Workshop: Demographic Research with Web and Social Media Data
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) invites submissions to the workshop "Demographic Research with Web and Social Media Data” taking place at the International Conference on Web and Social Media in Munich on 11th of June, 2019.
The spread of the internet and online communities provide unprecedented opportunities for studying global population dynamics such as fertility, mortality, migration, and health. Internet users do not only leave ‘digital traces’ of their existence - the online world also influences their behaviour, from daily decisions (like commuting patterns and kin interactions) to major life events (like childbirth and migration). Computational social scientists have long employed innovative methodologies and data sources to study social phenomena but demography has been slow in incorporating digital approaches, in spite of being a historically data-driven discipline. Demographers have only recently moved into the ‘digital realm’, but collaboration between demographers and computationally-oriented scientists remains limited. This workshop aims to foster dialogue and knowledge exchange between these two communities by focusing on the applications and implications of web and social media data for demographic research.
There are clear benefits inherent in connecting demography and data science. Demographers can help identify and answer research questions relevant to the social sciences using well-established analytical and theoretical frameworks. Data scientists possess invaluable technical and computational understanding of digital phenomena needed for this task. Despite the great potential of these interactions, communication between population researchers and data scientists has been very limited so far.
Topics that are relevant for the workshop include, but are not limited to:
- Nowcasting demographic processes (migration, fertility, mortality, etc.)
- Online experiments, surveys and simulations for demographic research
- Inferring age, gender and interests from text and images: recent developments
- Limitations of social media and internet data and how to overcome them
- Monitoring population health using social media data
- Inference from biased or non-representative samples
- Implications of the digital revolution on demographic behaviour
- Demographic change, human mobility and disease dynamics
- Combining traditional sources with Web data