Bazan, Stéphane, Christophe Varin (2010) Web Science in the context of the Arab Near East. In: Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, April 26-27th, 2010, Raleigh, NC: US.
Beirut’s Saint-Joseph University launched the first Web Science Interdisciplinary Research Unit in the Middle East in September 2009. Following the research roadmap proposed by the WSRI in 2008, the UIR Web Science will attempt to provide scientific and contextualized answers toward a better understanding of the Web and its usage in the Arab Near East (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria). The UIR Web Science will employ offline and online researchers interested in approaching the Web through their own scientific perspectives, but also keen on sharing data and analysis with other researchers from different specialties. The UIR Web Science will try to provide a comprehensive roadmap, explore the fundamental scientific perspectives and generate new integrative research themes, based on a regional context of the Arab Near East. This paper presents a conceptual, methodological and contextual approach on how new paradigms in Web Science, especially interdisciplinary research, can provide the most relevant perspectives on the realities of the Web in the Arab Near East. Confronting multiple layers of observation is a fundamental condition for Web Science to be considered a global scientific approach, especially when the studied usage and behaviors occur in political and geographical areas located at one least known part of the Web.