Landscapes - People - Global change

Month: May 2024

New paper on social media data access for the public good

Congratulations to Yan Chen, whose first PhD paper is published (open access) today in Frontiers in Big Data, titled From theory to practice: Insights and hurdles in collecting social media data for social science research. She started her PhD in 2018, the year of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and this paper is a perspective piece that documents her challenges of data access for her PhD, which took her through eight different options before finding one that worked (enough). This was in stark contrast to Instagram data collection for her Master’s several years before, for which she used the academic tool Netlytic. The closing of APIs starting in 2018 did not make people safer, it just concentrated the data in a smaller set of (commercial) hands. This paper advocates for a stronger role for government and other regulators in ensuring access to social media for public good research.

Off to Australia

I head out on Saturday to spend the last of my sabbatical in southeastern Australia. I will be returning as a Visiting Fellow to my PhD and PDF alma mater, the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Society, specifically their Sustainable Farms Project. For the first three weeks I’ll be revisiting a third of the farmers I worked with during my PDF 15 years ago and we’ll be doing repeat photography on some of the photos they captured then. I’ve just finished doing pre-interviews with them all, and I am very excited to see in person some of the changes they described. Thanks to Dalhousie’s Special Sabbatical Fund for support to undertake this novel longitudinal research project.

On that trip I will also be attending the IASNR Conference in Cairns, far north Queensland, where Opening Windows will be formally launched (among other things). Thanks to Dalhousie’s SSHRC Explore Fund for support to attend that conference. I will be posting pictures when I can from the field work and the conference.

Finally, when I return from Australia, I will be taking up the role of Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie (my current unit). Thanks to my colleagues for their support.

© 2024 Kate Sherren

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