Upcoming Events

Answering Social Science Questions with Social Media Data

I am honoured to have been asked to present as a keynote for the upcoming “Answering Social Science Questions with Social Media Data” conference hosted by NSMNSS.

Thursday 8th March 2018, The Wellcome Collection, London, NW1 2BE

After several successful events, we’re pleased to say that the NSMNSS network (http://nsmnss.blogspot.co.uk/) and Social Research Association (www.the-sra.org.uk) are again teaming up to deliver a one-day conference on ‘Answering social science questions with social media data’.

As social media research matures as a discipline, and methodological and ethical concerns are being addressed, focus is increasingly shifting on to the role that it can and should play in the social sciences – what are the questions it can help us to answer?

We are looking for speakers who have completed a piece of social research using social media data to present their findings and discuss how this has made a difference:

  • How has it impacted policy, best practice, or understanding?
  • How has it answered a question that would have been unfeasible using conventional research methods alone?

This research could be in any substantive area, from health or crime to politics or travel, as long as it is ‘social’ research. It can also include any type of analysis – quantitative or qualitative analysis, big data or small – as long as it involves some form of data collection via a social media platform. We want to encourage a range of different methods and topics to help demonstrate the diversity of the methodology and the role it can play.

Doing Social Media Analysis with Free Tools


A Digital Sociology Study Group Event

28 April 2017, 10:00-13:00
Leeds Beckett University, UK

Analysing Data from Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Smartphones

Social media are now a central part of many people’s lives. When we send messages, comment, upload photographs and make connections with others we are creating new kinds of networks. This creates vast amounts of data which hide valuable insights. This workshop will introduce a range of free tools which can help you to collect and analyse these data. It will also help you to tackle the even thornier issue of how to interpret these data as a sociologist.

We will engage in hands-on workshop activities on data-driven digital methods and their research applications in relation to people’s lives.The aim is to introduce critical engagement with the digital tools as well as the application of these tools to research questions. The workshops will be conceptually grounded in the problems of public communication and privacy, digital media production and consumption, and the ethical issues associated with big/social data and digital methods in the context of digital media environments.

Outline of the event

Tools to be introduced will enable researchers to collect data from Smartphones; Twitter; Youtube; Facebook as well as visualise and export the data for publication without any programming skills required.

Asking questions regarding every decision in these processes is a necessary component of thinking sociologically while archiving, visualising and interpreting the data being collected.

We will work through four main themes:

  • Social Media Data Collection
  • Social Media Data Analysis
  • Visualisation and Presentation
  • Ethics of Mapping Social Media

Convened by Dr Steven McDermott who lectures on contemporary developments in media and communications at the University of the Arts London.

Booking Open

BSA Member: £5
Student: £7
Non-Member: £10

Book now!

Social Media & Society Conference

Location: Toronto, Canada

Conference Dates: July 27-29, 2015

Submission Website:  The submission website will be open on January 2, 2015

Academic research on social media is growing exponentially across various disciplines including:Communications, Information / Library Science, Computer Science, Business, Sociology, Education, Psychology, Health and others. The Web of Science alone indexed nearly 5,000 journal and conference publications over the last decade. This growing body of research revealed many interesting factors about social media platforms, their users, and a glimpse of our society at large. But are we any closer to understanding the broader implications of social media on our increasing networked society?

The 2015 Social Media & Society Conference (#SMSociety15) invites scholarly and original submissions that build on the previous work and critically evaluate the role of social media for social and political change, community engagement, marketing, new forms of governance, support of individuals and organizations in domains such as business, information, management, public administration, academia, health, and journalism (just to mention a few). We are also calling for submissions that develop and apply novel methods and theories to collect, analyze, and visualize social media data as well as those that discuss ethical and privacy implications of using big andsmall data. We welcome both quantitative and qualitative work in the broad area of Social Media & Society that crosses interdisciplinary boundaries and expands our understanding of the current and future trends in social media.

Whether you are just starting a new research project or ready to report on the final results, you will find that #SMSociety15 is a great venue for you! The 2015 conference invites a wide range of submissions: from short papers on completed or well-developed projects to work-in-progress paper abstracts, from panel discussions to poster presentations. New to this year, we are also calling for proposals to host half-day workshops on a well-defined area or technical tutorials that will examine a particular method or tool for the analysis of social media data in more detail.


The Social Media & Society Conference is an annual gathering of leading social media researchers from around the world. Now, in its 6th year, the 2015 Conference will be held in Toronto, Canada from July 27 to 29, 2015. From its inception, the conference has focused on the best practices for studying the impact and implications of social media on society. Organized by the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, the conference provides attendees an opportunity to exchange ideas, present their original research, learn about recently completed and work-in-progress studies, and strengthen connections with their peers. The 2014 conference hosted over 200 attendees, featured research from 238 authors across several fields from 21 different countries.


