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Research Methods for Reading Digital Data in the Digital Humanities

Edited by Gabriele Griffin, Matt Hayler

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The first volume to introduce the techniques and methods of reading digital material for research

Digital Humanities has become one of the new domains of academe at the interface of technological development, epistemological change, and methodological concerns. This volume explores how digital material might be read or utilized in research, whether that material is digitally born, as fanfiction, for example, or transposed from other sources.

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Introduction, Gabriele Griffin and Matt Hayler
2. Matter Matters: The Effects of Materiality and the Move from Page to Screen, Matt Hayler
3. Reading the Visual Page in the Digital Archive, Nathalie M. Houston
4. Paratextual Navigation as a Research Method: Fan Fiction Archives and Reader Instructions, Maria Lindgren Leavenworth
5. Data Mining and Word Frequency Analysis, Dawn Archer
6. Reading Twitter: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in the Interpretation of Twitter Material, Stefan Gelfgren
7. Reading Small Data in Indigenous Contexts: Ethical Perspectives, Coppélie Cocq
Knowing Your Crowd: An Essential Component to Crowdsourcing Research, Gabriel K. Wolfenstein
9. Fantasies of Scientificity: Ethnographic Identity and the Use of QDA Software, Anna Johansson and Anna Sofia Lundgren
10. Digital Network Analysis: Understanding Everyday Online Discourse Micro- and Macroscopically, Robert Glenn Howard
11. Dealing with Big Data,
Tobias Blanke and Andrew Prescott
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Gabriele Griffin is Chair in Gender Research at Uppsala University, Sweden. She has a long-standing research interest in research methods for the Humanities, and in women’s cultural production. Recent publications include The Emotional Politics of Research Collaboration (co-ed.; Routledge 2013) and The Social Politics of Research Collaboration (co-ed.; Routledge 2013). She is editor of the ‘research Methods for the Arts and Humanities’ series (Edinburgh UP).

Matt Hayler is a Lecturer in post-1980s Literature at the University of Birmingham specializing in Digital and Cyberculture Studies, specifically (post)phenomenology and Cognitive Science influenced approaches to e-reading and to technology more broadly. Recent publications include Challenging the Phenomena of Technology (Palgrave 2015) and chapters on technology and the digital humanities in forthcoming volumes on Futures for English Studies (Palgrave 2016, co-written with Marilyn Deegan) and Theatre Performance and Cognition (Methuen 2016).


Reading Digital Data, alongside its companion volume, offers an approachable introduction to digital humanities research methods without swamping the non-specialist reader with terminology and technical debates. This ensures that the audience can expand beyond digital humanists to those who practice more traditional elements of DH’s constituent disciplines.

- University of Stirling, Simon Rowberry

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