The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods


Edited by: Nigel G. Fielding, Raymond M. Lee & Grant Blank

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    The Editors

    Nigel G. Fielding is Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He co-directs the CAQDAS Networking Project, which provides training and support in the use of computer software in qualitative data analysis. His research interests are in new technologies for social research, qualitative research methods, and mixed method research design. He has authored or edited 20 books, over 65 journal articles and over 200 other publications. In research methodology his books include a study of the integration of qualitative and quantitative data (Linking Data, 1986 and 2014, Sage, with Jane Fielding), an influential book on qualitative software (Using Computers in Qualitative Research, 1991, Sage; editor, with Ray Lee), a study of the role of computer technology in qualitative research (Computer Analysis and Qualitative Research, 1998, Sage, with Ray Lee), two four-volume edited sets on Interviewing in the Sage ‘Masterworks’ series, and the Handbook of Online Research Methods (ed., with Ray Lee and Grant Blank; Sage, 2008, second edition 2016). He presently serves on the President's Task Force on the Future of Mixed Methods.

    Raymond M. Lee is Emeritus Professor of Social Research Methods at Royal Holloway University of London. He has written extensively on a range of methodological topics. These include the problems and issues involved in research on ‘sensitive’ topics, research in physically dangerous environments, the use of unobtrusive measures, and the role of new technologies in the research process. His current research focuses on the historical development of interviewing techniques.

    Grant Blank is the Survey Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. He is a sociologist specializing in the political and social impact of computers and the Internet, the digital divide, statistical and qualitative methods, and cultural sociology. He is currently working on a project asking how are cultural hierarchies constructed in online reviews of cultural attractions. His other project links sample survey data with census data to generate small area estimates of Internet use in Great Britain. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago.

    The Contributors

    Katie M. Abrams' expertise is at the intersection of strategic communication and food system issues. She uses qualitative and quantitative approaches in her research and has conducted numerous focus groups. She studied agricultural communication at Purdue University (BS) and University of Florida (MS, PhD). Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication at Colorado State University.

    William Allen is a Research Officer at the Migration Observatory, in the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. His research and published work examines the links among media, policy-making and public perceptions about migration issues. He is also interested in how non-academic groups, particularly those in civil society, engage with migration data, research and statistics.

    Ayelet Baram-Tsabari (PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science) heads the Science Communication research group at the Faculty of Education in Science and Technology at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Prof. Baram-Tsabari is a member of the Learning in a Networked Society (LINKS) of the Israeli Center for Research Excellence (I-CORE). She is a member of the PCST Network's scientific committee and of the Israel Young Academy, and chairs the research committee at the national council of the Second Authority for Television and Radio. Her research interests include online public engagement with science, and science communication training for scientists.

    Brian Beaton is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick and a researcher with the First Nations Innovation project. He is a Research Associate of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) Research Institute and the former Coordinator of KO's Kuhkenah Network. He worked with KO from 1994 to 2013 building and supporting a variety of community-owned telecommunications infrastructures and social enterprises that are operational in remote and rural First Nations across Ontario and other parts of Canada.

    Javier Borge-Holthoefer received a PhD in Computer Science from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) in 2011. He currently leads the Complex Systems group at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (CoSIN3). His research stems from Interdisciplinary Physics and it deals with complex social systems and urban science. Among other appointments, he has taught at the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics and at the Department of Psychology (both in URV). Before joining the IN3, he was a member of the COSNET Lab and held a position as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI), University of Zaragoza (2011–2013). He then moved to Qatar to work as a Scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Hamad bin Khalifa University (2014–2016). With more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, his work has been published (among others) in Science Advances, Social Networks, Scientific Reports, EPJ Data Science, Physical Review E, PLoS One and Europhysics Letters. Dr Borge-Holthoefer has also contributed a book and several chapters around the problem of disease and information spreading on complex networks.

