Dr Stefano De Paoli

Senior Lecturer

School School of Social and Health Sciences

Department Division of Sociology

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8446


I joined Abertay in 2013 as Lecturer in Sociology, becoming a Senior Lecturer in August 2016.  I’m also the Abertay University Security Research Theme Leader.

Previously, I worked at Fondazione Ahref, Italy as a Research Fellow and Team Leader and at Maynooth University in Ireland, as a Post-Doctoral researcher.  I hold a PhD in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Trento in Italy.

My research interests include digital sociology – for example, reputation and the internet – , Science and Technology Studies and User Research.  I’m currently carrying out social research on Social Innovation, Cybersecurity and e-Participation. I am involved in research projects funded by the H2020 research programme.

My work on reputation and the internet has attracted media attention both in Italy and in the UK and I’ve been interviewed about this on Italian National Radio.


I presently teach on the subjects of Digital Sociology, Cybercrime and Surveillance


I am interested in surpevising dissertations in the following areas:

  • cybercrime
  • surveillance society
  • internet & social media
  • sociology of technology
  • sociology and design



My current research interests (broadly defined) are:

  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Digital Sociology
  • Internet studies


Specifically I am currently working on research projects on Social Innovation and User Research in the field of e-Participation. This research is funded by the H2020 research programme. I also am working on social research on Cybersecurity, with funding coming from Abertay University (R-Lincs) and the Scottish Institute for Police Research.



Articles in Referred Journals

Bassetti C., Sciannamblo M., Lyle P., Teli M., De Paoli S., and De Angeli A. (2019). Co-designing for common values: creating hybrid spaces to nurture autonomous cooperation. Accepted for publication in Co-Design Journal, Special Issue Repositioning CoDesign in the age of platform capitalism (expected Sept. 2019)

Wilson, A., and De Paoli, S. (2019). On the ethical and political agency of online reputation systems. First Monday, 24(2). https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/9393

Willson A., De Paoli S., Forbes P. and Sachy M. (2018). Creating personas for political and social consciousness in HCI design. Personas Studies Journal, 4(2), 25-46.

Mills, R. and De Paoli, S. (2018). When situativity meets objectivity in peer-production of knowledge: the case of the WikiRate platform. Data Technologies and Applications. 52(1), 16-33, DOI 10.1108/DTA-02-2017-0006

De Paoli, S. (2018). The engineer–criminologist and “the novelty of cybercrime”: a situated genealogical study of timesharing systems. Internet Histories, 2(1-2) https://doi.org/10.1080/24701475.2018.1448498

Minniti, S., & De Paoli, S. (2018). Learning by Gaming: ANT and Critical Making. TECNOSCIENZA: Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies, 9(1), 105-122.

De Paoli, S. (2017). Not All the Bots Are Created Equal: The Ordering Turing Test for the Labeling of Bots in MMORPGs. Social Media+ Society, 3(4), 2056305117741851. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2056305117741851 

Mills, R. and De Paoli, S. (2017), When situativity meets objectivity in peer-production of knowledge: the case of the WikiRate platform. Accepted for publication in Program (Special Issue on Knowledge Artifacts)  DOI (10.1108/PROG-02-2017-0006)

De Paoli S. (2015). Is a Technological Singularity Near Also for Bots in MMOGs?. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 8(2). URL: Is a https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7146/6373 (10 pages).

Kerr, A., De Paoli S., and  Keatinge, M. (2014). Surveillant Assemblages of Governance in Massively Multiplayer Online Games: A Comparative Analysis. Surveillance & Society 12.3 (2014): 320-336. URL: http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/massive

De Paoli S. (2013). Automatic-Play and Player Deskilling in MMORPGs. Game Studies, 13(1). URL: http://gamestudies.org/1301/articles/depaoli_automatic_play

De Paoli S. (2013). The Automated Production of Reputation: Musing on bots and the Future of Reputation in the Cyberworld. International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE). Vol. 19 (07/2013). URL: http://www.i-r-i-e.net/inhalt/019/IRIE-Paoli.pdf

