Social Media as a Source for Research Data (join a waiting list)


27/07/2016 - 28/07/2016

Organised by:

NCRM, University of Southampton


Dr Katrin Weller


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Jacqui Thorp
Training and Capacity Building Co-ordinator
National Centre for Research Methods
Tel: 02380 594069


View in Google Maps  (SO17 1BJ)


Building 39, University of Southampton, Highfield, Hants


Social media platforms have become a source of research data for a variety of settings across disciplines. We take a look at their role in social science research. In which situations are social media data offering new ways to study society and human interaction? What can we observe through social media data – and what not? The course covers questions of data quality and representativeness, data collection strategies, and research ethics.

Main focus of the course is the conceptual design of social media studies in social science and related disciplines.  And while we are touching upon some technical details, this is not a course that explicitly teaches programming skills.

The course covers:

  • The social media landscape and user demographics
  • Case studies: social media studies in the social sciences
  • Data collection: general overview of approaches and tools
  • Data analysis: overview of approaches and tools
  • Archiving social media data
  • Research ethics

By the end of the course participants will:

  • … know how the social media landscape developed over the course of the past 15 years, be familiar with the most important social media platforms and their potential as objects of study,
  • … be able to judge whether social media sites are a useful source of research data for a particular research question or not,
  • … know the limitations of collecting and analysing data from social media.



The fee per teaching day is:

• £30 per day for UK registered students
• £60 per day for staff at UK academic institutions, UK Research Councils researchers, UK public sector staff and staff at UK registered charity organisations and recognised UK research institutions.
• £220 per day for all other participants.

All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.

Website and registration:


South West


Digital Social Research, Mixed Methods, Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research, Online Data Collection , Research Ethics

Related publications and presentations:

Digital Social Research
Mixed Methods
Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research
Online Data Collection
Research Ethics

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