Professor David De Roure

Professor of e-Research

Fellow of Wolfson College 

ORCID 0000-0001-9074-3016
+44 (0)1865 610703

David De Roure is Professor of e-Research at University of Oxford. Focused on advancing digital scholarship, David works closely with multiple disciplines including social sciences (studying social machines), humanities (computational musicology and experimental humanities), engineering (Internet of Things), and computer science (large scale distributed systems and social computing). He has extensive experience in hypertext, Web Science, Linked Data, and Internet of Things. Drawing on this broad interdisciplinary background he is a frequent speaker and writer on the future of digital scholarship and scholarly communications.

David has strategic responsibility for Digital Humanities at Oxford within The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). He is a member of Cyber Security Oxford, an Oxford Martin Senior Fellow, and collaborates with the Oxford Internet Institute in Web Science. He was Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre 2012-17. Prior to moving to Oxford in 2010 he was Professor of Computer Science at University of Southampton, where he was Director of the Centre for Pervasive Computing in the Environment. He was closely involved in the UK e-Science programme and from 2009-2013 was the UK National Strategic Director for Digital Social Research for the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and subsequently Strategic Advisor for new and emerging forms of data and real time analytics. 

He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, a visiting professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College where he chairs the Digital Research Cluster.


Prof David De Roure
Oxford e-Research Centre
University of Oxford
7 Keble Road

Tel: +44(0)1865 610703

Twitter: @dder

Tel: +44 (0)1865 610703
Fax: +44(0)1865 610612


See ORCID id 0000-0001-9074-3016 or publication list (PDF).

Current projects

FAST - Fusing Audio and Semantic Technologies Transforming Musicology SOCIAM Theory and Practice of Social Machines
Square Kilometre Array Science Data Processor Internet of Things Research Hub Smart Society
The Software Sustainability Institute  Digital Humanities @ Oxford Claros - CLassical Art Research Online Services

Past projects

e-Research South  regional consortium e-Stat  quantitative Digital Social Research node myExperiment  social web site for sharing workflows
NeuroHub  information environment for Neuroscientists Ubhave  Ubiquitous and social computing for positive behaviour change Wf4Ever  - Workflow Forever
SALAMI  Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information Digital Social Research   programme  ESRC Strategic Adviser for Data Resources


Scholarly Social Machines


The Numbers into Notes program (a.k.a. Dave's hack ), originally written for the December 2015 Ada Lovelace symposium, is available online on This tool was developed to generate Fibonacci numbers and reduce them with clock arithmetic, generating a periodic sequence which is then mapped to notes, and the music explored by selecting fragments to play; a dditional algorithms have been added to stimulate discussion of mathematical calculations on the Analytical Engine, contemplating what Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage might have done if the engine had been built.  Our series of events under this banner has been supported by the Transforming Musicology and FAST projects. Here is the 5 bar jazz 'number' Fib35 as a score –please send me your recordings! The chords are by Steve Holdbrook, who recorded this solo.  And here is Puffle , being a nod by Pip Willcox to both 1970s children's television and Ada Lovelace's cat .


“It has long been my personal view that the separation of practical and theoretical work is artificial and injurious. Much of the practical work done in computing, both in software and in hardware design, is unsound and clumsy because the people who do it have not any clear understanding of the fundamental design principles of their work. Most of the abstract mathematical and theoretical work is sterile because it has no point of contact with real computing.” Christopher Strachey (via David Barron) .

