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    Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

The NHS regularly asks its patients to complete surveys reporting on the quality of care they have received. These surveys include opportunities for patients to submit feedback in their own words. Carol Rivas describes how computational and digital methods can be used to analyse and report patient feedback in an efficient and timely manner. However, it is important to […]

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    When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

Contemporary social sciences unquestionably benefit from the growing accessibility and availability of data sources, and the impressive developments in computational tools for data collection and analysis. However, Marta Stelmaszak and Philipp Hukal emphasise the importance of continued careful reflection when using new forms of data and methods. Any analysis of data requires reflection on the agency that went into […]

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    Excel is threatening the quality of research data — Data Packages are here to help

Excel is threatening the quality of research data — Data Packages are here to help

This week the Frictionless Data team at Open Knowledge International will be speaking about making research data quality visible at the International Digital Curation Conference (#idcc17). Dan Fowler looks at why the popular file format Excel is problematic for research and what steps can be taken to ensure data quality is maintained throughout the research process.

Our Frictionless Data project aims […]

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February 22nd, 2017|Big Data, Data science|2 Comments|
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    Three ways in which digital researchers can shed light on the information politics of the “post-truth” era

Three ways in which digital researchers can shed light on the information politics of the “post-truth” era

Digital media played a prominent role in the recent US presidential election, with social media platforms channelling previously fringe universes of political culture, rooted in populism and post-truth politics, right into the mainstream of US political discourse. Meanwhile, traditional mechanisms, from polling to mainstream media, failed to adequately capture public sentiment around political events. Are new instruments needed to […]

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    Git for Data Analysis – why version control is essential for collaboration and for gaining public trust

Git for Data Analysis – why version control is essential for collaboration and for gaining public trust

Openness and collaboration go hand in hand. Samuel Payne describes how scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working with the Frictionless Data team at Open Knowledge International to ensure collaboration on data analysis is seamless and their data integrity is maintained.

I’m a computational biologist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where I work on environmental and biomedical […]

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    The research librarian of the future: data scientist and co-investigator

The research librarian of the future: data scientist and co-investigator

There remains something of a disconnect between how research librarians themselves see their role and its responsibilities and how these are viewed by their faculty colleagues. Jeannette Ekstrøm, Mikael Elbaek, Chris Erdmann and Ivo Grigorov imagine how the research librarian of the future might work, utilising new data science and digital skills to drive more collaborative and open scholarship. […]

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December 14th, 2016|Data science, Libraries|9 Comments|
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    Five Minutes with Professor Gary King: Transformational power of big data lies, pure and simple, in its analytics

Five Minutes with Professor Gary King: Transformational power of big data lies, pure and simple, in its analytics

Michael Todd listened to a recent lecture by Gary King on the big data revolution in the social sciences. Professor King insists data is easy to come by and is in fact a by-product of the many improvements in information technology. The issue isn’t its scale, volume or platform. It’s what we make out of all of that and the analytical tools […]

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    Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

Open science has finally hit the mainstream. Alex Lancaster looks at the emerging criticisms leveled against how we publish and disseminate science and argues it may be time to reframe the open science project. Rather than relying on instrumentalist language of “carrot-and-sticks” and “rewards-and-incentives” we should instead focus on the actual working conditions for scientists and the political economy in […]

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    Could Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

Could Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

Blockchain technology has the capacity to make digital goods immutable, transparent, and provable. Sönke Bartling and Benedikt Fecher look at the technical aspects of blockchain and also discuss its application in the research world. Blockchain could strengthen science’s verification process, helping to make more research results reproducible, true, and useful.

Currently blockchain is being hyped. Many claim that the blockchain […]

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    Algorithms, Accountability, and Political Emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis.

Algorithms, Accountability, and Political Emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis is an increasingly popular metric for news and social media platforms. Alison Powell reflects here on the implications of sentiment analysis and its potential connection with the rise and intensification of emotion-driven politics. The data inputted to ‘train’ algorithms on sentiment analysis has enormous impact and is imbued with assumptions about the world. What mechanisms might make these algorithms […]

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    Redesigning integration: Access to government records is necessary for researchers to identify policy effects.

