Just-in-Time Sociology (JITSO) workshop just concluded
Two major issues appeared yesterday. One is the sustainability and durability of research projects originated as “just-in-time” ones. Rapid response papers are necessarily imperfect or incomplete, precisely because they need to be put together in such a short time; so they require integration in a longer term perspective, aiming at theoretical refinement and empirical validation. But over time, media enthusiasm may fade away, expected sources of funding may not materialize, data may be difficult or expensive to collect, and ethical committees may become more conservative in granting authorizations to projects such as these, which typically have strong political orientation (and implications).
The other issue is the availability of data. Internet firms and social networking services are understanding more and more clearly the economic value of data, and are more and more reluctant to give them away for free. This is creating increasing obstacles for research programmes that need these data as digital traces allowing to keep track of, and reconstitute, ongoing social change. There needs to be some strong political action to prevent this from happening .
The difficulties are clear, but the good thing is that the JITSO programme of research has a lot of freshness and willingness to go ahead, not least by exploring new modes of peer-reviewing and publication. Not all the methods or topics are new, of course, but the approach has finally become explicit, and as such, potentially recognised. I look forward to future editions of JITSO -though it’s not yet clear when, or where.
The slides of my keynote speech are available here.
Filed under: Internet and social media, Research, Social science methodology, Sociology | 1 Comment
Tags: 2011 UK riots, Agent-based models, Mixed methods, Public policy analysis, Quantitative methods, Social science data, Social simulation, social theory, Sociology, Web
I am an economic sociologist with interest in social networks and their impact on markets, organisations, consumer choice and health.
My research also includes work in social science methodology and data.
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