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Tracing our every move: Big data and multi-method research

Tracing our every move: Big data and multi-method research

Every person who sends email, text messages, tweets, or simply surfs the Web leaves a digital trace. Researchers are just starting to comprehend the possibilities of “big data” for creating a new picture of social behavior, but the potential for innovative work on social and cultural topics far outstrips current data collection and analysis techniques. Ericka Menchen-Trevino (Erasmus University Rotterdam) discusses her Policy & Internet article Collecting vertical trace data: big possibilities and big challenges for multi-method research, finding that combining shallow ‘horizontal’ and deep ‘vertical’ trace data provides a richer picture of online activity.