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Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research

methods@manchester announces Summer School 2017 masterclass

5 May 2017

methods@manchester have announced that Robert Ackland will present a masterclass on Big Data Analysis for Social Scientists at Summer School 2017. This course introduces participants to the collection and analysis of socially-generated 'big data' using the R statistical software, VOSON (for collecting WWW hyperlinks and text content) and Gephi network visualisation software.

The masterclass will take place 4-5 July 2017, priced at £60.

The main emphasis is on applying social network analysis and quantitative text analysis to data from social media and the WWW. The course will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn how these data and techniques are being used in social science research.

Course objectives: R and RStudio refresher Collecting YouTube video comment data, Facebook fan page data, and Twitter data with SocialMediaLab R package Basic social network analysis in R/igraph (graph visualisation, core node- and network-level metrics, network clustering, constructing two-mode networks) Basic text analysis in R (building a corpus, descriptive analysis, wordclouds) Collecting WWW hyperlink and website text content with VOSON Introduction to Gephi for network visualisation

Pre-requisites: It is preferable that students have had some exposure to social network analysis and quantitative text analysis. Experience with R or other programming languages is also desirable, but the course includes a brief R and RStudio 'refresher'.

This course is presented by Robert Ackland. Assoc. Prof. Robert Ackland has a joint appointment in the School of Sociology and the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University (ANU). He was awarded his PhD in economics from the ANU in 2001, and he has been researching online social and organisational networks since 2002. He leads the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks Lab ( which was established in 2005 and is advancing the social science of the Internet by conducting research, developing research tools, and providing research training. Robert established the Social Science of the Internet specialisation in the ANU's Master of Social Research in 2008, and his book Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age (SAGE) was published in July 2013. He created the VOSON software for hyperlink network construction and analysis, which has been publicly available since 2006 and has been used by around 2500 researchers worldwide.

Other methods@manchester Summer School courses

The newly announced masterclass forms a part of the methods@manchester Summer School 2017 offering, which includes eight one-week courses on software, qualitative methods and quantitative methods:

Further information about Summer School 2017 is available on the methods@manchester website.

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