Let’s talk about blog : Minor forms of academic communication

At the WSSF, I assisted at one really interesting panel on blogging 

Loïc Le Pape  described the creation of a blog on the Hypotheses platform in relation to his position as a “young academic” and drawing on his experience of academic blogging.

Andre Gunthert made an important point about why scholar blog. It is for conversation, a need to discuss ideas. Even when there are no comments on his blog, he still talk about it with colleagues, making them “silent conversation”.

Marin Dacos presented his view on the lack of digital infrastructures in social science. Just because things are virtual does not mean it is totally immaterial.

Arthur Charpentier explained how his blog provided the opportunity to publish research studies in an unconventional form. This enables journalist to read about his research and actually understand it.  Maybe blogging can revamp the relationship between science and society, simply by making research more comprehensible to others.I know that I wont be able to read his statistical papers, because it is not in my field. Blogging is also a good way for academics to get to know other disciplines

WSSF 2013

This October will be held the WORLD SOCIAL SCIENCE FORUM in Montreal.

source : worldsocialscience.org

Scholars from all over the world and across disciplines will address the ways in which digital technologies are being developed and used, and how they are transforming different spheres of social life and social sciences. I will be part of one exciting panel on the engagement of  ordinary user in science.

Participatory Science on the Web : The Re-enchantment of Science by Online Collectives

The participatory Web (Web 2.0) enables and encourages ordinary citizens to participate in developing and sharing content online. In the sciences, new connections between amateurs and scientists are stimulating public interest in science. They are also changing the way scientific knowledge is produced in some fields. By examining four cases in the natural sciences, this panel proposes an examination of the rearticulation of relationships between amateurs and scientists and the role of Web platforms in providing providing spaces where different registers of knowledge co-exist. Our cases clearly illustrate the contribution of amateurs to producing, not only data for analysis by scientists, but also in shaping research questions and directions. This line of questioning is a specific examination within the larger field of the ways in which digital tools are profoundly transforming the scientific knowledge production process. The presentations in our interdisciplinary panel will examine these new partnerships in the fields of climate research, biomolecular research, botany and ecology from the perspectives of both scientists and amateur contributors.

Coordinator: Dr. Lorna Heaton
Organization/Institution: Université de Montréal
Schedule: Monday, October 14, 2013 – 09:00 – 10:45
Room: 519AB

As part of this panel my colleagues (Lorna Heaton,Xiao Liu,Florence Millerand ) and I will present a paper on the Changing Naturalist Practices: Engagement Around a Giant Grasshopper at ONEM

source : ONEM

We present a case study of a participatory science project that involved collecting observations of a giant grasshopper and registering them online. Using a qualitative and ethnographically informed approach, we identify a number of factors that enabled widespread participation in this naturalist inquiry, organized by Observatoire Naturaliste des Écosystèmes Méditerranéens (ONEM). Our findings illustrate how the association’s double goals of stimulating an appreciation for nature and increasing scientific knowledge of the species under investigation are articulated as both naturalists and the general public participate. We propose a hybrid model of participatory science, neither scientist-driven nor grassroots-based, which originates in a commitment to ideals of openly accessible and free access to data, a “data commons.” This case illustrates how even low-level participation (crowdsourcing type) can produce significant results – not only in terms of generating scientific knowledge, but also in increasing public engagement with science and scientific literacy.

source :ONEM

Dr. Jones: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the research process

As I am starting to prepare research statement, I was thinking why I started doing what I am doing. And I went way back, when I was a kid. I did not want to be a princess, way to boring.

image source: tumblr.com

I wanted to be an archeologist, going around the world, discovering new artefacts. Then, I got interested in film, since I was curious to know more about this mysterious power film can have on people. And in 2003, star war kids was seen on the internet. So I got interested in this smaller screen. And did a master on how short film can be distributed on the web. By then, I was hooked on research and technology and thinking differently and breaking new grounds. And so I think am cool just like Indiana, because doing research, traveling the world exchanging ideas and teaching young mind, is pretty cool. So when feeling done, think about why you started your PhD. Because deep down, under the complaining and teeth grinding, we like what we are doing. Well, I do anyway…

cluster analysis

I am writing the analysis section of my thesis. And I have to go back to the data. The other day and wanted to look at the coding in a different light, so I play around in Nvivo. I did a “nodes cluster by coding similarity”.

