Stefano De Paoli


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Personal profile

Personal profile

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

Research interests

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.


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: - 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



Scientific Coordination

Scientific Coordination of the 1st and 2nd Summer School in “Digital Journalism”- August – September 2011 & 2012:

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Digital Ethnography Week 2012

Knowledge Exchange

Social Media Design Work


  • Design of the "FactChecking" Reputation System (
  • Design of the Timu platform (citizen journalism platform, ) following components: User Profile.
  • With E. Bosio - Design of a rating system for a civic media platform. (only prototype stage - no implementation). Work presented as posterat the CHItaly 2013 conference. 


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 - (in Italian)

Contribution to the design of the wikirate platform:

Lead Development of Questions for the ENISA "NIS quiz" - October 2014 Cybersecurity Month:

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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