Printer friendly version
Broadcast Media Item
Network of methodological innovation, 'Blurring the Boundaries: New Social Media, New Social Science?'
25 May 2012
Should social science researchers embrace social media and, if we do, what are the implications for our methods and practice? This project, led by NatCen Social Research, SAGE and the Oxford Internet Institute will develop a network of those using or seeking to use social media in social science research to explore this question.
We know that social media tools are increasingly being used to as part of social science studies. The nature of these tools means that it is a fast changing environment, with new practice emerging all the time. Despite this, there is limited interaction of practitioners or synthesis of these methods; there are also few opportunities to reflect on the implications of social media tools for our subjects of study, methods and ethics. Our network of methodological innovation will bring together academics, researchers and research stakeholders from all sectors. The aim is to develop a community of practice with members drawn from the cutting-edge of academia, market research and applied social research. The aim is for the network to focus on the methodological challenges of the growth & use of social media in social science research, rather than exploring the substantive findings of that research. What does it mean for the methods toolkit for social science research? How will this affect ethics, or our relationships with research participants and stakeholders?
The community will be launched with a 1-day conference on 29th May 2012 with four further knowledge exchange e-events (to be held in London and Oxford) and a closing event across the next 12 months.
You can stream the launch event live online and join the debate on Twitter - use the hashtag #NSMNSS
A programme of the sessions is below. Videos and other media from the day will be available shortly after the event.
Opening comments - William O'Connor, Head of Research, NatCen Social Research
Introduction to the network - the network team
Keynote speech: Social media and social science research: what are the key issues researchers face? - Prof. Mike Thelwall, University of Wolverhampton
Theme 1: Are new social media changing the methods researchers use? Prof. Richard Rogers, University of Amsterdam
11.30am - The challenges of new social media for quantitative researchers
Prof. Rob Procter, Manchester eResearch Centre, University of Manchester Dr. Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Oxford Internet Insittute, Research Fellow
12.15pm - The challenges of new social media for qualitative researchers
Tom De Ruyck, Head of Research Communities, Insites Consulting Helene Snee, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Manchester
1.50pm - Theme 2: Ethics, research and social media: renegotiating the boundaries
Dr. Farida Vis, Lecturer in Media and Communications, University of Leicester
2.20pm - Theme 3: Are methods using new social media affecting the quality of research outputs?
Malcolm Williams, William Housely, Adam Edwards, Cardiff Online Social Media Observato
3pm - Workshop session: setting the agenda for the network
4pm - Plenary session