Profile photo of Professor David De Roure



Professor of e-Research

Fellow of Wolfson College

TEL: 01865 610703
COLLEGE: Fellow of Wolfson College
  • Biography
  • Research
  • Publications


David De Roure is Professor of e-Research at the University of Oxford. Throughout his career he has investigated emerging technologies and models in large scale distributed and sociotechnical systems, with a broad interest in society, technology and creativity while also focusing on innovation in the process of scholarship. From an early background in electronics and computer science, he became closely involved in the Hypertext, Web, and linked data communities, in pervasive computing, and in digital social research. Today he focuses on living in the Internet of Things, on new methods of digital scholarship, and innovation in knowledge infrastructure. David's personal research is at the intersection of music, maths, machines and AI, empowering the creative human in music composition, performance and production.

David works closely with multiple disciplines including humanities (digital humanities, digital musicology), engineering (Internet of Things, cybersecurity), social sciences (Social Machines, Web Science), information science (knowledge infrastructure, computational archival science), and computer science (large scale distributed systems, AI). He is a founding member of two major UK programmes: the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things Cybersecurity, and the Software Sustainability Institute. His recent research projects include The Theory and Practice of Social Machines (SOCIAM), Fusing Audio and Semantic Technologies (FAST), and Transforming Musicology.

David is responsible in Oxford for the Digital Humanities programme in TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) and the annual Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School. He is also a member of Cyber Security Oxford and the Web Science Trust Network of Laboratories, with the Oxford Internet Institute. As a Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute he is engaged in music and AI, Humanities & Data Science, and AI for Arts. He is an honorary visiting professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, and one of the founders of the RNCM Centre for Practice and Research in Science and Music (PRiSM). Since 2018 he has assisted in developing the UKRI Research and Innovation Infrastructure for Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

David 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 and 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 National Strategic Director for Digital Social Research for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and subsequently Strategic Advisor for new and emerging forms of data and real time analytics. His earlier research activities included Amorphous Computing and Semantic Grid, as well as myExperiment which exemplifies his promotion of open research and enhancement of scholarly communication.

He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College where he chairs the Digital Research Cluster, and an Oxford Martin Senior Fellow.


My ORCID publication list is available here (my ORCID is 0000-0001-9074-3016), and there is also a list of my Computer Science publications on DBLP. See also Google Scholar citations

Many of my papers are available in the Oxford University Research Archive.

Selected publications

David De Roure, Pip Willcox. Scholarly Social Machines: A Web Science Perspective on our Knowledge Infrastructure. ACM WebSci 2020: 250-256.

Barbara McGillivray, Beatrice Alex, Sarah Ames, Guyda Armstrong, David Beavan, Arianna Ciula, Giovanni Colavizza, James Cummings, David De Roure et al. The challenges and prospects of the intersection of humanities and data science: A White Paper from The Alan Turing Institute. 2020.

Michelle Phillips, Andrew J. Stewart, J. Matthew Wilcoxson, Luke A. Jones, Emily Howard, Pip Willcox, Marcus du Sautoy and David De Roure. What Determines the Perception of Segmentation in Contemporary Music? Front. Psychol., 28 May 2020.

N. Shadbolt, K. O'Hara, D. De Roure, W. Hall. The Theory and Practice of Social Machines. Lecture Notes in Social Networks, Springer 2019, ISBN 978-3-030-10888-5

M. Sandler, D. De Roure, S. Benford and K. Page, Semantic Web Technology for New Experiences Throughout the Music Production-Consumption Chain, 2019 International Workshop on Multilayer Music Representation and Processing (MMRP), Milano, Italy, 2019, pp. 49-55.

Sabbir M. Rashid, David De Roure, and Deborah L. McGuinness. A Music Theory Ontology. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Semantic Applications for Audio and Music (SAAM '18). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 6–14. 2018.

David De Roure, Pip Willcox, and Alan Chamberlain. Lovelace's Legacy: Creative Algorithmic Interventions for Live Performance. In Proceedings of the Audio Mostly 2018 on Sound in Immersion and Emotion (AM'18). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 41, 1–5. 2018.

