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About the network
Should social science researchers embrace social media and, if we do, what are the implications for our methods and practice? This new network for methodological innovation, led by NatCen Social Research, SAGE 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. Funded by the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) the network will bring together researchers and practitioners from the UK and overseas to discuss the challenges new social media are posing for social science research.
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 network will focus on the methodological challenges of the growth & use of social media in social science research, rather than exploring the substantive findings of that research. What does it mean for the methods toolkit for social science research? How will this affect ethics or our relationships with research participants and stakeholders?
We will host a number of face to face events during the next 12 months. Using a range of collaborative online platforms we will generate think pieces, blogs and discussion forums and practitioner guides.
n The main platform will be hosted on SAGE’s Methodspace platform. In addition, we will be hosting a blog, running online workshops, and using Twitter for network activities. We will share videos of the keynote speeches from the launch event and encourage network members to contribute to our online presence with blogs, web and podcasts.
n Events will be live streamed to enable the participation of network members from across the UK and internationally.
The community will co-create the agenda for 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. The events and online community events will explore topics including:
n Cutting edge qualitative and quantitative methods such as netnography and webometrics
n Ensuring quality and rigour of new methods
n Technical requirements, skills and advances
n The ethics of social media research tools
n 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.
To join the network, please follow this link https://www.research.net/s/NSMNSS and complete the survey. You should complete your form by 9th May if you would like to have the opportunity to join us at the launch event in London. We have some great speakers lined up who are going to help set the agenda for our discussions during the day and throughout the rest of the 12 months.
■ Contact the network leaders by emailing: email@example.com
■ Follow us on Twitter: @NSMNSS
■ #NSMNSS for related tweets
■ Our community platform at Methodspace (www.methodspace.com) is under construction more details shortly