Digital Methods for Social Scientists

I participated in a Data Sprint a couple of weeks ago- for the first time ever! While it wasn’t exactly what I imagined it would be, it certainly taught me A LOT! In addition to this, I came across numerous new digital methods that I might or might not use, but I wanted to create list of them so that I do not forget them….and it might be an inspiration for others as well!

I’ve decided to add a couple of tools that I use in my PhD project and my intention is to update the list as well J

App Traffic: A tool to capture, inspect and playback the traffic of mobile apps. You have to register, but I think it is for free. As of January 2021, there are some limitations with regard to the compatible android versions.

AppTraffic (

Cortext: Cortext is a platform that focused on the exploitation and analysis of heterogeneous textual data generated by new information technologies and communication. I think a registration is required

Cortext Manager – Cortext

Facepager: A tool that can extract data from the web, e.g. social media platforms or websites. Depending on the website provider, there are three different options:

  1. interacting with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)2.
  2. Webscraping
  3. downloading and uploading media Files.

As of January 2021 it was possible to scrape Instagram as well, despite their newly updated API restrictions.

Home · strohne/Facepager Wiki · GitHub

Gephi: Gephi is the leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. PLUS: It is open-source and free

Gephi – The Open Graph Viz Platform

Imagesorter: Once scraped, this tool can be used to analyse pictures. It browses, traces and sorts images by color, name, size or date.

Iramuteq: Iramuteq provides a R interface for Multidimensional Text and Questionnaire Analysis. !!The page is in French, but I think Google translate worked pretty well.

Iramuteq — IRaMuTeQ

Lightbeam: Lightbeam is a browser extension for Firefox, so I cannot post a link here. Lightbeam displays third party tracking cookies placed on the user’s computer while visiting various websites. It displays a graph of the interactions and connections of sites visited and the tracking sites to which they provide information- in real time! I used this in a workshop with students inspired by this article (Selwyn, N., & Pangrazio, L. (2018). Doing data differently? Developing personal data tactics and strategies amongst young mobile media users. Big Data & Society, 5(1), 205395171876502. and it worked excellent!

Minivan: MiniVan, as “mini visual analyser of networks”, is an online tool for publishing and exploring networks.

Visual Network Analyser (

Netlytic: Netlytic is a community-supported text and social networks analyzer that can automatically summarize and visualize public online conversations on social media sites.

About –

NodeXL: Social network analysis (SNA) tool. It costs to use the pro version- might be quite similar to Gephi but I wanted to include it.

NodeXL Pro Tutorials (

NodeXL Viewer (

Rapidtables: Super easy and free tool to use and work on SVG files.

SVG viewer & editor online (

RawGraphs: A tool to visualize spreadsheets. ON their webpage they write that RawGraph is “The missing link between spreadsheets and data visualization” and this tool is absolutely FANTASTIC! It is easy to use, intuitive and the visualisatios are just breath-taking. Best tool I have come across in a while and I can only recommend it to every social scientist that wants to create kick-ass visualisationas based on their data!

Home | RAWGraphs

Table 2 Net: Extract a network from a table. Set a column for nodes and a column for edges. It deals with multiple items per cell. Super useful if you need a file that is compatible with Gephi!

Table 2 Net (

VoyantTools: Voyant Tools is a web-based text analysis, reading and visualization environment.

Home · sgsinclair/Voyant Wiki · GitHub

Wireshark: Wireshark is the world’s foremost and widely-used network protocol analyzer. I use it in combination with the MaxMind GeoIP Database (GeoIP2 Databases | MaxMind)

Wireshark · Go Deep.

YoutubeDataTools: This tool creates a list of video infos and statistics from one of four sources: the videos uploaded to a specified channel, a playlist, the videos retrieved by a particular search query, or the videos specified by a list of ids.

YouTube Data Tools (

Free for academic and non-profit use:


Tools | médialab Sciences Po

Research Software by Bernhard Rieder (

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