DiscoverText Group License

If you have been issued a DiscoverText group license, you will be the administrator of your own group account and will have the ability to send out licenses to other people you would like to collaborate with. This service is 100% free for academics. Each member of your “peer” group can get a license either as part of your account or you can send me their emails and I will send them each a group account they can control. Either way you need to remain “visible” in the DiscoverText Peer Network to form connections and collaborate. If you are a professor and you want to use DiscoverText in class, please send me a list of student emails and they will all get licenses directly issued. In general, feel free to let me know if you have questions or want a meeting about your research design or implementation.

The most important thing to know is there are already millions of extant datasets stored in a raw JSON format on other computers, devices, and systems that could be loaded to DiscoverText or other systems for collaborative access and research.

Going forward, the opportunities to collect unique, tailored, specific real time or historical data will be very sharply curtailed by Twitter. As time passes, archival questions of what remains and what is lost to history may track closely to the history of newspapers. I wrote a dissertation (1999) about crumbly newspapers from the Progressive Era. Some were available, others were not. This applies to Twitter data now and it always did. Some was preserved, much is lost or will be lost, even with serious archival efforts.

I invite you to book a web meeting or send me a note if you have questions about what remains possible. I have curated thousands of Twitter datasets consisting of more than 300,000,000 Tweets. Others have much larger collections. There are important questions about what comes next in the history of information and how we work together to preserve research opportunities.

Many people ask about Facebook, Instagram, and other social data. DiscoverText has not been connected to Facebook’s open API since 2014. We do not store or access any social data except Twitter. A caveat is that some academics do have legal access to non-Twitter social data and that data, when stored in spreadsheets, can be uploaded by researchers into their DiscoverText account like any other spreadsheet:

A lot of people want to code transcripts of interviews and other semi-structured data. This is not the ideal use case, but if your data fits in a spreadsheet, it may be possible to make use of these tools.

We look forward to supporting your work.