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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the varied ways in which qualitative and quantitative, large-scale and small-scale research designs have been combined in the study of the Internet. The chapter also considers multimodal and online/offline studies, which explore a research object by combining diverse forms of data drawn by crossing the offline/online boundary or combining digital and analogue data. The focus of the chapter is on exploring the motivations for these combinations and outlining the distinctive issues that heterogeneous research designs in these domains encounter. Internet research has occasioned many innovative research designs, as the sheer quantity of data available online often prompts even those overtly committed to a qualitative paradigm to explore techniques for visualizing data, and exploring patterns on a larger scale through social network analysis or sentiment analysis. The spatial complexities entailed in networked communication often, however, introduce a challenge for researchers seeking to combine perspectives.

Keywords: internet, online, visualizing data, multimodal, social network analysis, sentiment analysis, digital

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