    Karsten Boye Rasmussen is associate professor in the areas of organization and information technology at Department of Marketing & Management at University of Southern Denmark. He is a sociologist and data scientist and has continued using his experience from data archiving in data warehousing, business intelligence, organisation, methods and metadata in teaching, development and research. Current research is focused on small and medium sized companies and their use of IT comprising websites and the research often includes an angle on data use and methods like nonresponse and unobtrusive measuring in content analysis.

    Edward Brent is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. He is also founder and President of Idea Works, Inc., a software technology company applying expert systems and artificial intelligence to categorizing and coding qualitative data. Applications include automating grading and feedback for student essays. He has written extensively in computers and the social sciences, with emphasis on expert systems and artificial intelligence.

    Jonathan Bright is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute who specialises in computational approaches to the social and political sciences. He has two major research interests: exploring the ways in which new digital technologies are changing political participation; and investigating how new forms of data can enable local and national governments to make better decisions. is a doctoral candidate in personality and health psychology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on computational models of personality, with an emphasis on individual differences in affective experience. She is currently designing a simulation that blends elements of Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Revelle's Cues-Tendencies-Actions model.

    Ashley Brown is a doctoral candidate in personality and health psychology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on computational models of personality, with an emphasis on individual differences in affective experience. She is currently designing a simulation that blends elements of Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Revelle's Cues-Tendencies-Actions model.

    Sarah L. Bulloch has experience working with multiple methods and in multiple contexts. She has analysed large UK and international datasets, applying advanced quantitative analysis, including structural equation modelling and multilevel analysis. She has also worked to apply qualitative analysis approaches to video, textual and image data, often using a range of computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS). Sarah has worked at various UK universities, as well as at a large disability charity. At the time of publication she teaches at the CAQDAS Networking Project, University of Surrey as well as providing consultancy in research methods training.

    Roger Burrows is currently Professor of Cities in the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape at Newcastle University. Prior to this he was a Pro-Warden and Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. He has also worked at the Universities of York, Teesside, Surrey, East London and Kingston. A sociologist by background he has published over 130 articles, chapters, books and reports on digital sociology, methods, urban sociology, housing, health and other topics. Between 2005–2007 he was the national coordinator of the ESRC e-Society programme. His current research is on the neighbourhood consequences of the super-rich in London.

    Patrick Carmichael is Professor of Education and Director of Research Development at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has conducted research and written widely on themes in education and social research more generally, including technology-enhanced learning and research; research ethics; and interdisciplinary and inter-professional working. From 2008–2012 he was director of the ESRC-EPSRC research project: ‘Ensemble: Semantic Technologies for the Enhancement of Case Based Learning'.

    Samantha Cockings is Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Southampton. Her research interests are focused around the geographical representation of population, including automated zone design, spatio-temporal population modelling and analysis of population health. She developed the methods employed by the Office for National Statistics to produce Output Areas and Workplace Zones for the 2011 Census and is part of the team which develops and provides advice on using AZTool, an automated zone design software tool employed by researchers from various academic and non-academic sectors worldwide. She teaches geographical information systems, health geography and general geographical representation concepts and practices to a broad range of undergraduate, postgraduate and applied audiences.

    David M. Condon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. His research focuses on the development of individual differences assessment models and the application of these models to predict a wide range of important life outcomes.

    Louise Corti is an Associate Director at the UK Data Archive based at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK and currently leads the UK Data Service functional areas of Collections Development and Producer Relations. She works closely with data producers from all sectors to ensure that high quality data are created, acquired and shared for research and teaching. Louise's research activities are focused around methods for sharing and reusing social research data and she has directed a number of research awards relating to data support, management and sharing. She was instrumental in helping operationalise the ESRC's Research Data Policy from 1995 and extending this to fully accommodate qualitative data. Louise publishes and edits regularly in books and journals on many aspects of data management, data sharing and reuse of social science data.

