The era of digital communication provides endless opportunities for the collection and analysis of social data in novel ways. It also presents new and unanticipated challenges, as researchers are often inventing elements of their methodologies on the fly or studying a phenomenon or media platform for the first time.Research Exposed offers in-depth, behind-the-scenes accounts of doing empirical social science in this new paradigm. Through firsthand descriptions of innovative research projects, it shares lessons learned from over a dozen scholars' cutting-edge work. These candid accounts describe what can go wrong when pioneering new genres of research and how such difficulties can be overcome, giving both big-picture reflection and actionable advice. The chapters discuss a variety of methods, ranging from the completely novel to the use of more traditional approaches in the digital context, and cover research questions relevant to a range of disciplines, including sociology, political science, communication, information studies, and anthropology. By focusing attention on the concrete details seldom discussed in final project write-ups or traditional research guides, Research Exposed helps equip junior and senior scholars alike with essential information that is all too often left with no outlet for sharing. It offers important insights into how empirical social science research can be both innovative and rigorous when dealing with the opportunities and challenges presented by digital media.
About the Author
Eszter Hargittai is a professor and holds the Chair of Internet Use and Society at the Institute of Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich. She is the editor of Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have (2009) and coeditor of Digital Research Confidential: The Secrets of Studying Behavior Online (2015).