Category: Data science

Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.

The high-profile political science study on same-sex marriage views, now determined to be fraudulent, is the latest case exposing the failure of incentive structures in the academy. The academic community must strengthen research evidence and do more to promote transparency. Temina Madon shares the launch of prizes run by the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) that look to provide recognition, visibility and […]

Book Review: Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is changing the face of humanitarian response

The overflow of information generated during disasters can be as paralysing to humanitarian response as the lack of information. This flash flood of information is often referred to as Big Data, or Big Crisis Data. Making sense of Big Crisis Data is proving to be an impossible challenge for traditional humanitarian organisations, which is why they’re turning to Digital Humanitarians. Dimitrinka […]

Literacy as Numbers: The efficacy, merits and validity of transnational literacy assessment programmes.

Debates about the nature of literacy and how to account for the diversity of learning are far from resolved. A new book, Literacy as Numbers, looks at how literacy itself is being reframed around globalized assessment regimes. Camilla Addey delves into how these comparable numbers, now so heavily relied on in national policy, are produced, and how they are shaping our understanding of the meanings and purposes […]

Systems of measurement have a productive power in our lives

Metrics already perform a powerful productive role in the social world; they vindicate and limit, they cajole and incentivise, they legitimate and justify. When we reflect on how metrics are frequently used to manage performance, to facilitate competition, to judge us or to compare what we do with others, it is crucial that we see metrics as being central to the […]

Digital Object Identifiers: Stability for citations and referencing, but not proxies for quality

What exactly is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and how does it help in the management and long-term preservation of research? Laurence Horton explains the basic structure and purpose of a DOI and also points to some limitations. DOIs are not the only way of providing fixed, persisting references to objects, but they have emerged as the leading system. A DOI is a Digital […]

A clear distinction is needed between replication tests and the evaluation of robustness in social science literature

Confusion over the meaning of replication is harming social science, argues Michael Clemens. There has been a profound evolution in methods and concepts, particularly with the rise of empirical social science, but our terminology has not yet caught up. The meaning of replication must be standardized so that researchers can easily distinguish between replication efforts and the evaluation of robustness.  In Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable […]

Studies in social data: how industry uses social media for communications and research.

A series of meetups have been arranged for those interested in the use and applications of social data. Farida Vis provides a brief overview of the latest event on business uses of social data. Speakers reflected on principles for handling data, the need to collaborate externally, and how to look more closely at the full lifecycle of social data. Sometimes social data […]