    Don A. Dillman is Regents Professor of Sociology and Deputy Director for Research in the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University in Pullman. He is author of a well-known book on survey design, Internet, Phone, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, Smyth and Christian) now in its fourth edition (Wiley, 2014) and many articles on survey design. A former President of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, his current research emphasizes the development of design principles for conducting high quality mixed-mode surveys of the general public and other survey populations.

    Rich Donohue is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky and the principle curriculum designer of New Maps Plus, an online graduate education program focused on web mapping. His scholarship bridges the technical implementation of emerging geospatial technologies with GIScience and Web Cartography research. His teaching focuses on web map interface design in support of cartographic interaction and Geovisualization.

    Lorien G. Elleman is a PhD psychology student at Northwestern University. His research interests include: exploring personality at the facet and item levels to increase the magnitude of correlations between personality and life outcomes, geographical clustering of personality and sociodemographic correlates, and constructing new behavioral measures of personality using big data.

    Corinna Elsenbroich is a computational social scientist with a background in philosophy, computer science and policy research. Her main research interests are agent-based modelling, social ontology and epistemology and collective intentionality and reasoning. She has published several articles on methodological aspects and on models of opinion dynamics, extortion racketeering and a book Modelling Norms (with Nigel Gilbert, Springer, 2014). She currently works on modelling collective reasoning and decision making, on methodological innovation in the social sciences and policy research.

    Rebecca Eynon is as Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford where she holds a joint academic post between the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Department of Education. Her research examines the connections between digital education and inequalities in a range of settings and life stages. Her work has been supported by the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission, Google and the NominetTrust. Prior to joining Oxford in 2005, she was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology, City University, London.

    Michael Fischer is the Professor of Anthropological Sciences (Kent, UK), Director of the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing and Vice President of the Human Relations Area Files (Yale), and Director of HRAF Advanced Research Centres (Kent and Yale). Fischer was a pioneer in the 1970s microcomputer revolution, agent based modelling in the 1980s, WWW technology in the 1990s, and complexity and big data in the 2000s. Recent work includes ‘The Cultural Grounding of Kinship: A Paradigm Shift', L'Homme n. 210 (2014, with D. Read and F.K. Lehman), and ‘Applied Agency: Resolving Multiplexed Communication in (and between) Automobiles', IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, (2015 with S. Applin), and author of Applications in Computing for Social Anthropologists, Routledge (1994).

    Jason A. French is a doctoral candidate in personality and cognitive psychology at Northwestern University. His research examines how to measure interests in the broader context of ability and temperament. He has focused on the development of scientific interests.

    Ronald D. Fricker Jr is a Professor and Head of the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics. He holds a PhD and an MA in Statistics from Yale University, an MS in Operations Research from The George Washington University and a bachelor's degree from the United States Naval Academy. A Fellow of the American Statistical Association and Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, Dr Fricker is the author of Introduction to Statistical Methods for Biosurveillance (CUP, 2013) and more than 80 other publications.

    Jenny Fry is a senior lecturer in publishing at Loughborough University. Her research is focused on digital scholarship and disciplinary cultures. She has been an investigator on a number of externally funded projects – most recently on an AHRC funded project investigating open access mega-journals and the future of scholarly communication. Her teaching focuses on the social shaping of technology, digital cultures and research methods. Prior to joining Loughborough University in 2007 she was a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.

    Ted J. Gaiser is an entrepreneur and adjunct faculty member in the Sociology Department at Boston College, where he received his PhD. His experience includes consulting, technology management, and leading and supporting academic online research endeavours. His research has been on online social forms and online research methods. He was one of the first to present and publish on online focus groups, earning him the Founder's Award of Merit from The Social Science Computing Association.

    Chris George is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of New Brunswick. Chris, whose home community is Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick, is currently conducting research on ‘Nikmájtut Apoqnmatultinej: Reclaiming Indigeneity via ancestral wisdom and new ways of thinking’ that is exploring how indigenous methodologies can be conducted within western educational institutions.