Recent talks

  • The Social Machines Paradigm. Keynote at Web Science and Data Analytics Summer School, Singapore, December 2014. Powerpoint . Slideshare .
  • The Social Machines of Scholarly Collaboration. Closing keynote at IGeLU, Oxford, September 2014. Powerpoint Slideshare .
  • Executable Music Documents . Short paper presentation at Digital Libraries for Musicology workshop held at Digital Libraries 2014, London, September 2014. Slideshare .Paper available on ORA .
  • The wider environment of open scholarship.  Jisc and CNI conference, Bristol, July 2014. Slideshare .
  • Taking IT for granted: a long view into the future , closing talk at IT as a Utility Conference , Southampton, June 2014. Slideshare .
  • The Future of Scholarly Communications . UKSG 37th Annual Conference and Exhibition: Harrogate, April 2014. Slideshare .
  • Working out the Plot: the Role of Stories in Social Machines . Paper by Ségolène Tarte, David De Roure and Pip Willcox.  2nd International Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Social Machines , in conjunction with WWW2014, Seoul, Korea, April 2014. Slideshare . Paper available on ORA .
  • Big Data meets Big Social: Social Machines and the Semantic Web   Invited talk at CrowdSem 2013 workshop, International Semantic Web Conference ISWC 2013, Sydney, 21st October 2013  PowerPoin t   SlideShare
  • Digital Research 2013 Data Science Panel Introduction  St Anne’s College, Oxford, 10th September 2013  PowerPoint Slideshare
  • What’s so different about Arts and Humanities data?  Research Data Management in the arts and humanities, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 3rd September 2013  PowerPoint
  • New Forms of Data and Scientific Research  59th   World Statistics Congress, 28 August 2013, Hong Kong PowerPoint   Slideshare
  • Towards Computational Research Objects  DPRMA 2013, 25 July 2013, Indianapolis  PowerPoint   Slideshare
  • Social Machines of Science and Scholarship  JCDL 2013, 25 July 2013, Indianapolis   PowerPoint  Slideshare
  • Scholarly Social Machines  DH@Ox Summer School 2013, 10 July 2012, Oxford  Slideshare
  • Social Machines  Second Open Global Systems Science Conference, 11 June  2013,  Brussels, Belgium   Slideshare
  • Web Scale Music Analysis:   A grand challenge in computational musicology -  keynote at International Conference on Computational Science (ICCS2013), 5 June 2013, Barcelona.   PowerPoint
  • 2066 and all that.  Keynote from Joint ORCID - Dryad Symposium on Research Attribution, St Anne's College Oxford, 23 May 2013   SlideShare
  • Observing Social Machines Part 1: What to Observe? SOCM workshop, WWW2013, May 2013.  Slideshare
  • Social Machines of Science,  Infosys, Bangalore, April 2013.  PowerPoint
  • Building Web Observatories,  Web Observatory Workshop, Bangalore, Apri 2013.  PowerPoint
  • Advances in Digital Scholarship,  AHRC Digital Transformations Moot, November 2010.  SlideShare
  • myExperiment and the Rise of Social Machines , hubbub2012, Indianapolis, September 2012.  SlideShare
  • SOCIAM - The Theory and Practice of Social Machines , e-Science Roundtable at GSLIS, University of Illionois at Urbana-Champaign, June 2012.  PowerPoint
  • Research on the Web: The Rise of New Digital Scholarship , Keynote at WEBIST 2012, Porto, April 2012.  PowerPoint PDF
  • Towards Web-Scale Analysis of Musical Structure , Music and Linked Data Workshop, London, May 2011.  SlideShare
  • The Evolution of e-Research: Machines, Methods and Music , Inaugural lecture at Oxford e-Research Centre, Thursday October 28, 2010.  PowerPoint SlideShare .

Recent publications

  • S Tarte, P Wilcox, H Glaser, D De Roure. Archetypal Narratives in Social Machines: Approaching Sociality through Prosopography. ACM Web Science.
  • David De Roure, Clare Hooper, Kevin Page, Ségolène Tarte, Pip Willcox. Observing Social Machines Part 2: How to Observe? ACM Web Science
  • S Hettrick, M Antonioletti, L Carr, N Chue Hong, S Crouch, D De Roure, et al.  UK Research Software Survey 2014, University of Edinburgh on behalf of Software Sustainability Institute.
  • D De Roure, G Klyne, KR Page, JPN Pybus, DM Weigl.  Music and Science: Parallels in Production. Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology.
  • Jinhui Yao, Wei Tan, Surya Nepal, Shiping Chen, Jia Zhang, David De Roure, Carole A. Goble. ReputationNet: Reputation-Based Service Recommendation for e-Science. IEEE T. Services Computing 8(3): 439-452 (2015)
  • Kristina M. Hettne, Harish Dharuri, Jun Zhao, Katherine Wolstencroft, Khalid Belhajjame, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Eleni Mina, Mark Thompson, Don Cruickshank, Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro, Julián Garrido, David De Roure, Óscar Corcho, Graham Klyne, Reinout van Schouwen, Peter A. C. 't Hoen, Sean Bechhofer, Carole A. Goble, Marco Roos.  Structuring research methods and data with the research object model: genomics workflows as a case study. J. Biomedical Semantics 5: 41 (2014)
  • Ilaria Liccardi, Joe Pato, Daniel J. Weitzner, Hal Abelson, David De Roure. No technical understanding required: helping users make informed choices about access to their personal data. MobiQuitous 2014: 140-150
  • David De Roure. 2014. "The Emerging Paradigm of Social Machines". Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2014: Social Networks and Social Machines
  • David De Roure. 2014. "The Future of Scholarly Communications". Insights, 2014, 27(3), 233–238; DOI: 
  • David De Roure. 2014. "Executable Music Documents".  Digital Libraries for Musicology  workshop held in conjunction with Digital Libraries 2014 , London, September 2014. ACM.  Preprint .
  • Shoaib Sufi, Neil Chue Hong, Simon Hettrick, Mario Antonioletti, Stephen Crouch, Alexander Hay, Devasena Inupakutika, Mike Jackson, Aleksandra Pawlik, Giacomo Peru, John Robinson, Les Carr, David De Roure, Carole Goble, Mark Parsons.  Software in reproducible research: advice and best practice collected from experiences at the collaborations workshop.  Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGPLAN Workshop on Reproducible Research Methodologies and New Publication Models in Computer Engineering. 2014.
  • Ségolène M. Tarte, David De Roure, and Pip Willcox. 2014. Working out the plot: the role of stories in social machines. In  Proceedings of the companion publication of the 23rd international conference on World wide web companion  (WWW Companion '14). International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, 909-914. DOI=10.1145/2567948.2578839 . .
  • Robert Simpson, Kevin R. Page, and David De Roure. 2014. Zooniverse: observing the world's largest citizen science platform. In  Proceedings of the companion publication of the 23rd international conference on World wide web companion  (WWW Companion '14). International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, 1049-1054. DOI=10.1145/2567948.2579215


