The Work-in-Progress speaker this week is Anne Kohlbrenner, a Ph.D. student at CITP who has developed a new platform for easily building large scale, browser-based research studies.
You can read the talk abstract below:
Many research questions regarding society’s intersection with technology can’t be answered with web crawls or pulling social media feeds. Instead, they require information that is personalized to individuals, about interactions across multiple websites or platforms, or about how users interact with content. Other research methods, such as surveys and interviews, can answer some of these questions, but may not scale well or collect accurate information in all situations. Using the web browser as a platform for data collection can solve many of these problems, but requires extensive engineering for each research question. We have developed Web Science, a library to lower the barriers to browser-based research studies by providing implementations for many common measurements. In addition, we have used Web Science to implement a study exploring exposure, consumption, and sharing of political and COVID-19 news using the Mozilla Rally platform in Firefox.