David De Roure, Graham Klyne, John Pybus, David M. Weigl, and Kevin Page. Music SOFA: An architecture for semantically informed recomposition of Digital Music Objects. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Semantic Applications for Audio and Music (SAAM '18). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 33–41. 2018.

D. De Roure and P. Willcox, Experimental Humanities: An Adventure with Lovelace and Babbage, 2017 IEEE 13th International Conference on e-Science (e-Science), Auckland, 2017, pp. 194-201.

D. De Roure, G. Klyne, K.R. Page, J. Pybus, D.M. Weigl, M. Wilcoxson, P. Willcox, Plans and performances: Parallels in the production of science and music, 2016 IEEE 12th International Conference on e-Science (e-Science), Baltimore, MD, 2016, pp. 185-192. 2016.

K.R. Page, T. Nurmikko-Fuller, C. Rindfleisch, D. M. Weigl, R. Lewis, L. Dreyfus, and D. De Roure, A toolkit for live annotation of opera performance: Experiences capturing Wagner’s Ring Cycle, in Proceedings of the 16th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, ISMIR 2015, pp. 211–217, 2015.

David De Roure, Clare Hooper, Kevin Page, Ségolène Tarte, and Pip Willcox. Observing Social Machines Part 2: How to Observe? In Proceedings of the ACM Web Science Conference (WebSci '15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 13, 1–5. 2015.

D. De Roure, The emerging paradigm of social machines, Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2014: Social Networks and Social Machines, Surveillance and Empowerment, p. 227. 2014.

Ilaria Liccardi, Joseph Pato, Daniel J. Weitzner, Hal Abelson, and David De Roure. No technical understanding required: helping users make informed choices about access to their personal data. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services (MOBIQUITOUS '14), 140–150.

Robert Simpson, Kevin R. Page, and David De Roure. Zooniverse: observing the world's largest citizen science platform. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW '14 Companion). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1049–1054. 2014.

Page, K.R., Fields, B., De Roure, D. et al. Capturing the workflows of music information retrieval for repeatability and reuse. J Intell Inf Syst 41, 435–459. 2013.

Sean Bechhofer, Iain Buchan, David De Roure, et al. Why linked data is not enough for scientists, Future Generation Computer Systems, Volume 29, Issue 2, Pages 599-611. 2013.

B. Fields, K. Page, D. De Roure and T. Crawford, The segment ontology: Bridging music-generic and domain-specific, 2011 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, Barcelona, 2011, pp. 1-6. 201.

De Roure David, Page Kevin R., Fields Benjamin, Crawford Tim, Downie J. Stephen and Fujinaga Ichiro. An e-Research approach to Web-scale music analysis. An e-Research approach to Web-scale music analysis. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A.3693300–3317. 2011.

Carole A. Goble, Jiten Bhagat, Sergejs Aleksejevs, Don Cruickshank, Danius Michaelides, David Newman, Mark Borkum, Sean Bechhofer, Marco Roos, Peter Li, David De Roure, myExperiment: a repository and social network for the sharing of bioinformatics workflows, Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 38, Issue suppl_2, 1 July 2010, Pages W677–W682. 2010.

Birkin Mark, Procter Rob, Allan Rob, Bechhofer Sean, Buchan Iain, Goble Carole, Hudson-Smith Andy, Lambert Paul, De Roure David and Sinnott Richard. Elements of a computational infrastructure for social simulation. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A.3683797–3812. 2010.

De Roure, David, Goble, Carole and Stevens, Robert. The Design and Realisation of the myExperiment Virtual Research Environment for Social Sharing of Workflows. Future Generation Computer Systems, 25, 561-567. 2009.

Hall, Wendy, De Roure, David and Shadbolt, Nigel. The evolution of the Web and implications for eResearch. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A.367991–1001. 2008.


The Numbers into Notes program, 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; additional 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.