  • Jeremy G. Frey, Andrew J. Milsted, Danius T. Michaelides, David De Roure: MyExperimentalScience, extending the 'workflow'. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 25(4): 481-496 (2013)
  • Stephen Crouch, Neil Chue Hong, Simon Hettrick, Mike Jackson, Aleksandra Pawlik, Shoaib Sufi, Les Carr, David De Roure, Carole Goble and Mark Parsons.  The Software Sustainability Institute: Changing Research Software Attitudes and Practices.  Comput. Sci. Eng. 15, 74 (2013);
  • Kevin R. Page, Ben Fields, David De Roure, Tim Crawford, J. Stephen Downie. Capturing the workflows of music information retrieval for repeatability and reuse.  Journal of Intelligent Information Systems. December 2013, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 435-459
  • Sean Bechhofer Kevin R. Page David De Roure Hello cleveland! Linked data publication of live music archives.   WIAMIS 2013 : 1-4
  • David De Roure. 2013. "New Forms of Data and Scientific Research", 59th World Statistics Congress, Hong Kong, August 2013. ( preprint )
  • David De Roure. 2013. "Towards Computational Research Objects". In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Digital Preservation of Research Methods and Artefacts (DPRMA '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 16-19. DOI=10.1145/2499583.2499590 ( temporary pdf )
  • David De Roure, Clare Hooper, Megan Meredith-Lobay, Kevin Page, Ségolène Tarte, Don Cruickshank, and Catherine De Roure. "Observing social machines part 1: what to observe?". 1st International Web Observatory Workshop (WOW2013), in Proceedings of the 22nd international conference on World Wide Web companion (WWW '13 Companion), May 2013 ( preprint )
  • Thanassis Tiropanis, Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt, David De Roure, Noshir Contractor, Jim Hendler, "The Web Science Observatory", IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 100-104, March-April 2013, doi:10.1109/MIS.2013.50 ( preprint )
  • Kristina M. Hettne, Harish Dharuri, Jun Zhao, Katherine Wolstencroft, Khalid Belhajjame, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Eleni Mina, Mark Thompson, Don Cruickshank, Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro, Julián Garrido, David De Roure, Óscar Corcho, Graham Klyne, Reinout van Schouwen, Peter A. C. 't Hoen, Sean Bechhofer, Carole A. Goble, Marco Roos: Structuring research methods and data with the Research Object model: genomics workflows as a case study. CoRR abs/1311.2789 (2013)
  • Carole Goble, David De Roure and Sean Bechhofer. "Accelerating Scientists’ Knowledge Turns." Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (Revised Selected Papers of Third International Joint Conference, IC3K 2011, Paris, France, October 26-29, 2011, editors: Ana Fred, Jan L. G. Dietz, Kecheng Liu, Joaquim Filipe). Communications in Computer and Information Science, Volume 348. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. 3-25. 8 June 2013. doi 10.1007/978-3-642-37186-8_1 ( preprint ).
  • Sean Bechhofer Iain E. Buchan David De Roure Paolo Missier John D. Ainsworth Jiten Bhagat Philip A. Couch Don Cruickshank Mark Delderfield Ian Dunlop Matthew Gamble Danius T. Michaelides Stuart Owen David R. Newman Shoaib Sufi Carole A. Goble Why linked data is not enough for scientists.   Future Generation Comp. Syst. 29 (2): 599-611 (2013)


