School of Social and Political Science

Introduction to Social Data Research Skills


Date & Time

1st Mar 09:00 - 5th Mar 2021 17:00




This workshop will introduce students to the basics of collecting, working with, and analysing social data. Using basic web scraping methods, you will design and collect a sample of social data, and then conduct initial exploratory analysis. We will then analyse this sample through two main approaches. The first of these is focused on individuals, the networks they form, and influence in social networks. The second is based on working with text data. We will reflect critically on the kinds of evidence produced by these methods and learn the core principles of working with social data. We will also confront some of the issues which can arise for academic research using these methods.

Instructor: Dr Ben Collier

Software Required: R(instructions on how to download the software will be provided at the start of the workshop) and the ability to install and run twint in command line (or as a Python Script)

Structure: Asynchronous. The workshop content and discussion board will be available on the Micro-Methods Workshops Learn page from Monday 1 March 2021. The discussion board will be monitored by the instructor between the 1st and 5th of March. An online discussion and Q&A session will take place on Thursday 4 March between 14:00 and 15:00 via Collaborate.

Duration: The workshop will take approximately 5 hours to complete.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of R is recommended and the ability to install and run twint in command line (or as a Python Script).

Key speakers

  • Dr Ben Collier (University of Edinburgh)