Social Media as a Research Method

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Major developments in information technology in the digital society are eventually realised in the way in which research is conducted, particularly in the field of digital humanities (DH). Through a brief historical survey, this paper observes that the adoption of new technologies in DH occurs with some delay from the wide-scale adoption of the same technologies in other areas of society. This delay allows for a prediction about what technologies may be adopted in the near future in DH. In particular, the rise of social media in recent years provides a potential model for future DH research, particularly as it differs greatly from previous technologies in its capacity to engage end-users in digital methods. This paper argues that the techniques by which users interact with data in social media, particularly categorisation and semantic tagging, can be applied to a broad range of humanities research methodologies using similar interfaces to those of social media platforms. It then discusses some research tools developed by the author as a way of facilitating the interaction between researchers and primary sources using digital methods. Although much more limited than social media tools, it shows a way forward for implementing social media methods in the field of humanities research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Research and Practice
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ID: 179129159