  • Jun Zhao, Jose Manuel Gomez-Perezy, Khalid Belhajjame, Graham Klyne, Esteban Garcia-Cuestay, Aleix Garridoy, Kristina Hettne, Marco Roos, David De Roure, Carole Goble, "Why Workflows Break - Understanding and Combating Decay in Taverna Workflows", eScience 2012, Chicago, October 2012 ( preprint ).
  • Kevin R. Page, Ben Fields, David De Roure, Tim Crawford, J. Stephen Downie, "Reuse, Remix, Repeat: The Workflows of MIR", MIRrors session at the 13th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2012) Porto, Portugal, October 8th-12th, 2012 (available  online
  • Weal, Mark J., Michaelides, Danius T., Page, Kevin R., De Roure, David C., Monger, Eloise and Gobbi, Mary. "Semantic annotation of ubiquitous learning environments", Semantic Technologies for Learning and Teaching Support in Higher Education IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 5, (2), 143-156 ( preprint )
  • Khalid Belhajjame, Oscar Corcho, Daniel Garijo, Jun Zhao, Paolo Missier, David Newman, Raul Palma, Sean Bechhofer, Esteban Garc Cuesta, Jose Manuel Gomez-Perez, Graham Klyne, Kevin Page, Marco, Roos, Jose Enrique Ruiz, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro, David De Roure and Carole A. Goble, "Workflow-Centric Research Objects: First Class Citizens in Scholarly Discourse", SePublica2012 at ESWC2012, Greece,  May 2012. ( preprint )
  • David De Roure, "The Clouds and Beyond", Government Gazette, February 2012, ISSN 2042-4167, p.57 ( preprint )
  • Jinhui Yao, Wei Tan, Surya Nepal, Shiping Chen, Jia Zhang, David De Roure and Carole Goble, "ReputationNet: a Reputation Engine to Enhance ServiceMap by Recommending Trusted Services". Accepted for IEEE SCC2012, June 2012.  ( preprint )
  • Khalid Belhajjame, David De Roure and Carole Goble. "Research Object Management: Opportunities and Challenges". Data Intensive Collaboration in Science and Engineering (DISCOSE) workshop, collocated with ACM CSCW 2012 ( preprint )


  • David De Roure, Kevin R. Page, Benjamin Fields, Tim Crawford, J. Stephen Downie and Ichiro Fujinaga, "An e-Research Approach to Web-Scale Music Analysis", Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 28 August 2011 vol. 369 no. 1949 3300-3317 doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0171 ( preprint  /  publisher ).
  • Alasdair J. G. Gray, Raul Garcia-Castro, Kostis Kyzirakos, Manos Karpathiotakis, Jean-Paul Calbimonte, Kevin R. Page, Jason Sadler, Alex Frazer, Ixent Galpin, Alvaro A. A. Fernandes, Norman W. Paton, Óscar Corcho, Manolis Koubarakis, David De Roure, Kirk Martinez, Asunción Gómez-Pérez: A Semantically Enabled Service Architecture for Mashups over Streaming and Stored Data. ESWC (2) 2011: 300-314 ( preprint ).
  • Kevin R. Page, David C. De Roure and Kirk Martinez "REST and Linked Data: a match made for domain driven development?" in 2nd International Workshop on RESTful Design (WS-REST 2011) held in conjunction with 20th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2011), Hyderabad, India, March 2011. doi: 10.1145/1967428.1967435 ( preprint )
  • Ben Fields, Kevin Page, David De Roure and Tim Crawford (2011) "The Segment Ontology: Bridging Music-Generic and Domain-Specific" in 3rd International Workshop on Advances in Music Information Research (AdMIRe 2011) held in conjunction with IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME), Barcelona, Spain, July 2011. ( preprint )
  • David De Roure (2011) "Machines, Methods and Music: On the Evolution of e-Research", International Conference on High Performance Computing & Simulation (invited paper), July 2011.( preprint )
  • Sean Bechhofer, Iain Buchan, David De Roure, Paolo Missier, John Ainsworth, Jiten Bhagat, Philip Couch, Don Cruickshank, Mark Delderfield, Ian Dunlop, Matthew Gamble, Danius Michaelides, Stuart Owen, David Newman, Shoaib Sufi, Carole Goble, Why linked data is not enough for scientists, Future Generation Computer Systems ( preprint )
  • Wei Tan, Jia Zhang, Ravi Madduri, Ian Foster, David De Roure and Carole Goble (2011) "ServiceMap: Providing Map and GPS Assistance to Service Composition in Bioinformatics", IEEE International Conference on Services Computing 2011. ( preprint )
  • Vasa Curcin, Paolo Missier and David De Roure (2011), "Simulating Taverna workflows using stochastic process algebras". Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. doi: 10.1002/cpe.1757 ( preprint  /  publisher )
  • Jordan Bennett Louis Smith, John Ashley Burgoyne, Ichiro Fujinaga, David De Roure and J. Stephen Downie (2011) "Design and creation of a large-scale database of structural annotations" to appear in 12th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2011).
  • David De Roure, Khalid Belhajjam, Paolo Missier, José Manuel Gómez-Pérez, Raúl Palma, José Enrique Ruiz, Kristina Hettne, Marco Roos, Graham Klyne, Carole Goble (2011). "Towards the Preservation of Scientific Workflows". Accepted for 8th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPRES 2011). ( pdf )
  • David De Roure, Sean Bechhofer, Carole Goble and David Newman (2011), "Scientific Social Objects". Accepted for 1st International Workshop on Social Object Networks (SocialObjects 2011). ( pdf )

