I recently presented on behalf of the VoterEcology project team at a knowledge-transfer event organised as part of the Google Data Analytics Social Science Research programme. Here we talked with Google and ESRC representatives about the challenges and opportunities involved in using Google Trends for social science research, as well as ideas for further work in this area. Given the relevance of internet search trends for political communication scholarship and practice, we thought it would be useful to share the report we prepared for this event on the project’s website. This aims to be as jargon-free (in and of itself an accomplishment for a bunch of academic people!) and user-friendly as possible, and includes examples from all the four country case studies explored in the research (the U.S., the UK, Italy and Egypt).
To download a copy, click here.
Please note that, unfortunately, this working paper is no longer available through the ESRC’s website. Here you can access a free copy of the journal article “Search Engines: From social science objects to academic inquiry tools,” which was published in First Monday in 2014 and elaborates on the main ideas from the working paper.
Click here to download my working paper: “Search Engines and Social Science: A Revolution in the Making.” I prepared this in April 2013 as a way to secure a legacy for the “Google Forum UK” project. This was a series of meetings supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) that brought together social scientists from a wide range of disciplines with Google’s team in London between 2010-12 to discuss the integration of search engine data into academic scholarship. This initiative provided the foundations for a broader collaboration between the ESRC and Google, which generated six knowledge exchange projects including the Voter Ecology one in which I took a leading role in methodology design and data analysis.