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Call for contributions

The Datafied Web

6th RESAW Conference (5-6 June 2025, Siegen University, Germany)

Date: 5th & 6th June 2025

Pre-conferences, demos, hands-on on June 4, 2025 

Place: TBA

Conference Website: TBA

The Datafied Web

Do you remember the beginnings of early metrics in the 90s, the birth of web counters, those digital pioneers that marked and started to quantify the pulse of online activity, the novelty of seeing website visits measured in real-time, eye-catching graphics becoming the currency of online attention, and the early days of companies like Webtrends, Urchin and DoubleClick?

We invite scholars, researchers, web archivists to contribute to the 6th RESAW conference on the topic of “The Datafied Web”, through a historical lens. We would like to explore the historical roots, trends, and trajectories that shaped the data-driven paradigm in web development and to examine the genealogies of the datafied and metrified web. Historical studies of trajectories towards a databased web and the emergence of platform-driven mobile ecosystems are very welcome, as well as case studies for instance related to the development of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and the evolution of data-sharing practices. Uncovering the early forms of analytics software, their origins, and the role they played in shaping the web landscape, and examining the historical context, aesthetics and role of web counters, analytics tools, mobile sensing and other metrics may also help us deepen our understanding of online interactions, past publics and audiences, and their (uneasy) trajectories. “The datafied web” also raises questions related to methods and (web) archives allowing to research this evolution: what are for instance the challenges and methodologies involved in archiving the metrified and increasingly mobile web, including the back-end infrastructure?  

This theme also invites us to trace the historical trajectory of data surveillance and the evolution of data capturing practices on the web. Complementary are issues related to the historical development of tracking mechanisms, cookies, and the creation of digital footprints, as well as the evolution of companies relying on metrics, and the development of financialized web spaces and their implications. By investigating historical controversies and debates surrounding the increasing datafication of the web and uncovering historical instances of innovative data use or resistance practices against the datafication of the web, this conference also aims at reconstructing vivid and key debates that are transversal to the history of the web. How did the datafied web provide for the sensory media environments that we are now living in?

Finally, we wish to discuss innovative research methodologies for uncovering the historical dimensions of the datafied and metrified web, as well as methods that are approaching web archives as data (from an archiving and research perspective) and explore them through distant reading, metadata, seed lists, and other methods. Plus, we want to encourage everyone to think about datafication as a practice of sensing and sense-making that creates, sustains, and undermines media environments.

Theme scope and conference topics of the RESAW Conference

We encourage submissions addressing the conference theme ‘Histories of the Datafied Web’ through the following themes:


  • histories and genealogies of the datafied and metrified web, including its platformization within capitalism(s)
  • aesthetics and design of the early metrified web
  • the rise of data surveillance and data capture as an industry
  • histories of APIs, data-sharing, and advertising technologies
  • the rise of web counters, web analytics, and other web metrics
  • histories of trackers, cookies, digital footprints, etc.


  • methods and approaches towards audience of the past web
  • historical controversies surrounding the datafication and platformization of the web
  • histories of uses of data or practices of resistance to datafication and platform economies
  • the rise of the financialization of the web, and its political economy
  • histories of automation, virality, and popular practices on the web


  • archiving the metrified web and back-end infrastructure of the web
  • methodologies for writing histories of the datafied and metrified web
  • web archives as data (archiving and documentation, distant reading, use of metadata, seed lists…)
  • web archiving data practices and challenges

After the conference, the organizers will invite relevant contributors to participate in a special issue of Internet Histories related to the topic “The Datafied Web”. 

Submissions that explore other aspects both within and outside of the general conference theme, are also welcome.

Submissions for the RESAW Conference

The deadline for submissions is 15 October 2024.

Submissions are welcome from all fields and disciplines, and we would particularly encourage postgraduate students and early career researchers to participate. We also encourage contributions that highlight non-Western and non-hegemonic developments. Contributions on practical challenges of web archiving in current moments of crisis are also very welcome.

Possible formats

  • Individual papers of 15 minutes (500-word abstract).
  • Panel sessions consisting of three individual papers of 15 minutes, introduced by a chair (500-word abstract for each paper, a brief 300-word description of the purpose of the panel).
  • Other unconventional proposals like sessions of lightning talks, roundtables, etc., are welcome (300-word abstract).
  • A session “My PhD in 5 Minutes” is foreseen (please apply by providing a 300-word abstract).

