“Socialbots as political actors? Autonomous communication technologies as tools and objects for digital sociology” funded by the Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme 2017-18 (Universities Australia – German Academic Exchange DAAD), collaborating with Dr Florian Muhle, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University. (R. Ackland and T. Graham; $16,250, 2017-18).

Conference papers and presentations

Halpin, D., Fraussen, B. and Ackland, R. (2016), "Assessing the Role of Policy Identity in Explaining Interest Group Audiences in Twitter," paper presented (by D. Halpin) at the 10th European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.

Panel/workshop/seminar presentations

April 2016 - R. Ackland presented on "Frames and Fields on Twitter" at Northeastern University Network Science Institute, 27 April.

May 2016 - R. Ackland presented on "Visualising Online Social Networks" at Cyberinfrastructre for Network Science Center talk series, Indiana University, 2 May.

May 2016 - R. Ackland presented on "Frames and Fields on Twitter" at Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) lab at Northwestern University, 10 May.

June 2016 - R. Ackland presented on "Collecting and analyzing online social network data" at the workshop "Computational Approaches to Big Data in the Social Sciences and Humanities", City University of Hong Kong, 6-7 June.

June 2016 - R. Ackland presented at two panel sessions at the International Communication Assocation conference in Fukuoka 9-13 June:

  • "What Computational Methods can help to Advance Communication Research?" at the panel session "Computational Methods for Communication Research: What, Why, and How?" (organiser: Jonathan Zhu)
  •  "Hyperlink Network Analysis in Academia and Industry: Insights from 10 years of VOSON" at the panel session "Social Network Approach to Engaged Scholarship: Creating Actionable Knowledge Through Collaboration With Organizations" (organiser: Heewon Kim)

July 2016 - at the ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference, University of Sydney, 19-22 July:

  • Robert Ackland gave a plenary presentation on "How is Big Data Changing the Nature and Practice of Social Science?"
  • Haris Memic and Robert Ackland co-chaired a session on "Social media, network analysis and big data"
  • Haris Memic presented on "Network Analysis of Australian Advocacy Groups on Twitter" (joint with R. Ackland)
  • Mahin Raissi presented on "Actual friends on Facebook"
  • Tim Graham presented on "Analysing the anti-vaccination movement on Facebook: ‘big data’ methods at the intersection of natural language processing and social network analysis" (joint with Naomi Smith and R. Ackland)

November 2016 - at the 1st Australian Social Network Analysis Conference, Swinburne University of Technology, 16-17 November:

  • Robert Ackland presented on “Measuring and Explaining Political Homophily in the Australian Twittersphere"
  • Haris Memic presented on “Dynamic Network Analysis of Australian Politicians on Twitter” (joint with R. Ackland)
  • Mathieu O’Neil presented on “Towards a theory of field/force in online activist networks” (joint with R. Ackland)
  • Timothy Graham presented on “Online networks of government: mapping and analysing Australian governments’ hyperlink networks” (joint with Paul Henman and R. Ackland)

November 2016 - R. Ackland presented on "The Web and Elections in Australia and the US"  at the "Computational Social Science and the Web" workshop held as part of "Web Science Turns 10 Global web-a-thon," 29 November.

Training programs

4-8 July 2016 - "Big Data Analysis for Social Scientists" 5-day course held at the 2016 ACSPRI Winter Program, University of Queensland (R. Ackland) (ACSPRI page) (course page)

The following SocialMediaLab training workshops were run:

  • 5 April 2016 - Sunbelt International Social Network Analysis Conference, Newport Beach, USA (R. Ackland and T. Graham)
  • 15 April 2016 - Indiana University Social Science Research Commons workshop series (R. Ackland)
  • 26 April 2016 - Network Science Institute at Northeastern University (R. Ackland)
  • 10 May 2016 - Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) lab at Northwestern University (R. Ackland)
  • 19 July 2016 - ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference, University of Sydney, 19-22 July (R. Ackland and T. Graham)