Digital methods (i.e. use of online and digital technologies to collect and analyse research data), have been utilised by a variety of disciplines. In an era in which social life is increasingly played out online, such methods offer different ways of asking new questions and generating new data. However, digital methods raise some concerns for researchers, such as maintaining ethical research practices, avoiding unrecognised biases, and keeping up with the pace of contemporary technological developments. Despite over a decade of innovation and some notable achievements digital methods have yet to be accepted into the mainstream.
This network for methodological innovation aims to build capacity in the research community to address the opportunities and challenges that digitally inspired methods present for social research. Through a series of three seminars, it will bring together researchers from a range of disciplines and career stages to map out, engage with and advance current debates in digital methods; showcase a cross-disciplinary range of contemporary social science research projects that effectively and innovatively utilise digital methods; and, identify future roles for such methods within the mainstream of social research.
The objectives for this network are:
- To inspire social researchers to deploy relevant, effective, innovative, digital methods, via a series of three open seminars;
- To identify future training needs so that the wider social science community can make use of digital methods;
- To foster networks for sharing of expertise between social scientists from a variety of disciplines and career stages, and computer and information scientists; and
- To provide networking and dissemination opportunities and provide a space to share expertise for researchers at all career stages.
The first seminar is on 9th July, 11am-4.30pm in Bristol.