Category: research methods

It’s time designing for the colour blind became a more integrated component of academic and media training

Despite affecting one in 12 men and one in 200 women, colour blindness rarely features in discussions around access and inclusivity. Oliver Daddow explains how his preferred research methodology has been informed by his colour blindness, but also reveals the frustration he has felt since joining Twitter earlier this year. A variety of data representations are increasingly shared via social […]

Research should not allow the loud voice of online content production to drown out the quiet majority of internet users

Social science research aims to record, analyse, and make sense of social mess; to observe and account for everything in a given setting. Why, then, does so much of the research carried out online refuse to do this? Harry Dyer argues that in order to understand the social uses of the internet, it is crucial that research is not focused […]

Book Review: Thinking Like a Political Scientist: A Practical Guide to Research Methods by Christopher Howard

In Thinking like a Political Scientist: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, Christopher Howard makes a compelling case for transforming how research methods are taught to undergraduate students of political science. Through its accessible, easy-to-follow approach, this new guide equips and encourages the next generation of political scientists to undertake research that has the potential to directly impact pressing political […]

Using Twitter as a data source: an overview of social media research tools (updated for 2017)

Following his initial post on this topic in 2015, Wasim Ahmed has updated and expanded his rundown of the tools available to social scientists looking to analyse social media data. A number of new applications have been released in the intervening period, with the increasing complexity of certain research questions also having prompted some tools to increase their data retrieval […]

Engaging with sensor-based methods for social sciences research is necessary, overdue and potentially rewarding

Sensors are an important source of big data. Developments at the heart of “smart cities” or the exploding “quantified self” movement are all reliant on sensors. However, attempts by social scientists to engage with sensors from a methodological perspective have been rare. Jörg Müller argues that such engagement is not only necessary and overdue, but also potentially rewarding. It’s important […]

Book Review: Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies edited by Ben Campkin and Ger Duijzings

In Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies, editors Ben Campkin and GerDuijzings bring together contributors who are challenging assumptions surrounding urban research methodologies. Exploring questions of authorship, expertise and situated knowledge, this is a well-designed and timely book that showcases an array of creative and critical approaches to urban research, finds Helen Traill. This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and […]

With great power comes great responsibility: crowdsourcing raises methodological and ethical questions for academia

Crowdsourcing offers researchers ready access to large numbers of participants, while enabling the processing of huge, unique datasets. However, the power of crowdsourcing raises several issues, including whether or not what initially emerged as a business practice can be transformed into a sound research method. Isabell Stamm and Lina Eklund argue that the complexities of managing large numbers of people […]

Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

The NHS regularly asks its patients to complete surveys reporting on the quality of care they have received. These surveys include opportunities for patients to submit feedback in their own words. Carol Rivas describes how computational and digital methods can be used to analyse and report patient feedback in an efficient and timely manner. However, it is important to recognise […]

When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

Contemporary social sciences unquestionably benefit from the growing accessibility and availability of data sources, and the impressive developments in computational tools for data collection and analysis. However, Marta Stelmaszak and Philipp Hukal emphasise the importance of continued careful reflection when using new forms of data and methods. Any analysis of data requires reflection on the agency that went into defining, […]