Mann" In: Key Sociological Thinkers Stones, R. (eds.). 318-335.
  • Eynon, R.E., Schroeder, R. and Fry, J. (2016) "The Ethics of Learning and Technology Research" In: The SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research, 2e. SAGE.
  • Steed, A. and Schroeder, R. (2015) "Collaboration in immersive and non-immersive virtual environments" In: Immersed in Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement and Technology. 263-282.
  • Den Besten, M., Ackland, R., Fry, J. and Schroeder, R. (2010) "Collaboration among e-research projects in the UK: An analysis using online research methods" In: E-Research Collaboration: Theory, Techniques and Challenges. 153-166.
  • Wouters, P., Fry, J. and Schroeder, R. (2010) "The changing disciplinary landscapes of research: The agenda-setting role of e-research" In: World Wide Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities. 272-275.
  • Wilbanks, J., Abelson, H., David, P.A., den Besten, M. and Schroeder, R. (2010) "Will e-science be open science?: Open access versus "open viewing" for a web of science: The neurocommons example" In: World Wide Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities. 322-324.
  • Cardoso, G., Caraça, J., Espanha, R., Mendonça, S., David, P.A., den Besten, M. and Schroeder, R. (2010) "Will e-science be open science?: The politics of open access" In: World Wide Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities. 317-321.
  • David, P.A., den Besten, M. and Schroeder, R. (2010) "Will e-science be open science?" In: World Wide Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities. 299-316.
  • Fry, J. and Schroeder, R. (2010) "The changing disciplinary landscapes of research" In: World Wide Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities. 257-271.
  • Fry, J. and Schroeder, R. (2009) "Towards a sociology of e-research: Shaping practice and advancing knowledge" In: e-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice. 35-53.
  • Axelsson, A.S., Abelin,
  • Axelsson, A.-.S., Abelin, A. and Schroeder, R. (2007) "Anyone Speak Swedish?" In: The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online. Oxford University Press.
  • Schroeder, R. (2006) "Introduction: The IEMP model and its critics" In: An Anatomy of Power: The Social Theory of Michael Mann. 1-16.

Conference papers

  • Hale, S.A., Yasseri, T., Cowls, J., Meyer, E.T., Schroeder, R. and Margetts, H. (2014) "Mapping the UK webspace: Fifteen years of British Universities on the web", WebSci 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Web Science Conference. 62-70.
  • Surendernath, A., Sharma, G., Schroeder, R. and Pandey, B.K. (2012) "Mixing real and virtual conferencing: Lessons learned", Proceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality. 79-80.
  • Eccles, K., Meyer, E., Schroeder, R., Kertcher, Z., Barjak, F., Huesing, T. and Robinson, S. (2009) "The future of e-research infrastructures", Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on e-Social Science.
  • Meyer, E., Park, H.W. and Schroeder, R. (2009) "Mapping Global e-Research: Scientometrics and Webometrics", Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on e-Social Science. the 5th International Conference on e-Social Science, Cologne, Germany, 22 – 24 June 2009.
  • Meyer, E. and Schroeder, R. (2008) "The World Wide Web of Research and Access to Knowledge", Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on e-Social Science. 4th International Conference on e-Social Science, Manchester, England, 18 – 20 June 2008.
  • David, P.A., Den Besten, M. and Schroeder, R. (2006) "How open is e-Science?", e-Science 2006 - Second IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing.
  • Heldal, I., Schroeder, R., Steed, A., Axelsson, A.S., Spante, M. and Wideström, J. (2005) "Immersiveness and symmetry in copresent scenarios", Proceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality. 171-178.

Journal articles

Reports

  • Deetjen, U., Meyer, E. and Schroeder, R. (2015) "Big data for advancing dementia research: An evaluation of data sharing practices in research on age-related neurodegenerative diseases" In: OECD Digital Economy Papers. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • Bulger, M., Taylor, G. and Schroeder, R. (2014) Data-driven business models: Challenges and opportunities of big data. Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
  • Meyer, E., Oostveen, A.M., Schroeder, R., Boniface, M., Pickering, J.B., Walland, P., Stiller, B. and Waldburger, M. (2012) Final Report on Social Future Internet Coordination Activities. SESERV Deliverable D3.2, Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects FP7-2010-ICT-258138-CSA..
  • Meyer, E., Thomas, A. and Schroeder, R. (2011) Web Archives: The Future(s). Report for the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC).
  • Meyer, E., Hüsing, T., Robinson, S., Barjak, F., Bendel, O., Wiegand, G., Eccles, K., Schroeder, R., Kertcher, Z. and Coslor, E. (2010) The Role of e-Infrastructures in the Creation of Global Virtual Research Communities. Final Report for the eResearch2020 project.
  • Schroeder, R., Meyer, E. and Ziewitz, M. (2009) Social, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Presence Research and Applications. EC Report for Peach FP6 Coordination Action.
  • Schroeder, R. and Meyer, E. (2009) "An emerging global brain: How the Internet is revolutionising scientific research" In: Britain in 2009. Economic and Social Research Council Annual Magazine.
  • Schroeder, R., Caldas, A., Virkar, S. and Dutton, W.H. (2006) The World Wide Web of Science: Emerging Global Sources of Expertise. Final Report for the project "The World Wide Web of Science: emerging global sources of expertise".
  • Schroeder, R. (2006) Webmetric analysis for climate change. Report for the project "The World Wide Web of Science: emerging global sources of expertise"..
  • Schroeder, R. (2006) Illustrative Webmetric Graphs and maps of Web Networks. Report for the project "The World Wide Web of Science: emerging global sources of expertise".
  • Fry, J., Schroeder, R. and Virkar, S. (2006) Findings from interview series and qualitative validation of webmetric analysis. Report for the project "The World Wide Web of Science: emerging global sources of expertise".
  • Byarugaba Agaba, G., Akindès, F., Bengtsson, L., Cowls, J., Indira Ganesh, M., Hoffman, N., Hoffman, W., Mann, L., Mans, U., Meissner, F., Meyer, E., Mutuku, L., Nampewo, S., Oduor, A., Nyst, C., Pfeffer, K., Schroeder, R., Shah, N., Sundsøy, P., Tatevossian, A., Taylor, L. and Zommer, L. "Big Data and Positive Social Change in the Developing World" In: Big data and positive social change in the developing world: A white paper for practitioners and researchers. Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute.
  • Big Data in Society

    This course critically examines the unprecedented opportunities and serious challenges inherent in big data approaches to advancing knowledge.

  • Social Dynamics of the Internet

    An overview of the major findings to date regarding the social implications of the Internet, drawing material from several social science disciplines, including communication studies, sociology, and political science.

  • BIg Data

    27 March 2015 NDR.de


    Professor Ralph Schroeder talks to German Radio about big data. (German language)

  • Facebook scandal

    30 June 2014 FM4 orf.at (Austria)


    Ralph Schroeder comments on Facebook research which analysed users moods but was seen by some people to be covert. He says it is an important study which shows how words can manipulate emotions in the way that face to face contact does.

  • #BBCtrending: ‘I’m not a lab rat!’… reaction to #FacebookExperiment

    30 June 2014 BBC News Trending


    Ralph Schroeder comments on Facebook research which analysed users' moods but was seen by some people to have been carried out covertly. He finds the Facebook test ‘troubling’.

  • Who, What, Why: What is ‘ungoogleable’?

    27 March 2013 BBC News Magazine


    In an article about a dispute between the Language Council of Sweden and Google on the term 'ungoogleable' Ralph Schroeder points out that there are people such as activists in China who need to keep off search engine radar.