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Uncovering the Challenges in Collection, Sharing and Documentation: The Hidden Data of Social Media Research?

This paper offers insights into social media researchers’ everyday practices in dealing with constraints and challenges in the areas of data access, in terms of data collection and sharing, and data publication. We believe that such insights need to be taken into account when discussing methodology and epistemology of social media data to ensure that strategies employed to achieve validity are appropriate. A qualitative, ethnographic research approach (based on expert interviews, observation and a qualitative questionnaire) is used to capture the practices and discussions of a variety of social media researchers. The paper concludes that due to the current situation in data sharing and publication opportunities, both the actual research data and much of the technical knowledge in social media research remain hidden unless revealed by studying researchers’ everyday practices. Such studies reveal a considerable impact of external constraints on researchers’ attempts to achieve validity and better re-search quality.

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AOFIRS

World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

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