Vast amounts of digital data are w generated daily by people as they go about their lives, yet social researchers are struggling to exploit it. At the same time, the challenges faced by society in the 21st century are growing ever more complex, and demands research that is bigger in scale, more collaborative and multi-disciplinary than ever before. This cutting-edge volume provides an accessible introduction to invative digital social research tools and methods that harness this 'data deluge' and successfully tackle key research challenges. Contributions from leading international researchers cover topics such as: *Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research *Data management *Social media and social network analysis *Modeling and simulation *Survey methods *Visualizing social data *Ethics and e-research *The future of social research in the digital age This vibrant introduction to invative digital research methods is essential reading for anyone conducting social research today.
Peter Halfpenny is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester. He was Executive Director of the ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science from 2004 to 2010, responsible for the overall strategic management of the Centre's programme of research, outreach and capacity-building. Peter's own research interests are in the integration of computer tools and services into a comprehensive support environment for social science researcher practitioners, and the investigation of the adoption and adaptation of e-Science tools across the social research community. Rob Procter is Professor of Social Informatics in the Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, where he is deputy head of department and research director of the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (WISC), and Exchange Professor, NYU. Previously, he was research director of the ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science, where he contributed to developing innovations in e-Infrastructure, tools and methods in the social sciences. ??????? One focus of his current work is methodologies and tools for big social data analytics. Rob led a multidisciplinary team working with the Guardian/LSE on the 'Reading the Riots' project, analysing tweets sent during the August 2011 riots. This won the Data Visualization and Storytelling category of the 2012 Data Journalism Awards and the 2012 Online Media Award for the 'Best use of Social Media'. He is also a co-founder of the Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory (Cosmos), a multidisciplinary group of UK researchers building a platform for social data analytics. Rob is editor of the Health Informatics Journal and advisory board member, Big Data and Society Journal.