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Big Data & Digital Methods


Big Data & Digital Methods

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Explore a wealth of interactive and multimedia resources supporting learning, teaching, and research in Big Data and digital methods – including using R and other software, social media and online methods, computer assisted qualitative data analysis, data visualisation and more. Find out more about how SAGE is committed to helping social scientists develop new tools and methods to work with new technologies, and be part of that journey with our community discussion spaces, newsletters and social channels.

Teaching Resources


Introductory Video to Coding in R

Watch videos on how to write and manipulate code in R, and download practice datasets and R scripts

Statistics with R
Robert Stinerock


Multiple choice quizzes

Download adventr, a package of interactive R tutorials from Andy Field.

Take multiple choice quizzes to test understanding
of key concepts.

An Adventure in Statististics
Andy Field

Discovering Statistics Using R
Andy Field, Jeremy Miles, Zoe Field

Practical labs in R

Experiment with example code in the context of GIS and real world urban analytics, and download lecture slides by chapter

Urban Analytics
Alex Singleton, Seth Spielman, David Folch


Other software

Download datasets and files

Practise data modelling with input and output
files and datasets for R, SAS, SPSS and Mplus

Statistical Methods for the Social and Behavioural Sciences
David B. Flora

Read an introduction to social network analysis

Read an introduction to social network analysis, solve end of chapter problems, and explore datasets and worked examples

Analyzing Social Networks, 2nd edition
Stephen P. Borgatti, Martin G. Everett, Jeffrey C. Johnson

Introductory Video to Coding in R

Get started with secondary data analysis in SPSS
with step-by-step videos, and download a handy confidence interval calculator

An Introduction to Secondary Data Analysis with IBM SPSS Statistics
John MacInnes

Practical labs in R

Work with Stata codes and datasets, read journal articles, 
take quizzes, and download lecture slides

Applied Statistics Using Stata
Mehmet Mehmetoglu, Tor Georg Jakobsen

QDA Case studies

Browse case studies and sample data for conducting
qualitative research using software (CAQDAS)

Using Software in Qualitative Research
Christina Silver, Ann Lewins

Read coding examples from SAGE journals providing actual examples of coding at work

The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers
Johnny Saldaña

Data Visualisation

Data Visualisation


Voted one of the "six best books for
data geeks
" by The Financial Times

Never has it been more essential to work in the world of data. Scholars and students need to be able to analyze, design, and curate information into useful tools of communication, insight, and understanding.

This book is the starting point in learning the process and skills of data visualization, teaching the concepts and skills of how to present data, and inspiring effective visual design.

Andy Kirk is a UK-based data visualisation specialist and author of Data Visualisation. He has been a freelance professional since founding Visualising Data Ltd in 2011 and has been the editor of award-winning website since 2010.

"I think we are probably just on the other side of a golden age – a period of rapid growth, of experimentation and of increased mainstream exposure... there’s probably a sense now of sense that quality over quantity is of greater importance, that explaining is perhaps more important than exploring, that rigor is more pressing than speed."


Online and Social Media Research Methods



Download a suggested syllabus for teaching online methods in the context of qualitative research methodologies

Doing Qualitative Research Online, Janet E. Salmons


The SAGE Handbook of Social Media Research Methods offers a step-by-step guide to overcoming the challenges inherent in research projects that deal with ‘big and broad data’, from the formulation of research questions through to the interpretation of findings. The handbook includes chapters on specific social media platforms such as Twitter, Sina Weibo and Instagram, as well as a series of critical chapters.

Luke Sloan, Cardiff University
Anabel Quan-Haase, University of Western Ontario

Online research methods are popular, dynamic and fast-changing. Following on from the great success of the first edition, published in 2008, the SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, Second Edition offers both updates of existing subject areas and new chapters covering more recent developments, such as social media, big data, data visualization and CAQDAS.

Nigel G. Fielding, University of Surrey
Raymond M. Lee, Royal Holloway University of London
Grant Blank, University of Oxford


What Makes Big Data Valuable? 


Gary King - What Makes Big Data Valuable

In a keynote presentation, Professor Gary King describes how big data has changed and drastically expanded the capacity of social science to understand the world around us. He cites many examples of how big data is being applied in research, including studies on Social Security forecasting, Chinese censorship, and gerrymandering.

In this clip, delivered at Capitol Hill in May 2016, he focuses on what really makes big data valuable - the analytics.

Watch the clip


listen to podcast

Professor King also sat down with Dave Edmonds, producer of the Social Science Bites podcast, to discuss examples of big data analytics, and social media analysis in particular, with a rumination on big data's potential to be a democratising, or manipulative, force in the world.

download podcast

SAGE Ocean

SAGE Ocean is an initiative from SAGE Publishing to help social scientists navigate vast data sets and work with new technologies. Alongside our book and journal publishing, we provide new types of resources for social scientists to promote methodological innovations and provide practical tools for a new era of social science research.








Join the conversation


Join the conversation

The Big Data Hub on Methodspace is a community space dedicated to the discussion and advancement of big data analysis. Read and participate in blog pages from authors, editors and scholars in the research methods community, and stay up to date with our monthly newsletter.

You can also stay in touch with our newest books, journal articles, and videos -- and much more -- across all areas of research methods with Methods Minute. Read archived issues on Methodspace, and subscribe below.


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