De Paoli S., D'Andrea V. and Teli M. (2012). Why Free Software is not the Antonym of Commercial Software: two case studies from corporate to volunteer based projects. Journal of Peer Production. Issue #1. URL: http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-1/peer-reviewed-papers/why-free-software-is-not-the-antonym-of-commercial-software/

De Paoli S. and. Kerr A. (2012) On Crimes and Punishments in Virtual Worlds: bots, the failure of punishment and players as moral entrepreneurs. Ethics & Information Technology, 14(2) DOI: 10.1007/s10676-011-9281-7. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10676-011-9281-7#page-1

Maiolini C., De Paoli S. and Teli M. (2012). Digital Games and Communication of Health Problems. In G|A|M|E, the Italian Journal of Game Studies, 1/2012, http://www.gamejournal.it/digital-games-and-the-communication-of-health-problems-a-review-of-games-against-the-concept-of-procedural-rhetoric/

De Paoli S. and Storni C. (2011). Produsage in hybrid networks: sociotechnical skills in the case of Arduino. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 17(1), 31-52. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13614568.2011.552641#.Uxhfdj9_uSo

De Paoli S., Gangadharan GR,  Kerr A. and  D'Andrea V. (2011). Toward Trust as Result.  A Transdisciplinary Research Agenda for the ‘Future of the Internet. Triple C Journal, 9(2), 702-714. http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/download/194/258

De Paoli S. and Teli M. (2011). Introduction to “New groups and new methods? The ethnography and qualitative research of online groups”. Special Section of the Journal “Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa” (Ethnography and Qualitative Research), Issue 2, April-August 2011, 183-188.

De Paoli S. and Miscione G. (2010). Relationality in geoIT Software Development: or How Data Structures and Organization Perform Together. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 35(2), 173-182.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0198971510000852

De Paoli S. and Kerr A. (2010). The Assemblage of Cheating: How to Study Cheating as Imbroglio in MMORPGs. FibreCulture Journal, Issue 16. URL: http://sixteen.fibreculturejournal.org/the-assemblage-of-cheating-how-to-study-cheating-as-imbroglio-in-mmorpgs/    

De Paoli S. and Kerr. A. (2009). “We Will Always Be One Step Ahead of Them”: A Case Study on the Economy of Cheating in MMORPGs . Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 2(4). URL: https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/article/download/865/630

Gangadharan G. R., D’Andrea V., De Paoli S. and Weiss M. (2009). Managing license compliance in free and open source software development. Information Systems Frontiers, Published Online: 21 May 2009. (8000 Words, 12 pages). URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/j3105m3711h66681/

De Paoli S., Teli M. and D’Andrea V. (2008). Free and open source licenses in community life: Two Empirical Cases. FirstMonday, 13(10), (9500 Words, 32 pages).  URL: http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2064/2030

De Paoli S. and D'Andrea V. (2008). How Artefacts Rule Web Based Communities: Practices of Free Software Development. Int. J. Web Based Communities, 4(2), pp.199–219. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1359042


Book chapters and Peer-Reviewed Proceeding Papers

Rough D., De Paoli S., and Botto F. (2019). Supporting Social Innovation through Visualisations of Community Interactions. In Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies (C&T 2019). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 11 pages.

Wilson A. and De Paoli S. (2018). Reconsidering online reputation systems. Exploratory paper for ECSCW 2018 Conference. https://dl.eusset.eu/handle/20.500.12015/3123  (Proceedings)

Forbes P., De Paoli S., Scott-Brown K. (2017). The ABCD of Usability Testing. Work-in-progress paper (5 pages) in Proceedings of British HCI 2017 – Digital Make-Believe. Sunderland, UK.  (Proceedings)

Avram G., Choi J., De Paoli S., Light A., Lyle p., and Teli M. (2017). Collaborative Economies: From Sharing to Caring. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T '17). ACM, New York, 305-307. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3083671.3083712

Teli M., Antoniadis P., Bassetti C., De Paoli S., Apostol I., Allegretti G., and Secchi, M.. (2017). Participatory Design, beyond the local. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T '17). ACM, New York, 325-328. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3083671.3083715

De Paoli S. and Forbes P. (2016). Probing with the Prototype’: Using a prototype e-Participation platform as a Digital Cultural Probe to Investigate Youth Engagement with the Environment. Joint Proceedings of Ongoing Research, PhD Papers, Posters and Workshops of 8th IFIP EGOV and ePart 2016.