Redesigning integration: Access to government records is necessary for researchers to identify policy effects.

Especially for complex social issues like migration and integration, there is a pressing need to understand why certain policies work and others do not. Dominik Hangartner argues that when scholars are able to combine credible research designs with linked registry data and state-of-the-art targeted surveys, they have a greater chance of identifying the causal effects of policy parameters on short- […]

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    Liberating Data: How libraries and librarians can help researchers with text and data mining.

Liberating Data: How libraries and librarians can help researchers with text and data mining.

With advances in computational methods and the proliferation of data sources, text and data mining offers exciting new directions for research. Neil Stewart, Jane Secker, Chris Morrison and Laurence Horton look at the role of libraries in providing support to researchers for these projects, particularly to help with rights issues and to digitise material for scholarly re-use. Librarians should be […]

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    Visualising data in 3D: Handling complexity through visceral and tactile experiences of data.

Visualising data in 3D: Handling complexity through visceral and tactile experiences of data.

Data visualisation can be hugely effective in showing where we are in the world today and in context. Jonathan Minton has been exploring the application and potential of 3D printing for engaging with research. But with these new emerging opportunities for the presentation of data we must not do away with the complexity. Rather, visual, visceral and tactile experiences […]

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    How to make better mistakes in public policy: Learn from the negative results just as much as the positive ones.

How to make better mistakes in public policy: Learn from the negative results just as much as the positive ones.

We all make mistakes, a tendency which also extends to those who work in public policy. But we often only hear about successes. Bucking this trend, Kevin Arceneaux and Daniel Butler describe a recent pilot program aimed at boosting civic engagement. Rather than increasing the number of people who volunteered for town committees as intended, the three tactics they […]

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    A matter of integrity: Can improved curation efforts prevent the next data sharing disaster?

A matter of integrity: Can improved curation efforts prevent the next data sharing disaster?

Wider openness and access to data may be a necessary first step for scientific and social innovation, but as the controversial release of OK Cupid data highlights, open data efforts must also consider the quality and reproducibility of this data. What would it take for data curation to routinely consider quality and reproducibility as standard practice? Limor Peer suggests some future directions to […]

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    Looking to solve the replication crisis in psychology? Limitations of questionnaire methods must be considered.

Looking to solve the replication crisis in psychology? Limitations of questionnaire methods must be considered.

Throughout its history, psychology has been faced with fundamental crises that all revolve around its disciplinary rigour. Current debates – led in Nature, Science and high-ranking psychology journals – are geared towards the frequent lack of replicability of many psychological findings. New research led by Jana Uher highlights methodological limitations of the widely used questionnaire methods. These limitations may […]

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    From Computing Clerks to Androids: Two bits on the material lives of social data in India.

From Computing Clerks to Androids: Two bits on the material lives of social data in India.

The social and material conditions of data collection have a significant bearing on how we think about and understand data. Sandeep Mertia looks at the history of data collection in India and how the conditions have changed over time. From the work of the eminent statistician and founder of the Indian Statistical Institute, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, to the now large scale surveys conducted […]

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    Credit where credit is due: Research parasites and tackling misconceptions about academic data sharing

Credit where credit is due: Research parasites and tackling misconceptions about academic data sharing

Benedikt Fecher and Gert G. Wagner look at a recent editorial which faced considerable criticism for typecasting researchers who use or build on previous datasets as “research parasites”. They argue that the authors appear to miss the point, not only of data sharing, but of scientific research more broadly. But as problematic as the editorial may be, it points to […]

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    Five Minutes with Alison Powell on what data means, how it is produced and what influence it has for decision-makers.

Five Minutes with Alison Powell on what data means, how it is produced and what influence it has for decision-makers.

Data, information and knowledge are powerful aspects of contemporary society. Managing Editor Sierra Williams recently caught up with Alison Powell on the development and expansion of Data and Society activities taking place at the LSE. Alongside a new MSc programme, a broad range of research is set to be explored, such as the ethics of data and surveillance systems, the roles […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.