Social Media & Small Data

  • Case Studies of Online Communities Formed on Social Media
  • Case Studies of Offline Communities that Rely on Social Media
  • Sampling Issues
  • Value of Small Data

Social Media & Big Data

  • Visualization of Social Media Data
  • Social Media Data Mining
  • Scalability Issues & Social Media Data
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Ethics of Big Data

Social Media Impact on Society

  • Private Self/Public Self
  • The Sharing/Attention Economy
  • Virality & Memes
  • Political Mobilization & Engagement
  • Social Media & Health
  • Social Media & Business (Marketing, PR, HR, Risk Management, etc.)
  • Social Media & Academia (Alternative Metrics, Learning Analytics, etc.)
  • Social Media & Public Administration
  • Social Media & the News

 Theories & Methods

  • Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches
  • Opinion Mining & Sentiment Analysis
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Theoretical Models for Studying, Analysing and Understanding Social Media

Online/Offline Communities

  • Trust & Credibility in Social Media
  • Online Community Detection
  • Influential User Detection
  • Online Identity

Social Media & Mobile

  • App-ification of the Society
  • Privacy & Security Issues in the Mobile World
  • Apps for the Social Good
  • Networking Apps


Due Feb-02 Mar-02 Mar-02 Apr-10 May-01
Notification Feb-20 Apr-03 Apr-03 Apr-27 May-15
Submission format / Template Workshop template
Tutorial template
ACM Paper template
Panel template 500 words
WIP Paper Abstract template
500 words
Poster Abstract template
Presentation format Half-day 20-min oral presentation (including Q&A) 60-min oral presentation (at least 3 panelists) 15-min oral presentation (including Q&A) 120-min poster presentation
Peer-reviewed? Yes Yes (Double-blind) Yes Yes Yes
Published in the Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library? No Yes No No No


(1) Short Papers 
Papers provide authors the opportunity to present their original work related to the broad theme of social media and society.

  • Submission Length: 5 pages
  • Submission Template: ACM Paper template
  • Papers must be on a completed or well-developed project.
  • All short paper submissions to be published in the conference proceedings must be original (= not published or accepted in a journal or conference proceedings and currently not under consideration for publication elsewhere).
  • Papers are blind reviewed
  • Presentation Format: If selected, the author(s) will be invited to give a 15-minute oral presentation followed by a 5 min Q&A period at the conference.
  • Allowed number of submissions: You may submit up to 2 submissions, but only one as a single or lead author.
  • Accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings by the ACM International Conference Proceeding Series (ICPS). 
  • Publishing in ACM’s ICPS program brings several advantages to authors:
    – Authors of ICPS articles have the same Author Rights as all ACM authors (http://authors.acm.org):
    – Free posting on author’s home page and institutional repository
    – Free use of ACM Author-Izer Service (http://www.acm.org/author-izer)
    – Free posting in any repository legally mandated by authors’ funding bodies
    – Author Profiles in the ACM Digital Library for each contributor are linkable to global ORCID IDs
    – Citation and usage statistics are provided free for each article and available to each author for local display through the ACM Author-Izer Service.

(2) Work-In-Progress (WIP) Paper Abstracts
WIP paper abstracts provide authors the opportunity to present their preliminary and ongoing work related to the broad theme of social media and society.

  • Submission Length: approximately 500 words, excluding references
  • Submission Template: WIP Paper Abstract template
  • Paper abstracts are peer-reviewed (but not blind reviewed)
  • Full papers are not required for this type of submission
  • Presentation Format: If selected, the author(s) will be invited to give a 10-minute oral presentation followed by a 5 min Q&A period at the conference.
  • Allowed number of submissions: You may submit up to 2 submissions, but only one as a single or lead author.
  • Author(s) of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit their full papers to the Big Data & Society Journal published by SAGE.

(3) Panel Presentations
Panel presentations provide authors the option of organizing related talks together in a thematic session.

  • Submission Template: Panel template
  • Panel submissions are not blind reviewed
  • Presentation Format: Each panel will have 60 minutes and should include 3-5 presenters

(4) Research Poster Presentations 

The research poster session provides an interactive forum for authors to discuss their research.

  • Submission Length: approximately 500 words, excluding references
  • Submission Template: Poster Abstract template
  • Posters will display visual presentations of research projects.
  • Presentation Format: If selected, author(s) will have an opportunity to present their poster as part of a dedicated poster session.
  • Posters should be no larger than 4 ft wide by 3 ft high.
  • Poster boards and push pins will be supplied.

(5) Half-day Workshop or Tutorial 
Workshops on a well-defined area or technical tutorials will examine a particular method or tool for the analysis of social media data in more detail.


The list of the Program Committee members is available at https://socialmediaandsociety.com/?page_id=1346


Anatoliy Gruzd
Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management
Director, Social Media Lab
Ryerson University, Canada
Twitter: @gruzd

Barry Wellman
Professor & Director, NetLab
University of Toronto, Canada
Twitter: @barrywellman

Philip H. Mai
Manager of Academic Communications
Communications, Government and Community Engagement
Ryerson University, Canada
Twitter: @phmai

Jenna Jacobson
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Information (iSchool)
University of Toronto, Canada
Twitter: @jacobsonjenna

Blurring the boundaries: New social media, new social science?

