A Reality Check(-List) for Digital Methods

Venturini, T., Bounegru, L., Gray, J., & Rogers, R. (2018). A Reality Check(list) for Digital Methods. New Media & Society, DOI/10.1177/1461444818769236, Forthcoming.

17 Pages Posted: 9 May 2018  

Tommaso Venturini

médialab Sciences Po; French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation; Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon

Liliana Bounegru

Ghent University; University of Groningen; Digital Methods Initiative

Jonathan Gray

King's College London

Richard Rogers

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: February 8, 2018

Abstract

Digital Methods can be defined as the repurposing of the inscriptions generated by digital media for the study of collective phenomena. The strength of these methods comes from their capacity to take advantage of the data and computational capacities of online platforms; their weakness comes from the difficulty to separate the phenomena that they investigate from the features of the media in which they manifest (‘the medium is the message’, according to McLuhan’s 1964 dictum). In this article, we discuss various methodological difficulties deriving from the lack of separation between medium and message and propose eight practical precautions to deal with it.

Keywords: computational social sciences, digital methods, digital sociology, methodology, operationalisation

Suggested Citation

Venturini, Tommaso and Bounegru, Liliana and Gray, Jonathan and Rogers, Richard, A Reality Check(-List) for Digital Methods (February 8, 2018). Venturini, T., Bounegru, L., Gray, J., & Rogers, R. (2018). A Reality Check(list) for Digital Methods. New Media & Society, DOI/10.1177/1461444818769236, Forthcoming.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3168664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3168664

Tommaso Venturini (Contact Author)

médialab Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue St Guillaume - Paris Cedex 07
Paris, 75337
France
0033 01 45 49 53 71 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tommasoventurini.it

French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation ( email )

46 allée d'Italie
Lyon, 69007
France
666229217 (Phone)
666229217 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.inria.fr

Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon ( email )

15, parvis Rene Descartes BP 7000
Lyon Cedex 07, 69342
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.ixxi.fr

Liliana Bounegru

Ghent University ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

Digital Methods Initiative ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Jonathan Gray

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Richard Rogers

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Media Studies
Turfdraagsterpad 9
Amsterdam, 1012 XT
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.digitalmethods.net

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