David was a founding member of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia group in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at University of Southampton before joining Oxford in July 2010. His Southampton papers can be found  here .

Social Media

Blog:  e-Research blog  on Nature Networks. Selected posts:


Pointers to research data

TEI Materiality experiment led by Pip Willcox using the  Bodleian First Folio  (licensed  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported ), also available in myExperiment Pack 678 :

  • Romeo and Juliet in TEI —  download  
  • Page 53 PDF with aligned text (can search and copy) — download
  • Page 53 PDF with aligned text and materiality annotations derived from TEI — download
  • Example JavaScript to insert annotations — download  

A Tribute to Prof DW Barron (1935 - 2012)

In his  Inaugural Lecture  at University of Southampton in 1971, Professor of Computation  David W Barron (DWB) described himself as "only a second-generation computer man", because those who taught him were the ones who had invented computers - he had worked in Cambridge with  Maurice Wilkes David Wheeler  and  Christopher Strachey . I guess that means the very many students who had the privilege of being taught by DWB are the third generation. And some of those (like yours truly) taught others who now teach, so we must be up to five or six now...

In 1963 DWB and colleagues published " The Main Features of CPL ". This was a key member of the rock family tree of programming languages: it led to BCPL, and then B, and then C... one of the most widely used programming languages of all time. DWB's books have also influenced generations, especially Recursive Techniques in Programming  published in 1968 (and then again, and again, ...)

My first lecture on my first day at University of Southampton in 1981 was given by DWB. Three years later he took me, a scientist, as a PhD student. I served my unix apprenticeship as we upgraded the PDP11/34 to  V7M . Later we were to teach "CM300 Programming Language Design" together for several years.

What I learned then I use to this day. My unix skills and thinking are as useful as ever (granted, my Mac is a bit more portable than the PDP!), my day-to-day research depends on the same scripting skills. And I hope I understand something about how to teach the next generation, perhaps even in DWB's distinctively  extempore  style.

In fact we have to ask whether the world has really changed that much! DWB's 1971 talk discussed computer science versus computer applications, a debate that persists to this day. It emphasised symbol-manipulation as well as number-crunching, the potential to do new things rather than just familiar things faster, and it talked about the importance of computing for arts-based students. All familiar. It also explained the case for the university to invest in a computer (citing £350k capital equipment and £100k running costs - even that sounds familiar today!)

The answer, I would suggest, is that there has been truly massive change, but that the groundwork of of generations 1 and 2 was really pretty amazing and so was DWB's forward-thinking. They literally defined the field.

I'll give DWB the final word, from 1971:

We are only witnessing the beginning of the changes in Society that the wide-scale use of computers will bring. The changes are not going to be comfortable, but it is the job of those of us in the University to ensure, by education and research, that they are not catastrophic. That is why I am in the game. And, to be honest, it is great fun too.

It's down to us now!

DDeR  (only a third-generation computer man)

(This tribute can also be found on  my blog  and on the  ECS memorial webpage  where others can leave comments.)