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.

The Philosophy and Logic of Text Mining

Learning Objectives

The goals of Chapter 4 are to help you to do the following:

  • Define major philosophy of social science concepts that are relevant to the practice of text mining.
  • Recognize the interdependence of philosophical assumptions and decisions about methodology.
  • Summarize what is meant by the “two cultures” in academia.
  • Position your own research project in terms of debates over positivism and postpositivism.


You may be tempted to skim over or even skip this chapter entirely, and it is certainly possible to make use of the more technical later chapters of this textbook without giving much thought to epistemology, ontology, metatheory, or inferential logic. But if you are in the early stages of a text mining research project, you would do well ...

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