    Sandra González-Bailón is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, where she leads the DiMeNet research group (Digital Media, Networks, and Political Communication). She received a PhD in Sociology from Oxford University (Nuffield College) and spent five years as a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Her research areas include network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication. She has authored more than thirty journal articles and book chapters, and written op-eds and commentaries for several international outlets on the role that social media plays in collective action and political mobilization. She is the author of the book Decoding the Social World: When Data Science meets Communication (forthcoming with MIT Press) and the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Networked Communication (forthcoming with Oxford University Press, co-edited with Brooke Foucault-Welles).

    Michael Hardey was a Reader in Medical Sociology at the Hull-York Medical School (HYMS) until his untimely death in March 2012. Prior to this he worked at the Universities of Newcastle, Southampton, Surrey and Essex. He made huge contributions to the early literature on e-health and digital sociology more generally. He also worked on the sociology of lone parenthood. He was the co-author (with Roger Burrows) of ‘Cartographies of Knowing Capitalism and the Changing Jurisdiction of Empirical Sociology', a chapter published in the first edition of this Handbook, important elements of which remain in the chapter updated for this second edition.

    Claire Hewson is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at The Open University. She has a long standing interest in using the Internet in primary research, and has collected data online using a range of methods, including experiments, surveys and psychometrics. She regularly delivers workshops and training sessions on the topic, acted as workshop convenor and editor for the recent British Psychological Society (BPS) guidelines on ethics in Internet-mediated research (2013), and has just published the fully revised 2nd edition of her co-authored book Internet Research Methods (Sage, 2016).

    Christine Hine is Reader in Sociology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey. Her main research centres on the sociology of science and technology with a particular interest in the role played by new technologies in the knowledge production process. She also has a major interest in the development of ethnography in technical settings, and in ‘virtual methods’ (the use of the Internet for social research). In particular, she has developed mobile and connective approaches to ethnography which combine online and offline social contexts. She is author of Virtual Ethnography (Sage, 2000), Systematics as Cyberscience (MIT, 2008), Understanding Qualitative Research: The Internet (Oxford, 2012) and Ethnography for the Internet (Bloomsbury, 2015) and editor of Virtual Methods (Berg, 2005), New Infrastructures for Knowledge Production (Information Science Publishing, 2006) and Virtual Research Methods (Sage, 2012).

    Feng Hao received his PhD from Washington State University and is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. His research interests include the interactions between human society and natural environment, employing multiple methodologies to analyze the anthropogenic ecological impact, public opinion about the environment, and the environmental movement. His publications have appeared in Social Science Quarterly, Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, and Rural Sociology. Cross-national projects include comparing environmental concern of the general public in China and the United States.

    Mariann Hardey is a lecturer and member of the Marketing Group at Durham University Business School, UK. She is a social media professional and academic and the BBC North East commentator for social media and digital networks. She read literature at the University of Sussex and later undertook a research MA followed by a PhD at the University of York. She has published articles in journals such as Information, Communication & Society, the International Journal of Market Research and The Open Medical Informatics Journal and has also published numerous book chapters.

    Jon Hindmarsh is Professor of Work and Interaction in the School of Management & Business at King's College London, UK. He analyses work practice and social interaction using video-based approaches drawn from ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. He has undertaken studies in settings including control rooms, operating theatres, research labs, dental clinics and museums and galleries. Furthermore, he engages in interdisciplinary research to explore the potential for these studies to inform the design and deployment of new technologies. He co-authored Video in Qualitative Research (Sage, 2010) with Christian Heath and Paul Luff; co-edited Organisation, Interaction and Practice: Studies of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (CUP, 2010) with Nick Llewellyn; and co-edited Communication in Healthcare Settings: Policy, Participation and New Technologies (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) with Alison Pilnick and Virginia Teas Gill.

    Nicholas Hookway is Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Nick's principle research interests are morality and social change, social theory and online research methods. He has published recently in Sociology and British Journal of Sociology and his book Everyday Moralities: Doing it Ourselves in an Age of Uncertainty (Ashgate) is forthcoming in 2017. Nick is current co-convenor of the The Australian Sociological Association Cultural Sociology group and is an Associate Editorial Board member of the journal Sociology.

