Collecting Vertical Trace Data: Big Possibilities and Big Challenges for Multi-Method Research
Menchen-Trevino, E. (2013). Collecting Vertical Trace Data: Big Possibilities and Big Challenges for Multi-method Research. Policy & Internet, 5(3), 328-339. doi: 10.1002/1944-2866.POI336
11 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2013 Last revised: 28 Nov 2013
Date Written: September 26, 2013
Collections of the digital traces that every digital technology user leaves behind are being collected and analyzed as "big data." These new data open up new possibilities and challenges for social science that researchers are just beginning to explore. This paper advances a definition of "big" data for social scientific purposes, that is, big data are big because their analytical potential is qualitatively different than those researchers have been able to collect and assess in the past. It also distinguishes between two types of digital trace data that support different research goals and multiple (qualitative and quantitative) methodological approaches.
Keywords: methodology, big data
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