2023-01-26: Review of WS-DL's 2022

Covid isn't over, but in 2022 things with the Web Science and Digital Libraries Group (WS-DL) have been slowly returning to normal.  We graduated one PhD student, one MS student, and added six graduate students and two undergraduates to the group.

Students and Faculty

We had one PhD defense this year, and unfortunately it was over Zoom.  Hopefully we can get back to in-person defenses and the after-defense celebration in 2023.  
We did not add additional faculty to @WebSciDL this year, still remaining at six faculty members.  We continued to offer an exciting array of web science related courses, with seven courses offered in both Spring 2022 and Fall 2022.

We added five PhD students and one MS student this year:

We also added two undergraduate students:

We also had three people advance from Ph.D. "student" to "candidate" (but sadly, no crush board pic):

Publications and Presentations

We've given up trying to manually compile a list of publications from our group, but our best estimate for 2022 is: six journal articles, 24 conference/workshop publications, and seven technical reports or other contributions.  I've included an expandable/collapsable gist below that is our 2022 publications list according to Scholar Groups.

In 2022, conferences were a mix of f2f and virtual.  Below is a partial list of trip reports for the events where we presented our work:

Research presentations and outreach

In addition to the conferences and workshops listed above where we presented papers, we also had an array of presentations and outreach.  

This year, our main summer event was hosting eight students for the first year of our NSF Disinformation Detection and Analytics Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program.  The final presentations highlight the exciting progress we made last year and we look forward to this summer's REU cohort.

Dr. Jayarathna organized our fourth annual "Trick or Research" event, which was both f2f and virtual.  Some of our other outreach events include:

Software, data sets, services

Our scholarly contributions are not limited to conventional publications or presentations: we also advance the state of the art through releasing software, data sets, and proof-of-concept services & demos.  Some of the software, data sets, and services that we either initially released or made significant updates to in the course of 2022 include: 

Other contributions

Our research group made a number of other contributions in 2022 that do not neatly fit into any of the above categories.  Some of the highlights include:

Awards and Recognition

Many members of our group received awards and other forms of recognition: 


2022 was a great year for funding.  We were fortunate to have received 10 new external grants (> $3.9M) and five internal grants ($44k), for a total of over $4M.

Will 2023 finally be "normal"?

While 2022 was an improvement over 2021 with regards to travel, in-person classes, meetings, and the like, it was not the same as 2019; perhaps it will never be that way again.  The impact of Covid has lessened, but it is still impacting our research group, with meetings periodically rescheduled due to faculty or students being sick.  

Despite these challenges, 2022 was an exceptional year for us: we graduated two students (1 PhD, 1 MS), and added six graduate (5 PhD, 1MS) and two undergraduate students.  We continued to publish in prestigious venues, and we more than tripled 2021's level of external funding (2021 itself was also a tripling of 2020's funding).  Our PhD students continue to get great jobs in academia, government, and industry; for example, this year Dr. Alexander Nwala finished his two year post-doc at Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University and is now a tenure-track assistant professor of data science at William and Mary.  WS-DL continues to grow and thrive, and I am proud of all the members and alumni and their progress in 2022. 

If you would like to join WS-DL, please get in touch.  To get a feel for our recent activities, please review our previous WS-DL annual summaries (20212020201920182017201620152014, and 2013) and be sure to follow us at @WebSciDL to keep up to date with publications, software releases, trip reports and other activities.  We especially would like to thank all those who have publicly complimented some aspect of the Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group: our code, services, papers, or students and faculty.  We really appreciate the feedback, some of which we include below.