One of the core tenets of scientific research is replication. This gets at the reproducibility standard of scientific research. Despite calls for more replication in the social sciences, replication studies are still rather rare. In part, this is the product of journal editors’ and reviewers’ strong preferences for original research. It is also due to […]
For the complete beginner, getting up and running in a new programming language can be a daunting task. I’ll try to simplify it here by walking you through the key steps. Choose a version of Python There is more than one version of the Python language. Most people choose between version 2.7 and 3.3. Go […]
Twitter is not the Gutenberg Press. The ‘Big Data’ revolution is over-hyped. Nevertheless, Twitter is significant in a number of ways: For identifying trends. For rapid, near real-time dissemination of news. It has been used to track the progression of the flu and other infectious diseases. It has played a mobilizational role in the Arab […]
Being Director of Graduate Studies gives me plenty of time to reflect on what I’d like students to get out of graduate education. For budding academics, you have all likely heard (countless times!) that the ultimate “deliverable” is high-quality journal articles. Of this there is little doubt — at least in the fields I’m familiar […]
One of the PhD students I work with, Weiai Xu, has put together an informative slideshow for how to download Twitter data: Curiosity Bits Tutorial: Mining Twitter User Profile on Python V2 from Weiai Wayne Xu For more, check out his website.
Academics and other researchers have to choose from a variety of research skills. Most social scientists do not add computer programming into their skill set. As a strong proponent of the value of learning a programming language, I will lay out how this has proven to be useful for me. A budding programmer could choose […]
The research I’ve done on organizations’ use of social media suggests there are three main types of messages that organizations send on social media: informational, community-building, and “action” (promotional & mobilizational) messages. Each type constitutes a different way of engaging with the intended audience: Informational messages serve to inform — about the organization’s activities or […]
I often get requests to explain how I obtained the data I used in a particular piece of academic research. I am always happy to share my code along with my data (and frankly, I think academics who are unwilling to share should be forced to take remedial Kindergarten). The problem is, many of those […]