The changing field of research methods- Part 7

As summer comes to end and we head into autumn, SAGE Publishing has been busy getting ready for the new academic year and continuing our efforts responding to changes in the research methods landscape. So what have we been up to this month? Find out below!

New ways of publishing content

In anticipation of the soon- to- be-launched SAGE Research Methods Video, we are running a twitter competition for a srm-media-kitchance to win a media toolkit. This includes a holder for any smartphone and a speaker so you can experience the new collection wherever you go! How do you enter? Tweet either @SAGE_Methods or @SAGElibrarynews to sign up for a free 30-day trial with the hashtag #SignMeUp. Find out more here.

Addressing the rise of big data and its impact on social research

In an era of big data, social scientists are being offered the opportunity to analyse scores ofwp-cover new data at a scale never before seen. Given that often the sources- social media, unstructured text, digital sensors, financial and administrative transactions — have only recently come about, it’s reasonable to think that big data research is a young academic’s game.  But is that really the case? And if not, who is doing computational social science and what challenges do they face?

In response to this and to find out more, SAGE Publishing has surveyed social scientists around the world. Summarizing those results, we have published a new white paper, Who Is Doing Computational Social Science? Trends in Big Data Research.

So what did we find?

big-data-1“The findings from this survey reveal that there is an appetite to engage with data at an accelerated rate among social scientists, but that unique challenges persist related to such issues as interdisciplinary, research design training, and access,” noted SAGE’s Global Publishing Director, Ziyad Marar.” (Marar addressed some of these same issues in an essay he wrote responding to the annual Edge question).

Want to find out more? We’ll be exploring the big-data-2results of the white paper in a three-part series, the first of which looks at who is doing computational social science, the second examining what is being used for computational research, and the last will discuss the challenges the survey respondents identified. Keep your eyes on Connection!

Interested in more information on computational social science? In May, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science Gary King gave a Capitol Hill lecture entitled “The big deal about big data.” This event, hosted by SAGE Publishing with co-sponsors the American Political Science Association and the American Statistical Association, was recorded and is being released as a collection of ten topical videos. See the latest instalments, covering  big data’s opportunities, value, and revolutionary outputs, here.


The changing field of research methods’ series is part of a monthly SAGE research methods update, focusing on developments in the field, engagement in key debates, innovative new products and publications as well as top tips for those working with new and emerging research methods techniques. Interested in reading more? The rest of the series can be read here.big_data2_260x140

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