Analyzing Twitter Data: Advantages and Challenges in the Study of UN Climate Negotiations


Online social networks offer a great amount of information to study human behavior and social interaction. Twitter data are the most common source used by researchers due to its data accessibility. Moreover, for political scientists, Twitter data are extremely interesting due to the political nature of its conversations. However, Twitter data are still a new source in comparison to others, such as surveys and interviews. This might present a barrier for some researchers and students. This case study clarifies the initial questions students might have. In particular, we answer the questions of where to obtain Twitter data and what advantages and challenges this kind of data poses, especially in regards to network research. Our research project on the UN climate change secretariat and its role and influence during UN climate change negotiations serves as an example.

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