Mills R., De Paoli S., Diplaris S., Gatziaki V., Papadopoulos S., Prasad. V. McCutchen E., Hirche P. (2016). WikiRate.org -- Leveraging Collective Awareness to understand companies' Environmental, Social and Governance performance. Internet Science Conference (INSCI 2016) – Florence 12-14 Sept. 2016. Springer Online Proceedings.

De Paoli S. (2016). The Rise of the Robots in Virtual Worlds. Handbook on 3D3C Platforms. Y. Shivan (Ed.) (published by Springer). (Book Chapter).

Bani M. and De Paoli S. (2013) How to Build, Measure and use Social Reputation in e-Democracy Processes. European Conference on E-Government 13 (ECEG13) (Proceedings).

De Paoli S., De Uffici N., and D'Andrea V. (2012). Designing badges for a civic media platform: reputation and named levels. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Interaction Specialist Group Conference on People and Computers (BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT,-HCI '12). British Computer Society, Swinton, UK, UK, 59-68.  (Proceedings)

Kerr A., De Paoli S. and Storni C. (2011). Rethinking the Role of Users in ICT Design. In Pierson J. et al (Eds.) New Media Technologies and User Empowerment, Peter Lang Publishers.  (Book Chapter)

Botvich D , McGibney J., Ostapenko G., De Paoli S., Kerr A. and Keatinge M. (2010). Integrating Players, Reputation and Ranking to Manage Cheating in MMOGs. In ACM Conference Foundation of Digital Games Conference 2010.  (Proceedings)

D’Andrea V., De Paoli S. and Teli M. (2009). The construction of peers and artifacts: the organizing role of Programming Guidelines. In System Sciences, 2009. HICSS '09. 42nd Hawaii International Conference on, pp. 1-9. (Proceedings)

Serrano M, van deer Meer S., Strassner J., De Paoli S., Kerr A. and Storni C. (2009). Trust and Reputation Policy-Based Mechanisms for Self-Protection in Autonomic Communications. In González Nieto J. et al. (Eds.) Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 5586. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, p. 249-267.  (Proceedings)

D’Andrea V., De Paoli S. and Teli M. (2008). Open to Grok. How do Hackers’ Practices Produce Hackers?. In Russo et al. (Eds.), Open Source Development, Communities and Quality, Springer IFIP, pp. 121-129.  (Book Chapter)

Erbizzoni, E., Teli M., Campagnolo G., De Paoli S. and D'Andrea V. (2006). Free/Open Source ERP and translations processes: four empirical cases. In Min Tjoa A. et al. (Eds.) Research and Practical Issues of Enterprise Information Systems, Springer IFIP, pp. 695 – 704.  (Book Chapter)

De Paoli S. and Jacucci G. (2006). Actability requirements specification using the concept of Verstehen. In Proceedings of the Action Language Organization & Information Systems Conference, Boras, Sweden, 1-2 December 2006. (My Contribution: main Author) (Proceedings)

 IN ITALIAN: D'Andrea V. and De Paoli S. (2008). Geografia del potere e licenze software: le licenze e la stabilizzazione della conoscenza. In Gherardi S. (Ed.), Le tecnologie tra lavoro e apprendimento, Il Mulino, Bologna.  (Book Chapter)


Special Issues of Journals

(as Co-Editor, with M. Teli) a 2011 Special Section of  the Journal “Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa” (Ethnography and Qualitative Research) Entitled: “New groups and new methods? The ethnography and qualitative research of online groups” URL: http://www.rivisteweb.it/issn/1973-3194/issue/3404


(as Co-Editor, with M. Ferron and P. Massa) Special Issue of EAI Endorsed Transactions on Ambient Systems Entitled "Ubiquitous games and gamification for well-being"  4th March 2014. http://eudl.eu/issue/amsys/3