Cluster analysis is an exploratory technique that you can use to visualize patterns in your project by grouping sources or nodes that share similar words, similar attribute values, or are coded similarly by nodes. Cluster analysis diagrams provide a graphical representation of sources or nodes to make it easy to see similarities and differences. Sources or nodes in the cluster analysis diagram that appear close together are more similar than those that are far apart. A horizontal branching diagram where similar items are clustered together on the same branch and different items are further apart. Dendrograms can be useful for comparing pairs of items.

I discover that my 10 participants (they have a node as well) were paired with another nodes. And it describe in one word how they feel about online videos or how they use them. So, my coding is not too bad. Here is the list of the codes : aesthetic, nostalgia, mobility, concert, emotion, anchor, instructive, easiness, keyword, and pleasure. It just shows the range of reasons for sharing online videos.

I also take screen captures of the different things I do with Nvivo, keeping an archive of what I used and what I found to be useful. And this helps me thinks about the congruity between the methodology use, the  analysis, and the final writings. This is part of my strategy to be transparent in writing, to show where my conclusion is coming from. Because “transparency is necessary for accountability” (Bringer, 2004)




Bringer, J. D., Johnston, L. H., & Brackenridge, C. H. (2004). Maximizing Transparency in a Doctoral Thesis1: The Complexities of Writing About the Use of QSR*NVIVO Within a Grounded Theory Study. Qualitative Research, 4(2), 247-265.




Questions to ask yourself before writing an analysis chapter

As I was confused about (and procrastinating) what to do exactly in the analysis section of my thesis. After watching a 5 min video on the matter, I got inspired to write a blog post.

Here is the main point from the video that I turn into questions  :

  1. interpreting your findings, what does it mean?
  2. What is important?
  3. What are the majors themes the emerge from the data?
  4. What connection can you make with other findings? (Reintegrate your lit review)
  5. What’s your problematic? (Bring back the research question at the beginning of the chapter)
  6. What is the structure of your analysis? How are you going to organise all this? (This will help your reader to understand what you are trying to do here)
  7. what is your contribution? (bring something new to science)

I am going to go and answer those, I am sure it will help with the section of the thesis.

10 Distinctive Qualities of Qualitative Research

Originally posted on Research Design Review:

Researchers conduct qualitative research because they acknowledge the human condition and want to learn more, and think differently, about a research issue than what is usual from mostly numerical quantitative survey research data.  Not surprisingly, the unique nature otreehopperf qualitative inquiry is characterized by a distinctive set of attributes, all of which impact the design of qualitative research one way or the other.  The 10 unique attributes of qualitative research are the:

  1. Absence of “truth” With all the emphasis in qualitative research on reality and the human condition, it might be expected that qualitative inquiry is in the business of garnering “the truth” from participants.  Instead of “truth,” the qualitative researcher collects information from which some level of knowledge can be gained.  The researcher does not acquire this information and knowledge in a vacuum but rather in a context and, in this way, the research data are a product…

View original 797 more words


Different types of uses of copyrighted works in shared online videos.

Aufderheide and Jaszi (2008) compiled a list of 8 types of uses of copyrighted works in online videos.

 1)Parody and satire, 2) negative or critical commentary, 3) positive commentary, 4) quoting to trigger discussion, 5) illustration or example, 6) incidental use, 7) personal reportage or diaries, 8) Archiving of vulnerable or revealing materials, 9)pastiche or collage

In my PhD proposal, I said I could use this list to start my analysis on how and why people share online videos. I did not use it to start, but now looking back at the data from the interviews, several types are much the same.

Here are some examples from the interviews (since they were in French, I will translate the best quotes) : Online videos are shared on Facebook to comment on a political situation. Viewing video together with friend triggers discussion on new topics. Instead of trying to explain something complicated, one can simply show a video in order to illustrate a point. Creating and sharing online video have similarities, since they are both part of today culture.

“Online video making is part of a much larger process in which the people formerly known as audiences of mass media or consumers of popular culture are asserting themselves as participants in culture-making”.(Aufderheide, 2008, p.5). Sharing content on social network site is also part of culture-making.



Aufderheide, P., & Jaszi, P. (2008). Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video (p. 1-20): Center for Social Media.