Should social science researchers embrace social media and, if we do, what are the implications for our methods and practice? This project, led by NatCen Social ResearchSage and the Oxford Internet Institute will develop a network of those using or seeking to use social media in social science research to explore this question.

We know that social media tools are increasingly being used to as part of social science studies. The nature of these tools means that it is a fast changing environment, with new practice emerging all the time. Despite this, there is limited interaction of practitioners or synthesis of these methods; there are also few opportunities to reflect on the implications of social media tools for our subjects of study, methods and ethics. Our network of methodological innovation will bring together academics, researchers and research stakeholders from all sectors. The aim is to develop a community of practice with members drawn from the cutting-edge of academia, market research and applied social research.

The community will be launched with a 1-day conference at the end of May 2012 with four further knowledge exchange e-events and a closing event across the next 12 months. We are hoping to live stream our events to enable the participation of network members from across the UK and internationally. Using collaborative online platforms we will generate think pieces, blogs and discussion forums and practitioner guides. The community will co-create the agenda for our knowledge exchange events and we are aiming for the community to be an active hub for dynamic discussions of social media and social research. The events will disseminate and synthesise the best of current practice and explore a wide range of methodological and ethical issues with contributions from network members. We envisage the events exploring topics such as:

  • Cutting edge qualitative methods such as netnography

  • Cutting edge quantitative methods such as webometrics

  • Ensuring quality and rigour of new methods

  • Technical requirements, skills and advances

  • The ethics of social media research tools

  • Integrating new social media tools with traditional methods

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in how social media are affecting what we research, how we research and who we involve with our research. If you would like to join the network, please email Kandy Woodfield with your contact details.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Kandy Woodfield
NatCen Social Research
Email: kandy.woodfield@natcen.ac.uk



I presented a full paper titled :

“White’s three disciplines and relative valuation order: Countering the social ignorance of automated data collection and analysis”

at the upcoming (9-11 August 2010)

International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining

Visit the site

Read the Programme

Full Programme [pdf] of the Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM) Conference 2010

The study of of social networks originated in social and business communities. In recent years, social network research has advanced significantly; the development of sophisticated techniques for Social Network Analysis and Mining (SNAM) has been highly influenced by the online social Web sites, email logs, phone logs and instant messaging systems, which are widely analyzed using graph theory and machine learning techniques. People perceive the Web increasingly as a social medium that fosters interaction among people, sharing of experiences and knowledge, group activities, community formation and evolution. This has led to a rising prominence of SNAM in academia, politics, homeland security and business. This follows the pattern of known entities of our society that have evolved into networks in which actors are increasingly dependent on their structural embedding.

The international conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining (ASONAM 2010) will primarily provide an interdisciplinary venue that will bring together practitioners and researchers from a variety of SNAM fields to promote collaborations and exchange of ideas and practices. ASONAM 2010 is intended to address important aspects with a specific focus on the emerging trends and industry needs associated with social networking analysis and mining. The conference solicits experimental and theoretical works on social network analysis and mining along with their application to real life situations.

Scientific Topics
Anomaly detection in social network evolution
Application of social network analysis
Application of social network mining
Communities discovery and analysis in large scale online social networks
Communities discovery and analysis in large scale offline social networks
Connection between biological similarities and social network formulation
Contextual social network analysis
Crime data mining and network analysis
Cyber anthropology
Dark Web
Data protection inside communities
Detection of communities by document analysis
Economical impact of social network discovery

Extended version of selected papers will be invited for publication in special issues of international journals after the conference. The following special issues have been confirmed:

Knowledge and Information Systems
Social Network Analysis and Mining


ICS PhD Conference

Tuesday 29th June 2010…

Where I will be presenting the following paper – “Online Themes and Concepts as Subjective Representations of the Singapore Context: An Exploratory Analysis of an Online Epistemic and Deontic Space”

 We frequently divide civil culture and popular culture, but new media thrives on the creation of relationships. The civil and the popular are no exception. The conference looks to explore how new media spaces connect/reconnect/disconnect across all boundaries, especially civic and popular boundaries.

The conference invites papers that tackle the role of new media in all spaces that involve the civic and the popular. We invite any and all disciplines to connect/reconnect/disconnect with the term new media in deciding how we are actually engaging with civil and popular culture spaces online and in our new/old and augmented/unchanged reality.

Indicative conference themes:
Online journalism and the blogosphere
Mobile connectivity at local, regional, national and/or supranational levels
Online social and political networking
Popular culture and transnational communities in new media spaces
Civil disobedience and regulation in new media
How new media has changed/reinforced/influenced popular culture and its traditions
The future of social and/or civil spaces created by technology and/or global populations

Download our conference poster (558kb)


You can complete the online registration form or contact us at ics-pg-conference@leeds.ac.uk