Reports (Contribution)

Anderson, P., De Paoli, S. and C¿t¿lui, D. (2015). Status of privacy and NIS course curricula in EU Member States. ENISA Report  https://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/stakeholder-relations/nis-brokerage-1/status-of-privacy-and-nis-course-curricula-in-eu-member-states

(2014) Roadmap for NIS education programmes in Europe - ENISA Report - http://www.enisa.europa.eu/activities/stakeholder-relations/nis-brokerage-1/roadmap-for-nis-education-programmes-in-europe

(2013) in Italian: I media civici in ambito parlamentare (Civic Media & Parliaments) - Prepared for the Senate of Italian Republic - link


Book Reviews

  • Review of “The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation” by Saul Levmore and Martha C. Nussbaum (eds.). In Teachers College Record, April 2011
  • Review of Bonnie Nardi. "My Life as a Night Elf Priest. An Antropological Account of World of Warcraft. In Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (JCSCW), Volume 19, Issue 5 (2010), Page 515. DOI:10.1007/s10606-010-9121-z
  • Review of David Myers. “Play Redux: The Form of Computer Games”. In Teachers College Record, December 2010.

More Information


Recent Funding:


Project PIE News (Collective Awareness in Commonfare) Project Nr. 687922

European Commission (Horizon2020). Funding: 190200 Euros


Project STEP (Societal engagement of young Europeans in environmental issues / e-participation) Project Nr. 649493

European Commission (Horizon2020). Funding: 201875 Euros



Invited Talks

 “Come Costruirsi una Reputazione Online. E quali sono le conseguenze per la governante di internet” (How to Build an Online Reputation). Communication at the Internet Governance Forum Italia, 2011. Trento (Italy), 11 November 2011. (Talk on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY0sviMg95Y - in Italian)

“Social Network e Relazioni Sociali” (Social Network and Social Relations). Communication at the Azienda Sanitaria Emilia Romagna, 01 March, 2012.

Social networks and digital media: enhancing local participation. Presentation at OECD Trento as part of the Capacity Building Seminar DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING E-GOVERNMENT POLICIES: THE CASE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

De Paoli S. “Reputazione e Manipolazione” (Reputation and its manipulation). Communication at Internet Festival Pisa, 6 Ottobre 2012.


Invited papers and international translations

Kerr, A. , De Paoli S. & Keatinge M. (2011) Governance and Participation in Massively Multiplayer Online Games’. Invited paper at the ‘Social Participation and Digital Communities’ track at the Intel European Research and Innovation Conference, Leixlip, Ireland, 12th Oct., 2011.

My paper (with A. Kerr) The Assemblage of Cheating: How to Study Cheating as Imbroglio in MMORPGs. Has been translated in French as  L’agencement de la triche. Aborder la triche dans les MMORPG comme un imbroglio. Réseaux 2012/3 n° 173-174 http://www.cairn.info/resume.php?ID_ARTICLE=RES_173_0235



Scientific Coordination

Scientific Coordination of the 1st and 2nd Summer School in “Digital Journalism”- August – September 2011 & 2012: http://www.ahref.eu/it/media/comunicati-stampa/ahref-summer-school?set_language=it

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Digital Ethnography Week 2012 http://www.ahref.eu/en/ricerca/education/second-digital-ethnography-week-1?set_language=en


GR RAI (National Italian Radio News) has interviewed me about reputation and the Internet, during the Pisa Internet Festival 2012.

Ilfattoquotidiano (one of the main Italian Newspaper) has mentioned my work (with Dr. Chiara Broccatelli) on online psychotherapy (2012).

Extended interview on my research for "Digital Ethnography Week" on Vimeo - http://vimeo.com/51906157 (in Italian)

Contribution to the design of the wikirate platform: http://wikirate.org

Lead Development of Questions for the ENISA "NIS quiz" - October 2014 Cybersecurity Month: http://cybersecuritymonth.eu/references/quiz-demonstration

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Jason Annetts

Dr Jason Annetts

Division of Sociology | Head of Division

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Ms Hazel Work

Ms Hazel Work

Division of Sociology | Lecturer

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