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 35: Online Environments and the Future of Social Science Research

Online Environments and the Future of Social Science Research

ONLINE ENVIRONMENTS AND THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
Michael Fischer Stephen Lyon David Zeitlyn

Introduction

History doesn't repeat itself, but it sure rhymes.

Attributed to Mark Twain

New generations of social scientists face a different range of possibilities and prospects in their careers than many academics currently in post. The Internet and related communications technologies (IRCT) are playing a major role in these differences. The Internet has greatly impacted social scientists’ practice, as well as advancing the scale of activities rendered feasible, resulting in significant changes in the kinds of research carried out and, importantly, the kinds of subject deemed ‘researchable'. More important, IRCT are social infrastructures that people ...

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