This project explores the potential epistemic effects of ‘big data’ in the social sciences in two ways. First, through a case study that explores how scholars from diverse disciplines use geotagged social media data - such as geotagged tweets, Instagram posts and Foursquare content – in scientific research. Second, ‘in action’, through combining ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with digital, computational data analysis. This project addresses two gaps in the Science and Technology Studies (STS). First, it can help better understand ‘digital’ social scientific scholarship enabled by ‘big data’ analysis [cf. 1]. Relatively few STS studies explore the use of digital data in scientific research  and most existing studies focus on the natural sciences (cf. ; e.g. [4, 5]) with a few exceptions, such as  and . This project’s focus on geotagged social media data practices can provide an insight into a nascent research speciality within ‘computational social science’  or ‘digital social science’ . Second, in line with recent calls, it explores the consequences of embedding digital, scientometric data analysis in STS scholarship [2, 10].
Research Question 1: How do scholars from diverse disciplines work with geotagged social media data? Can we identify similarities and differences?
Research Question 2: How can we combine scientometric methods with concepts from STS?
Research Question 3: How are places made and unmade through geotagged social media research?
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This author is supported by the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham (RCUK Grant No. EP/L015463/1) and Ordnance Survey.