Towards Area-Smart Data Science: Critical Questions for Working with Big Data from China
26 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 19, 2016
With the rise of the Chinese Internet a new data source has become available to researchers. Data scientists and China scholars increasingly use computational research methods to acquire and analyze data from China, but area studies have been remarkably absent from the debate about issues of big data. In this article I follow up on a number of critical questions that have been raised about big data, and discuss their relevance for the use of big data from China. How does big data change our understanding of China? What are the limitations of big data from China? What is the context in which big data is generated in China? How should data scientists and China scholars collaborate? Who has access to big data and who knows the tools? How is big data from China used in an ethical way? These questions are meant to spark conversations about how to best address the issues associated with big data from China in ways that create synergies between data science and Chinese studies.
Keywords: China, social media, big data, research methods, ethics
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation