Theoretical concepts for data collecting from online social networks

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Theoretical concepts for data collecting from online social networks

The development of networks of interrelations between individuals is not recent. Associated with Information and Communication Technologies have emerged online services aimed at the inter-relationship between its participants: online social networks.

These environments raise concerns in the way data are shared, such as from the process of collecting data by external agents, which are stored in the institutions that own the services.

However, following up on the process of data collecting available in online social networking services is a complex task, since the information on what data collection activities will be performed are described in documents with legal language (Terms of Use) and the rules and the technologies of the data collecting process are explained in technical-operational documents, aimed at the development of applications.

The research project has as objective the delimitation of theoretical foundations and concepts related to the process of data collecting from online social networks, from the specification of the characteristics of data collection through Application Programming Interfaces (API), and the identification of aspects on the rules, protocols and technologies involved in the data collecting process identified in the content of technical-operational documents and in the Terms of Use.

The adopted methodology is anchored in a theoretical-exploratory intersection, of a qualitative nature, and an investigation will be carried out through (a) an exploratory research, from the identification of the technical and operational characteristics of the data collection interfaces, and (b) a bibliographical research, with analysis of the content of the technical-operational documents and the Terms of Use for linking concepts from existing scientific literature.

A systematized division of the collection process is adopted in three interconnected cycles (Systematization of Collection, Direct Modeling, and Second Order Modeling), containing 3 phases each: collection, storage, and retrieval.

The results will be structured in two axes of analysis: (a) a contextualization of the data collecting process, based on the results of the exploratory research, explaining the characteristics of the data collection process of each online social network (in each cycle) and (b) a theoretical reference formation, relating the characteristics identified in each phase of the contextualization axis to the concepts already established in scientific literature, selected from the analysis and the results of the bibliographic research.

As the process of data collecting has a strong need for interdisciplinary cooperation, this will reflect in the contribution of concepts originating from different areas of knowledge to the formation of a referential proper to Information Science, as well as in the formation of a critical discourse about need interdisciplinary participation in data collecting processes, mainly derived from the need for previous knowledge of theories, tools and techniques of different areas of knowledge.

It is excepted that the contextualization of the theoretical foundations related to the process of data collecting from online social networks will allow stimulating the reflection to new investigations that will involve not only studies about the process itself but also a basic orientation on related concepts the collection of data in online services.

Scientific publications available

Fernando de Assis Rodrigues
Fernando de Assis Rodrigues, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., is a professor at Federal University of Pará (UFPA), Brazil.

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