    Bernie Hogan (PhD Toronto, 2009) is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. His methodological work focuses on various forms of online data capture, particularly in terms of social networks. His theoretical work focuses on theories of online identity and their consequence for social cohesion and privacy. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. His latest work, in collaboration with the IMPACT group at Northwestern University focuses on the reliable capture of social, sexual and drug use data. He has received numerous awards including Best Dissertation from the Communication and Technology section of the International Communication Association.

    Martin Innes is Director of the Crime and Security Research Institute, and Universities’ Police Science Institute at Cardiff University. His research has been highly influential across policy, practitioner and academic communities, both nationally and internationally. He is the author of three books and numerous scholarly articles on aspects of policing, reactions to crime and counter-terrorism. He has acted in an advisory capacity to policing and security agencies, and governments in the USA, Canada, Australia and Holland. He serves on the Professional Committee of the College of Policing.

    Wander Jager is working at the University College Groningen and is the managing director of the Groningen Center for Social Complexity Studies. He is working on social complex issues like diffusion of green technology and practices, littering behaviour, crowd behaviour, man–environment interactions, societal polarisation, migration, dynamics of depopulation and dealing with flooding risks. He has published widely in the field of social complexity, and has been guest editor for special issues such as ‘The human actor in ecological-economic models’ (Ecological Economics), ‘Complexities in markets’ (Journal of Business Research), ‘Agent-Based Modeling of Innovation Diffusion’ (Journal of Product Innovation and Management) and Social Simulation in Environmental Psychology (Journal of Environmental Psychology).

    Dietmar Janetzko studied psychology, philosophy and computer science and holds a PhD both in psychology and education. He is a professor of business computing and business process management at Cologne Business School in Germany. His research interests focus on statistics, data mining, and quantitative analysis of data sourced from the Internet and social media.

    Magnus Johansson is a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Game Design, Uppsala University, Campus Gotland. His research interest is often focused on the player and groups of players from a qualitative perspective, often observing the activity of play and how players interact when playing. Previous publications deal with the social aspects of online games such as norms, social rules, harassment, anonymity and toxic gaming. Other perspectives that Johansson have studied include how to create socially believable non-player characters and how to design and evaluate games from a usability perspective.

    Lars Kaczmirek is vice scientific director and heads a team which develops and conducts population studies at the department Monitoring Society and Social Change at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany. He is also adjunct assistant research scientist at the Center for Political Studies (CPS), Institute for Social Research (ISR), University of Michigan. Lars studied psychology with minors in neurology and computer science and holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Mannheim. He is co-founder and co-editor of the journal ‘Survey Methods: Insights from the Field’ and has served on the board of the German Society for Online Research (DGOF) both as executive, treasurer and program chair for many years. He is passionate about reducing survey error and has published on various topics in survey research such as questionnaire design, mixed-mode, eyetracking, survey software tools, human–survey interaction, and social media research.

    Helen Kennedy is Professor of Digital Society at the University of Sheffield. She recently published a monograph entitled Post, Mine, Repeat: Social Media Data Mining Becomes Ordinary (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Other recent research includes Seeing Data (, which explored how non-experts relate to data visualisations. She is interested in critical approaches to big data and data visualisations, how to make data more accessible to ordinary citizens, and how people live with data. Over the years, her research has traversed digital media landscapes, covering topics from web homepages to data visualisation, from race, class, gender inequality to learning disability and web accessibility, and from web design to social media data mining and data visualisation.

    Samuel Leung is Senior Teaching Fellow in Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests are geomatics and spatial analysis and he has been involved in the development of online geographical referencing resources for social scientists and Pop247 spatio-temporal population modelling methods. Previous to his current position, he has worked as an instructional designer on the Population Analysis for Policies and Programmes project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and immediately before that as a Research Fellow on a range of e-learning and geography research programmes funded by JISC and ESRC at the University of Southampton.