Acceptance of submissions is based on double-blind peer review.

Possible formats for the pre-conference day

  • Submissions related to web archives are welcome from all fields and disciplines, and we would particularly encourage workshops related to tools, hands-on, as well as training sessions and demos.
  • A whole pre-conference (500-word abstract)
  • Workshops, demos and other formats related to web archives practices, methods, tools, demos (500-word abstract, specifying the expected duration)


The deadline for submissions (including the pre-conference day) is 15th October 2024.

To submit a proposal :


  • 15 October 2024: Deadline for submissions
  • 15 December 2024: Notifications of acceptance
  • 25 January 2025: Programme
  • March 2025: Registrations open (fees: 90 euros for advanced scholars, 50 euros for PhD students)
  • 4 June 2025: Pre-conferences and demos
  • 5-6 June 2025: Conference at Siegen University


Local Organizers

  • Marcus Burkhardt, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Carolin Gerlitz, Media Studies, Speaker CRC Media of Cooperation (DFG), Siegen University, GE
  • Sebastian Gießmann, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Valérie Schafer, C²DH, University of Luxembourg
  • Inga Schuppener, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Dominik Schrey, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Tatjana Seitz, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Robert Tipping, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Katharina Zimmer-Lachmann, CRC, Siegen University, GE

In collaboration with the RESAW Conference Committee

  • Niels Brügger, Aarhus University (organiser 2015)
  • Jane Winters, University of London (organiser 2017)
  • Anne Helmond, Utrecht University (organiser 2019)
  • Valérie Schafer, C²DH, University of Luxembourg (organiser 2021)
  • Sophie Gebeil, Aix-Marseille University, (organiser 2023)
  • Susan Aasman, University of Groningen (coming organizer 2027)

RESAW 2025 Programme Committee

  • Susan Aasman, University of Groningen, NL 
  • Gabriele Balbi, USI, Lugano, SW
  • Miglé Bareikyte, Frankfurt/Oder, GER
  • Anat Ben David, The Open University of Israel, IL
  • Emmanuelle Bermès, École des Chartes, FR
  • Nicola Bingham, British Library, IIPC, UK
  • Paolo Bory, Politecnico di Milano, IT
  • Niels Brügger, Aarhus University, DK
  • Marcus Burkhardt, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Beatrice Cannelli, University of London, UK
  • Frédéric Clavert, C2DH, University of Luxembourg, LU
  • Sophie Gebeil, Aix-Marseille University, FR
  • Friedel Geeraert, Royal Library of Belgium, BE
  • Sebastian Gießmann, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Anne Helmond, Utrecht University, NL
  • Emily Maemura, University of Toronto, CA
  • Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo, FR
  • Carmen Noguera, C2DH, University of Luxembourg, LU
  • Johannes Paßmann, University of Bochum, GER
  • Sebastian Randerath, Bonn University, GE
  • Marcus Rommel, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Valérie Schafer, C2DH, University of Luxembourg, LU
  • Inga Schuppener, CRC, Siegen University
  • Tatjana Seitz, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Yarden Skop, CRC, Siegen University, GE
  • Helle Strandgaard Jensen, Aarhus University, DK
  • Fernando van der Vlist, University of Amsterdam, NL
  • Jane Winters, University of London, UK

About the local organizers: The CRC 1187 Media of Cooperation is an interdisciplinary collaborative research centre consisting of 17 projects and more than 60 researchers from media studies, anthropology, ethnology, sociology, philosophy, German language and literature studies, computer sciences, education, jurisprudence, and engineering. It has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2016. Following this development, public debates about datafication, big data, sensor technologies and artificial intelligence have been taking place for years, focusing in particular on questions of "digital participation", the career of "social media", the normative and technical, legal and political foundations of a "digital culture" and the intersection of digital production, distribution and reception. The CRC addresses these developments and counters the pressure of constant outdatedness with a scientific perspective that mediates between past and present and focuses on the cooperative practices that arise in media and from which media occur. Within the CRC Media of Cooperation, the subproject A01 (Digitally Networked Media between Specialization and Universalization), led by Sebastian Gießman and Valérie Schafer as co-PI, is the main organizer of the RESAW Conference.

The conference is funded in part, by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) – Projektnummer 262.513.311 – SFB 1187 Medien der Kooperation and in part by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), [INTER/DFG/23/17960744/DIGMEDIA].