The Hypertext Conference in the Last Decade

The Hypertext Conference in the Last Decade

The Hypertext Conference is at its 34th edition this year and plenty of water has flowed under the bridge since its very first edition in 1987, held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
Indeed, in such a long history, several things have changed and developed, including the scientific communities attending the conference as well as its topics of interest (scope). For instance, the Social Networks area emerged only in the early 2000s with the launch of social media platforms like Facebook and MySpace, and now it is a core area of interest of the conference.

In this blog post, we present our analysis on the progress of the Hypertext Conference in the past ten years, leveraging the AIDA Dashboard [1]. The AIDA Dashboard is a tool for exploring and making sense of scientific conferences in the field of Computer Science. It builds on the AIDA Knowledge Graph, which is a large dataset describing publications and patents according to their topics, author affiliations, and industrial sectors [2]. The dashboard has been developed by The Open University (UK) in collaboration with SpringerNature and the University of Cagliari (IT).
When querying a conference (e.g., Hypertext), the dashboard displays metrics and statistics by crunching the metadata of the scientific articles published at such conference. The curious reader can refer to the dedicated Hypertext page for additional and more detailed information about the conference.

Let’s get started with the key topics of the conference, as displayed in Fig. 1, which can be clustered in four main groups. The first consist of the World Wide Web, Internet, Hypertext, Hypermedia, and Semantics providing tools for structuring and representing hypertexts. The second is about Social Networks and Social Media as applicative scenarios. The third group comprises Databases and Information Retrieval Systems for storage and retrieval. Finally, there is Human Computer Interaction and User Interfaces for navigating hypertexts.

Figure 1. Most relevant topics of Hypertext in the past 10 years.

An interesting phenomenon that we can observe by analysing topics over time is that topics like World Wide Web and Internet remained almost constant and central for the conference (orange and dark grey lines, in Fig. 2). On the other hand, we can observe that Hypertext, Hypertext systems and Hypermedia systems lost magnitude over the past 15 years (red and black lines, in Fig. 2). Finally, since their emergence, Social Media and Social Networks have been gaining momentum (blue and cyan lines, in Fig. 2). This shows how the Hypertext is very dynamic and its community of scholars are very receptive to new ideas and challenges.

Figure 2. Time evolution of the most relevant topics at Hypertext.

The Hypertext Conference is very international, attracting contributions from all over the world. Indeed, the top 15 publishing countries (see Fig. 3) are Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania. Specifically, analysing the last ten years, we observe that the United States is the most productive country (356 publications), doubling the contributions of the United Kingdom at the second place (with 174 publications). Germany, at the third place, is also in triple digit (138 publications) and almost on par with the United Kingdom. Some other countries, including India, Brazil, and Italy, have fewer publications, but they are still quite productive.

Figure 3. Most productive countries in the last ten years at Hypertext.

To gain a better perspective on the internationality of the Hypertext conference, Fig. 4 displays the world map colouring the countries that have published at the conference throughout the whole history of Hypertext. In particular, the darker the country, the more active it is at the conference.

Figure 4. Distribution of countries publishing at Hypertext throughout the whole history of the conference.

With regard to the top organisations, we find the University of Southampton (UK), Arizona State University (US), Graz University of Technology (AT) as well as IBM from industry (see Fig. 5).

Figure 5. Most productive organisations at Hypertext in the past 10 years.

Among the top publishing authors, we can find David Millard, Charlie Hargood, and Claus Atzenbeck (see Fig. 6). Instead, the top 3 cited authors are Tim Berners Lee, Roy Fielding and Henrik Frystyk (see Fig. 7).

Figure 6. Top authors by publications.
Figure 7. Top authors by citations.

As mentioned above, conferences hardly remain static as they consist of scientific communities that over time continue shaping their interests and paradigms. And Hypertext is no exception. Indeed, the theme of this year “Humanities within”, introduces a new front of investigation centred around the digital humanities and opens up to new communities of researchers working on it.


[1] Angioni, S., Salatino, A., Osborne, F., Birukou, A., Recupero, D. R., & Motta, E. (2022, October). Leveraging Knowledge Graph Technologies to Assess Journals and Conferences at Springer Nature. In The Semantic Web–ISWC 2022: 21st International Semantic Web Conference, Virtual Event, October 23–27, 2022, Proceedings (pp. 735-752). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

[2] Angioni, S., Salatino, A., Osborne, F., Recupero, D. R., & Motta, E. (2021). AIDA: A knowledge graph about research dynamics in academia and industry. Quantitative Science Studies2(4), 1356-1398.

I am a Research Associate at the Intelligence Systems and Data Science (ISDS) group, at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) of the Open University. I obtained my Ph.D., studying methods for the early detection of research trends. In particular, my project aimed at identifying the emergence of new research topics at their embryonic stage. My research interests are in the areas of Semantic Web, Network Science and Knowledge Discovery technologies, with focus on the structures and evolution of science.