Digital Research Confidential is August book club pick

At the August meeting of the UMSI Social Media Book Club, participants will discuss the first chapter of Christian Sandvig’s recent book Digital Research Confidential: The Secrets of Studying Behavior Online.

The chapter, co-authored with Sandvig’s co-editor Eszter Hargittai, explores “How to Think about Digital Research.”

On Wednesday, August 17, between 12 and 12:45 p.m., readers will have the opportunity to chat live with the author via Twitter.

Sandvig offers following advice for those interested in participating in the online event:

“First, read the free chapter. Next, tweet your questions or comments, before August 17, being sure to include the hashtag #UMSIBookClub. Then, on August 17, at noon (EDT), I will respond to these comments. If you’re online at the same time, feel free to interact with the author. If not, you can always search Twitter using #UMSIBookClub to read what happened.”

Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, Sandvig notes that “this is not like a regular book club. Keeping comments within the character limit can be quite a challenge!”

Digital Research Confidential: The Secrets of Studying Behavior Online, edited by Christian Sandvig and Eszter Hargittai, was published in December, 2015, by The MIT Press. The book presents behind-the-scenes, nuts-and-bolts stories of digital research projects, written by established and rising scholars. They discuss such challenges as archiving, Web crawling, crowdsourcing and confidentiality, offering scholars a chance to learn from their fellow researchers’ mistakes—and their successes.

The first chapter, “How to Think About Digital Research, is available as a free download at

The book club launched this summer with Professor Kentaro Toyama’s book Geek Heresy, which was discussed online in two sessions, June 23 and July 21.

In this video Info-Minute, Christian Sandvig explains "What Facebook Is Not Showing You."

Posted August 11, 2016