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Using APIs in social scientific analysis of Big Data: methodological and ethical challenges

Peter Mechant (UGent) , Cédric Courtois (UGent) and Pieter Verdegem (UGent)
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Abstract
This paper elaborates on the analysis of Big Data, harvested via social media Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), in social science disciplines in general and in communication sciences in specific. The paper starts with a brief description of API-harvested Big Data. Next, three issues related to the use of APIs and Big Data in social sciences, are identified and addressed. More concrete, the paper discusses the ethical, practical-methodological challenges related to the use of APIs and Big Data in social sciences, as well as the programming- and computer skills needed to understand the Big data ecosystem in all its complexity, from technical and practical issues to its political aspects. In this way, the paper contributes to the development of a more comprehensive and reliable foundation for the use of Big Data or API-harvested data in social sciences and communication sciences.

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Chicago
Mechant, Peter, Cédric Courtois, and Pieter Verdegem. 2013. “Using APIs in Social Scientific Analysis of Big Data: Methodological and Ethical Challenges.” In Penser L’écosystème Des Données : Les Enjeux Scientifiques Et Politiques Des Données Numériques, Abstracts, ed. Clémént Mabi and Jean‐Christophe Plantin. SACRED.
APA
Mechant, P., Courtois, C., & Verdegem, P. (2013). Using APIs in social scientific analysis of Big Data: methodological and ethical challenges. In C. Mabi & J. Plantin (Eds.), Penser l’écosystème des données : les enjeux scientifiques et politiques des données numériques, Abstracts. Presented at the Penser l’écosystème des données : les enjeux scientifiques et politiques des données numériques, SACRED.
Vancouver
1.
Mechant P, Courtois C, Verdegem P. Using APIs in social scientific analysis of Big Data: methodological and ethical challenges. In: Mabi C, Plantin J, editors. Penser l’écosystème des données : les enjeux scientifiques et politiques des données numériques, Abstracts. SACRED; 2013.
MLA
Mechant, Peter, Cédric Courtois, and Pieter Verdegem. “Using APIs in Social Scientific Analysis of Big Data: Methodological and Ethical Challenges.” Penser L’écosystème Des Données : Les Enjeux Scientifiques Et Politiques Des Données Numériques, Abstracts. Ed. Clémént Mabi & Jean‐Christophe Plantin. SACRED, 2013. Print.
@inproceedings{3133453,
  abstract     = {This paper elaborates on the analysis of Big Data, harvested via social media Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), in social science disciplines in general and in communication sciences in specific. The paper starts with a brief description of API-harvested Big Data. Next, three issues related to the use of APIs and Big Data in social sciences, are identified and addressed. More concrete, the paper discusses the ethical, practical-methodological challenges related to the use of APIs and Big Data in social sciences, as well as the programming- and computer skills needed to understand the Big data ecosystem in all its complexity, from technical and practical issues to its political aspects. In this way, the paper contributes to the development of a more comprehensive and reliable foundation for the use of Big Data or API-harvested data  in social sciences and communication sciences.},
  author       = {Mechant, Peter and Courtois, C{\'e}dric and Verdegem, Pieter},
  booktitle    = {Penser l{\textquoteright}{\'e}cosyst{\`e}me des donn{\'e}es : les enjeux scientifiques et politiques des donn{\'e}es num{\'e}riques, Abstracts},
  editor       = {Mabi, Cl{\'e}m{\'e}nt and Plantin, Jean\unmatched{2010}Christophe},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Paris, France},
  publisher    = {SACRED},
  title        = {Using APIs in social scientific analysis of Big Data: methodological and ethical challenges},
  year         = {2013},
}