Digital Ecologies Research Project: The New Class

August 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Recently I was invited by my old ROFLbuddy Tim Hwang to join the inaugural class of Digital Ecologies Research Partnership fellows, which of course I did because a) Tim Hwang knows how to throw a party b) my fellow fellows -many of whom hail from the Web Ecology project- are just fantastic and c) having access to partner platforms will open up all kinds of interesting research avenues. The Guardian just published a nice overview of the project, which can be found here. And here’s the official word from DERP:

Launched in 2014, the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership (DERP) is a joint initiative by an alliance of community websites to promote open, publicly accessible, and ethical academic inquiry into the vibrant social dynamics of the web.

DERP seeks to solve two problems in the academic research space:

First, it is difficult for academic researchers to easily obtain data for their work beyond the confines of the largest social media platforms. DERP is a single point of contact for researchers to get in touch with relevant team members across a range of different community sites. We envision that this will lower the friction to investigating these sites in more depth, and broaden the scope of research happening within the academic community.

Second, it remains difficult to conduct good cross-platform analyses in academic research. By bringing a number community of sites together under a single cooperative effort, we intend to lower the friction of doing so, as well as better enable the sites themselves to coordinate with one another on supporting researchers.

DERP focuses on providing public data to academic researchers while facilitating an active online research community of Fellows. DERP will only support research that respects user privacy, responsibly uses data, and meets IRB approval. All research supported by DERP will be released openly and made publicly available. Partner platforms may also have additional guidelines and privacy commitments that apply to the research they support.

In conclusion, go team!

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