Big Data Analysis for Social Scientists



Organised by:

The University of Edinburgh


Associate Professor Robert Ackland has a joint appointment in the School of Sociology and the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


Laura Marshall
0131 651 3001
Working Week: Monday-Wednesday


View in Google Maps  (EH8 9JX)


The University of Edinburgh
Room 1.19, Paterson's Land
Moray House School of Education
Holyrood Road


This course introduces participants to the collection and analysis of socially-generated 'big data' using the R statistical software. The main emphasis is on applying social network analysis and quantitative text analysis to data from social media and the WWW.  The course will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn how these data and techniques are being used in social science research.

The course covers:

R and RStudio refresher, installing R packages

Collecting YouTube video comment data, Facebook fan page data and twitter data with SocialMediaLab R Package (note: with 1 day course only one of these data sources will be covered in detail)

Basic social network analysis in R/igraph (graph visulisation, core node and network-level metrics, network clustering, constructing two-mode networks)

Basic text analysis in R (building a corpus, descriptive analysis, wordclouds)


Participants will use their own laptops and it is assumed that a recent version of R and also RStudio will already have been installed.


The fee per teaching day is:

• £30 per day for UK/EU registered students
• £60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU 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.

Cancellation Policy: Please be reminded that you will be charged the full registration fee if you cancel your place within 4 weeks before the training delivery date or you fail to attend.

If you are able to fill the place on the course you are cancelling then the cancellation charge will not apply.

Website and registration:




Big data analytics, Textual Analysis, Social Network Analysis, R, Online networks , Computational social science

Related publications and presentations:

Big data analytics
Textual Analysis
Social Network Analysis

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