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SOCM 2014 : 2nd International Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Social Machines


When Apr 7, 2014 - Apr 7, 2014
Where Seoul, Korea
Submission Deadline Jan 14, 2014
Notification Due Feb 4, 2014
Final Version Due Feb 12, 2014
Categories    social machines   social web   crowdsourcing   human computer interaction

Call For Papers

Call for papers

SOCM 2014: Second international workshop on the theory and practice of social machines

@ WWW 2014, Seoul, Korea
April 7, 2014

Supported by the SOCIAM project

Continuing from last year's Theory and Practice of Social Machines workshop at WWW2013, the second edition of the SOCM workshop will look deeply at social machines that have, or may yet soon have, a profound impact on the lives of individuals, businesses, governments, and the society as a whole in significant ways. Our goal is to study both extant and yet unrealized social machines, to identify factors that govern the growth or impede these systems to develop, and to identify unmet potential needs (both human and technical) for the kinds of loosely-coordinated distributed social systems the Web enables. The workshop will discuss methods to analyze and explore social machines, as essential mechanisms for deriving the guidelines and best practices that will inform the design the next generation of these systems.

=== Objectives ===

The objective of the workshop is to bring together experts of various kinds of social machines, including crowd-powered systems, social networks, and online communities, to discuss the scope of this new scientific and engineering apparatus and to present specific tools that they have designed and applied to analyze social machines and their impact.

The goal is to discuss the latest theoretical frameworks and empirical insights around Social Machines, an emerging interdisciplinary field of research investigating Web-enabled systems governed by combinations of computational and social processes. As introduced in last year's workshop, we use the term "Social Machines" to refer to socio-technical systems which leverage the Web as a medium for communication, socialization, decentralized coordination, and peer production. This theme derives from concepts introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in his influential Weaving the Web book, in which he describes the Web as an engine to "create abstract social machines - new forms of social processes that would be given to the world at large".

Unlike conventional Turing machines, their social counterparts are comprised of loose collectives of people connected by computational communication substrates at their core. By being accessible to any individual with a Web browser, such social machines have demonstrated the ability to allow groups of individuals to accomplish major goals using methods of distributed coordination and crowdsourcing at unprecedented scales. However, studying and designing such systems also requires a new and fundamentally different set of instruments, which, though inspired by the mind set of Computer Science and Engineering, naturally embraces theories, findings, and scientific methodology from a variety of other disciplines in order to understand how human and machine intelligence could be best brought together to help individuals, businesses, governments and the society as a whole in significant ways. This includes languages and models to describe their function and operation; methods that can be applied to study and predict their behavior; as well as qualitative and quantitative studies of the ways in which these systems have evolved and grown to support community appropriation and the development of the social practice.

=== Topics ===

The workshop proposes a multidisciplinary discussion focused on the following three themes:

1. Studies: analytical and empirical studies of social machines that have changed the world, including:
- Quantitative and qualitative aspects of online peer production and information exchange systems (multimedia sharing sites, auction sites, discussion forums, crowdsourced science, gamified customer relationship management, Wikipedia etc)
- Incentives and motivation, and discussions of their broad implications.

2. Design: papers describing insights on the design of effective (extant and future) social machines, including:
- Human-computer interfaces
- Architectures and design patterns
- Socio-cognitive computational primitives
- Computational and social infrastructure

3. Methodology: papers describing approaches and methods studying social machines, including:
- Languages and models
- Taxonomies that define the constructs (dimensions/characteristics) that describe and differentiate current social machines when viewed as a collective
- Web observatory installations
- Complex ecosystems of systems and platforms bringing together social and algorithmic components
- Evaluation and quality assessment techniques.

=== Submissions ===

Workshop participants must submit a short paper, which can be either a regular research paper, or a position paper, pertaining to the three themes of the workshop, listed above.

Papers should be at most 6 pages, including the abstract, references, and appendices, in ACM SIG template format (as per the WWW2014 research track, see

At least one author of each paper is expected to register for the workshop and attend to present the paper.

Please submit your paper to SOCM2014 on EasyChair at

All submitted papers must:
- be written in English;
- contain author names, affiliations, and email addresses;
- be formatted according to the ACM SIG Proceedings template, with a font size no smaller than 9pt;
- be in PDF (make sure that the PDF can be viewed on any platform), and formatted for US Letter size;
- occupy no more than six pages, including the abstract, references, and appendices.

It is the authors' responsibility to ensure that their submissions adhere strictly to the required format.
Submissions that do not comply with the above guidelines may be rejected without review.

Any paper published by the ACM, IEEE, etc, which can be properly cited constitutes research which must be considered in judging the novelty of a WWW submission, whether the published paper was in a conference, journal, or workshop. Therefore, any paper previously published as part of a WWW workshop must be referenced and suitably extended with new content to qualify as a new submission to the Research Track at the WWW conference.

=== Important dates ===

January 14, 2014 Paper submission deadline
February 4, 2014 Acceptance notifications sent
February 12, 2014 Camera ready version deadline
April 7, 2014 Workshop day

=== Organizers ===

Nigel Shadbolt (University of Southampton, UK)
James Hendler (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)
Noshir Contractor (Northwestern University, USA)
Elena Simperl (University of Southampton, UK)

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