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Innovations in Digital Research Methods

Innovations in Digital Research Methods

First Edition
Edited by:
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May 2015 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Vast amounts of digital data are now generated daily by people as they go about their lives, yet social researchers are struggling to exploit it. At the same time, the challenges faced by society in the 21st century are growing ever more complex, and demands research that is bigger in scale, more collaborative and multi-disciplinary than ever before.


This cutting-edge volume provides an accessible introduction to innovative digital social research tools and methods that harness this ‘data deluge’ and successfully tackle key research challenges. Contributions from leading international researchers cover topics such as:

  • Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research
  • Data management
  • Social media and social network analysis
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Survey methods
  • Visualizing social data
  • Ethics and e-research
  • The future of social research in the digital age

This vibrant introduction to innovative digital research methods is essential reading for anyone conducting social research today.

Peter Halfpenny and Rob Proctor
Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview
Kingsley Purdam and Mark Elliot
Chapter 2: The Changing Social Data Landscape
Kingsley Purdam and Mark Elliot
Chapter 3: Exploiting New Sources of Data
Joe Murphy
Chapter 4: Survey Methods: Challenges and Opportunities
Paul S. Lambert
Chapter 5: Advances in Data Management for Social Survey
Mark Birkin and Nick Malleson
Chapter 6: Modelling and Simulation
Paul S. Lambert, William J. Browne and Danius T. Michaelides
Chapter 7: Contemporary developments in statistical software for social scientists
Lawrence Ampofo, Simon Collister, Ben O’Loughlin and Andrew Chadwick
Chapter 8: Text Mining and Social Media: When Quantitative Meets Qualitative, and Software Meets People
Andy Crabtree, Paul Tennent, Pat Brundell and Dawn Knight
Chapter 9: Digital Records and the Digital Replay System
Robert Ackland and Jonathan Zhu
Chapter 10: Social Network Analysis
Michael Batty, Steven Gray, Andrew Hudson-Smith, Richard Milton, Oliver O’Brien and Flora Roumpani
Chapter 11: Visualising Spatial Data and Social Media
R.J. Anderson and Marina Jirotka
Chapter 12: Ethical Praxis in e-Research
Mike Savage
Chapter 13: Sociology and the Digital Challenge

This textbook is going to be adopted only as supplemental reading. The ideas discussed there are general and the text is lacking a more practical methodological discussion. The idea of eResearch is valid and is up-to-date. The motivation for doing digital research is presented well in this book. Just students in our university are looking for more practical guidance and examples from the methodological point of view.

Dr Vladimir Ryabov
School of Business and Culture, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Scie
September 7, 2015

I am recommending this book for students doing research online as it provides some interesting insights about digital methods. I was however hopeful it would provide more cutting edge approaches such as digital participatory methods. That is why it's not part of the essential reading list

Dr Cristina Costa
School of Education, Strathclyde University
July 2, 2015

This is a clearly written and very useful text covering the intricacies of digital data collection and the ethical issues.

Dr Helen Stoneley
Faculty of Education, Health, Sciences, Derby University
June 25, 2015

An excellent text for exploring digital research methods. It is very useful for both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Dr Muhammet Tiltay
Management , Osmangazi University
June 25, 2015

A highly comprehensive introduction to this newest sphere of research methods. Very helpful.

Dr Carol Ekinsmyth
Dept of Geography, Portsmouth University
June 25, 2015

Interesting insights into an emerging area of research

Mr Joe Fitzgerald
School of Business, Institute of Business & Technology
October 16, 2015

This book is ideal for undergraduate students embarking on a qualitative research project for the first time. The chapters are littered with practical examples and the activities and critical thinking questions allow the student to apply the key concepts to their own research in a way that de-mystifies the research process.

Mrs Jeanette MacNaught
Scarborough Centre for Health Care Studies, Hull University
June 9, 2015

A good introduction for a novice to digital research. It addresses most of the key research topics in this field. Will be helpful to orientate undergraduates to different digital research methods and to motivate them to consider it to venture into eResearch.

Dr Jan Grobbelaar
Post-graduate faculty - Practical Theology, South African Theological Seminary
August 11, 2015

Provides some good insights into digital research methods, which may help support students to develop their own line presence.

Dr Michael Richards
Applied Health and Social Care , Edge Hill University
May 8, 2016

The book provides a contemporary overview of research methods in an increasingly digitalised world. The chapters on changing data in the social sciences and recognising new sources of data were particularly relevant and the case studies provide contextual information for students from different disciplines and backgrounds. The overview of research involving social media data is also timely and relevant. Although this book is a little too high as a reading level for my students, parts of it would serve well as background reading and illustration of non-traditional research methods that could help them to think outside the box in terms of data and where to find it.

Dr Dimitrina Kaneva
Health and Community Studies, University of Bolton
July 28, 2015

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SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.