    Stephen Lyon is Senior Lecturer at Durham University, UK. His primary research is on cultural models, kinship systems and politics in Pakistan. He has worked with development organisations and Pakistan government departments on agricultural resource management to develop robust predictive models of farmer behaviours using computational tools. He was an early adopter of the internet in the field and may have produced the world's first anthropology field blog (called Weekly and Monthly Updates from the Field). He has authored and edited numerous publications in which he outlines how he has used computers and software in the field and for data analysis.

    Clare Madge is a Reader in Human Geography at the University of Leicester. She has written extensively about a range of methodological topics, including feminist methodologies, creative methods, ethics and geographical fieldwork and internet mediated research. She developed a training resource in online research methods with a team based at the University of Leicester (see

    Katja Lozar Manfreda is an associated professor of statistics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her doctoral thesis (2001) was globally the first one in the area of web survey methodology. She was also among the founders of the WebSM site in 1998. She publishes in the area of web surveys and her most cited work (Lozar Manfreda et al. 2008) has become a citation classic.

    David Martin is Professor of Geography at the University of Southampton. His research interests include all aspects of the geographical representation of population and have included establishment of methods for automated zone design used for publication of small area statistics from the 2001 and 2011 censuses in England and Wales, methods for the gridded modelling of population data, spatio-temporal modelling of small area populations and linkage of administrative population data sources. He is a co-director of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) National Centre for Research Methods, UK Data Service and Administrative Data Research Centre for England and was Coordinator of the ESRC Census Programme from 2002–2012.

    Morgan M. Millar received her PhD in Sociology from Washington State University and is Research Instructor at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, in the Medical School Division of Epidemiology. Her primary interest is in survey methodology. Her publications have appeared in Public Opinion Quarterly and Survey Practice. Her current research is examining linkages between social status and the development of cancer.

    Henrietta O'Connor is Professor of Sociology in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester. Her research interests focus on the sociology of work, youth employment and gender. She also has an active interest in research methods ranging in scope from her work on online research methods to more recent research based around the secondary analysis of qualitative data, qualitative longitudinal research and community restudies.

    Susan O'Donnell is an adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick and a senior researcher at the National Research Council of Canada where she is Vice-Chair of the Research Ethics Board. She has published extensively with her First Nation partners on technology use in remote and rural First Nation communities, including work on research methodologies. O'Donnell is currently the principal investigator of the First Nations Innovation project ( and the First Mile project ( in partnership with First Nation organizations in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario.

    David Perley is the Director of the Míkmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick and an instructor at UNB and St. Thomas University. He is a co-founder of the Wolastoq Language and Culture Centers in Tobique and St. Mary's First Nations in New Brunswick. David is the former Chief and Councillor of the Maliseet Nation at Tobique and has been employed as consultant for federal and provincial departments over the years specializing in Aboriginal Education. His research work supports indigenizing the curriculum with Maliseet and Míkmaq language and resources.

    Ate Poorthuis is an Assistant Professor in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Singapore University of Technology and Design. His research is focused on the possibilities and limitations of the analysis and visualization of big data to better understand how our cities work. He is the technical lead on The DOLLY Project, a repository of billions of geolocated social media, that strives to address the difficulties of using big data within the social sciences.

    Roel Popping is at the Department of Sociology, University of Groningen. His research interests include methodology, with a specialty in text analysis and interrater reliability. He has applied the text analysis methods in particular on historical shifts in public opinion, values, and scientific knowledge, primarily within the context of post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe.

    Alun Preece is Co-Director of the Cardiff University Crime & Security Research Institute and Head of the Knowledge and Data Engineering Group in the School of Computer Science and Informatics. His research interests focus on techniques for information provisioning and decision support in complex environments. He was UK Academic Technical Area Lead (2011–2016) for the 10-year joint US/UK International Technology Alliance in Network and Information Sciences, involving a consortium of 26 US and UK academic, industry and government partners, led by IBM and funded by the US Army Research Laboratory and the UK Ministry of Defence.

