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New Social Media, New Social Science presentation to ESRC roundtable Jan2015


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Review of the #NSMNSS network - international community of social science researchers exploring social media in social research.f

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New Social Media, New Social Science presentation to ESRC roundtable Jan2015

  1. 1. Blurring the boundaries: 
 New Social Media, New Social Science?
 Kandy Woodfield, Director of Learning & Enterprise, 
 NatCen Social Research
 Newton Roundtable: Social media data & research
 9th January 2015, London #NSMNSS
  2. 2. Blurring the boundaries? Innovation Collaboration Inspiration Fresh thinking▪Network of methodological innovation ▪Funded by ESRC (via NCRM) initially ▪Now in its third year, self-funded, peer led, network leads @ ▪Affiliate organisations from academia, government and voluntary sector
  3. 3. Aims of the network Innovation Collaboration Inspiration Fresh thinking▪On & off line community of practice ▪Forge links between academics, practitioners, platforms & across disciplines ▪Catalyse debate ▪Address challenges social media present for social science research ▪Share approaches, tools & experiences of using social media Identify good practice ▪Co-created content & guidance to be shared with the wider community
  4. 4. How it works? Innovation Collaboration Inspiration Fresh thinkingNetwork activities across a range of platforms: ▪ Twitter: @NSMNSS, #NSMNSS ▪ Blog: ▪ You Tube: ▪Conferences ▪Knowledge exchange events ▪Methodological projects ▪Publishing
  5. 5. 76% employed 34% students 75% HE sector 25% other 65% in UK 35% worldwide 58% female 42% male 700+ NSMNSS members 20 disciplinary fields
  6. 6. Over 17, 178 minutes of video watched 3 0nline seminars 2 conferences 7 knowledge exchange seminars 14 themed twitter chats 137 blog posts So far… 3,945 video views on You Tube 140,143blog page views
  7. 7. Available from Amazon Kindle ▪Innovative digital publication ▪Crowd-sourced ▪Book of fifty-three blogs ▪New and existing bloggers ▪Exploring the challenges and opportunities of social media research ▪Looks at ethics, tools, methods, the researcher role, skills etc…
  8. 8. What have we learnt? ▪ Social media being used in most soc sci disciplines ▪ Research innovation & ground breaking use of technologies ▪Great examples of multi-disciplinary research ▪ Silos & divides do still exist and are counter- productive to moving social media methodology(ies) forward ▪ No single methodology for social media research – many approaches, many tools, different epistemological stances
  9. 9. What have we learnt? II Persisting uncertainty about whether we are ‘getting it right’ ▪Ethical dilemmas - lack of consistent, relevant guidance – NSMNSS reports on this ▪What are the political, ethical, legal issues? ▪ Do we understand the digital world well enough to make these choices? ▪ Lack of research with users of social media platforms or engagement with platform providers
  10. 10. What have we learnt? III ‘Getting it right’ is also about methodological quality: ▪What is a robust sample from Twitter or Facebook? ▪Need to develop methodological courage and confidence to defend the method Scepticism and cynicism persist ▪Digital literacy & methodological skills gaps ▪Lack of experience and understanding in institutions, ethics boards and funders
  11. 11. Thank you If you want further information or would like to contact the network: @nsmnss on Twitter Useful reading: Woodfield. K Ed. (2014) Social Media in Social Research – blogs on blurring the boundaries (London: NatCen) E-book Fry. A et al (2013) Research using social media: user views (London: NatCen) Salmons, Janet (2013) New social media, new social science & new ethical issues (London: Sage/Natcen) PDF: gmLw9jo6fLTQ5X0oyeE1aRjQ/edit