Special Issue on "The Semantic Web for all"

Semantic Web Journal Special Issue on
"The Semantic Web for all"

Call for Papers


The aim of this special issue is to publish a collection of papers covering the challenges and solutions for making Semantic Web technologies usable by everyone, especially those living in challenged areas, generally present in vast regions in developing nations. Semantic Web technologies are currently being designed and deployed for scenarios where infrastructure scaling for high amounts of intensively used data are a feasible solution. As a result, data management platforms are centred around Cloud computing, assume availability of reliable power, reliable fast Internet connectivity, and the presence of centralised big server and infrastructure resources that serve massive amounts of data, much of which might never be utilised. The majority of the world, however, does not have access to such resources or suffer from having their access limited by slow connectivity. This might introduce the danger to further increase the digital divide which is linked to education, voice in policies, empowerment, and quality of life. Most of these concerned individuals use and share data and have the right to benefit from the data management provided by the Semantic Web as much as others do. Data sharing platforms have the potential to improve the livelihoods and empower people.

In addition, the need of departing from centralized cloud computing is not limited to challenged regions, but also to critical situations in all nations such as aftermath of natural disasters, power grid problems, cyber-terrorism and others. These aforementioned situations call for a change of mindset and for re-thinking the Semantic Web in terms of efficient decentralized devices with limited computing power, among other options. We also need to think in terms of offline data usage, dealing with non stable Internet connectivity, satellite one-way feeds, interfaces for mobile phones, and solutions enabling the access to Linked Data to incapacitated and illiterate individuals.
The topic of this issue is quite multidisciplinary with components that involve users, hardware and software. Increasing the access to the Semantic Web might involve the fitting of already existing technologies to certain situations, the redesign of systems, or their innovative utilization following an "appropriate technology" venue. We especially solicit papers that tackle some of specific challenges of deploying Semantic Web technologies on limited resources scenarios (computing power, network limitations, intermittent connectivity, etc) through innovative solutions. Additionally, we encourage submissions pointing to innovative hardware and software solutions from improving data interaction. The area of appropriate technology focused on Semantic Web technologies is very welcomed.

Topics of submissions

We welcome submissions that are either focused on the technology, the users, the hardware or the software in the context of leveraging Semantic Web technologies. Along these lines, the topics of interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenges of deploying Semantic Web technologies with limited Web connectivity
    • Decentralized, robust, systems for dereferencing Web resources
    • Data caching and replication in mesh networks
    • Decentralized authentication, trust and provenance
    • Read and Write Semantic Web
    • Delay-tolerant networks
    • Mesh and other self-healing networks
  • Low and intermittent connectivity data management platforms applied to
    • Data sharing for dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters and other data intensive scenarios under constrained conditions
    • Exchanging education resources between remote schools
    • Publication/consumption of market prices
  • Hardware and software for user and machine data interaction
    • Low power server and client devices
    • Innovative usage of data acquisition devices, sensors and actuators; pre-processing of data for certain scenarios
    • Alternative interfaces (vocal, haptic, and others), including text-to-voice and text-to-video solutions
    • Innovative manner to provide data visualization to the less empowered taking into consideration local contexts (illiterateness, culture, language)
    • Linked Data interfaces adapted for mobile phones, especially CPU power-constrained devices
    • Measurement, analysis or impact of the technology to specific groups

If you are unsure about the relevance of your manuscript, please don't hesitate to contact the guest editors.

Types of submissions

  • Full papers
    Original or revised version of research papers presenting systems and results relevant to the specific context of the special issue. These submissions will be reviewed along the usual dimensions for research contributions which include: (1) the originality, significance and impact of the results; and (2) the clarity and readability of the describing paper, which shall convey to the reader the key ideas regarding the relation with Semantic Web technologies and the challenges addressed.
  • System papers
    Short papers of 6 to 8 pages describing a specific and relevant software or hardware solution. Submissions will be reviewed along the following dimensions: (1) Quality, importance, and impact of the described system/hardware. (2) Clarity and readability of the describing paper.

Important Dates

  • Statement of submission intent: January 25, 2013 (please send a brief email to christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl)
  • Initial Submission: February 28, 2013 (extended!)
  • Author Notification: May 3, 2013
  • 2nd Round Submission: June 14, 2013
  • Final Notification: July 5, 2013

Open Review Process

All papers must demonstrate the validity of the approach taken, include an objective review of the state of the art of the topic, and describe the contribution made to its improvement.