    William Revelle is a professor of psychology at Northwestern University. As a personality psychologist, his interests range from the biological bases to computational models of personality as means to understand the sources and consequences of individual differences in temperament, cognitive ability and interests. He is particularly interested in applying quantitative methods to studying psychological phenomena.

    Colin Roberts is Operations Manager for the Universities’ Police Science Institute, Cardiff University, and leads the Institute's research programme on counter-terrorism policing. He holds a PhD from the University of Surrey and an MA in social justice from the University of London. With Professor Martin Innes he worked on the National Reassurance Policing Programme and invented a community intelligence technology for the capture and analysis of signal crimes and disorders. In recent years Colin's main interests have focused on counter-terrorism policing, the time dynamics of conflict, social media analytics and computational methods.

    David Rogers is currently employed as a Research Assistant in the Cardiff University School of Computer Science and Informatics. He is applying his interest in Big Data and the Semantic Web to his current work within the OSCAR team developing real-time web collection and analysis tools to provide situational awareness through social media. He is also studying for his PhD titled ‘Text Mining of Extremist Narratives on the Web’ in which he is looking to evaluate to what degree Web data can be converted into actionable intelligence related to extremism in terms of reliability, usability and timeliness.

    Ralph Schroeder is Professor and director of the Master's degree in Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute. Before coming to Oxford University, he was Professor in the School of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden). His recent books are Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (Stanford University Press, 2007) and, co-authored with Eric T. Meyer, Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities (MIT Press, 2015). He is currently working on a book about digital media and globalization.

    Elad Segev (PhD, Keele University) is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Communications at the Department of Communication, Tel Aviv University. He is the author of Google and the Digital Divide (Chandos, 2010), and International News Flow Online (Peter Lang, 2016). His research interests include web mining, network analysis, international news, Americanization and globalization, cultural diversity, digital divide, information search, and new applications and methodologies in social science and communication. His studies are published among others in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Public Understanding of Science, Journalism, Political Communication, and the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.

    Aviv J. Sharon is a PhD student at the Faculty of Education in Technology and Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Aviv completed his MSc in Life Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science and his undergraduate studies in Biology and Science Education (with distinction) at the Technion. He has also taught biology and biotechnology at a public high school in Haifa, Israel. His research interests lie in the interface between science education and science communication. More specifically, his work examines expressions of science literacy in authentic online environments, especially in the context of controversial personal health decisions. His work has appeared in Public Understanding of Science and PLOS ONE.

    Christina Silver manages the CAQDAS Networking Project, based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, UK, which provides information, advice, training and on-going support in the use of software designed to facilitate qualitative and mixed methods research. She has trained thousands of researchers to harness CAQDAS tools powerfully and undertaken her own research using qualitative technologies. Christine has published widely in the field, including co-authoring Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide with Ann Lewins (Sage Publications) and has developed Five-Level QDA with Nicholas Woolf, a CAQDAS pedagogy that transcends software products and methodologies (

    Harrison Smith is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information. His research focuses on the political economies of geospatial media, surveillance, and mobile digital culture. His thesis explores the economic and cultural implications of location data to inform new methods of audience targeting and clustering for mobile and location based marketing. Harrison is also a research assistant for, a Canadian geospatial and open data research partnership between Canadian universities, municipalities, and the private sector. There, his research focuses on the economic potential of the geospatial web and the sharing economy.

    Helene Snee is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Her research explores stratification with a particular focus on youth and class. Helene is the author of A Cosmopolitan Journey? Difference, Distinction and Identity Work in Gap Year Travel (Ashgate, 2014), which was short-listed for the BSA's Philip Abrahams Memorial Prize for the best first and sole-authored book within the discipline of Sociology. She was also a contributor to Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican, 2015). Helene has published journal articles on youth transitions and educational choice; narratives and representations of difference and inequality; and digital methods.

