Last year I wrote a blog post for the Contagion project website, building from the experience of attempting to do research with Twitter data as relative novices. Putting the pragmatic techniques of doing such to one side, it became striking that doing this kind of research with Twitter’s apparatus is neither easy, nor, when one delves a bit deeper, is it ‘free’.
The post was been picked up by the LSE Impact blog, who asked to re-blog it, which was very nice of them. So, you can find a slightly updated (numbers, sources and bit more nuance in the argument) version of the blog post there.
The question I end up posing is: “Should researchers be using data sources (however potentially interesting/valuable) that restrict the capability of reproducing our research results?” This is not easily answered, not least when so many ‘non-academic’ researchers are merrily plugging away producing social scientific research, increasingly consumed by the general public, which is gaining influence, and which, perhaps, could benefit from some critical engagement…
Please do read the post and get in touch if you’d like to discuss this, and any of our research, further.