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Mixing Methods and Theory to Explore Web Activity

Mixing Methods and Theory to Explore Web Activity
Mixing Methods and Theory to Explore Web Activity
Web Science is now well recognized as an interdisciplinary field, drawing on research from the computational, natural and social sciences. These disciplines bring diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, providing alternative perspectives and insight into Web activity. Consequently, Web Science faces the challenge of developing research methods that transcend disciplines, not least in dealing with the epistemological tensions between different methodological approaches. As a start, this paper argues that, a mixed methods approach is required. To demonstrate the affordances of this, the activities of the UK Open Government Data community are analyzed by combining quantitative computational science techniques with qualitative social science methods underpinned by social theory. This provides a richer and more detailed analysis than either approach alone could offer and one which enables us to apprehend the Web as a complex socio-technical phenomenon.
Tinati, Ramine
f74a0556-6a04-40c5-8bcf-6f5235dbf687
Halford, Susan
0d0fe4d6-3c4b-4887-84bb-738cf3249d46
Carr, Les
0572b10e-039d-46c6-bf05-57cce71d3936
Pope, Catherine
21ae1290-0838-4245-adcf-6f901a0d4607
Tinati, Ramine
f74a0556-6a04-40c5-8bcf-6f5235dbf687
Halford, Susan
0d0fe4d6-3c4b-4887-84bb-738cf3249d46
Carr, Les
0572b10e-039d-46c6-bf05-57cce71d3936
Pope, Catherine
21ae1290-0838-4245-adcf-6f901a0d4607

Tinati, Ramine, Halford, Susan, Carr, Les and Pope, Catherine (2012) Mixing Methods and Theory to Explore Web Activity At Third Annual Web Science Conference (WebSci2012), United States. 9 pp.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Web Science is now well recognized as an interdisciplinary field, drawing on research from the computational, natural and social sciences. These disciplines bring diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, providing alternative perspectives and insight into Web activity. Consequently, Web Science faces the challenge of developing research methods that transcend disciplines, not least in dealing with the epistemological tensions between different methodological approaches. As a start, this paper argues that, a mixed methods approach is required. To demonstrate the affordances of this, the activities of the UK Open Government Data community are analyzed by combining quantitative computational science techniques with qualitative social science methods underpinned by social theory. This provides a richer and more detailed analysis than either approach alone could offer and one which enables us to apprehend the Web as a complex socio-technical phenomenon.

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More information

Published date: 22 June 2012
Venue - Dates: Third Annual Web Science Conference (WebSci2012), United States, 2012-06-22
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 344805
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/344805
PURE UUID: cc794fb4-9b75-41db-ada8-904248727c21
ORCID for Les Carr: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2113-9680
ORCID for Catherine Pope: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8935-6702

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Nov 2012 10:41
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:13

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Contributors

Author: Ramine Tinati
Author: Susan Halford
Author: Les Carr ORCID iD
Author: Catherine Pope ORCID iD

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