    Mike Thelwall is Professor of Information Science and leader of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, which he joined in 1989. He is also Docent at the Department of Information Studies at Åbo Akademi University, and a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute. His PhD was in Pure Mathematics from the University of Lancaster but he is now a social scientist focusing on quantitative methods. His research involves identifying and analysing social and general web phenomena using quantitative-led research methods, including text analysis, link analysis and sentiment analysis, and he pioneered an information science approach to link analysis. Mike has developed a wide range of tools for gathering and analysing web data for Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, blogs and the web in general. His 500+ publications include 278 refereed journal articles, 28 book chapters and three books, including Introduction to Webometrics. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and sits on three other editorial boards. He led the Wolverhampton contribution to the EU funded projects Acumen, CyberEmotions RESCAR, CREEN, NetReAct, Rindicate and Wiser, and has been funded for research by JISC and non-profit organisations in the UK and Italy. He has also conducted evaluation contracts for the EC (several times), the UNDP (several times), the UNFAO and a UN university. He was a member of the UK's independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment (2014–2015).

    Vera Toepoel is professor at the Department of Methods and Statistics at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She did her PhD on the Design of Web Questionnaires and is the author of many papers about online survey methodology and the book Doing Surveys Online published by Sage in 2016. In addition, she is the Chairwoman of the Dutch Platform for Survey Research and President's delegate of RC33 Methods and Logistics of the International Sociological Association.

    Vasja Vehovar, PhD is a professor of statistics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the head of Centre for Social Informatics ( In recent years his main research interest has been web survey methodology. Within this context, he led methodological experiments with web surveys in 1996, co-established the site in 1998, published series of papers and chapters with leading publishers, launched open-source software for web surveys (1KA), and in 2015 co-authored the monograph Web Survey Methodology (Sage).

    Harko Verhagen is an associate professor at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University. His research has focused on agent-based simulation of social interaction, social interaction in and around computer game play, social ontology and agent models, use of social media in online education, and issues of design for hybrid social spaces. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters etc. and guest edited special issues of journals such as Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and Logic Journal of the IGPL. His publication list is available via

    Jo Wathan is a Research Fellow in the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, University of Manchester. She has worked on a number of projects relating to data use, data enhancement and teaching with data particularly in relation to major UK surveys and census microdata since completing her PhD based on the Labour Force Survey. Since 2012 she has spent most of her time in two user focused roles within the UK Data Service; as lead for microdata in the census team and as training coordinator. However, she also undertakes some teaching. She spends her spare time working with and enhancing historical census microdata.

    Joshua Wilt is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. His research investigates the affective, behavioral, cognitive, and desire (ABCD) components that are relevant to personality structure and function. His current work examines ABCDs within the context of personality traits and narrative identity.

    David Zeitlyn has been doing research in Cameroon for more than 30 years on many topics including divination, sociolinguistics, endangered languages and history. In this work he has explored many ways in which computer assisted research can be undertaken, most recently using computer games and agent based models as elicitation tools. Among other topics he has published on photography and on archives (Annual Reviews 2012) and recently (Oct. 2015) edited a special issue of History and Anthropology. David Zeitlyn has been a research Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford since 2010. Previously he taught at the University of Kent for many years.

    Matthew Zook is a Professor of Economic and Information Geography at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. His interest centers on how the geoweb (particularly the practices surrounding user-generated data) and understanding where, when and by whom geo-coded content is being created. He studies the interaction of code, space and place interact as people increasingly use of mobile, digital technologies to navigate through their everyday, lived geographies. Of special interest is the complex and often duplicitous manner that code and content can congeal and individualize our experiences in the hybrid, digitally augmented places that cities are becoming.

    Companion Website

    Welcome to the companion website for The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, Second Edition, edited by Nigel G. Fielding, Ramond M. Lee and Grant Blank.

    The resources on the site have been specifically designed to support your study. Visit to find:

    • Editor and Contributor Biographies
    • Abstracts
    • Colour Illustrations
    • Glossary
  • Name Index

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