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William Fyson

Postgraduate research student



Research interests

Latest research poster, providing a brief overview of my work can be found here:

My research interests are currently focused on how we might better leverage the affordances of the Web to have a positive, disruptive impact upon academic publishing. At present the Web merely facilitates the approaches used to disseminate academic articles before the Web and attempts to change the conventional methods have been resisted by a stable network of stakeholders and the intricate network of interactions and requirements they demand of each other.

Therefore my research aims to look at the bigger picture of academic publishing, regarding it from a number of different perspectives. To change scholarly discourse for the better it is important to consider the various functions the process aims to serve: access to a body of literature and knowledge, a mechanism for researchers to enhance their reputations and careers, an opportunity for research funders to measure the impact of the work they fund and as a source of revenue for academic publishers. With the journal publishers seemingly adding little value to the process and imposing some restrictions, my research proposes a new approach to dissemination in which the journal publishers, who at present act as intermediaries, are removed from the process; allowing researchers to promote and disseminate their own work in a way that best reflects their contribution to their field. It is hoped that by freeing academic discourse from the restrictions of the journal publishers and the biases they introduce, better and more efficient processes for peer review, recognising researchers for their contributions and demonstrating and measuring impact can be identified and developed.   


"Dissemination through disintermediation"

"AltOA: a framework for dissemination through disintermediation"

A key principle of my research is the notion that by combining an understanding of both the socio-economic forces that influence the behaviour of researchers, driving their need to publish and the technology that they have avilable to them, new inisghts can be developed that will assist the design of technologies that encourage researchers and educators to publish more openly online. To that end, the intention of my research is to develop a number of tools which may provide an opportunity to explore this hypothesis.

The first of such tools is an image redactor: a tool which takes Microsoft Office Word or PowerPoint files, extracts the images within them and assists the user with ensuring they are not infringing any copyright. The tool reads licence data from the images and helps the author to take appropriate action where required, allowing the user to find new images available via a Creative Commons licence, or to provide their own licence data, or to obfuscate the image if no suitable replacement can be found.

An early version of this tool can be found here:



MSc Web Science

BSc Computer Science

Professional activities

I am the Technical Director of Kolola Limited, which provides a new service for capturing and recording the achievements, activity and impact of individuals in academia, the third sector or business. You can see my activities in the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training at:

I'm also a part-time software engineer for EPrints Services.

Conferences attended

Dyrøyseminaret 2012 (Dyrøy, Norway)

Digital Futures 2012 (Aberdeen, UK)

Web Science 2013 (Paris, France)

OKCon 2013 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Open Repositories 2015 (Indianapolis, USA)

Repositories Fringe 2015 (Edinburgh, UK)


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