Online research methods are popular, dynamic and fast-changing. Following on from the great success of the first edition, published in 2008, The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, Second Edition offers both updates of existing subject areas and new chapters covering more recent developments, such as social media, big data, data visualization and CAQDAS. Bringing together the leading names in both qualitative and quantitative online research, this new edition is organised into nine sections: 1. Online Research Methods 2. Designing Online Research 3. Online Data Capture and Data Collection 4. The Online Survey 5. Digital Quantitative Analysis 6. Digital Text Analysis 7. Virtual Ethnography 8. Online Secondary Analysis: Resources and Methods 9. The Future of Online Social Research The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, Second Edition is an essential resource for anyone interested in the contemporary practice of computer-mediated research and scholarship.

Chapter 8: ‘Big Social Science': Doing Big Data in the Social Sciences1

‘Big Social Science': Doing Big Data in the Social Sciences1

BIG SOCIAL SCIENCE: DOING BIG DATA IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Jonathan Bright

The term ‘big data’ first emerged in the field of computer science (Cox and Ellsworth 1997), employed to describe not just a large amount of information, but one that was so large that it required a change of processing strategy because it could not fit in the memory of the computer which needed to process it (around 100 gigabytes at the time). The field of study of big data as originally conceived revolved around solving the processing challenges thrown up by these very large datasets. As computers have increased in power and capacity, the amount of data needed to be ...

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