Main Page

From CommunityData


The Community Data Science Collective is an interdisciplinary research group made of up of faculty and students at the University of Washington Department of Communication, the Northwestern University Department of Communication Studies, the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, the Carleton College Computer Science Department, and the Purdue University School of Communication.

CDSC members at the CDSC group retreat in March 2021 (pandemic virtual edition #3). Left to right by row, starting at top: Connor (special guest!), Regina, Nick, Floor, Aaron, Nate, Sohyeon, Carl, Stef, Emilia, Salt, Jeremy, Charlie, Kaylea, Sneha, Mako. Check out our other group photos!


We are social scientists applying a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to the study of online communities. We seek to understand both how and why some attempts at collaborative production — like Wikipedia and Linux — build large volunteer communities and high quality work products.

Our research is particularly focused on how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications — like an individual’s decision to join a community, contribute to a public good, or a group’s ability to make decisions democratically.

Our research is deeply interdisciplinary, most frequently consists of “big data” quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, sociology, and human-computer interaction.

Courses

In addition to research, we teach classes and run workshops. Some of that work is coordinated on this wiki. A more detailed lists of workshops and teaching material on this wikis is on our Workshops and Classes page. In this page, we only list ongoing classes and workshops.

University of Washington Courses

Purdue University

Public Data Science Workshops

Community Data Science Workshops — The Community Data Science Workshops (CDSW) are a series of workshops designed to introduce some of the basic tools of programming and analysis of data from online communities to absolute beginners. The CDSW have been held six times in Seattle between 2014 and 2020. So far, more than 100 people have volunteered their weekends to teach more than 500 people to program in Python, to build datasets from Web APIs, and to ask and answer questions using these data.

Research Resources

If you are a member of the collective, perhaps you're looking for CommunityData:Resources which includes details on email, TeX templates, documentation on our computing resources, etc.

Research News

Follow us as @comdatasci on Twitter and subscribe to the Community Data Science Collective blog.

Recent posts from the blog include:

Detecting At-Risk Software Infrastructure
Critical software we all rely on can silently crumble away beneath us. Unfortunately, we often don’t find out software infrastructure is in poor condition until it is too late. Over the last year or so, I have been leading a project I announced earlier to measure software underproduction—a term I use to describe software that …
— kaylea 2021-03-29
A round-up of our recent research
We try to keep this blog updated with new research and presentations from members of the group, but we often fall behind. With that in mind, this post is more of a listicle: 22 things you might not have seen from the CDSC in the past year! We’ve included links to (hopefully un-paywalled copies) of …
— Community Data Science Collective https://communitydata.cc/ 2021-02-28
CDSC is hiring research assistants
The Northwestern University branch of the Community Data Science Collective (CDSC) is hiring research assistants. CDSC is an interdisciplinary research group made of up of faculty and students at multiple institutions, including Northwestern University, Purdue University, and the University of Washington. We’re social and computer scientists studying online communities such as Wikipedia, Reddit, Scratch, and …
— Aaron Shaw http://aaronshaw.org 2021-01-29
Apply to Join the Community Data Science Collective!
It’s Ph.D. application season and the Community Data Science Collective is recruiting! As always, we are looking for talented people to join our research group. Applying to one of the Ph.D. programs that the CDSC faculty members are affiliated with is a great way to do that. This post provides a very brief run-down on …
— Community Data Science Collective https://communitydata.cc/ 2020-11-24

About This Wiki

This is open to the public and hackable by all but mostly contains information that will be useful to collective members, their collaborators, people enrolled in their projects, or people interested in building off of their work. If you're interested in making a change or creating content here, generally feel empowered to Be Bold. If things don't fit, somebody who watches this wiki will be in touch.

This is mostly a normal MediaWiki although there are a few things to know:

  • There's a CAPTCHA enabled. If you create an account and then contact any collective member with the username (on or off wiki), they can turn the CAPTCHA off for you.
  • Extension:Math is installed so you can write math here. Basically you just add math by putting TeX inside <math> tags like this: <math>\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}}</math> and it will write .