Conference plenary speakers announced

How is Big Data Changing the Nature and Practice of Social Science?

Robert Ackland is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Sociology and the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University. His PhD was in economics, focusing on index number theory in the context of cross-country comparisons of income and inequality. Robert has been studying online social and organisational networks since 2002 and his research has been funded by five Australian Research Council grants. His research has appeared in journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Social Networks, Computational Economics, Social Science Computer Review, and the Journal of Social Structure. He leads the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks Lab ( which was established in 2005 with the aim of advancing the social science of the Internet by conducting research, developing research tools, and providing research training. Robert established the Social Science of the Internet specialisation in the ANU's Master of Social Research in 2008, and his book Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age (SAGE) was published in 2013. He created the VOSON software for hyperlink network construction and analysis, which has been publicly available since 2006 and is used by researchers worldwide.
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Thinking Big about Qualitative Research: Trends, Visions and Challenges for the Future.

Lynda Cheshire is an Associate Professor in sociology in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. Her research lies in the areas of housing and neighbourhoods, with a particular focus on the mechanisms behind, and policy responses to, disadvantage and decline in rural and urban settings, practices of neighbouring in contemporary suburban settings, and the housing needs and experiences of vulnerable populations. She often works in mixed-methods teams that draw on large administrative datasets, but her own research is qualitative and she has been at the forefront of advances in qualitative research and teaching. From 2007-2009, in her role as Director of the Australian Data Archive (Qualitative), she led the establishment of Australia’s first qualitative data archive. As well as working with archivists and funding agencies to develop protocols for data archiving, she also sought to overcome some of the obstacles to qualitative data among the qualitative research community. She has published her work widely in journals such as Sociology, Urban Studies, Housing Studies and Journal of Rural Studies and has worked with a range of industry partners in the public and private spheres to help inform policy making and practice. In 2011 she was a recipient of an ARC Future Fellowship.

The past, present and future of ACSPRI and the social sciences.

David Gow is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business at the University of Queensland. He has particular interests in research methods and statistics and their application in the social sciences. He has taught in the ACSPRI Summer and Winter Programs for over 16 years.

ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

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