Book: E-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice

A new book E-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice edited by Nicholas W. Jankowski on the ways social science research is being changed by the rise of social media has just been released by Routledge.  My colleagues and I contributed a chapter on the ways that information visualization of social media is a useful technique to identify research questions and discover answers about the nature of human association when mediated by computation.  The volume contains work from an all-star line-up of researchers who address the opportunities and challenges of performing research with computer-mediated data about social life.

The blurb about the book describes it as:

“No less than a revolutionary transformation of the research enterprise is underway. This transformation extends beyond the natural sciences, where ‘e-research’ has become the modus operandi, and is penetrating the social sciences and humanities, sometimes with differences in accent and label. Many suggest that the very essence of scholarship in these areas is changing. The everyday procedures and practices of traditional forms of scholarship are affected by these and other features of e-research. This volume, which features renowned scholars from across the globe who are active in the social sciences and humanities, provides critical reflection on the overall emergence of e-research, particularly on its adoption and adaptation by the social sciences and humanities.”

Our chapter is “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Questions: Visualization Techniques for Social Science Discovery in Computational Spaces”, co-authored by  Howard T. Welser, Thomas Lento, Marc Smith, Eric Gleave and Itai Himelboim.  In it, we describe the ways that using information visualizations of social media data sets is a useful way of discovering insights, patterns, and clusters.  We illustrate the paper with several examples of social media information visualizations that display the range of behavior among contributors to social media spaces.

Here is the table of contents for the volume:
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Sociology of the Internet Awards from CITASA – The Communications and Information Technology section of the American Sociological Association


This year’s CITASA awards have been announced!  CITASA is the Communications and Information Technology section of the American Sociological Association.  It gathers together more than 300 sociologists interested in the ways groups of people make use of computation and networks. This year the line up is uniformly high quality scholarship about the nature of societies that increasingly rely upon information technology.

You are welcome to join the CITASA Business Meeting on Aug 8 from 9:30-10:10am at the Parc 55 Hotel where the recipients will be presented with their awards. A description of the awards and list of past recipients can be found on the CITASA website:

2009 CITASA Student Paper Award

Daniel A. Menchik and Xiaoli Tian (University of Chicago)

Putting Social Context into Text: The Semiotics of E-mail Interaction. American Journal of Sociology 114(2): 332-370. (2008).

Committee members: Zeynep Tufekci (Chair), Lori Kendall, and Anabel Quan-Haase

2009 CITASA Award for Public Sociology

Peter Kollock (University of California at Los Angeles)

Committee members: Michael Macy (Chair), Marc Smith, Keith Hampton

2009 CITASA Paper Award

Eszter Hargitta, Jason Gallo, and Matthew Kane (Northwestern University)

Cross-ideological discussions among conservative and liberal bloggers. Public Choice 134: 67-86. (2008).

Honorable mention:

Lori Kendall (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

How do issues of gender and sexuality influence the structures and process of qualitative internet research? pp. 99-118. In Internet Inquiry: Conversations about method, Annette Markham and Nancy Baym (eds). Los Angeles: Sage (2008).

Committee members: Hiroshi Ono (Chair), Rich Ling, and Bernie Hogan

2009 CITASA Book Award

Tarleton Gillespie (Cornell University). (MIT Press, 2007).

Committee members: Leslie Shade (Chair), Marc Smith, and Alison Powell

2009 CITASA William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award

Elihu Katz (University of Pennsylvania)

Committee members: Anabel Quan-Haase (Co-Chair), Barry Wellman (Co-Chair), and Keith Hampton