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Big social data ( media and blogs) represent a radical change in the way research is conducted and the way data are curated, and thus introduce new ethical, legal, and epistemological challenges. This presentation suggests that big social research has key similarities to qualitative data reuse (e.g. research using archived interview transcripts and diaries). Both types of research repurpose existing data to advance discoveries in social science, and both also present challenges relating to context, informed consent, privacy, and intellectual property. However, despite these similarities, big social research has not yet been widely framed as a form of qualitative data reuse, and these communities of practice remain under-connected. This presentation will review preliminary results of interviews with qualitative researchers, big social researchers, and data curators, ultimately suggesting that robust data curation strategies developed to support responsible qualitative data reuse can inform similar practices for big social data.
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