All submissions are subject to an open review process, and will be made publicly available on the journal's website. Further, in addition to solicited reviews by members of the editorial board, public reviews and comments are welcome by any researcher through uploading using the journal website. Submission and reviewing guidelines may be found in full at: http://www.semantic-web-journal.net/reviewers

See also, the author guidelines at http://www.semantic-web-journal.net/authors

Guest editorial board

  • Stefan Schlobach, VU University Amsterdam
  • Anna Bon, CIS - VU University Amsterdam
  • Louiqa Raschid, University of Maryland
  • Tim Davies, University of Southampton
  • Fabien Gandon, INRIA
  • Michalis Vafopoulos, National Technical University of Athens
  • Philippe Cudré-Mauroux, University of Fribourg
  • Victor de Boer, VU University Amsterdam
  • Michael Hausenblas, DERI Galway
  • Jose Manuel Alonso, Web Foundation
  • Maria-Esther Vidal, Universidad Simón Bolí­var
  • Andreas Thor, University of Leipzig

Guest editors

Christophe Guéret, Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), KNAW, christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl

The Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam maintains a close relationship with developing countries having a limited access to the Web, if any. These relationships are materialized through the centre for international collaboration (CIS), the project for re-greening Africa (W4RA), the FP7 funded project ``Voices'' and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) contributor project ``SemanticXO''. Christophe is leading that last activity which aims at deploying Semantic Web solutions on a small laptop, the ``XO'', designed for educational usage by young learners living in the poorest areas of the world. SemanticXO aims at leveraging the power of Linked Data and reasoning to help them share ideas and collaboratively drive their own education. Besides, Christophe is now working at DANS on the exposition of historical statistical data using the Linked Data principles and the consumption of this data by historians.

Stephane Boyera, Web Foundation, boyera@webfoundation.org (affiliation update: SBC4D)

The Web foundation is pushing for a better accessibility of the Web in the World, aiming at closing the digital divide between those who have access to the Web and those who don't have it. Stéphane has played an important role in the creation of the World Wide Web Foundation since 2008. In January 2009, he became Program Manager, responsible for the design and implementation of a new Foundation program targeted at leveraging the power of Web technologies to empower people in parts of the world where they need it most. Stéphane is also participating in different experts panel on the topic of Mobile and Social Development, including the World Bank Expert Panel on Mobile for Rural Development, the World Bank Expert Panel on mobile Health, and Vodafone Socio-economic Impact of Mobile (SIM) panel. The work on voice based interface in he contributes to in ``Voices'' has received the third prize of the ``outrageous ideas'' track of ISWC2011 and a very positive feedback from Mali farmers during the first deployment in November 2011.

Mike Powell, IKM Emergent, m.powell@pop3.poptel.org.uk

IKM Emergent (http://ikmemergent.net) is an action research programme looking at the selection and management of knowledge and information by international development agencies, research which includes consideration of how new technology is used in the process. The programme has explored and supported some of the early uses of semantic technologies in the development field. Its work is located in what it sees as an historical context of development information and related ICT management in which there has been a gross inbalance between investment in and for the information needs of the poor and those of larger 'professional' organisations and little awareness of the inter-connectedness of development information fields. Mike was previously co-ordinator of the Social Impact of Information Technology programme at the UN Research Institute for Social Development (http://bit.ly/O0bLnv)

Martin Murillo, Data Connectivity Initiative - IEEE, murillo@ieee.org

Through the Data Connectivity Initiative, the IEEE intends to have a direct role in the data connectivity of extremely remote rural areas suffering from bad indices of health and where any kind of communication would alleviate some of the issues, including scenarios of natural disasters and alleviation of climate change. Martin Murillo is volunteer co-leader and project manager in the initiative. Their latest project in the Peruvian Amazon connected various remote rural villages reachable by two-day boat trip from the location where telephony or Internet was available. Their effort resulted in massive 60-meter towers and high speeds connectivity. The same model is being carried out in other parts of the world through partnerships with local development organizations, the utilization of appropriate technology, and the creation of innovative business models. The multidimensional efforts have identified various areas of research, development and collaboration, one of them is the provision of information in appropriate manners and the resiliency of connectivity in various scenarios, among others. Professionally Martin has worked in state-of-the art development of wireless devices, has carried out research in energy efficient protocols for wireless connectivity, and is currently carrying out research in appropriate visualizations for the provision of open government data to different sectors of the population with the main goals of empowerment and policy influence. Martin has published in the area of control system theory, wireless sensor networks, the utilization of technology in different scenarios, and the measurement of institutional transparency through open government data.