Global Internet Research

  • William H. Dutton
  • Rick B. Duque
  • Jeremy Hunsinger


Research on the social impacts of Internet technologies has garnered much attention and in some cases controversy over the past decade. Early studies sounded the alarm that the Internet was creating a nation of “netnerds”, accelerating the decline of social involvement in modern society. Others claimed that it may be exasperating the digital divide and thus increasing global economic inequality. Studies looking at its impact on research capacity are recent and more difficult to assess, since the Internet’s rise maps the explosion of western science and engineering over the last quarter century. The issue of the ‘egg or the chicken’ come to mind when determining which one drove which first. There is consensus though that the Internet has provided substantial support to cross-national collaborations in the west by reducing the problems associated with shared work over distances. It is also argued that digital archives and online publishing have facilitated, as they have accelerated, scientific productivity and communication. Recent studies have ventured outside the west, where the Internet was born and continues to be innovated, to the developing world and the newly democratized eastern European nations. Outside the west, methodological issues of causality become more manageable just as perhaps sampling and measurement become more contested.


Digital Divide Local Scholar Internet Research Latin American Nation International Intellectual Property 
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14.5 Notes

  1. 3.
    Presented by William H. Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See for more on OxIS, including access to publications giving more details of the results of past survey, such as W. H. Dutton, C. di Gennaro and A. M. Hargrave (2005), The Internet in Britain: The Oxford Internet Survey, May 2005, Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute. OxIS is sponsored by AOL, BT, Ofcom and Wanadoo.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See for more on WIP.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    The concept of reconfiguring access was developed in a synthesis of research on ICTs in W. H. Dutton (1999). Society on the Line, Oxford: Oxford University Press and in the context of broadband Internet in W. H. Dutton, S. E. Gillett, L. W. McKnight and M. Peltu (2003), ‘Broadband Internet: The Power to Reconfigure Access’, Forum Discussion Paper No. 1, Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute (available online at Scholar
  5. 7.
    Presented by Ricardo B. Duque, World Science Project Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Duque, R. B., Marcus Ynalvez, R. Sooryamoorthy, Paul Mbatia, Dan-Bright Dzorgbo, and Wesley Shrum. 2005. “Collaboration Paradox: Scientific Productivity, the Internet, and Problems of Research in Developing Areas.” Social Studies of Science 34:1–31.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Horowitz, Irving Louis (1967) The Rise and Fall of Project Camelot: Studies in the Relationship Between Social Science and Practical Politics, ed. Cambridge MA: The M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Mullin, James and Robert M. Adam, Janet E. Halliwell, and Larry P. Milligen. 2000. Science, Technology, and Innovation in Chile. Ottawa, ON, Canada: International Development Research Centre.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    REUNA, the Chilean IT institute, connected the university system with an intranet in 1986. It was one of the first networks in Latin America to hook up to the World Wide Web in the mid 1990s.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Presented by Jeremy Hunsinger, Center for Digital Discourse and Culture at Virginia Tech University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Dutton
    • 1
  • Rick B. Duque
    • 2
  • Jeremy Hunsinger
    • 3
  1. 1.Oxford Internet InstituteOxford
  2. 2.World Science ProjectUSA
  3. 3.Center for Digital Discourse and CultureUSA

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