Working with Web data in digital social sciences

OpenDreamkit is highly involved in dissemination activities and the introduction of researchers and educators to the Jupyter ecosystem. This is not only limited to researchers within the physical sciences and mathematics. Over the last couple of months at Sheffield and now at Leeds, we have been working with some digital scientists from the Research Methods Institute to develop some teaching materials around the collection and use of Web Data.

Both, Binder and the Jupyter notebook have played an integral part in the development and delivery of this series of workshops. The use of these technologies not only makes it easier to share research and educational materials but, if used appropriately, they can serve as valuable pedagogical tools.

At the moment all of the materials are focused on Python as the programming language for the acquisition, processing and visualisation of the data. The developed materials cover an introduction to regular expressions, dictionaries, json and XML data, web scraping and HTTP requests and APIs. In the upcoming months, we plan to add more content on streams and programmatic web scraping. Also, we have plans to produce an R version of the materials using again, Jupyter notebooks and Binder’s improved support for the R language.

The current version of the materials was developed as part of a series of workshops for digitial scientists over the last two weeks of May 2018.

If you want to have a look at the materials or wish to suggest additional content please visit the GitHub repository.

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