Teach students how to construct a viable research project based on online sources. Gabe Ignatow and Rada Mihalcea’s An Introduction to Text Mining: Research Design, Data Collection, and Analysis provides a foundation for readers seeking a solid introduction to mining text data. The book covers the most critical issues that must be taken into consideration for research projects, including web scraping and crawling, strategic data selection, data sampling, use of specific text analysis methods, and report writing. In addition to covering technical aspects of various approaches to contemporary text mining and analysis, the book covers ethical and philosophical dimensions of text-based research and social science research design.

Acquiring Data

Learning Objectives

The goals of Chapter 2 are to help you to do the following:

  • Recognize the role data plays in text mining and the characteristics of ideal data sets for text mining applications.
  • Identify a variety of different data sources used to compile text mining data sets.
  • Assess the advantages and limitations of using social media to acquire data.
  • Analyze examples of social science research using data sets drawn from different sources.


While social scientists have for decades made use of data from attitude surveys, today researchers are attempting to leverage the growing volume of naturally occurring unstructured data generated by people, such as text or images. Some of these unstructured data are referred to as “big data,” although that term has become a bit of a ...

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